Great Expectations

                       

If you had asked me to describe myself i could think of many words to do so. Perhaps they may differ somewhat from those other people would use for me but still there are some that would not have automatically come to mind unless i thought about it for  a while. Optimistic has always been a word i would apply to myself and for the most part i am very much so yet much recent musing has led me to realise i am also very much of a cynic and a pessimist. Such a strange contradiction for surely one cannot be both, can you? 

For myself i believe they can and that both do apply in my own case. Steadfastly determined to see the bright side of every situation i refuse to let things drag me down. Unerringly strong and dependable and definitely very much of a go to gal. I was once told i’m the kind of girl you need around in a crisis which pleased me greatly for i have never been the fall apart kind. Yet under this optimism and positivity i have to admit lurks a slightly less Pollyanna view of the world that i do not often acknowledge nor admit to.

We are alI a product of our life experiences and through mine i learned long ago never to expect anything of anyone or of life in general. This may sound awfully negative but my experience has been that in setting expectations you are frequently let down by people and situations themselves.This in turn has yet another effect upon the person you are and often not for the better. If you go along your merry path with no prior preconceptions or wants then you will never be disappointed but will only gain the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised along the way.

Admittedly i confess that the surprises are few since the people i have encountered are invariably  not of the positively life changing kind. Still all the more significant then when every once in a while someone comes along to break the mould and make me revise my opinion somewhat. Still the further down the road you walk you cannot help but don a little armour to protect you from the definitely expected and if your steps become a little weary you would no doubt be forgiven for that. 

Perhaps modern life itself is to blame for people no longer have the care for others that once was such an inherent part of their nature. Selfishness more frequently lurks behind every thought and action and rarely do a lot of us put other people before ourselves. Those that do frequently are trampled upon and taken for granted instead of appreciated and thanked. One would be forgiven then as such a person for becoming much disillusioned and unappreciated and set to wondering why they should bother at all.

But optimism prevails and whilst i will never look very far forward and dream and plan as others do i will never fail to make the best of what does come my way. Those rare surprises will be valued and appreciated and whilst i may secretly smother a small hope in some direction and would never turn away the chance for it to become reality i will never take it for granted that it may one day be so. Many say we need dreams and things to aspire to and yes perhaps in this harsh modern society of ours this is so but what we need more is the wisdom to distinguish between that which can become a reality and that which cannot. 

Yes i am definitely and optimist, but a pessimistic one at that. 

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Rowing a small boat in a big ocean

Crisis, breakdown, issues, problems….

Call them what you will but we all have them at some point in our lives often when we least expect them. We may be merrily ambling along the path of life when suddenly we are knocked off our feet and left down in the dirt trying to find a foothold to get ourselves back upright again. For some of us this may be easy but for others even such a short ascent  may seem like facing the tallest mountain when they know they are no mountaineer.

Ultimately there is just no tried and tested way to deal with all these things, we are all so very different and what may be an effective coping mechanism for one may leave another floundering.Good advice whilst kindly meant may often result in an adverse effect to the one intended, for none of us can say how another may react to any given situation.But does this mean we should not offer for fear of doing the wrong thing? Encountering a rebuff whilst hard to accept is inevitably better than failing to act at all then regretting the fact you did not.

Call me whimsical if you will but i rather like to picture life itself as a small boat on an ocean.

We start our voyage of existence sailing solo but along the way we may invite people to share the journey with us and at various ports along the way we will pick up and drop them off, sometimes just one or sometimes a few. Fate will bring along its share of both calms and storms but struggle begins when you choose to either ask someone to row along with you or whether you choose to weather the onslaught and battle along alone.

After much practise i find i have become rather adept at rowing my boat, rather skillfully weathering the storms and if at times i get a little seasick, well at least i know it will pass. Even so there are times when rowing this boat alone gets a little lonely and then sometimes you wish that you had someone else along to share the ride. This is when i wish i had not put into port so often and cast ashore my shipmates. Hindsight most truly is a wonderful thing.

Perhaps there was something to be said for press ganging after all!

So as we cruise along on our various odysseys perhaps we should all keep an eye for those boats adrift or battling the storm and as we pass by hold out a hand and offer to help row. For when life’s tempest rears its ugly head we should like to hope someone will sail by our side and battle us into calmer seas. 

And since i can profess no claim to being any kind of mariner I know i would.

 

Austen-tatious

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I know myself to be far from alone this weekend being totally immersed in the screening of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, sighing wistfully as the knee weakening Mr Darcy bestows on the most beautiful Elizabeth Bennet ‘THE look’  A tale much loved by me in both literary form and the visual adaptations which duly followed, i find myself drawn once again into the romance and propriety of Austen’s world with all the ease of donning a favourite cosy cardigan. I am a most old fashioned girl in all things pertaining to matters of the heart but also find great appeal in such decorum and wealth of manners and believe i should have felt most at home in this earlier period of time. Oh how very wonderful to be wooed by some dashingly handsome man emanating respect and to be duly afforded such correct behaviour as was my right. So very far removed from most gentlemen of my acquaintance today, and i hesitate to call them gentlemen, who are more likely with great ribaldry to request that i display some area of my anatomy for the entertainment of all present. So appealing too, those so articulate and eloquent, an art which these days i find is very much on the decline and the talent of conversation and wit is severely lacking in all but a few. Perhaps i move in the wrong circles having neither connection nor fortune to move in a society above my own but this does not prevent me from longing for the stimulation of intelligence and decorum that seems doomed to be lost in a bygone age. Little wonder women the world around sigh disconsolately and  take solace in a world so very far removed from our own. And forgive me if, just for a short while, i  join the ranks and submit to the smoulderingly charismatic charms of the irrepressible Mr Darcy.

back when i was ten

Back when i was ten the world seemed like such a weird and wonderful place. I lived in a world of books where rabbits could talk and tales of boarding school and tuck boxes were my things to aspire to. Oh i so wanted to go to boarding school, to be like those merry little characters in my books,causing mayhem and having untold adventures with exciting new friends. I dreamt of smugglers and sleeping on islands just like those five so famous and so real to me when young. For i believed everyone did this and quite happily made plans as sleep eluded me on many a night in bed. I sailed with amazons and fished with huck finn, solved mysteries untold and inevitably always made it home for breakfast as every hero should. Yes the world was a wonderful place back when i was ten.

Flying!! So much i wanted to be Wendy and soar over the tops of houses following a star and the ageless charming Peter, to battle with pirates and crocodiles,nary a care in the world but to live like the heros and heroines i so admired. I danced at the ball and lost my slipper on the stairs, fell in love with a beautiful beast. Cried inconsolably for The little Match Girl and made as merry as any with the infamous Robin hood.

Yes show me a book and i would dream you a dream, back then when i was ten. Yet perhaps i shall always be such an age as with each tale i am transported away finding solace in a world so far removed from my own. So exciting a life i lead within the realms of my own head as stories unfold and imagination takes over, heroine again of a fable not of my creation yet where i feel so very at home. 

As i pick up a book i find things have not much changed from back then when i was ten.

who do you think you are

We spend our lives surrounded by people, everywhere all around us interacting yet solitary, dimly aware yet so absorbed in our own lives we take little notice of those around us. I like to people watch, i have a strange curiosity about the people around me and i often wonder who they are and where they are going as they rush along oblivious in their own daily lives. The old lady, face screwed up, bent almost double as she battles the wind and rain clutching a battered old shopping bag to her chest. You can see she doesn’t like the rain, her very haste and whole aura of distaste make it very plain as she forges on and tries to hurry just that little bit faster. Where is she going? does she have a doting husband waiting patiently for her return,missing his companion, glancing now and then at the clock to anticipate her return  or does she return to a home silent but for the cries of a ragged looking tabby pacing anxiously by the door. The workman, lunchbox under one arm walking rapidly and purposefully towards his destination, glancing neither left or right in his desire to get out of the cold. He’s less obvious in his distaste but nonetheless you can tell he wishes he was somewhere else. Is there a wife bustling around making dinner whilst children watch with noses pressed to window, waiting to hurl themselves at him as he crosses the threshold or does he return to a darkened house and a meal for one, to take early to his bed unable to bear the solitude for too long a time. The child, oblivious to anything but the pure glee of splashing with reckless abandon through puddles of muddy rain, pulled along by a mother desperate to get home and not inclined to linger like the child. Does he go home to be smothered in a warm towel before perching on a chair, heels swinging, to await the return of rain sodden family members complaining loudly in a clamorous throng about the weather and the journey home or maybe its is not his mother after all and he will not infact see a parent until long after he has retired for the night, greeted only by a perfunctory kiss on the sleeping childs forehead.

And then i wonder if someone else is watching in me and wondering who i am and where i’m going. I try to see myself from the outside and wonder what i would think of me if i were them. Do they see me? Do they know that i dont mind the rain and am in no hurry to get to my destination. Do they notice that i watch them and wonder at their daily likes or maybe notice the small skip around a puddle and think that some recent event has made me want to share a happiness with the world. Do they know that im the one that goes home to the meal for one but later greeted by the family members bewailing the english weather. I wonder what they see when they look at me, do they even see me at all??

Facebook, Jeremy Kyle and a whole lot of laundry

Rare for me, since Saturday mornings usually find me wearing myself out in my local gym, i spent today watching morning television whilst cruising the internet. Like many I have a Facebook account although unlike most I do not really bother with it overly. I find i much prefer the less personal realms of the Twitter world. I tend to be a pretty private person and I am not so awed at the thought of millions of people knowing all of the inner workings of my life. Yes clearly I blog, but blogging is less invasive and I am very careful about those things I choose to reveal to my readers. 

Whilst I am very happy in my relationship and love my boyfriend dearly, I  for one do not wish to publicise the inner workings of my life with him for the whole world to see. Although I am not above displaying for the Facebook world some uncontained burst of happiness for the most part I tend to keep my private life to myself. Not so my friends and acquaintances it seems for, as i scrolled my news feed with one eye on a heated debate on TV’s Jeremy Kyle show, I was a little surprised at some of the statuses.

One side of a couples argument. For everyone’s amusement the woman is visibly making vicious comments about her partner. Friend’s jumping onto the one sided bandwagon adding to the general nastiness with little or no idea of the facts or whether any of it was at all true. Another ‘friend’ publishing intimate medical information about herself regardless of the fact that the whole world can see and comment upon this yet they do not seem to care.

Scrolling further down i see more personal information, a phone number and yet another status spewing spite towards some faceless unnamed individual. Again this person has had the foresightedness not to reply and draw themselves further into the deluge of venom directed their way. Such things amaze me for I have always been taught and am a big believer in the saying

‘If you cannot say anything nice then do not say anything at all’

As the TV continues to drone in the background my attention shifts again to the now furiously arguing couple upon the screen and i cannot help but wonder..WHY?? Are we as a species so desperate for our five minutes of fame that we would resort to airing our dirty laundry in public and ultimately setting ourselves up for ridicule as a result of this? Do those people on screen or even on Facebook stop for one moment to consider just how they appear to other people? Perhaps they simply do not care and again i find this difficult to comprehend. 

It seems with the advent of more and more advanced technology, there are many of us content to be drawn into the fantasy of the online world. In our attempts to be modern and popular we are content to broadcast those facts about ourselves that would have seemed so scandalous when whispered behind twitching curtains decades before. Perhaps  things have changed and what was once so socially unacceptable is now simply considered the norm in today’s society. There is little doubt that, given the presence of many such shows as that of Jeremy Kyle, we are much more voyeuristic in nature than we once were. We watch avidly as the dysfunctional and the desperate bear all to a viewing public of millions and in many cases pass judgement where, in their place, we should not like to receive it. 

So sad a world when the misfortunes and distress of other people are considered a form of entertainment for others and for the most part i refuse to watch. I cannot feel anything but sadness and sympathy for those poor souls drawn to solve their problems in such a way. Me? I think I shall continue to keep my private life to myself, even my friends and family are not privy to events within my relationship with my boyfriend and perhaps as a woman I am unusual in this. It seems the norm to share with friends those occurrences, arguments and happy times within your intimate relationship but for myself I prefer to keep those things between he and 

Dirty laundry? Personally I think i shall forgo my five minutes of fame and keep mine firmly in my laundry basket!! 

VW525EFYWZWD

How to tame your inner fat girl

Yet again this weekend sees me chained to Ebay, watching as auction after auction ends. Why?? Well those items. they’re all mine you see.

I blame it on my inner fat girl!

Very few of us have accurate body perception and women in particular will obsess about their most hated flaw until it reaches a tragedy of epic proportions. That extra inch on the hips and thighs suddenly becomes 10 and you no longer want to be seen out in public. You fixate and self deprecate until your perception of yourself is distorted beyond all recognition.

My weight loss journey has been shared on here and if i face reality i am a very acceptable 5ft 10 and size 10/12 yet most of the time i cannot see it. Several times lately i have had to return clothing to a store because habit see’s me purchasing size 14’s and L/XL when i am so far removed from this now. Then i find i am greatly annoyed when the coveted dress/jeans hang like a sack on my much smaller frame and i have the hassle of returning and reordering or,as i frequently do., throwing it in the wardrobe to hang forever unworn.

Sometimes. like today, i find myself overloading ebay with my wrongly sized purchases and i vow to buy things in my proper size next time but still often i never do. I still see the curvy girl you see. Only when confronted by a mirror do i actually see and register the transformation and i would be lying if i didn’t say that it comes as a shock every time. I guess the reality is how many of us actually look at ourselves in a full length mirror and actually SEE what we look like??

Not me that’s for sure.

Only recently after a conversation with my trainer did i acknowledge that i am no longer the girl i was and i should be proud of how dramatic a change i have effected in only 3 months. I can run, i’m slim, i weight train and i’m fit and healthy. Sheer hard work has gotten me here and i am not about to let it all slide any time soon. Maybe when i’m 80 i shall relax and eat chicken burgers and chocolate but for now i adore the gym and i love being slim.

”Start looking in a full length mirror every day” my trainer advised wisely ”There are plenty of women at this gym who would love your figure”

Really?? My squirming impulse immediately was to self criticise as i usually do. A fault i developed long ago to run myself down before anyone else could and it became a terrible habit. Any self confidence is well and truly trampled and you are the worst culprit for it, yet you do not see that. So upon his advice i started to look in the mirror and actually LOOK properly for a change. No i am not perfect but i look good especially for my age and i am starting to slowly accept that when my lovely boyfriend calls me beautiful it is because he see’s me as such. I do not believe he would lie but the inner me could never accept it and always brushed his comments aside blaming him as having bad eyesight. You see the instant self criticism??

So my inner fat girl and i we confront each other daily and i try on a pair of jeans that used to fit and chuckle as they instantly fall into a puddle around my feet. Then i stick out my tongue and tell her she isn’t coming out any more. She sighs but she knows she cannot win any more and so she is resigned to it. With tape measure in hand i confront myself with the inches i have lost and then i tell myself 

‘You look great, you have done fantastic and you are almost there keep going’

You can beat your inner fat girl you just need to face the truth. Buy a full length mirror and look, look ,look!! Give yourself the right to be proud of your own achievements and when someone tells you you’re beautiful? Just accept that to them you probably are and simply say thankyou.

Nobody is perfect, even those famous faces have something about them that they do not like. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder. My inner fat girl and i are off to the gym and we’re going to run and run, because we can. 

Wishing for the moon

Come on lets face it when was the last time you sat down, looked around and smiled because you were happy with what you have? How many times have you been guilty of saying i want? Most of us are so guilty of perpetual ‘i want’ ing that we forget to look at what we actually do have we merely spend our times thinking of all the things we do not. For many that long road from where we have been and where we are now is so long that we forget how to look back along it and remember the journey and the achievements along the way and ultimately celebrate them. A recent quote i read was perhaps most apt and fitting at this point merely stating

‘Appreciate what you have, for if you do not then you can be sure somebody else will’

I have been told i am an unusual woman and perhaps this is so since i will never ask anything of anyone that they do not freely give and whilst i have dreams and aspirations like anyone else i am also mindful to be happy with what i have. If it comes down to a choice between pushing for more when it is not freely offered, risking losing everything, or being grateful that i actually have it in the first place then i will always take the latter option. Perhaps the trick is to remember, especially in respect of relationships, how things were before you had that person who means so much to you and ask yourself do i really want to go back to how i was before? Anyone who loves someone would always answer with a resounding no, of course not and why would you.

Yet despite all this so many are so willing to do exactly that and throw away everything that makes them happy just upon that quest to demand more than is already given. I guess for the most part you do not know what you have until it is gone and often once lost it cannot be retrieved. Perhaps then we would all do as well to sometimes remind ourselves of what life would be like without all the things we have. It never hurts to count your blessings every once in a while, even if you forget they are blessings, for one thing you can be sure of is someone else would value and want what you do not.

Yes an unusual woman i may be but also one who has spent a lot of time waiting for things to appreciate to come along. I can see clearly along my road no matter how long it gets and never will i take for granted those happy things  that make me smile. Offer me things freely and i am often wise enough to take them but never will i ask for them for myself. When you have what you’ve always wanted you do not throw it away trying to get something better for the grass is never greener on the other side it is merely a trick of the light. Never be guilty of crying for the moon to the point that you forget to live in the here and now for you might find one day that here and now is exactly where you wish you were.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but all the better when you do not need it. 

inuit and pandas and loudly ticking clocks

Usually i dont mind being awake at 5am, often the early night prior results in waking far earlier than intended but it is usually so peaceful that i quite enjoy being the only one braving the wee small hours. Today not so, for some reason i was bone crackingly cold on retiring to bed and sleep eluded me for quite some time and an hour later curled in a ball trying to get warm i drifted off to dreams of inuit and ice fishing which were not particularly comforting to say the least. I cant quite imagine myself as nanook of the north and whilst i dont detest the cold i confess i feel it easily and do not embrace it well i think myself more of an autumn girl all cosy and colourful. So needless to say waking at 5am was not particularly welcomed, although i admit to being somewhat more temperate i awoke feeling much as i should imagine would a disgruntled bear with probably the same nature which will uncharacteristically linger with me throughout the day. Quite some time ago i obtained a clock for my wall, deliberately choosing one with a very loud tick which brought back some small pleasant memories of sleeping at my grandparents house, curious as i sleep so lightly and normally this would disturb me yet the familiarly comforting noise usually has the opposite effect. But not this morning, today i find it annoying forcing me out of bed when i really want to hide under the duvet and try and find solace in sleep. Alas i’ve never been able to fall back into slumber once awake and as my brain argues with my body for blame at an overwhelming tiredness i decided to admit defeat and contemplate the world in the bottom of a coffee cup. For if i ever did more resemble a panda then today would most definitely be the day,who said pandas were cute!Image   

sense and sensibility

I’ve always prided myself on being reasonably intelligent and pretty perceptive in the scheme of things but  so often things just seem to end up with a giant sized spanner in the works. I wonder if perhaps i’m as perceptive as i like to think i am or whether im just some kind of cockeyed eternal optimist residing in a fantasy land borne of too many hours with my head firmly in some novel. I love the escapism of books, even when everything goes so wrong it always seems to have an unerring way of becoming right at the end and if i could get life to be this way i would quite happily white water raft my way down the rapids of trials and tribulations sent my way, knowing that a different ending was in sight when i sailed my way to the bottom. As usual things have crawled their way out of the pages of my book and slithered under the table to be trampled on by a never ending stream of feet as the comings and goings of life carry on their merry way and i never was any good at putting pages back together, i have no idea how  nor even if i want to carry on reading the story. So perhaps a new book is in order and a very big book this time, one i can hide behind and only look out from beyond the pages when i know nobody is trying to see who this girl is and what she’sImage reading. Because its a secret now and in all things perhaps it is wisest to let sense and sensibility prevail 

Do you miss me

Do you miss me when i’m gone, do you long to be beside me

Do you call me for no reason than just to hear my voice

Do you miss me when i’m gone? Do you dream that we’re together

And know that here is where you’d be if you only had a choice

Do you miss me when im gone, if you do then do i know this

Have you taken time to tell me or think that i should know

For i find when i’m without you things just really arent the same

So i had to let you know, that i miss you when you’re gone

Written by Smilesalot1969 aka Lilyflower- 2001

once upon a time

ImageAfter becoming embroiled in the intrigue and mystery of the dating game i wonder if perhaps this is all for me, frequently finding myself disappointed or left in an uncertain state of mind which suits me not at all. I wonder perhaps if my expectations are too high, from a child having loved the whimsy and unabashed romance of fairy tales and quite happily believed in ever after and true loves kiss. Now perhaps as i grew older i came to realise that princes did not after all come from foreign lands to scale the walls of my castle, take one look and beg me to be their princess forever, nor yet did they appear under my window singing love songs sure to draw the attention of neighbours for miles around but yes i still had a belief in happily ever afters and being swept off my feet. Later post fairytale years as a female i have to admit the milk tray man did little to dispel this unshakeable belief and like millions of other women waited with baited breath for some handsome man to vault through my window bearing chocolate. So as the years rolled by and potential princes were proved to be frogs i guess this lady began to wonder how much truth there is in fairy tales after all and am i perhaps too old and maybe a little naive for wanting that after all. And i guess things just arent working out just the way i thought it would, not even a prince in training on the horizon and as for being swept of my feet well i think my only chances of that lie in the path of a force 10 gale. I wonder if men know how to be romantic any more or is it some outdated notion long since left in the pages of a Jane Austen novel with the brooding but irresistible Mr Darcy and the beautiful captivating miss Elizabeth Bennet.  So i optimistically vow to try so very hard not to be disappointed if my date doesnt gaze lingeringly into my eyes and be so very reluctant to leave my company and stand in amongst a sea of frogs just waiting for the one thats just that little bit special