Well actually I won’t be 60 soon, however I do appreciate it’ll be soon enough.
As life is all too short and busy, I’ve been trying to be kind to myself, generally hang in there, and not, for want of a more elegant phrase, do my own head in trying to be all things to all people. It’s only been recently that I’ve realised that stepping away from my creative outlets is not the way to achieve this and in the few weeks I’ve been away from work, I’ve felt some fairly unusual sensations wafting over me.
I realised that it was contentment. That was a weird one and no mistake.
As if by magic, (or more to the point, his Mrs. shared it on Facebook), I re-read this blog by Brian Lumsden, Life and Leadership Coach, twentyoneleadership.com, that hit home on a number of levels. Especially around self-care and the time spent with loved ones.
Rather tellingly, I actually meant to post this last year, but work/stress ate my life again and I never got around to it. It’s really worth a read.
She likes pink, will dance to Blurred Lines, occasionally fakes an orgasm… and worries that the sisterhood would not approve. America’s brightest new essayist tells Kira Cochrane about the dark side of her fierce, funny writing
I particularly love this comment:
“As a writer who is also a woman, I increasingly feel that writing is a political act whether I intend it to be or not,”
Dear misogynist trolls: yes actually, I will make you a sandwich. It will be made of the dust of history, and I hope you bloody choke on it.
Laurie Penny (via wilwheaton)I really love Laurie Penny. Because in person she’s funny and smart and nice to be around, and because on Twitter she says things like this to the hatey trolls.(via neil-gaiman)
And thus we’re blessed with lighter nights and yellow nodding blossoms,
To cast off winters gloomy plight and all that’s old and rotten,
Birds bellow in the early morn and snow and dark forgotten,
But tell me why you bring to me a rash upon my bottom?
*heartily slaps self in stark realisation that writing doggerel in the style of William McGonagal about allergies is unforgivable*
Recently there was an article in the Guardian about reading your way out of depression. One of the commentators said that initially they had only being able to think of what not to read and I was exactly the same. Admittedly depressive illness tends to come about after one has experienced a certain amount of what a friend of mine (who is a mental health professional) describes as “shit life syndrome” so it would be disingenious of me to suggest that Hemingway gave someone the horrors or Flaubert the freaks (though having read A Sentimental Education that one is up for debate). However I think the books that got you there in the first place are definitely worth a dis-honourable mention.
Personally, I’d like to place the blame for a nasty bout of young adult clinical depression on the modernism section of the ‘A’ level literature syllabus c. 1988-1990 but I don’t think InjuryLawyers4you take personal injury cases that are based on having to read and write about Thomas Hardy’s Darkling Thrush, The Wasteland or the arch villian of the piece that is The Bell Jar. Giving that book to an unhappy 17 year old to pour over in great detail is a little like giving a blow torch, a gallon of petrol, some matches, some lovely dry wood and a handbook called “Burning Things is Great” to a thousand people and expecting none of them to set fire to anything. Or anyone.
I think we may have established a line of causation here and while I accept that Sylvia Plath was not, in and of herself the happiest camper in the tent, my own rather too fervent identification with Esthers misery certainly was no bloody use at persuading me to remove my adolescent head from the dark smelly place where I’d shoved it, though arguably that would required 2 strong men, a crowbar and 4 stone of warm butter. Likewise, the central themes of Yeats Second Coming, i.e. it’s all going to heck in a handcart and you have zero chance of redemption wasn’t a lot of help either.
Providing the tinder for the bonfire of youthful existential despair doesn’t seem like a good way to set them up for the rest of their lives to me somehow…but I’m more inclined to think that it gave me the language to articulate the unhappiness but at the time I had no avenue to express it. Ergo psychic pain.
And to demonstrate my laterly discovered ability to express my emotions in a full and emotionally mature way, I would just like to say, for the record, that that Gerard Manley Hopkins is a right ****.
This is a little gem from the Daily Mail…have they actually sacked all the copy editors? Not only is this the last bastion of annoying NIMBYism, they also aren’t very good at their own language, which, when you think about it, is quite ironic.
Article about Matt Cardle of X factor “fame”.
Looking visibly upset as she talked to host Konnie Huq, he admitted he was too caught up in the emotional of it all to even notice the judges had given him a standing ovation.
This suggests that Matt is the first gender ambivalent contestant.
Please check the previous post for the rest of the story.
Anyroad, the thing I find most terrifying of all (in this, a country apparently renowned for its humour) is the shower of miserable gits who feel the need to take this stuff so seriously. In effect, the article by Matt Seaton is a graceful homage to the Zen elements of running, the getting through the lung and limb burn/pain to hit that stride where you aren’t struggling or straining, your breathing is regular and you feel that you can go on for hours.
I feel it’s a terribly cheap, humourless and miserable existence to have when you feel you can bitch about a parallel that is made in a post that is (and I don’t mean this in a negative way) essentially the existential whimsy that keeps our interaction with one another swirling. It’s not like all of our ideas arrive in the world fully formed.
I enjoy blogging. It gets some of the things that irritate me out of my head without having to bore the bejesus out of my husband and friends, while sometimes it means that I can express my joy and happiness about a particular topic without boring those near to me as well. Really, if I’m honest, if you do read what I write and enjoy it – fab – groovy – etc, if not, well, it’s just tough poop.
I appreciate that what I say quite a lot of the time is just whimsy, the sort of questions that you address to your friends when you’re enjoying your fourth alcoholic beverage after an insubstantial tea. The kind of conversation that gets saved up as chat. Only with less swearing. And slander.
Which brings me to the Guardian and the Comment is Free section. I was reading this about the Chilean mining accident. Honestly, read the comments. The Guardian is one news resource that I’ll return to on a daily basis. I’m particularly keen on this section because I get to read opinions (not always the most informed opinions admittedly) from people taking a personal slant on an issue…i.e. blogging. Whimsy. Thinking something through on the hoof.
The thrust of the argument contained in the article Edison Peña’s marathon of endurance was that Edison’s efforts had a parallel with the hunger and need that keen exercisers experience on a day-to-day basis and the daft lengths people will go to get an exercise hit. In order to maintain his sanity, and at the cost of quite a lot of skin on his feet, Edison ran for miles in the caverns while waiting to be rescued. This was the man who the psychologists thought would crack, due to wwhat they perceived as his anger and aggression.