2017…

2017…

I admit to feeling a little smug this time last year. I was in a great job, was well paid, had an amazing circle of friends, a delightful submissive, plans for my first holiday in three years and home life was solid and comfortable.

Then it was 2017 and things slowly started to unravel about Easter and got progressively worse. A month ago I was broke, had been struggling to maintain my mental health for several months, was worried about making the next mortgage payment and had ended several friendships that I thought were going to last much longer.

As 2018 looms, I’m in recovery mode. A new job, realising I’ve still got good, solid friendships with others and staying ahead of the Depression cycle has all helped. Finding someone I love who’s been a strong support has motivated me to stay the course.

As I look back on the year, I’m in reminded, once again, that I can handle some shit. Like, I’m a fucking tough cookie. That’s what I need to remember when the going gets tough. I can handle this, I got this.

So long 2017, you tried to take me down but I’m still fighting.

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Karma Commotion

Karma Commotion

Karma

Def: (noun)

the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

(Informal)

Good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one’s actions.

Urban Dictionary

Getting what you give – if you’re mean, you get bad karma. If you’re kindly and nice, you’ll get good karma.

I see a lot of people use the reference to karma as being what another person ‘deserves’. Usually the other person has wronged someone thus anything or something bad that happens to them from that point on is considered them getting their karma or ‘what they deserve for being an asshole.’ Like there’s a balance sheet in the sky that someone is reconciling. And it’s kind of ironic that waiting for some misfortune to befall another person isn’t considered assholey but being the misfortune is. Bad things happen to everyone. I try not to be the ‘bad thing’. Additionally, when bad things happen, I don’t dissect my life and try to discover which past act has thrown this bad one onto my path. I’m no saint but even they suffer misfortunes. Because let’s not forget that good people do bad things, they make mistakes, they fuck shit up. A mistake doesn’t always mean they’re a bad person. It means they’re human, just like you and I.

On the flip side of the above definition, doing kind things and expecting a payoff kind of makes you a douche. You should be kindly and nice because it makes you or others feel good and that’s it. Keeping score of your good deeds to prove what a great person you are makes your generosity seem self-serving.

I find the judgement in casually and/or vehemently deciding what other people ‘deserve’ to be very distasteful. Its a self-righteousness that people think they’ve earned that makes them above reproach.

I’ve been there. We all have. Being hurt is terribly painful and at times, bewildering. But you won’t heal until you let go of the pain and wishing fire/death/crabs on someone else means you’re still hurting. You deserve to be your focus, not the ingrate who wounded you.

My philosophy is ‘I do me.’ I focus my energies on me (cause I’m amazing and I’m worth my time). What do I deserve? How am I going about achieving it? Am I loving on the people I love and treating them with kindness or wasting my time sticking pins into effigies of those I’m glad to see the back of? People who’ve hurt me or who I don’t want in my life don’t deserve my time, physically or mentally. “I don’t hate you, I just don’t think about you…at all.”

So, if you’re gleefully waiting for karma to deliver some justice to the last miserable S.O.B you ran into, perhaps you should consider what kind of karma you deserve for thinking that way.

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

I was very surprised and grateful to be nominated by Maryam for a Liebster Award.  I’ve not heard of a Liebster Award before so had to do some research. I like that the award is about encouraging and supporting people who blog (in a non-commercial way) hence this post.  You can read historical information about the Liebster Award here at Wording Well.

Thank you Maryam for nominating me, I appreciate your readership and encouragement 🙂

 

Rules:

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, link their blog. Include award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 10 recently followed bloggers and share your post with them so they see it.

Maryam’s Questions

Q: If you had a choice, what would you do differently?

I would believe in myself sooner and more and encourage others to do the same.

Q2: Why did you start your blog?

Mostly just to get stuff out of my head.

Boomm noise in head illustration
Image credit Geralt

Q3: What is your pet peeve?

I can have only one?  Inconsiderate people covers a lot of my worst pet peeves.

Q4: What’s your favorite colour?

Teal.  A lot of people get this colour wrong so here’s a graphic.

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Q5: Do you have an exercise routine?

Not really.  I don’t prioritise dedicated exercise time but enjoy walks, bicycle rides and hikes.

Q6: Favorite pasttime?

Solitude.  Whatever I’m doing when I’m alone and quiet is secondary to the fact I’m alone and quiet.

Q7: What’s your worst fear?

I honestly try not to worry about fears.  I try to practice mindfulness which is living in the moment and not worrying about what ‘might’ happen.  I’ve also got a good track record for dealing with disasters so know that if something terrible happens, I can deal with it and I’ll be fine.

Q8: What could you live without?

This is a hard one.  I believe that everything, EVERYTHING, has a good and a bad side.  We can’t have the good without the bad and I don’t think I’d eliminate the bad because there’s lots of learning and growing when we face challenges.

 

Q9: What do you love most about yourself?

I’ve always loved my desire to understand the world.

Q10: Where would you most like to visit?

Portugal


The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog;
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.);
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you;
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself;
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!);
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer; OR
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
  8. Once you have written and published it, you then have to inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

And the nominees are:

Yoly

Krechelle

Living Gay Brisbane

Furcissy

The Tinderella Chronicles

Floss

Neurodivergent Rebel


Questions

  1. What’s your favourite time of the day and why?
  2. What’s the phrase you repeat in your head when the going gets tough?
  3. Which superpower would you like to have?
  4. When is your favourite time of the year?
  5. Who would you ring if you got arrested?
  6. Why do you blog?
  7. Where is your favourite travel destination?

Whether or not you choose to play along…THANK YOU!!

I am.

I am.

I’ve resisted writing an About Me sort of post.  I’ve always found labels so restrictive.  They have a binary and absolute nature that I resent.  I am what I am and it changes dependant on my mood, surroundings, clothing, crowd etc. etc.  It’s why I called my blog NonSpecifica, I was avoiding the use of specific descriptors and a specific theme that would pigeonhole me.  Today, I thought I was going to change that.

I’ve tried a bulleted list, a few paragraphs, a chronology, a ‘me right now’ versus ‘me 20 years ago’, and even a pictogram but again it’s so difficult to present all of my facets on this one dimensional platform.

When considering my motivation it was because I want to present sides of me that to the reader are new and undiscovered.  However, we humans have this need to qualify experience and opinion on experience with…experience!  So in order to have my opinion accepted I am required to justify how I came to the opinion.  And I get it, you can’t just be any ol’ body spouting any ol’ thing because of safety and transparency.

But here’s the thing.  I don’t expect anyone to look to me for answers.  I’m not mentoring anybody here.  I’m not claiming to be a professional or an educator or anything.  I’m just a person who wants to talk (even to the void) about everyday normal stuff as it occurs to me.  I’m not claiming responsibility for anyone except myself. So I’m still not doing an About Me or resume or anything like that.  I’m just going to talk about stuff that interests me and maybe add some qualifiers.  If anyone has any questions about a particular topic or would like to share their own experience, I’d love to hear it.

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Self-reflection

Self-reflection

I wrote about The End of a friendship recently.

While talking to my SO about it I voiced what I feel are some values of mine when it comes to friends:

  • I am responsible for my actions and you are responsible for yours.
  • I must make decisions that support me living my values.
  • I can’t control you but I can control the way I respond to you.

 

So when I read 4 Reasons Why You’re Selfish it gave me reason to pause and think and reflect on my decisions.  I’m going to go over them here.  This is a reflection of myself having read the writing and not a critique of the author or the writing.  I’m grateful for being given an opportunity to take another perspective.

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1: You assume everyone else is confident enough to say exactly what they mean.

I interpreted this in two different, though appropriate ways: the first is feeling secure enough to say what is needed and the second is being able to articulate oneself well enough.  

Yes, this is true, but only to an extent. For instance, I was talking to SO last night and I expressed to him that it is my desire that responses are honest even if those truths may be difficult for me (we were talking about long-term stuff).  I didn’t emphasise the need for truth because of dishonesty in our relationship or because SO is a meek, sensitive person (quite the opposite) but because it’s important to me that SO is confident in my ability to handle difficult truths.  I also know that my SO is intelligent and able to strongly articulate any feelings, emotions or thoughts to me.

I then thought about that statement in relation to the friendship I ended.  My good friend is certainly not afraid to voice an opinion nor does he suffer an inability to translate the feelings well to me.

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2: You hold trials in your head.  You judge and condemn others without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves.

I agree that this occurs in relationships and even between strangers.  I definitely have to put effort into letting others share their thoughts and decisions with me, the trial in my mind is not an easy reflex to subdue.  However, I know that words can be pretty enough to deceive and so I rely on actions as much, if not more, than I rely on the opportunity to defend oneself.

If I am feeling unsure about someone’s reasoning or motivations, I will ask them for confirmation.  Whether or not the explanation is plausible or reasonable, I keep watching to make sure their words match their actions.  The problem with words is they can be whipped out of nowhere, fabricated, embellished, exaggerated, understated.  Behaviour creates patterns that reveal truth.  One can say they are a angel, but where is the proof?  When he acts like one, with intention and with repetition.

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3: You hold others on a higher standard than yourself.

This I definitely disagree with.  I’ve observed the standards others apply to themselves and know that mine are more strenuous.  I expect a lot of myself and life has shown me that others aren’t always plagued by those same horrendous standards so I’ve come to understand that most have different values and I am accepting of this.  In most situations I don’t ask anyone to give, care or try harder than me.  The only exception to this is when someone else is obviously more skilled or experienced than I am, for example, my mechanic.  I wouldn’t have a clue about fixing my car and certainly couldn’t do it so defer to their skill and expertise.  I think that demands that not only I know my capabilities and my limitations well, but so too do the people I interact with.

In terms of the friendship recently ended, I held my friend to the standards I expect of people I choose to associate with.  I don’t want friends who are casually and repeatedly dishonest, careless and inconsiderate.  I gave my friend a warning that I was not okay with what was going on, and while I respect his right to conduct himself as he pleases, I cannot ignore that those characteristics are indicative of a personality that is very self-serving.  I will not allow myself to be fooled into believing that a friendship with a dishonest person will not, in some way at some point in time, come to bite me on the ass.

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4: You don’t care about everybody, not everybody cares about you and that’s okay.

I agree totally with this also.  I do not and reasonably cannot care about everybody.  I cannot reasonably expect everyone to care about me.  Unlike the author of the post I am not slighted when someone rejects my friendship, in fact I respect them a little more because they acted with integrity.  I don’t want everyone to like me.  Being liked by everyone must be exhausting!  Maybe it’s the introvert in me but popularity has always looked like more of a curse.

 

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Having mulled over the post for a few days I’ve come to realise I may have been too hasty in my decision to end the friendship.  However, I am solid in the belief that I have to do what’s right for me.  I have to live with my decisions and sometimes the decisions of those around me.  It’s my responsibility to make sure I’m not affected negatively by others and whether it was a predictive or preemptive move, I stand by it.  I could have it all wrong, and I’m okay with that.  If I do have it wrong, he could choose not to try and recover the friendship and I’m okay with that too.  Because I made the best decision I could for me, with what I had available.  That being said, if something new comes to light, I won’t dismiss it.

So, is this being selfish?  YES!!  Is it a bad thing?  No.  I’m responsible for me.  If I’m going to do a good job at looking after me, I have to be selfish sometimes.

 

Crap Cutting

Crap Cutting

I’ve been furiously cleaning for a few days.  I’ve taken a few trips to charity shops and even more to the refuse centre.  I’m purging my home of crap.  Crap, crap, crap!  I’m not a hoarder or even a collector of stuff but it always amazes me how much stuff can accumulate.  It’s all been weighing me down and I’m finally freeing myself of it all.  As I move from space to space, it occurs to me there are a few general categories of crap.

Ornamental Crap

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Honestly, I’d get rid of about half the crap in this room.  It hurts my eyes.

Whether it’s a great print, an on trend throw or new cushions to brighten up a room, it’s main purpose was to provide visual appeal.  The problem then with ornamental crap is that it gets old, as in “I’m so sick of seeing this stupid zebra on the wall – why did I think that would look attractive?”  There isn’t longevity in trendy things and while it’s nice to liven up a space with something ‘cool-right-now’ I need to remember that it I will be throwing it out at some point in the future.

Short Life Crap

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This is seasonal stuff I needed maybe once or twice in my lifetime.  I’d much rather buy it again and toss it straight away than try to store it.

Craft Crap

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I cleaned out a whole giant cupboard of scrapbooking stuff.  It probably cost in excess of thousands of dollars.  But it’s been about four years since I used any of it and it was taking up space I could better use for other things.  If I pick up scrapbooking again (hell, I don’t even print pictures anymore) I’ll be sure to look into the quicker, less time intensive and space dominant methods.

I also tossed years worth of craft paint, crusty old brushes, glitters, sewing stuff, pens, 16 of the 18 colouring pencil and pen sets we seem to have collected, canvasses I’ll never paint, cards I’ll never make…you get the picture.

Kids Crap

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Toys, puzzles, board games, clothes, shoes, books, old school books, unused musical instruments… whether they’ve outgrown it, it’s broken, unused or overlooked, it went.  Their rooms have more space, they still have the stuff they want and use.

The youngest of my children are pre-tween.  I look back on their lives as babies, toddlers and children and am shocked at the amount of crap we thought we needed to be good parents. Anyway, their current ages mean that I can finally unburden myself of the last of their childhood crap!  Hurrah!!

Kitchen Crap

 

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Stained, broken, chipped, missing parts, rarely used…out it goes!!  I tossed dishes, crockery, plastics, appliances and utensils.

Miscellaneous Crap

Bed linens we don’t need, parts for things I probably meant to fix ages ago, things with parts I probably found and meant to reattach, old notebooks, expired tech, cords we have no idea go with what tech, baskets, jars.

 

I’ve never been into ornamental stuff.  A few years ago I recognised that ornamental items gave personality to a space so tried my hand at ‘decorating’.  It’s not that I’m bad at it, I just hate having all this shit to clean, clean around, sort, store…look at!  I like clean, airy spaces with beautiful lines and comfy spots.  I like functional stuff that happens to look good rather than pretty, useless knick knacks.  So this past week I’ve been coming clean and I like it.  Anyone else get that feeling of being able to breathe better when you purge some stuff?  Just me?  I honestly feel lighter after a good spring clean.  My head feels clearer and the mental and emotional lightness is amazing.  Is there crap in your house weighing you down?

In the midst of my cleaning today I received a call and was offered a job (hallelujah!!) that starts in two weeks.  The hours are long and the commute painful so I’m glad it starts in two weeks because my house will be ship-shape before I throw myself back into being gainfully employed.

I don’t see throwing stuff out as being wasteful of money.  I bought the thing and enjoyed having it, for a time = money spent on my/our enjoyment.  I do however see keeping redundant things a waste of space, effort and mental energy.

Dear Prospective Employers

Dear Prospective Employers

Despite legislation prohibiting you from doing so, about 80% of you who speak to me will ask me the following questions.  Despite the answers I give you not affecting my skills and qualifications, some of you will reject me based on my answers.  The possibility of this line of questioning occurring affects my ability to interview well.  As a professional, I know that the interview is crucial and I consider it unfair that your illegal and unethical behaviour results in my performance suffering.

Given that you know what you’re doing is wrong and you will do it anyway, I’ve decided to take the initiative and address it first in a way that makes me comfortable and less affected.

  • I am 40 years old.
  • I am a single parent.
  • I have adequate care in place for my children.
  • I was an at home parent for 15 years.
  • Much of my efforts outside the home were unpaid. I’m happy to provide details of the many school cafeterias, committees, sports clubs and the like that I’ve volunteered at but my resume contains the skills and experience most pertinent to you and the role I’m applying for.
  • I studied full-time, owned and managed a business and cared for a family simultaneously.
  • No, I won’t tolerate sexism (or any kind of bigotry) in the workplace.
  • I have never accessed my full entitlement of sick leave, carers leave or annual leave.

If you, as an employer, feel the slightest bit threatened by my forward approach I’d like to thank you for considering my application however advise that I don’t think we’ll be a good match.

If my skills and qualifications match the role advertised, I’d be delighted to speak with you directly.

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