Dealing With Negative Nancy During Your Pregnancy

There’s always one. In every situation, pregnant or not there is always one negative person who has nothing positive to say on the matter. In pregnancy, the same applies. Whether it’s strangers patting your belly or unsolicited ‘advice’, there’s plenty of negativity to fill your nine months and beyond.

Dealing With A Negative Nancy During Pregnancy

I was home in Ireland briefly and sadly, I kind of regret going. Not because I received negativity but because I received support. I am aware that seems incredibly cynical and negative. I was finally able to share the pregnancy journey with those who seemed concerned, interested and happy for me. I cannot describe the feeling of going through such a special time and being the only one invested in it. So I won’t even try but it was very hard to leave a loving, familiar environment and return to one void of such happiness.

I have come to discover here that when I am in the company of others, all I hear regarding my pregnancy is what will or will potentially go wrong. I spoke in my last post about struggling with my mental health throughout this pregnancy. The last thing any expectant first-time mother wishes to hear is what they are doing wrong or what will go wrong. It baffles me that at such a special time in life, the only sentiments offered are negative. With all due respect – if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing.

I understand that some people don’t worry. I am a sensitive, intuitive person and worry comes with the territory. Don’t get me wrong, I am confident in this pregnancy. If it weren’t for the external factors I would say I am loving it. But I have the normal apprehension that is to be expected when facing delivering your first baby. Fortunately, in my battalion I also have my intelligence, a strong maternal instinct and a drive to succeed. Maybe I internalize too much but I cannot bear someone treating me like I know absolutely nothing. Condescending comments that almost infer I haven’t held, cared for or ever even seen an infant in my life. Negativity about the way I eat, drink or choose to care for myself during the gestation. Telling me with a loud cackle how my house will never be the palace it is now, again. UGH.

Like snowflakes, fingerprints and pregnancies – we are all unique.

Why is it so hard to live and let live? In my rant I have digressed. I have taken too long to realize that the health and well-being of myself and my child trumps literally everything else in my life. Giving these people power over your emotions is the worst way to manage. You must continue on boldly and bravely in your pregnancy. You are the mother. That intuition is strong for a reason. You know what is best for you and for baby. Embrace the positivity you receive. Be thankful for those people and their kind words, generosity and support. Give them the space in your head and heart.

Dealing With Negative Nancy During Your Pregnancy

  • Bite your tongue
  • Smile and nod
  • Say thank you
  • Firmly but nicely state that you do not wish to discuss certain topics if they are too personal or invasive
  • Don’t focus on the fact that your boundaries are being disrespected and allow it to become bitterness. Some people just truly believe they know everything
  • Try to remember that to them the ‘advice’ is coming from a good place and not one of malice
  • Don’t internalize it as condescension, often empty vessels simply make the most noise
  • Don’t go over the conversation in your head later on
  • Let others’ negativity go. Their know-it-all attitude is not your weight to carry
  • Use your time educating yourself on what’s to come – it’s the best way to minimize fear
  • Speak to your doctor about any concerns and worries potentially caused by what others say to you. He or she will be happy to clarify and reassure
  • Give supportive people your mental energy
  • Keep a pregnancy/gratitude journal
  • Embrace the journey, don’t let negative comments/people steal the joy that is now

If you’re struggling to fend off negativity or just feel overwhelmed in your pregnancy check out my recent post The Importance of Self Care During Pregnancy for some simple ideas to take a positive time out!

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The Importance Of Self Care During Pregnancy

The topic of self care is trendy right now but there is much more to it than a bandwagon. Finally, an idea with more substance than ‘adulting’ or the apparently vital role Target plays in our lives. The new year brings high hopes, willingness to embrace change and goals, goals, goals! This year, after an extremely emotionally demanding 2016, my main goal is self improvement. This resolution was borne out of necessity. With my first baby arriving soon there is simply no choice to continue in the mental state I was in. Stress is not good for your growing baby so it is incredibly important to ensure you have a safe, stress-free and happy pregnancy. Taking time for yourself is easier said than done but if I could prevent even one person from feeling the strain I have felt then I would be content.

Self Care During Pregnancy

Whether your stress is a direct result of work, relationship issues, financial problems etc. it does not matter. The physical affects of stress on your developing baby can be detrimental to their mental health in years to come. Even at this point I feel a large amount of guilt for inflicting my sadness and worries onto my baby. Clawing your way out of a rut isn’t easy and casting aside fears is less so. With every kick and hiccup from inside I am reminded and determined to be the best version of myself. Both for the baby and for my own happiness. Sometimes you will come to realize that your expectations of support are nothing more than expectation and in that situation you must be everything you need by yourself.

“So what can I do to minimize stress?”

First of all, like any issue, recognize that you need help and be able to admit it. Even if only to yourself. Fortunately with self care, YOU can help you. All it takes is remembering be to intentional.

Self care practices range from the tiniest trivial activity to life altering decisions and you get to choose what is best for you. Nobody knows you better than yourself! Simply put, do more of the things you love, the things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If that means taking a vacation or just putting on freshly laundered pjs then do it and do it solely for you.

As a highly sensitive and introverted person, time outs are a necessity for me. Unfortunately time away from the chaos doesn’t simply equate to positive, revitalizing me-time. I can often spend it in turmoil with a very messy, over analytical mindset. This serves me no purpose and adds to my woes. For self care to be legitimate and genuinely help you, you must be intentionally selfish and make it entirely about you.

Self Care Activities For A Happy Healthy Pregnancy

These activities are so easy but we often ignore them. Sometimes we just need a little nudge! What are some of your favorite self care practices?

 

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5 Times Albus Dumbledore Made You Reevaluate Your Existence

Since I was 11 years old I have been a HUGE Harry Potter fan (who isn’t?). I thought it was the coolest thing to be the same age as Harry each year he returned to Hogwarts to Hagrid, Dumbledore and the crew. I never thought I would get to experience the excitement of waiting for another book to be released again. With the glorious arrival of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and an ode to Harry’s birthday, I’ve been re-reading the series and watching the movies!

Dumbledore Quotes

Harry Potter may be about the wizarding world but the magic experienced when reading them is immeasurable. In fact, I enjoyed HP so much growing up that I am saddened for kids who haven’t read the books and experienced the institution that is the world of Harry Potter.

While reading I am falling in love with the characters, the relationships and the magical world all over again. What strikes me most throughout all the dialogue are the stellar quotes of Albus Dumbledore, beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.


5 Times Albus Dumbledore Made You Re-evaluate Your Existence

On Integrity

Dumbledore Quote

On Being Present

Dumbledore Quotes

On Finding Hope

Dumbledore Quotes

On Understanding Why People Do Bad Things

Dumbledore Quotes

On Parenting (from the Cursed Child)

Dumbledore Quotes

Have you picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet?

Happy reading, Muggles!

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Why I Try (And You Should Too!)

I tried before to get y’all to love Mondays and guess what? Not all of you bought it. But I tried. I tried to spread the #mondaymotivation and quell the negativity.

Why I Try

I’m kind of a hypocrite though. Not regarding Monday but regarding negativity. It invades my head space an awful lot. It’s hard to shake because loneliness doesn’t exactly breed positivity. I spend a vast quantity of time alone mid-week with no support. It can be very hard to find any motivation to escape the negative thoughts let alone live life to the full. In most cases I view my problems as unsolvable black holes where all hope goes missing but I have come to recognize that depressive attitude and instead stop it in its tracks and try to seek potential solutions.

I have learned to be present in the moment and step back, calm down and approach the situation from a different angle. We cannot solve our problems with the same attitude in which we created them so we must attempt an alternative mindset. Changing ones mind is not an easy task but we must try.

To go all in to whatever you want to do, is one thing. To even attempt it, is another.

Try Quote

I can’t stress enough, the importance of trying. We so often convince ourselves that it won’t be worth our while, or that we will fail, or that it won’t work out so why should we try?

Try Quote

To try is empowerment. To try is freedom. To try is the motivation you need to succeed. To try is the beginning of the momentum that keeps us going. Just beginning something can often change our perspective about how challenging we see a situation and sometimes the second we begin, we lighten the load and gain enough confidence to proceed.

Try Quote

Have you got any Monday Motivation to share?

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Carry Your Own Baggage

Carry Your Own Baggage

It’s funny how small actions or simple statements provoke such long-winded thoughts. Or maybe it’s just me. I truly believe in the existence of empaths, although some skeptical folk will scoff at the idea. I feel deeply. I am very sensitive to people, situations and when something feels off I can usually instantly come to the conclusion why, even if on the surface there doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer. It’s borderline psychic sometimes and that in itself can be unsettling.

I recently trudged through US Pre-clearance (a wonderful affair where you clear immigration before entering the US!) in Dublin airport and one of the standard  questions I was asked had me thinking for a large portion of my 9 hour flight.

“Ma’am did you carry your own bag today?”

I did carry my bag, of course. I didn’t need to be reminded of the huge bulky monstrosity I had just lugged through check in. In the past five years I’ve carried my fair share of heavy bags and I’m now aware that I have carried them mentally too which led me to think about how much weight on my shoulders could I drop off and not worry about?

Being empathetic involves a lot of worry and 80% of it never seems to be my own. I carry burdens for people who don’t seem to care about what they probably should care about. I carry burdens for friends and family suffering. I carry burdens for strangers I see on the news in sad or dangerous situations. So how do I prioritize my own?

As someone extremely perceptive and introverted, I dislike nothing more than to be labelled ‘too sensitive’. Sensitivity is not a dirty concept. Sensitivity creates connection and intimacy. Sensitivity allows for compassion and understanding. Sensitivity is a wide open channel for love. It doesn’t mean thin skin. It means deep strength but somewhere along the line we were all told it’s a pathetic sign of weakness. What I consider weak are those who run from problems. Those who abandon instead of stand up and care for someone. Those who allow a loved one to carry their problems while they shamelessly continue on their carefree path. Weak are those who laugh in the face of sensitivity and take advantage of it.

I’ve been through enough to want to give up a thousand times. Some days, I still want to but my empathy for others won’t allow it. I guess empathy is stubborn’s ‘over sensitive’ sister.

When something comes natural to you, it’s hard to deliberately stop doing it. For me, it is natural to worry for others and stress over things that are not mine to be concerned with. But who will worry for me? Shouldn’t I give myself the same courtesy I give to others and look out for myself? Everyone desires to be supported. There’s great confidence in being enveloped by unconditional support but it’s not always an option. Sometimes you have to be enough by yourself.

I implore those of you out there sinking under the weight of others’ baggage to shed that load and prioritize yourself. Especially if what you are carrying goes entirely unrecognized. For your health and your happiness, lay down the baggage and carry yourself.

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Have You Found Your Blogging Voice?

I recently wrote a post about what I learned in three months of blogging and in it I stressed the importance of writing in your own voice.

Have You Found Your Blogging Voice

When I first started blogging I didn’t even consider my ‘niche’. I just wrote about what I was doing, my current situation, things that were of interest to me at that time, etc. I quickly discovered that to promote and connect with fellow bloggers my blog needed to have some type of niche in order to reach like-minded bloggers. I struggled with this definition for the first month. I was Irish, newly married and recently emigrated to the US. I liked fashion, food and travel but didn’t want my blog to be categorized so narrowly under any of these things. Getting my head around that mish-mash of interests and circumstances was hard for me and I found it difficult to, as the saying now goes, ‘find my tribe’. I came to accept that my blog is a lifestyle blog that focuses on a healthy mix of all of the above. But what’s more important is that I stopped worrying about fitting in and just continued writing. You will read a billion articles online, all telling you the importance of sticking to your niche and while that is necessary in business, if you are blogging for fun then my response to that is, “who said so?!”

After publishing posts consistently and learning what my viewers liked the most I started to settle into my own blog and became more confident when hitting ‘publish’. I was never overly confident that the content was good but happy with what I was saying and HOW I was saying it. Although you strive to give your readers what they want, it is of the utmost importance to write what YOU want, too. Your viewers have come to your site because they like you and your content, they will return if they love it. If they leave, so be it. More will come.

As I said in my last post, I have seen people switch niches a lot. There’s many reasons for going beyond the limits of your niche. Perhaps you are after getting bogged down in an area you no longer have anything to write about due to changes in life circumstances. For example, you had a travel blog but are now settling down into motherhood and want to focus on writing articles on parenting. Or you have been blogging about college life but are now entering the working world. There’s an array of reasons to re-brand your blog but there is NEVER a reason to not be true to yourself in your writing.

Which brings me back from my tangential rambling to the idea of writing in your ‘voice’. Of course I don’t mean ‘voice’ in the traditional sense  but the portrayal of your personality through the words you write. You are unique and your writing style should be too. If you are a really funny and bubbly person but write in a monotonous tone with none of the humor you possess naturally then your content will not be authentic. And although we live in a world where we can fake happiness, good fortune and popularity quite easily via social media, your blog will expose a greater portion of yourself to the world. Make that section of your life that is on show, honest. Writing is powerful and people are perceptive beings. Posts repeatedly written in any voice but your own will be transparent and shallow. Your readers will not trust you or your content and won’t engage.

The first thing I notice when reading blog posts, or any piece of writing for that matter, is the writing style. Now I’m not saying mine is good. I’m a serial user of cliches and slang which is considered vulgarity and terrible writing by some (or most). In the world of professional writing I would more than likely be be condemned! I do strive to improve my writing skills and blogging refreshes a great deal of lessons already learned about writing but when it comes to writing posts I often skip the  rules and mechanics of composing the perfect piece of literature as I try to write them as an exact reflection of myself and what I might say in a discussion with a real life person! The wit, sarcasm, humor – whatever you want to label it – is exactly how I converse with people. That is who I am. I’m sure there are people who like my posts, those who can take or leave them and others who’d rather poke out their eyes than read to the bottom. I’m totally ok with that! Well I’d prefer if you held onto your eyes but I’m fine with you leaving. Not everyone shares the same interests and opinions.

The way that I write, is genuine. The feelings I express, are genuine. My sentiments when I comment on your posts, are genuine. Being a genuine person is what I respect the most in any human being. I have no time for any single trait that is a fraction less than honest.

When I borderline stalk every social media platform you use, I love your blog! When I ‘like’ your pictures, I genuinely like your pictures. When I share your content, I really do think you have a message worth sending out. I like all of these things about you because you have probably won me over by writing in your own voice.

For those of you starting out, who maybe haven’t found your blogging voice yet, ask yourself before publishing – is this for the glory of a spike in views, free products, money, etc.? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then I suggest you save your draft and go back to the drawing board.

For those of you pouring your heart and soul into your blog and feeling like you need to start writing as someone else to fit in – stop it! Explore the boundaries of your niche, find new forums to join, freshen up your content but for the love of God, keep writing in your own voice!

If you struggle with finding your voice, what is it about blogging that limits your authenticity?

 

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What I Learned In Three Months Of Blogging

Get comfortable, you’re in this one for the long haul! Nothing could have prepared me for the world of blogging. I was under no illusion that it would be easy to consistently post to the website but starting out that was about the extent of my concern. How quickly I learned that this was not to be. Sass & Shamrocks is 3 months old today! To be 100% honest (because I don’t see the point in being any other way), thus far the negative aspects of running this blog outweigh the positives but I’m optimistic in thinking that won’t always be the case.

What I Learned in Three Months of Blogging

Blogging is EXHAUSTING, it infiltrates your entire day, consumes a great deal of your thoughts and gobbles up vast quantities of your time and energy. In the beginning when I was desperately trying to teach myself how to do everything at once, I skipped meals and hardly slept – thankfully it isn’t like that anymore. This is the number one stinger for me; I am a perfectionist. A perfectionist who is excellent at organization but terrible at time management. Instead of separating tasks and adhering to a strict schedule I like to think that I can juggle 50 things simultaneously. I always know exactly what needs to be done but do not have the patience to do them separately. I am slowly learning to complete tasks, one action at a time rather than half a**ing everything I attempt to do at once. Blogging has taught me that it takes far less time to compartmentalize than it takes to sort through a huge mass of chaos. Good old fashioned pen and paper lists have become my saviors.

Pen and paper

One of the first things you will learn about writing a blog and building a following is that you must post consistently. This does not mean that you have to post every single day to keep your viewers interested but you should post on a fairly consistent schedule. Whether it is once, twice or three times a week your subscribers will come to know your posting schedule and expect new content on those days. The key is to post according to your own capabilities, i.e. how much time you have to commit to writing, posting and promoting your work. The other and most important point here is quality. You can post every single day of the year if you wish but realistically how good or unique will those posts be? Strive to publish your best pieces and if this means only once a week then so be it. I am not claiming any expertise here and my blog is still in its infancy but I have made these mistakes and posted thrice a week only to churn out utter rubbish. I have since removed content that A) I did not put my best efforts into B) Does not fit into my niche C) Had little to no views/engagement.

Which leads me to my next point, write about what you want, using your voice/personality and what is inherently YOU. I post about my personal journey, things that interest me and that are relevant to my life. Through that I connect with like-minded people experiencing the same and building that network is a dream. I have seen blogs start around the same time as mine and have been following their blogging adventure as much as my own. I have seen some shoot to success from day one, I have seen others grow at a snail’s pace and adapt to their niche as they find their feet in the blogging world just like me. I have even seen some disappear into the internet abyss never to be heard of again but I have also seen others sell out quickly to affiliate programs and brands that seemed to be nothing to do with their overall blog mission. Monetizing your blog is possible through EXTREME hard graft. Some are lucky and soar almost directly into a financially cushy blog spot, others kill themselves for cents per month. In April I applied ads to my site but the monetization of Sass & Shamrocks was not my reason to launch. I truly write for release, fun and the connections/friendships made along the way.

Writing

Let me tell  you about some people you will endure experience on your blogging journey. People can be flippin’ terrible. It is wrong of me to tar a portion of the population with one brush so I’ll illustrate this via anecdotes about actual negative interaction on Sass & Shamrocks. Does anyone have frenemies? Y’know the ones you thought you left back in high school – the types who smile at you in the street but for some reason have an inward distaste for your existence, well if you promote your posts through your facebook page you will see that there are a few lurkers. Facebook insights are revealing. Very revealing. For example, the single person who consistently hides my posts regardless of what they are. The person who hides every post relating to my trip home to Ireland. Baffling considering they could just ‘unlike’ the page and never have to suffer such awfulness. As a side note here is why these people SHOULD unlike your facebook page by Alyssa (a gem I’ve met through this wild trip).

Following to unfollow. Frustrating and fruitless! I am not a mass follower. I follow people in stages, over time on different social media platforms because A) I like them B) They fit into my blog’s niche. If I don’t get a follow back, I still follow them – after all, I chose to follow them. If however their content no longer interests me or I realize that maybe they don’t fit into my niche as much as I thought and therefore have no engagement then I will unfollow at a later date. It’s not personal. I do not like the follow for follow mentality where I wake up to 30 new followers who unfollow within 24 hours because I haven’t returned the favor. This isn’t a game of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. With social media’s new and complex algorithms it is not beneficial to follow and have followers who do not interact with you. It damages your reach and you will find yourself and your content buried at the bottom of the ‘popularity’ pile. More gold I have learned through this experience.

Blog comments. This s a source of contention for me for two reasons. The first being negative comments. I’m all for constructive criticism and debate on my posts but telling me I am ‘stupid’ and ‘selfish’ (yes people take the time to write and publish comments like that!) is unnecessary. Not to mention, I am not going to approve such comments and display them on my blog. The second peeve here is comment threads. I participate in forums whereby I read other bloggers’ posts and leave a comment on them. The deal is that you read the post thoroughly and leave a genuine, intelligent comment. The aim of this is to support others’ blogs, discover new bloggers and build a network. Unfortunately a large amount of participants enter these threads merely for the number of views to be gained (and I assume, money). They use it as a tactic to heighten views and you will find comments on your blog such as “great post, thanks for sharing” or “great tips” only to have spent five minutes writing an essay on theirs while it is evident they didn’t even read yours. It’s as disheartening as it is false and a big lesson through this has been learning the importance of genuine engagement on my blog. I just stumbled on this excellent article by Gary Vaynerchuk explaining why your view count and social media popularity really means crap. When I first started blogging, the stats were the be all and end all for me. Now my main aim is connection and genuine interaction. I have cut back to only viewing my stats once a week to assess where I am going wrong and work on correcting those issues.

Plagiarism. My soul hurts as much as my brain does when I see a blog post that is identical to mine days or  just hours after publishing. This has happened to me three times in these past three months. I suffer from writer’s block often. Evidently so do they since they read posts and regurgitate them on their own websites with no credit. I don’t have the energy to battle it out with these people. But one in particular was someone who had a massive following. It’s incredibly frustrating knowing hundreds of thousands of people are actually reading your content that someone else has hijacked. Where is the integrity? The blogging world is over-saturated, we all know this but I firmly believe that using our own voices, ideas, opinions etc. can result in something entirely unique. I’ve learned there will always be someone lurking, waiting to use your achievements for their own ego boost and the hard part is rising above that. If it becomes more sinister or repetitive, action may be taken and here’s how.

That is seriously enough about the negativity in blogging. I find it draining to even talk about it but these are the facts of the last three months. I need to give major props to the positive, warm people I have come to know over the last quarter. I struggle in Georgia to make friends even in a military community. Whether it be cultural differences or the limitations of my visa process, I spent a lot of time on my own. One of the reasons I launched the blog was to put myself out there and open doors to new experiences. That definitely happened and although I have come into direct contact with more negativites than positives, it is the elation of the positive experiences and words of the wonderful, supportive people out there that keep me striving towards something greater.

If you want to test out your range of emotions and experience all of them at once I recommend that you start blogging. It is fun, it is draining, it is therapeutic, it is enraging, it is amusing, it is jealous, it is liberal, it is passionate, it is ignorant – to list but a few. You are placed in a little corner of the world wide web and given a voice. You can use that voice to inform, help or upset others. You can change a life. I’m not saying I do but you are in this unique position to be heard which is sometimes difficult to achieve in ‘real’ life. Sharing this piece of myself is scary but rewarding when someone says “I get it”. You can be as transparent as you like and conversely, as private as you wish. You can be a light or you can be the dark. The most important thing is that you are you.

Embrace the Journey

Some days I still want to figuratively, flip over the table that is this blog and say F this crap! (*Amy OUT* Obama mic drop, style) other days I feel like I want to change the world. It’s only been three months. A lot has happened and lot still hasn’t. Watch this space.

 

 

 

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Advice To My Younger Self

Younger Self

I have arrived in the adult world! Now what? While we’re all busy ‘winging it’ daily, have you ever stopped and thought about what a younger version of yourself would do when faced with the trials of adulthood?

It provoked a long thought process, reflecting on the changes in myself over the last 10 years, although I think the most important differences have occurred over the last 2.

I spent my former years waiting for this specific period of time when my life would begin. I could do what I wanted, whenever I wanted and worries would be few. Just typing that last statement made me almost spit out my water! HA! What planet was I living on? If someone would have told me worries would be tenfold and my choices would be even more limited, I would’ve Peter Pan’d it all the way to Neverland!

This social media obsessed generation is throwing out the world ‘adulting’ a lot lately. At first it made me chuckle as I have a penchant for making everything into a verb. But now I’m coming to dislike the word immensely. It’s becoming the ‘I hate Mondays’ of trendy social media jargon.

“Adulting is hard without coffee” // “I can’t even adult today” etc.

It’s losing it’s cutesy, humorous vibe and is now moonlighting as another excuse to complain about how hard life is. It’s ironic really because the theme tune of ‘adulting’ probably isn’t whining. (That’s whining with a ‘h’, not ‘wining’ which is one of my favorite past-times!)

7 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

  1. Don’t let others’ opinions of you affect your thoughts/decisions/plans. You know that person who made your life hell in school? So what if they said X about Y? After school you won’t see them again or give them a second thought until passive-aggressively mentioning them in a blog post a decade later!
  2. Don’t think other people are out to get you. You aren’t the center of the universe and they’re only thinking of themselves. Their actions aren’t personal.
  3. Do be true to who you are. Integrity is your greatest attribute. Stand up for what you believe in, you cannot please every single person and maintain authenticity simultaneously.
  4. If something is making you utterly miserable, let it go. Dump the guy, leave the course, quit the job etc. Happiness is everything.
  5. Shut your mouth. Seriously. If you feel you shouldn’t say something or have nothing good to say about something then do not say it.
  6. Forgive. Dust the chip off your shoulder, look at the problem/person with fresh eyes and save the grudge for never. Resentment is poison.
  7. Be prepared for many, many bumps in the road. As prepared as a human being can be. Have flexibility, adaptability, practice forgive and optimism – all those things that seem next to impossible.

But if I knew then, how life would be now I would’ve saved myself many tears and headaches. Resistance to change is a natural human response but my greatest epiphany thus far has been that growing up isn’t necessarily changing, just learning. I wouldn’t be here reflecting on these lessons if I hadn’t been through what I have and handled it as I did.

If you had one word of advice for your younger self, what would it be?

 

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The Opposite Of Love Is Indifference

There was bound to be a heavy post at some point so here it is – the painful rejection of indifference. I was listening to The Lumineers the other day when a song I hadn’t heard in a while came on. Thanks shuffle! It was “Stubborn Love” and it wasn’t long before I remembered why I fell in love with this band for the first time.

“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all. The opposite of love’s indifference.”

The Opposite of Love is Indifference

It got me thinking about times of hardship and how the most painful response that you can get from someone is none at all.

Think about it, when someone ignores you, you get irritated. Now think about being in need. Genuinely requiring the assistance of a loved one and in response you receive stone-faced neutrality. There is no greater disappointment. There is no greater loneliness.

Although some of us won’t ever admit it, at some point in our lives we need support. Some of us more frequently than others but when you do, you do. I will admit it. I will admit it every day. I suffer from chronic self doubt and sometimes the power of someone standing behind you being your biggest fan is paramount.

I find myself in a situation wherein I feel like I am drowning in a sea of indifference. When you are breaking down in the presence of another, willing them to acknowledge your pain and hoping you will be met with support but the response is nothing – what do you do? Just what do you do when you are the only one present and fighting for everything before you? I haven’t found an answer, except to keep on fighting.

This leads me to a quote from Dante Alighieri – not exactly renowned for his cheery positivity but there are some pretty stellar words to be found in his writings,

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”

Indifference between two is not neutrality. Neutrality is defined as supporting neither side during conflict. Conflict between two, by very definition, cannot have neutrality it is the battle between caring and not.

Indifference

Indifference is blatant disregard. It is callous and careless, disinterest. It is aloof and negative and it is the opposite of love.

And in the battle between love and nothing at all – why would any of us choose the latter?

Furthermore, I find myself wondering, what happens to a person somewhere in their life to harden to such a degree, to brush aside those closest to them, to reject love and choose pride, ego and solitude?

Answers, I fear I will never find…

The Oppposite Of Love Is Indifference

 

(F.Y.I if you want to learn more of Dante Alighieri’s writing, particularly ‘The Divine Comedy’ then I suggest reading Dan Browne’s ‘Inferno’ to lessen the load!)

 

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Why I Love Mondays (And You Should Too!)

Did you ever notice that the people who have grand plans for reform on New Years Eve every year are the same people who also take to your timeline every Monday morning to whine and complain about what a dreadful day it is? Curiouser and curiouser! No?

Why I Love Mondays

Other than being perfectly drained by the hatred of Mondays I got to thinking about why people hold one day in every 365 in such high esteem but can’t seem to recognize the first day of a new week as a similar new leaf/fresh start and all those other cliches in which we start anew.

I must admit. I harbor a terrible secret…

I LOVE MONDAYS!

Mondays

I don’t have time to dwell on how miserable Mondays are instead, I’m wishing they had more than 24 hours. I get up at the crack of dawn and I struggle to get everything done by midnight! It’s the day I brainstorm for the blog, write a few posts, create my images and think about what I can do at the weekend.

I’m not sure anymore if a large portion of the public just really dislikes Monday or if yet again social media has created a nice little bandwagon to jump aboard! I’m going to go with the bandwagon on this one as thinking about such a high level of negativity from countless people, week after week is frighteningly overwhelming! Just HOW is it that bad?

Monday is a blanket of fresh snow, a mirror still lake, a brand new journal all yours to disturb. Why not make the disturbance worthwhile?

How To Get Through Monday

  • Remember that every week, it’s someone’s last Monday.
  • Put your positive pants on and set the tone for a brand new week.
  • In the space where you usually voice your dismay, write down a goal for the day or the week.
  • Hustle to make it happen.
  • Instead of the usual coffee you need to survive, try a cup of positivity. If that doesn’t work then I know another cup you might enjoy.
  • Handle it. You’re a grown a** adult.
  • And if you can’t do any of that then close your mouth and make Tuesday a better day!

VICTIM OF MONDAY

Food for thought:

What happens when New Years Eve falls on a Monday?!

What a scary thought!

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