Even though I was born in Winter, I’m not a fan of the season. It does have some perks. One of which is that when the weather is wet, grey and cold, I have a very good excuse for staying inside and ignoring what’s outside. I go into hibernation mode – wake me up when it’s over.
I love Spring, it’s a beautiful and bouncy time of year. The scent of freshness is invigorating. It’s fun watching all the bare branches burst into colour, and the empty spaces fill up. Seeing nature wake from its dormant state. Observing the rhythms and rituals of insects, birds, animals and plants, as they celebrate their busiest months.
Once the big bumble bees come out at the end of Winter, you know the bleakness is almost over.
The thing I don’t love about Spring is all the chores which it ushers into my life. Yesterday I was out in the garden getting some of those done. The first mow of the lawn. Weeding… I had a chat with my neighbour who was also weeding and we both agreed it was a nuisance, and a fairly futile battle. Fighting!
I cleared out the area around the fruit bushes. I let it go wild last year because I had a case of the lazies, but I want to get the section adjacent to it sorted out. Level the lawn for better water drainage, build a proper fire pit, create a path by the barn, etc, which is a strenuous task and rather boring. So might as well procrastinate and weed around the fruiting plants instead.
We don’t have a pear tree, but we apparently have a partridge in the garden.
Not sure if it’s moved in yet or just checking out real estate. Shortly after I took the picture above, the partridge left and a pheasant turned up in the same spot. It strutted around then disappeared behind that tangle of dried vines. We’ve had pheasants nest here before (their babies are waddling cute fluff), so I’m guessing it’s planning on gazumping the partridge, and owning the spot again.
We have a sprawling garden, and since I’m a lazy gardener I’ve designated many sections of it as – for the wildlife – which means I don’t mess with it. So there’s plenty of places for all sorts of birds, insects, reptiles, rodents, and other beasts to nest and do their natural thing. My cat loves it!
That random share leads me to…
Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind Share Your World 3-25-19
What is the best pick me up that you know of to shake you out of the blues?
But it has to be the right kind of anger. And it has to be the right type of anger which suits the particular type of blues being experienced.
The wrong kind of anger makes the blues bluer, and can paint it black.
The situations most likely to cause the blues for me are when I feel trapped, powerless, helpless, oppressed, repressed, censored, overwhelmed… especially by a huge task and I don’t where to begin to tackle it, don’t know what to do because I’ve never done it before, how to deal with it or who to ask for good advice and help.
I’ve got one of those situations hanging over me right now. I’ve got to overhaul one of the bathrooms in my house. I’ve never owned a house before or done something like this. This place keeps throwing me into my uncomfortable zone.
I can’t do it all myself which means I need help of the professional kind.
I hate having to ask for help from others. I usually end up regretting it when I do, partly because of the way I ask for help when I do ask, partly because of assumptions people make about me, and partly because I seem to invariably pick the wrong people to ask. I haven’t figured out the correct formula for doing it yet, but I’m working on it bit by bit.
My plumber is really nice, but he’s mainly retired, and he’s the sort of person who isn’t helpful when you ask for advice.
If you have a specific job, he’ll do it and will grumble a lot while doing it, but he gets it done. He does forget when he’s the one who fixed or installed something, and he’ll criticise the workmanship saying he wouldn’t have done it that way… until you point out to him that he’s the one who did it that way (and you have proof), then suddenly it was great work and the flaw lies with the thing installed, the manufacturer, the house itself or you.
If your job is more complicated with more moving parts, he waits until you make a decision, commit to it, and then he tells you that your decision was the wrong one. He wouldn’t have advised that if you’d asked him for his advice – there’s no point in pointing out that you’d asked him for advice before making your decision to find out what he would advise and he’d abstained from giving it.
Trying to find the right person to do a job is very frustrating, harder than in theory it should be. I sometimes ask my neighbour for referrals, but he has a similar problem with finding professionals even though he’s an architect. If it’s difficult for him… sheesh!
The up side of not being able to find someone else to do jobs is that I end up getting the right kind of angry, which motivates me to learn how to do those jobs by myself – and finding that I can do a lot of things I thought I couldn’t possibly do is an exciting piece of the self-puzzle discovered.
“Anyone can get angry, but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy.”― Aristotle
What would be the title of your memoir?
Back in August 2015 I came across a quiz on Buzzfeed which asked – What Would The Name Of Your Memoir Be?
After answering some weird and silly questions, I received the following result as my answer:
I wrote about it in this post – Swimming Upstream in the Mainstream. In that post I decided that my memoir should be called – An Upturned Soul: Sometimes I Climb the Walls and Lie on the Ceiling.
Although recently, while having a chat with my partner I mentioned that I call two placements in my astrological natal chart – Death Stares and Fruit Loops – and he said that was a great title for a memoir.
I’m not actually planning on writing a memoir. I write blog posts instead.
Where do you like to go when you eat out?
I am introvert level – hermit. I don’t go out unless it can’t possibly be avoided.
Last time I went out to eat was when we went to watch my partner’s team play in the Carabao Cup at Wembley Stadium in London. We stayed with my in-laws the night before, and ate at an Italian restaurant.
I ordered arancini – deep fried cheese and veggie stuffed rice balls covered in breadcrumbs, as a starter and then had another starter, bruschetta – sliced bread covered in tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs, for the main course with a side order of chips/french fries. The bruschetta wasn’t done well… I should have just ordered more arancini because those were delicious.
In London we went to a patisserie and I had a palmier – a flat fan-shaped pastry covered in sugar, which falls apart when you eat it.
At Wembley we were in the club area, which had a buffet of world foods, but I didn’t bother eating anything. I just watched other people eating and felt full.
I don’t particularly enjoy eating out. If I have to, then usually I’ll order something I’d never cook because it’s too complicated to cook, or something I have never eaten before. Sometimes I’ll order the simplest thing on the menu because I’m not really hungry, nothing sounds appetising or it all sounds like indigestion on a plate.
I’m not really all that interested in food, and my body does at times grumble loudly about it. I tend to drink water when hungry. I’d be happy just living on bread and butter with salt sprinkled on it.
Do you believe in luck?
Yes. In the same way that I believe in karma. There’s an action which generates a reaction, and consequences.
We make our own luck with our attitude, our demeanour, our approach to living and being. With our thoughts, and perceptions. With our feelings, emotions, and how we deal with those. With our actions and reactions.
I’ve noticed that when I’m wallowing in self-pity, thinking life is being unfair, feeling desperate and miserable… it tends to generate and attract bad luck.
Whereas when I’m more easy-going, flexible, accepting, open to options, possibilities, optimistic, being responsible for myself and my shit, and not being an ass about it… it tends to generate and attract good luck.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.”– Hermes Trismegistus
I was thinking about luck the other day while watching a rather heavy and harrowing TV drama about beat cops in South Korea. If that drama reflects reality… I wouldn’t want to live there or do that job. I’m beginning to understand the term – Hell Joseon (meaning that “(South) Korea is a hellish, hopeless society” – definition from Wiki).
In South Korean dramas they are always going on about “taking responsibility“. It doesn’t seem to mean what I think it means. It seems to = either taking responsibility for someone else’s mess, being a scapegoat, or screwing someone else over by making them a scapegoat, blaming them for your bad behaviour, mistakes and irresponsibility.
There’s this side character who just has one terrible bad luck thing happen after another. He used to be a cop, but he got fired for beating up a drunk who was being abusive. He now works as a security guard for an apartment block.
A drunk resident throws his car keys at him and orders him to park his car. The guy refuses as the last time he parked the car for this resident he scratched it and had to pay a huge price for repairs. The resident walks away leaving him with a car blocking the driveway. So the guy reluctantly gets in the car to park it and another resident slams his car into it. The guy ends up having to pay for damages to the resident’s car AND pay the hospital bills of the driver who slammed into him because somehow all of it is his responsibility.
He gets fired from his security guard job because of all of this. It tips him over the edge and he decides to kill himself very dramatically – by setting himself on fire. He survives… so now he’s in hospital, with third degree burns all over his body, and the medical bills will add to all the debt he already has.
What struck me the most about how they wrote and portrayed the character was that he was deeply stuck in feeling sorry for himself. Before the whole parking accident debacle, he’d been in a constant state of miserable because he never got over being fired from his job as a cop.
He kept doling out negativity to everyone around him. His cop friends kept trying to cheer him up, invite him to join them, and help him out, but he was firmly entrenched in his negative narrative… even though his friends also had difficulties on a par with his, but they stayed positive.
When he got into the drunk resident’s car to park it he hadn’t been paying attention because he was too distracted by how much he hated his life, the unfairness of the situation, his bad luck, and how he did not want to do this task.
The other thought I had about it was when he decided to kill himself… not once did he appear to consider what his action would mean for his family, his friends.
For his family it meant that he’d be saddling them with his debt, and with the horrific way he’d chosen to kill himself. For his friends, quite a few of them were cops responding to the scene, trying to stop him from setting himself on fire. Everyone would be left with the burden of his misery and self-pity, and the weight of it might cause a reaction which would send them down a similar bad luck path as him.
While I’ve never had the kind of bad luck this character has had, I’ve been caught in my own vortex of negativity which caused negative events and experiences to be sucked towards me and into my life.
There’s a French term for it – la poisse. Those who are considered to carry la poisse have a black cloud over their head, everywhere they go storms break out and rain down on them. Their misery attracts more things to be miserable about. Their fear attracts more things to be fearful of. Their hate for themselves, their life, others, breeds hate around them which closes in on them.
While I’ve never been that keen on the whole positive thinking movement, mainly because it’s often sold as a palliative, a fake smile plastered over a sad face, pretend happy hiding all sorts of unhappy, platitudes used as bandaids for wounds that need much more than a bandaid… I do get the core of it, since it does seem to work, but it has to be real, authentic otherwise it won’t change a thing.
The more I feel genuinely good about myself, life, others, and so on… the more it seems to attract good luck. I think part of it is – I’m open to receiving the good stuff, and accept it when it occurs, whereas before I rejected it because it didn’t fit into my negative narrative.
If you think you’re lucky… therefore lucky you are. If you think you’re unlucky… therefore unlucky you will be. Life is living up to how you’ve decided to perceive and experience it… it’s confirmation bias of sorts.
“The more honest you are, the more open, the less fear you will have, because there’s no anxiety about being exposed or revealed to others.”
― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
Aside from necessities, what is one thing you couldn’t go a day without?
Every now and then I think that I could definitely do without blogging.
When I look at my own blogging from a cold logical, practical, and detached observer perspective… it’s kind of a pointless and useless activity, albeit entertaining.
It’s a bit like going out to eat when I could stay at home and eat there.
I tend to think that about blogging more when I notice how many things I could be doing with the time and energy I spend blogging – I could get started on prepping the bathroom while instead I’m writing this post. I could be sorting out that section in the garden… but then again if I don’t do that it doesn’t really matter, does it?
However there’s a magic to blogging for me which in many ways has helped me turn my bad luck into good luck, has given me the ability to be more genuinely positive, has confirmed that I do better when I’m being myself even if that’s a problem for others sometimes, has applied some much needed therapy to wounds I’d previously dealt with by plastering a smiley-faced bandaid over them and then wondered why I was in such pain. Gee… I wonder!
I can go for days without doing it so it doesn’t quite fit as an answer to this question, but it’s what came to mind in reply and thanks to blogging I trust my instinct, intuition and the pop-ups in my mind more.
Now that Spring is here, and I’m feeling motivated to tackle chores and must-do to-do’s, I may go for weeks without doing it, perhaps even a month… I don’t know, I’m not a planner, it’s better that when I don’t try to be what I’m not, and do what doesn’t work out well for me.
“Excuse my wandering.― Rumi
How can one be orderly with this?
It’s like counting leaves in a garden,
along with the song-notes of partridges,
and computation become absurd.”
You may wonder why I share what I share in my posts, like in this one, why I am telling you about the bathroom overhaul, the plumber… what do you care. It’s the sort of thing which is probably boring for you to read. Do I find it interesting to write about? Surely not…!?!
It’s because when I write about things which are issues for me and share them here… it somehow helps me to solve them.
Sometimes just by writing it down and publishing it in a post of my blog… it changes the situation, turns bad luck into good luck, things happen offline because of what I did online.
Yes, I’m a total fruit loop… it’s definitely more fun than being a death stare!
Over to you!
Thanks Ursula for Sharing Your always fascinating World! There are so many thoughts on this post whirling around in my head that sorting them out may prove futile. One thing about the suicidee (the one wanting to die via suicide) is that most of the time those individuals aren’t in their rational mind. I’ve been there (once before and now recently) and it struck me just how black and painful things felt. So black and painful that death is preferable. Nobody thinks about others when they occupy such a space, which is why suicide may be the ultimate narcissistic act. But to stop the pain? I know there is little I wouldn’t do to stop it. And as you so wisely pointed out, it’s in one’s HEAD. We make our own realities in that way…attract the good or the bad. I know all that and continue to learn more about it all the time as my journey with my mental illness progresses. But sometimes (and I’m pretty sure it’s the chemicals in my head which are out of whack OR it’s the inability to perceive the good things) things just suck. One’s history plays into it too, although I am very judgmental about those who wallow in their ‘bad childhoods’ and blame their sketchy behavior because they had a shitty childhood/adolescence what have you. And genetics also plays a part, and I’m betting they (those who study that stuff) will find out more and more about how certain mental health ‘issues’ are genetically passed on.
As I said fascinating post. I love reading your stuff, and it’s rather reassuring to read the mundane along with the fantastical, because it proves you human. Not that I doubted that at all!
Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂 It’s always fun to participate in your SYW’s, you ask such an intriguing mix of questions. And I like that you’re genuinely interested in the answers people give to your questions – that is a rare and valuable quality.
I’ve been suicidal. There was a long period in my life when I didn’t think I could make it through another year, another month, another day. It felt as though I was already dead and dragging my dead body through life. Somehow the idea that I could kill myself was the what kept me going. I think it gave me a sense of personal power during a time when I felt constantly powerless and crushed by the weight of the human world.
I could relate with the character and his solution to the problem horror show of his life. When you’re in that deep, dark hole, and life just keeps getting worse, and you think things can’t possibly get worse but they do, it seems like the only way out is death. The state you’re in has many justifications for that as a solution, and it’s hard to see beyond that. It’s extreme tunnel vision.
I’ve also been on the other side of a suicide. One of my partner’s friends killed himself, and the effect it had on his friends, including my partner, was deeply painful. The friend who found the body was put on suicide watch by everyone else and still to this day, about a decade later, he hasn’t recovered from the experience. The impact it had was devastating, as though the pain which drove him to kill himself stayed behind and attached itself to those left behind.
I never know what I’m going to share until I share it. There’s a leftover from my suicidal days which tends to think no one is interested in me, and that kind of thought finds confirmation of its version of reality easily. I try to challenge those reality-creating thoughts if I notice them.
I had a palmier from Paul when I met some friends for a cuppa last week. It was so yummy.
They remind me of when I was a child going into Rome for the day, we’d stop at this pastry and coffee shop on Via Veneto after I’d bought some American comic books from the nearby newsstand which was the only place in Rome to get foreign newspapers, magazines, etc. I’d have a palmier (ventaglia in Italian) and a frullato di frutta (a fruit smoothie) 🙂
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I have never been to Italy , I have no idea why, it has been at the top of my list of places I wanted to go since I was a kid. I had an opportunity to go to northern Italy when we were in the South of France, but the group was with were too tired and changed their minds.
I have some wonderful Italian friends who fill me with enthusiasm to go out there.
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I got “I used my degree as toilet paper and other things I’ll never regret,” which is different from the last time I did it. My, how things change. 😉
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I took it again and got the same result as before – my, how things don’t change 😉 What has changed is that I don’t visit Buzzfeed anymore. I’d forgotten it existed.
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