How I’m making 2024 last longer

 

Photo by Daniel Buckle on Unsplash

Happy new year! It’s still appropriate to say that, right?

January is grey and bleak. You’re broke, fat, depressed, and severely conscious of how far away you are from whatever goals you set 365 days ago, and the 365 before that. You can’t fathom where the entire previous year went; it all feels like a blur that passed you by far too quickly, and you’re desperate to go back in time to savour each and every minute you let waste away. But you can’t.

Cue the blues.

This is a feeling that, sadly, escapes almost none of us. No matter how fully you have lived, no matter how happy you are with how you spent the year, you’re always left with that gut-punching feeling of time is slipping from me. It’s painfully obvious that there’s only one solution to this, because unfortunately nobody has come into possession of Bernard’s watch:

Make the decision to live slowly and more consciously.

You can’t go back and relive those precious days, but you can do something with your newfound self-awareness. I like to think I do this already, but, in my desperate attempt, I actually end up doing the opposite.

My mind is always going at a thousand miles an hour and I wring my days dry until I’ve squeezed out every minute. The result is that I don’t feel like I’ve truly been living; I’ve simply ticked a lot of boxes off my to-do lists. In trying to be productive every day, I’ve ultimately made a full time job out of living in which I must fill a quota in order to be satisfied with how my day went. Wake up. Go to the gym. Go to work. Read this many pages. Go to the park on that day. These days don’t add up to a successful period of living: they are confined to what they are, which is a day of robotically doing things I pencilled in just to feel like I am making use of my time. I need to stop clocking in and out of my life and just live.

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash.

I am obsessed with poring over my calendar to make sure every waking minute is filled with useful things — but I don’t want to just have useful days. Those aren’t memorable. Reading and writing and a hundred walks through Richmond Park are not memorable; it is not the act itself that we remember, but the memories we attach to them. It’s the lessons in strength and perseverance that hundreds of characters have displayed in varying ways, it’s learning how to get our thoughts down on paper in creative ways, it’s when we stepped ankle deep in mud to get close to the deer and had to put our shoes into plastic bags before getting into my car. My point is, you should be living life and relishing both the ups and downs rather than letting it pass you by.

The way you do this will be personal to you. You should know how to ground yourself, you will know what makes you feel present and alive. It doesn’t have to be something monumental; it could be as small as sitting outside for ten minutes a day or as big as spending a weekend swimming in the ocean every month.

For me, it is the following:

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On Making the Most of Winter

Despite the incessant moaning and groaning of English Folk (read: Londoners, mostly) on the odd super cold day, I actually feel like winter has been quite forgiving so far this year. In fact, I admit I’ve woken up some mornings saying ‘Hey. You know what? I could go for a walk today because it’s so crisp and delicious outside!’ And, though my nose feels like an ice cube, I am content. I seem to have foregone the usual bout of SAD this year, though I’m unsure if that’s partly because of my recovery time off work.

Nevertheless, winter, to me, is a time for doing almost nothing outdoors except the bare minimum. Yes, the Christmas markets are up and running, enticing us to leave our cosy homes for promises of a bustling, vibrant atmosphere that includes Mariah Carey playing much too loudly on a speaker nobody can locate and a £7 hot chocolate that we could have made at home without being sardine-packed on the Piccadilly Line. But what else is there to do outside this cute, expensive little activity?

There is many a festive menu across all restaurants, and enough limited martinis that now have a generous sprinkling of icing sugar snow dusted on the side of the glass. We’re being reminded that, actually, there is a lot to leave your house for, guilted into staying indoors instead of venturing into the cold. It’s December and I haven’t even been to any Christmas markets! Or the outdoor ice-rink! I haven’t been to see a single flashing light and I’ve missed Winter Wonderland, a heaving extortionate waste of time that I now have to pay and queue up for!

So anyway, I’ve thought about the winter goals I have that don’t necessarily mean doing festive things because, truly, I very much enjoy the weather that forces me to stay indoors. What a shame, I can’t go outside, it’s raining. Damn it. Actually, I’m blissfully happy laying in bed with the lightbulb red, asking Alexa to play metal while I write, so I can really feel like I’m in a dungeon. Can’t do that when it’s sunny at 8pm.

I would, on a normal day, like to have some mulled wine and chestnuts, but it’s not something I’m going to pen down and venture into the crap weather and ginormous crowds for; don’t get me started on Christmas crowds because I’m exhausted just thinking about them. There are plenty of indoor and introspective goals to be achieved in Winter, especially for an introverted dopamine-chasing hermit who absolutely loves their own company and will look for any excuse to stay indoors.

Here are my five winter goals. Let me know if you have any of your own that I can draw inspiration from!

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The definitive guide to becoming burnt out

Is the relentless rat-race becoming too easy for you? Do you need to shake things up a bit, take things up a notch, show that you really love to face challenges? If full blown exhaustion is your goal, follow these eight steps to make sure you really empty the tank of all it has!


  1. Set aside some time to plan your work week on Sunday

What better way to make sure you’re ready for the work week than to go through all of your work tasks before you actually start? If you say no to spending time with family on Sunday, you can use your free, unpaid time off (of which you have two days – plenty!) to get a head start and make sure you’re raring to go at 9am the next day! Surely you can’t expect that planning for work would be part of your work hours?

  1. Say yes to absolutely everything

Can you take on this task? And that task? And this task is too much for your co-worker, can you help, even though you are drowning under the weight of your own task list? Of course you can! If you don’t have time to do it, simply find the time. If you want to be a good employee, you must say yes to everything before someone else does. You might not be compensated, but at least you can look in the mirror and say you did it! Read more

The path to healing.

 

 

Some would say a broken heart fuels creativity; that’s why we write, paint and make music. 

The pain and the hurt that translates into art feels good because we love ripping it out of us and pouring it onto a page. Sometimes the feeling transcends words, so we put it into metaphors and abstract oil paintings, and people lap it up because they love the feeling it gives them. Sometimes the art touches them in a way they can’t explain, simply because of that incomprehensibility.

They love to read about it, to watch it, to hear it. Driving home as the rain hits your window, pretending you’re in a music video whilst you listen to songs about cheaters and broken homes, songs about violence; it’s cathartic. Marvin’s Room makes your tears feel hotter, but you listen to it on repeat and God knows why. 

I have a hunch.

Misery loves company, and nobody wants to know they’re the only one suffering. Maybe they want to know their feelings are valid and shared. Maybe they desperately want to see how much worse it could be. Maybe they like the idea of other people suffering because the feeling of bitterness is perversely satisfying. We like pain and we like to know that we aren’t the only ones in it. We all exist somewhere on this spectrum of sadomasochism.

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Is your man a sociopath? 9 signs he probably is.

 

“Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited

 

narcissism 

noun

selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

 

This post has been sitting in my drafts for about a month and I no longer care about it, which is why I haven’t posted it… but I think I’m the guinea pig of the dating world.  Apparently having ‘I am your mother’ plastered on my forehead, I somehow always found myself associating with the worst of the worst, so it’s only right that I use that for the greater good and teach you what I’ve learnt. And what I have learnt since then is the difference between a bitch boy and a man. I know the gender-is-a-social-construct brigade will get at me for that, but what can I say? There are men and there are men. We’re always categorising women, it’s only fair to do the same. When you’ve gone from dealing with boys who throw their toys out the pram for not buying them food to men who actually have their shit together and act like men, it’s hard not to talk about it.

But this post isn’t about the men, it’s about the bitch boys. I include the definition of narcissism because all sociopaths are narcissists. But not all narcissists are sociopaths.

The difference? Intention.

Both have extreme adoration for themselves, both will always put themselves first, both feel no genuine sense of guilt. Both are undeniably and unhealthily in love with themselves. Both are practically the same, bar one major difference.

A narcissist loves himself and will accidentally hurt you in the process because he’ll always put himself first. He cares about you, but he cares about himself more.

A sociopath loves himself and will at points intend to hurt you because he wants you to be hurt, and he’ll do anything to achieve that.

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Let me tell you something [How to genuinely improve your shitty life]

When will someone nominate me for the Worst Blogger award?
The devil really is locked up because I’ve just written a blog post after two months of nothing. Not a single word.
I guess I’m supposed to include an update of my life here, except I’m not going to because when do I ever do that? Also I’m yawning and my eyes hurt and I’m sick. If you want to see me rant, my twitter is available for you to view all the thoughts I could and should have kept to myself. I’m at a weird point in my life, though. Super inspired but super unmotivated. Super happy, but super nonchalant. Super ready to be an adult, but.. yeah. In a weird limbo where the pieces of my puzzle are just hovering above me, waiting for me to give them the go ahead to just drop into place. Not yet tho, I’m not done being a fuck up.
I’m not worried, though. My skin is shit, but I’m not worried. My life isn’t any better on paper at all, but in my head, it’s all rosy. My mental health was suffering last year, and anxiety is now but a distant memory. It’s weird to think that I had a prescription for antidepressants that I, thankfully, didn’t collect. I went to a gig alone. I cut my hair. I give people chances. I now go with my gut instead of overanalysing every little thing. I say yes more. I say no more. I’m a whole other person. And I wanna tell you how I did it, starting with this post.
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