No

no

No is such a small yet powerful word. We don’t say it often enough.
We are a society of aiming to please. We do it so often we don’t know we are doing it, we don’t know why we are doing it and we don’t have time to stop and wonder why.
We try to please our parents, our siblings, our family, our friends, our colleagues, our bosses, our pets, our Gods. We are so busy trying to please that we forget ourselves. We become upset and irritated but we have no idea why. I know why.

No stops time.
No makes you think.
No gives you time to breathe.
No gives you your soul back.
No gives you your self belief back.
No gives you boundaries.
No gives you freedom.

I said no this week. It gave me a headache. It made me doubt the decision. It made me feel selfish. It made me fee unkind. I slept on the no. I woke up feeling stronger. I woke up feeling a little bit more me. I stepped into the light. I feel powerful. I like this new feeling.

We should say no more often.

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Just one bite…it can’t hurt

©londonmoorebeauty.wordpress.com

I don’t wish to be obsessed with food. But I seem to be.

Call it the magic hours or the golden hours, the time between eight and ten in the evening are the bewitching hours of when I am liable to pick up a snack and consume it until either the bag is finished or the last crumb is eaten. I crave something to eat at this time of day. Do I really feel hungry if I’m honest with myself? No.

A distraction is what I need.

It all comes down to habits. I have gotten into bad habits. Time to distract myself into a good habit.

List of Distractions
A nice hot bath with candles or bubbles or both.
Watch a film
Exercise
Read a book
Write a journal post
Write a blog post
Call, email or write a friend a letter
Talk to your family
Enjoy a hobby
Play a computer game

Let’s analyse the suggestions shall we?
A nice hot bath, sounds good but does that include wine and cheese? Or a slice of cake with the hot drink? Or a cocktail?  Just kidding! Forget about it.

Watch a film…doesn’t include homemade popcorn. You should know better. You could always knit while you watch. Sketch. Keep your hands busy so you aren’t inclined to think of popping a kernel. Seriously? Popcorn?

Exercise? This late at night? Why not. You could prop up the iPad on the exercise machine and watch a film while you exercise. Perfect. Now why haven’t I done this sooner. Yes why haven’t I?

Read a book…too easy to graze and read isn’t it. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Read in a different spot than you would normally if you like to eat while you read. Break that habit. Join a library. You cannot use the price of books as an excuse to refrain from reading.

Snacking….You could always challenge yourself to eat only what you can eat with chopsticks. Especially for those at a keyboard. Sticky fingers and keyboards are yucky. Drink spills can also be fatal for keyboards. Long stemmed glasses and spare ribs do not maketh a computer snack.

Back to the journal writing. You could write what you are feeling when it comes to the golden hour. You could write what you are thankful for or you could write a food journal of what you ate today. Every item you ate. The quantity but not the calories. The list is enough to scare you. You know deep down what is good for you and what is not. The brain knows this but the heart twists the arm and before we know it the excuses are said and the item is consumed. The momentary feeling of pleasure is lost almost immediately after finishing the item. The feeling leftover is of disappointment. We are our own worst critic and we are harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. We show no mercy when we we should. We are kinder on our worst enemy than we are on ourselves. When will we learn to be kind to ourselves. We are not perfect despite the little voice inside our heads telling us that we really should be trying. None of it is important really.
We should just learn to be happy right. So easy. I said it so it should be done. It’s not done. It’s not that simple. Yet it should be.
Why do we worry so much about what we eat or don’t eat? Why are we so obsessed with food. Too much or too little? It’s where the money is channelled these days. The food industry. Everyone trying to place their product in easy reach of you the consumer. Eat this, not that. This is good for, that is not.

ANYTHING IN MODERATION.

There.

That was easy. That is my rule when it comes to food. That is enough. Do I stick to it? I wouldn’t be writing this if I were.
The little voice on my shoulder is tapping me and asking but what is moderation? You know when you have stepped over your line. And face it. Everyone’s line is drawn in a different spot. What is my line today may be drawn in a different spot next year. We need to feel good about ourselves and that is where we want to head.

Write a blog post,..that’s what I’m doing now.

Can I give you a suggestion. Stop buying snacks. It’s that easy. Don’t have anything in the house that you are tempted to snack on, unless it’s a vegetable or fruit. Treat yourself like an alcoholic and remove the vice from your home. I have cupcake molds and sprinkles and icing but have I made any? No. Because if I make them I will eat them ALL. It is safer not to. I could freeze them, couldn’t I? That could be a solution. But that’s just like having vodka in the freezer for the alcoholic.  If you go to a cupcake shop and you are tempted. Just buy ONE. Gluten free? They have cupcakes for you too.

So you are with me this far and you are still not sure what to do. Avoid the supermarket and visit the greengrocer, you know the place that sells fruit and vegetables. Go to the butcher if you are meat inclined. If you must go to the supermarket don’t walk down the junk food aisle. Avoid all of them, the one with fizzy drinks too. And avoid the alcohol aisle too while you are there. Take the temptation out of your field of view. Distract yourself. Write a shopping list and keep to it.

Good luck.
Go forth and distract thyself.

MUSIC
Groove Armada – Think Twice

Andy Weir

Andy-Weir

©Washington Post

Name: Andy Weir
Passion: Writing
Title: The Martian
Genre: Science Fiction

The enthusiasm in this interview between Adam Savage and Andy Weir is intoxicating. The lengths that Andy needed to go to research for his book is incredible. All this without the help of direct contact with the space industry.  The route he took to be a published author and have his book made into a film is far from typical.
I have requested the book, The Martian,  at my local library. I am 82nd on the waiting list.

MUSIC
David Bowie – Life on Mars?

One good deed

PNP


©The Philippine Star

The national police in the Philippines encourages their force to do at least one good deed every day. Read more here.

What is a good deed?
An act you perform to/for others without expecting anything in return.

Stuck for ideas of what to do as a good deed?
Go here from Hub Pages. Not all good deeds require money.
Or here from Canadian Living.
O here from one person’s blog who tries to do a good deed every day for a year.

1GD (100 Good Deeds) has a cause that is inspiring. Read here to see how they encourage you to perform selfless acts of kindness anonymously.

Make someone else’s day! Get some joy back in your life.

Toxic

toxic

©wikipedia

Harmful.
Toxic.
Chemicals are toxic. So are people.
We are able to read the label on a bottle and understand that the contents are toxic. We know to handle with care and keep it away from small children and animals. We wear gloves and store them away out of reach. Locked up even.
Chemicals aren’t always labelled and they can leach into our water or food supply or the air that we breathe and harm us without our consent or knowledge. Sometimes we know we are being harmed but no one is listening. Sometimes we can’t remove ourselves from the situation through no fault of our own.
I blame it on harmartia. It comes from the Greek word ἁμαρτία. To err or to miss the mark. It is the general word that covers all sins. Sorry I’m Not Sorry.

People can be toxic as well.
How come we are able to tell if a chemical is toxic on a label yet we aren’t able to tell when people are toxic to us?
Should we come with labels too?
“Does not mix well with other.”
“Harmful to children.”
“Keep away from family.”
“Toxic.”
“Harmful to self.”
“Seek help immediately if swallowed.”
“Keep away from others.”
What a world we would live in. I would hate to have to read more labels so perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea.
I blame hamartia for toxicity in people too.

Toxic people can be easily avoided.
Stop calling them.
Stop texting them.
Stop emailing them.
Stop seeing them.
Stop thinking about them.
Easier said than done unless they are family or in the work place. That is a challenge.

Family are a group of people. Bound together through blood, adoption or marriage. Love unconditionally.  Until it is conditional. Life is too short to argue and be full of hate. Let it go. Walk away. Does being right make it worth the effort. Let someone else win the argument. It doesn’t really matter.

QUESTION: You are driving in a car and you are in the correct lane and an oncoming car veers towards you.  What do you do?

(A) Stay in your lane because you are driving in the right lane.
(B) Drive defensively and get out of harms way.
(C) Veer towards oncoming traffic.

The sensible answer is (B) but sometimes we are so caught up with being right that we unintentionally harm ourselves for the satisfaction of being right. Sometimes we are dead right.

I don’t have any answers for toxic people in the work place except perhaps looking for employment elsewhere. Your health is important. Why put up with the toxic environment? You deserve better. For dealing with toxic family here are a few suggestions:

What to Do with Toxic Family Members
(1) Family are people and they have flaws. Recognise those flaws.  Love and accept them but it doesn’t mean you need to be them. You do not have to copy their behaviour.
(2) Limit your contact with family.  (If you are living at home, well then maybe spend time studying, reading, sketching, listening to music, blogging or do sport/music elsewhere. Whatever makes you happy.  Be patient.  But remember while you are living at home you live by their rules. Get a part-time/full time job. Save up. Move out when you are able.)
(3) Be kind to yourself. Mind, body and soul.
(4) Take the time to understand yourself. Believe in yourself.
(5) Step back and reflect. Don’t react. Think. Breathe. Develop patience. Take the high road.
(6) Write a journal. (Worried that someone will read it? Write it on the computer password protected.)
(7) Take the lead on your own welfare. You deserve happiness. You make it happen. Be proactive.
(8) Get advice from another family member, or someone you trust.

You cannot make everyone happy with your decisions 100% of the time.
It’s okay for someone else to not agree with you.
It’s okay for someone not to like your choice.
It’s okay for you to believe in yourself.
That’s the first step.

MUSIC
Britney Spears – Toxic

Imitation

imitation

©BBC

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery
– Charles Caleb Colton

People copy other people. It’s human nature. We learn by imitating. We see a smile we smile back. We hear a sound we try to copy the sound and repeat it back. We see something we like, we want to copy it. We see something we don’t like, we want to avoid it.

We feel a need to imitate until we find ourselves. We are a version of the accumulation of learned behaviour and thoughts. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a new thought or idea, mostly we are a collection of other people’s thoughts, habits and actions. That unique collection is what makes us who we are.

We can say we detest copying and imitation all we like but we all do it. We cannot help but do it at some stage in our lives. It only becomes a legal issue when we try to pass other people’s work off as our own. I do not condone that. Imitation is the highest form of flattery until it isn’t.

I’m talking about the learning and understanding of other people and what they do and think. The standing in other people’s shoes for a while. Borrowing the moment. We copy or imitate until we make it better or make it our own.

We imitate other people yet we want to be my own person. To fit into society we imitate other people’s actions and habits. We are anonymous.  We like our space, our privacy and our thoughts. This is a conflict in thought, the desire to imitate yet at the same time to be unique, oneself. In society if we blend in well enough by imitating the masses we disappear. Otherwise we stand out.

In art we learn from those we admire or are famous.  We want to get inside their heads and try to understand where they were coming from. We believe we can attain that from holding a brush as they did, mixing paint as they did and applying the paint as they did. To be in that moment we can be that person. The curve of the charcoal stroke, the smoothness of the stone, the dab of the paint just so. Some techniques have been lost. Some are so poisonous that we wouldn’t want to replicate them even if it were possible.

In everything truth surpasses the imitation and copy.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Once we have imitated or shown curiosity of another person or their work to progress we must step further forward to find ourselves or our own work. Imitation is a step in the journey, not the destination.

Autism and Imitation:  The Power of Imitating Children with Autism
The Hanen Centre

The Human Copying Machine
BBC

MUSIC
REM – Imitation of Life

Enough

When is enough enough?
Sounds like a trick question. It depends on the context. It means to either have sufficient or adequate amounts of something for a need or desire; or to be exasperated by something.

Examples:
I don’t have enough money to buy an island.
We have enough rain so we don’t need to irrigate.
She has enough sense to make the right decision.
They don’t have enough time to make the flight.
Enough! Stop it right now.

Exasperation aside what do you do once you have enough? Enough what?
Let’s look at money. If you have enough money then it allows you to do things or buy stuff.

ENOUGH MONEY
How much is enough money?
Society measures success by measuring how much money you earn, how much you have in investments, what possessions you own. Success is not necessarily measured in monetary terms though. Success is accomplishing an aim or purpose. So depending on the aim or purpose money may not be a factor at all. You may be considered successful by others but for your own aims you may believe otherwise. Or the other way around. It all comes down to you. What do you believe? It doesn’t matter what other people believe.

How much money do I need to retire?
According to Forbes calculation see here
According to Sorted here
Retirement Calculator here
We all have different lifestyles, needs and wants, we have different family situations too. We are all different and so we will all have different answers. There is no magic number of enough.

Some people want to live beyond their means. They run into trouble and wonder how it was possible. Some people want to take lots of risk and then wonder why it doesn’t work out. Some people want to live in a dream world and expect other people to pay for them, whether it be other family members, friends or the government. Handouts and shortcuts.

Sometimes people don’t have enough money through no fault of their own. Through hardship due to circumstances they have no control over like natural disasters or being born into poverty. I am not talking about people in these situations.

How much is enough money?
So enough already. Answer the question: How much is enough money?
It depends. Truly. It depends entirely on you.
Let’s go back a moment and look at success. What do you want to get out of life? What are your aims or what is your purpose? I’m not talking about what society thinks here, I mean you. What do you want to do that makes you happy? Fulfilled? Satisfied? Worthy? Have a better idea now? Yes? Read below. If not keep thinking.
Okay how much money does it require? (If you don’t know know, find out.)
That is your number for enough money for your specific aim/purpose/goal.

Enough_Flowchartw

©AspergersOnToast 2015

Revise, revise and revise again
This figure can change too. You may change your goal, aim or purpose and this will affect the need or the want. Remember that a goal is a step, big or small in achieving your aim or purpose.
How often do you change your mind each day? Often? Well then you probably change your mind about your direction too. Revise your goals regularly and see if you are on your right path. You may be forging a new one. Life is full of surprises and we need to work with what we have. Sometimes a wrong turn can be for the better.
Revise, revise and revise again.

I have enough money, now what?
Excellent. Well done. Good effort. Go do your thing. You know the thing that fulfills you. The thing that makes you happy. Enjoy.

Bored? Unfulfilled? Unhappy? Make another plan. If you have enough money to do what you want for your next goal do you stop saving for the one after that? Go back and revise what you want to do. Make another plan. It may come down to the fact that you have enough money but you don’t have enough time. Use some of that money to make enough time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to use that money for your purpose.

Enough time
In an ideal world we would all have enough time and money to do what we want. In reality we need to make priorities and decide what we want to do and make effort to achieve our aims, goals or purpose. When the money and time aligns, then that’s a sweet spot to be in.

Stop wasting time and get out there and do your thing whatever that is. If you aren’t sure yet. Think on in. Try something new and see what fits with you. Act now or forever be disappointed about the little words “what if.”

MUSIC
Almost is Never Enough – Ariana Grande ft. Nathan Sykes

Good Samaritan

Who is a good Samaritan?
“A person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress”

MI-Jamie-Humans-of-Dublin

©IrishCentral.com

Thank you Jamie Harrington from Dublin, Ireland for taking the time to talk to someone who needed help.
You are a good Samaritan.
Read about his good deed here.