Hello fellow bloggers!
Just wanted to give you a quick update as to what I’m up to and what’s happening in my life outside of blogging. You’ll see I haven’t written much these past few months but I still love finding cool quotes that gel with my philosophy; I still love talking photos and walking in the forests, gardens and local open spaces.
Work-wise, I’m still involved in the wee contract that was supposed to have ended prior to last Christmas – and the contract has been extended until this September. I’m really grateful for my job because 1) it pays the bills; 2) I’ve learnt some interesting stuff about myself; 3) I get to move around a lot and be quite active in my role so I get to exercise and I’m getting paid for it! (I usually do 12 – 15,000 steps per day, which I’m really pleased about!) 4) I get to choose my own hours so tend to start early and finish early -starting around 6am and finishing between 2-3pm; 5) My role is quite autonomous so both my real boss, and my on-site boss pretty much leave me alone to get on with the job and I am definitely not being micro-managed (as I have been in other roles in the past) – for this I am really grateful; 6) I’ve picked up several gardening contracts so will do basic gardening (weeding, tidying up the existing gardens, planting, pruning and trimming tress etc) for 5 or 6 different clients. Most are older people who are no longer able to garden so want someone to keep their garden tidy for them. Some don’t enjoy gardening at all while others love it but find themselves limited in what they’re able to do. One of my clients has had me tidy her gardens prior to renting out her house and then I’ll just do maintenance on a monthly basis. It has been a little thing (that began as just an idea) and has grown via word of mouth and taken off. It’s just a part time thing – sometimes afternoons after work or on weekends but it has been a great way to make a little extra money, keep myself busy and active, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some lovely (sometimes a little lonely) folk who no longer have to feel guilty about their untidy gardens plus get a little more company than they had before. I’ve been surprised how often the client will come out for a chat, and sometimes end up gardening with me for a little while. The whole experience has been fun, creative, tiring, and I’ve met some really lovely people.
Long story short – I seem to not have a lot of free time on my hands at present. I still love finding quotes and taking photos and putting them together – but just find I don’t have much time to actually write very much. However I like the creativity of creating the quote/pictures, and enjoy looking back on what I’ve created, and re-reading the little nuggets of wisdom that so many people have provided along the way. So just wanted to explain what’s going on for me and why I’m not writing much, and give you an update.
And for the record, I’m still going on my year of practicing self-love. Sometimes this is easier than others and it’s a ongoing process but I’m pleased with how this year is progressing thus far and my attitudes & outlook in general.
I wish you all friendship, laughter, memories of good times, and the opportunities for more of all three. I also wish you kindness and peace.
I believe this is true: that until we can accept ourselves (both our good and not so good aspects), it’s hard to understand and embrace the differences in others.
It’s relatively easy to identify stuff we dislike about other people but can be harder to identify the things we dislike in ourselves. Harder still, to admit to them.
For the best part of the last week I’ve been unwell and have had a lot of time to think about my life. I’ve finally realised what some may have known about me for a long time – that sometimes I have an anger issue. As a child I was not allowed to get angry – I was allowed to be sad or upset but not to be angry. I was taught that to get angry was wrong. As an adult I realise that what my parents were trying to convey is that it’s not the anger itself which is wrong (per se) but what I choose to do with that anger which may be unwise or unhelpful or hurtful to someone else. As an adult I see that, but as a child I simply understood that to be angry was a bad emotion and in my house it was a sin. As a child my experience of other people’s anger (predominantly my father’s) was normally some sort of violent outburst, often directed at one of his children. I was afraid of my father when he was angry, and as I was not allowed to appropriately express anger – I grew up finding any form of angry expression very difficult. Sometimes even now if I’m angry I will cry – and I have a sense that I’m crying for two reasons – one, as a form of releasing some frustration, and the other because tears were an acceptable childhood expression where angry words wasn’t.
I have learnt to come to terms with some of this – I can see what my parents were trying to impart and I have to believe that in raising my siblings and I, they did the best job they could. I have seen anger at times in my siblings but not recognised it in myself. I am the one who has acknowledged an issue with depression and someone once said that depression was just anger turned inward (directed at myself rather than others) -and that makes sense to me. But I’d never really acknowledged my own inappropriate angry outbursts until this week – and I see just how inappropriate they are.
Accepting that ‘this is my stuff’, that I sometimes respond angrily inappropriately, means acknowledging that there are alternative ways of dealing with anger which are appropriate and could be more helpful in future. And I’m finding those ways. Slowly perhaps, but small progress is still progress.
The next step is forgiving myself for my behaviour and choosing to put it behind me and move on. (It sometimes seems that each step is harder than the last!) So that’s been something I’ve been thinking about – forgiving myself. I can’t change what is but I can be aware of my limitations and be mindful of my choices.
In accepting myself, I’m learning to give myself a break, not be so harsh on myself; and in doing that, I’m learning to be a little more understanding, a little kinder and gentler, a little more compassionate with others. So for me it rings true that self acceptance is the first step to embracing the differences in others.