# Blunt # TMI # Don’t Read Then

I can be blunt and a lot of people don’t like that, seriously, it’s a fact that most people avoid me, unless they want honesty. I call it how I see it, and I try to see the whole situation, not just one person’s view. I don’t sugar coat things, so people when they ask me what I think, I ask them ‘Are you really sure, you want me to tell you what I think.’

And if they say ‘Yes, I don’t want to be told what I want to hear.’ Then I tell them. They still don’t like it, but I remind them that they wanted it. I can be a little sarcastic with the super sensitive flowers, but I will also stand up for you, I will have your back, and I am usually not easily offended.

That, being said today is me being blunt to myself. If I came to me with my problem I’d smack me across the head and say, ‘Pull yourself together, you’re made off better stuff.’ ‘C’mon, girl, you’ve gone through worse, what’s the deal?’

I have a statue that I found. I’ve had it for years, but until I got my own place and was no longer couch surfing, it stayed packed away, to the point I forgot about it. It’s of a warrior princess, seated on a throne, an eagle perched behind her, a sword in her hand.

It reminded me that I’m a fighter. I’ve been to hell and back, and survived, when I should’ve died many times over. A warrior doesn’t just fight – he / she fights for what is right, especially when their back is against the wall, but more importantly, a warrior sacrifices for the better good and has honour, integrity, wisdom and courage. This statue reminded me that I have those qualities.

I was reminded that I am a warrior, and as a warrior, it’s time to enter the fight, but first I needed a good dressing down.

So, this is your chance to hit the exit button, or continue to read, if you want to get to know me a bit better.

Wow, you chose to continue to read on.

What happened:

Long story short – maybe. My childhood was filled with violence thanks to an alcoholic father and mother who didn’t want to know. I wouldn’t wish what happened on my worst enemy, but it affected me, and I took what I learned into my adulthood and the guys I met were abusive. Big surprise, right! The thing is violence was my normal, I didn’t know nice.

About 12 years ago, I walked out of a Domestic Violence situation and I spent that time in hiding, as much as I could. The first several years was very much, trying to undo the mental scripts, that were planted in my brain from my childhood, and then retold in my adulthood, and trying to figure out who I was.

A few years ago, I started to join society again and started trying social media. The aim was really to keep me positive, I had no idea that people would start following me – first thoughts were what was wrong with these people? Why is anyone following me?

But then I found some people that were posting stuff that resonated with me, positive stuff that helped keep me on track. Stuff that spoke to me. Then I realised that I found it hard to interact with them – that was and is still a huge challenge for me. But I’m slowly conquering that.

I shut down my emotions many years ago, but this last year I connected with someone who started to help me to understand emotions, and I began to allow myself to feel. I couldn’t and still can’t name some of them, some I kinda like, but there are some I just don’t like – why do emotions hurt? That just plain sucks.

So, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, trying to figure the whole emotion deal out when 7 weeks ago, I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I came crashing down. Big time. Splat. Hit a brick wall, and didn’t know what to do, how to cope or how to ask for help. I felt I was on my own.

7 weeks ago, my step-father died suddenly. We’re still waiting for the coroner’s report to find out if it was the clot or the operation that killed him. But 7 weeks ago, it went like this.

Monday – He said that he was going to help me. He had been trying to show me what a real father was like, and how they should behave. Anyway, he said that he was going to give me $5000 to clear up the debts, that I had so that I could start fresh. And he said that he was going to give me $10000, so that I could get a matching grant from the government to start my business, and then give him the 10k back, and I’d have 10k to start with.

Total win -win. So excited.

Tuesday – Had a coffee with him. The money had come through, and so we arranged to meet Wednesday morning to do the transfer. Two hours later, I’m calling an ambulance, I’m trying to keep him alive. It was a massive clot in the main artery of the neck, which was operated on. Tuesday night he takes a turn for the worse. Two hours and my happiness got slapped out of me.

Wednesday – We turn off his life support. Somehow, it’s my fault he died and then my character was trashed. But now I can feel, and I felt a lot of pain at these accusations, which weren’t true, and they hurt. Boy did they hurt. I did everything I could and yet people are saying that I didn’t do enough – that sucked.

And everything inside of me wanted to react. Wanted to deny what was said, but that was the old me. The new me thought they are acting out of guilt for not being there, for not seeing him for over a month, it didn’t help, I didn’t understand why what was said hurt so much.

So, the last 7 weeks I’ve done a lot of soul searching. 7 weeks of no extra financial support, as step-father was supporting me, 7 weeks of watching the bills increase.

What did I learn?

I learnt a lot during this time. In, no particular order, I learnt:

I learnt a lot during this time. In, no particular order, I learnt:

  • People show their true personalities when someone dies – oh boy, did, and are they showing their personalities, and it was and is quite ugly..
  • I found out who my friends were during this time. I knew who had my back, and who didn’t.
  • Make sure you have a Will, and make sure your family knows what you want, have at least two copies – one lodged with a lawyer, in case one copy goes missing. Some people copy theirs, and give a copy to each person that is going to benefit.
  • Grief is interesting – especially if you are on the receiving end of someone’s anger.
  • I really needed support, especially when being vilified during this.
  • It’s during times like this my past scripts suddenly revived themselves, and it took a lot to put them where they belong, back in the trash.
  • I relied on those who posted stuff on social media. I valued the messages they wrote – the positivity and the encouragement really helped, even though they didn’t know it.
  • I re-evaluated myself. Who am I? What do I want?

 

What is holding me back? What are my fears?

Besides money – unfortunately bills need to be paid, and most things have a price attached. Money is a necessity in this world, it’s a bit hard to live without it.

I realise that I have a few fears:

Fear of success – I don’t have a fear of failure. I know failure quite well, sometimes I manage to fail so spectacularly, it surprises and impresses me at the same time. But success, I have no idea what that looks like.

I’m thinking, that we’re conditioned to seeing someone who has massive yachts, or multi-million-dollar houses, with huge bank balances is successful. But, maybe, success is much simpler.

For me, I can’t put a dollar figure on it, but I’d like to have plenty of money to pay my bills on time, have my house freehold, have a new ute, and be able to be generous to other people. To have peace and be able to enjoy my work. At the moment that looks like about $1500 a week, so if I was getting $2000 a week doing what I love to do – technically I’d be successful.

Starting point – list all my debts that are overdue, cry, and then find some solution to start dealing with the mess, so I can contact them.

Fear of disappointment – I’ve lost count of the number of times, that I think something is going to work out, only to have it fall at the last moment, and I end up disappointed. It’s a good thing quitting is not in my vocabulary, but dealing with disappointment is painful – literally.

Starting point – start to think differently – that I’m not failing, but finding ways to not do something and to rely on me, more than anyone else’s promise.  That being said – I’m not good at receiving – so, maybe, I should start learning how to receive – if someone says something nice accept it as true, not question it. If someone offers something, accept it and not think – that there’s a catch to it.

Fear of what if? – What if I screw up again? What if I can’t compete against the major players? What if people don’t like what I say or do? What if? What if?

Smack across the head, girl – these are past scripts coming out in a different form.

Starting point – unless I know the person, they aren’t going to know who I am, if I pass them on the street. Fact is people are going to criticise me, whether I do something, or don’t do something. Think about what if I succeed – Wow – finally financial freedom, bills paid, able to buy what I want without worrying about the price, being able to be generous, build that refuge I want for those from Domestic Violence to learn who they are, and to learn basic life skills and self-belief that has been stripped away. Success will answer my critics.

Who am I?

I am a fighter. I am a warrior. It’s time for me to rise up and claim that. I am unique, I am not like everyone else. I am human and feel emotions, but even though I see emotions as being weak, I feel stronger having them.

I am and I value in others honesty, empathy, integrity, patience, fairness, acceptance, persistence and encouragement. I call it how I see it but I will stand by your side and stand up for you.

I am creative and will find a way to start, grow and build my business.

 

Those who have helped me, especially through this challenging time:

Facebook:

Deb Hall

Andy and Kerri Stonehill

Twitter:

@NateMaingard

@KentStuverRE

@MurrayNewlands

@IAmJeffEmmerson

@entourageoz

And last but not least –

(Stranger) @yankeeCoolBoy

Instagram:

@dennisprasad01

@jackdelosa

@jessguidroz_wellness

@mrbearjnr

@Iamjoelbrown

 

 

 

 

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Everything Old is New Again

I’m starting to trace my family tree. It’s kinda fun finding out who you’re related to. My mother’s side is easy, most of it’s been done and so I find I’m related to Sir Humphrey Davis, and one of our relatives married some dude, who was a governor on the Galapagos Islands.

Oral stories tell of another relative who went to Peru. The mother and son had a mine over there, and each made the other the recipient in their wills. They both died, within a short, period of each other and the mine went to the government, because there were no other heirs. That will be fun to find out if that is true. I wonder if I could claim it.

On my father’s side, however it’s not so easy, one of them had a name change. I’m curious though, because of an incident that happened when I was working one day at the airport.

A group of miners were going back to the mines. I recognised their accent and mentioned I had Scottish heritage. So, of course, they asked. I said my grandmother was from the Isle of Man, she was a Todd. They were quite happy with that, said they were nice lot. Then I mentioned the name of my father.

This group of six burly males, literally turned white and ran. So, it left me thinking what on earth did that family do, that even decades down the track, Scots dislike the name.

I figure, that it has to do with the name change, which happened during the Jacobite wars. Knowing the way, the family was, they probably betrayed their fellow Scotsmen.

Back to my mother’s side, I found some letters written from the late 1800’s from a relative in Cornwall. And as I read them, it occurred to me, that they had the same issues that we do.

I read about mining accidents with cave-ins, that happened, and that the workers wanted to strike over the conditions. They had droughts, which increased the cost of food and diseases. Thank fully our medical advances have improved, and we don’t have the diseases that they did, but I read about the operations one of them had. I am definitely glad, of the medical advances that have been made.

I read about family problems, of relatives wanting, what they considered, their inheritance, before the person died. Side note – People make a Will, and have it lodged with the solicitor, so that there is no question, as to what you want done.

If you have a previous marriage, and children from that marriage, then have a round table conference to talk about what you want, because there is nothing worse, than family behaving badly, because someone has died and not left a will. It brings out the worst in people.

I read about loans that family members had made and then not paid. And I read about the deaths of family members. They were very religious back then, and my relative wrote about the Providence of God, God’s hand being at work and when writing about the death of one of our relatives, he wrote ‘… And as she breathed her last, she said “Heaven, best”’ She repeated it and died.

And I read about how they had no power. We complain when we have a black out for a couple of hours. And yes, we had every right to complain when the entire state had no power, some of it for days, because, in this day, and age, electricity should be reliable. But back then they had no power at all.

They didn’t have the luxuries that we take for granted. Mobile phones, computers, televisions, electricity, gas, shopping centres etc, none of that existed, and the things that we have today, will probably become obsolete as new models, and things come into existence.

It goes to show, that even though those letters were written over a hundred years ago, they still dealt with the same issues we do. Unemployment, accidents, work accidents, diseases, death and so forth.

A hundred years from now people will still be dealing with the same issues that we deal with. For now, though, I’m having fun researching the past.

Where’s there’s a Will … There’s Sanity

I get it. Talking about death is not exactly the greatest dinner conversation one could have, but it is in marriages and deaths that brings out the best and the worst in a person. If you haven’t made a Will out then what happens after you have died can become a dog’s breakfast.

But there’s no need to make a Will out yet –

  • I’m too young
  • I’ve got plenty of years left in me
  • People know what I want to leave them
  • I haven’t got time, at the moment; I’ll get around to it

are just a few excuses given for not doing one. Here’s the problem. Humans are finite beings and whilst we can predict many things, we can’t predict when we are going to die or how we are going to die.

You don’t know if you are going to be involved in an accident, get a disease or get caught up in a war or hostile incident. What you can do, is, if you care about your family, then having a Will made up will make things easier in the event of your demise.

Yes, it will cost you. It will cost time and money, because you should have it drawn up by a solicitor to make sure that it is written and executed properly. You can do a kit one, but making sure it is written and executed properly can be challenged.

Once you have made your Will, it is a good idea, to tell someone, you trust, where it is. If the Will can’t be found then your property becomes intestate and is distributed according to the laws of intestacy. And despite there being a legal framework to deal with, if family members go against that, it becomes problematic.

If you have married a few times and there are children from each marriage, have a round table discussion about what you want to leave to whom and why so that everyone is on the same page. With that in mind, find out the legalities because in many places, if you have not formally adopted step children, then they miss out and if you don’t want that, you need to make sure you have a Will written.

I am talking to myself as much as anyone. Be you young or old, if you are breathing and living in this world you should have a Will written. It may be challenged, but it is better to have your possessions distributed how you want them to be, rather than leave it, and risk infighting or people trying to override one another.

At least having a Will written and stored in a safe place, that someone you trust knows about, will hopefully, allow your last wishes to be dealt with in peace, and let sanity reign among the family … unless, of course, chaos is what you want to leave, in which case, don’t leave a Will.

 

EMT’s Rock …. #1

I don’t care where you live in the world those that volunteer or work for emergency services do an awesome job. They should get the same if not more credit and respect when attending simple things like accidents or house fires, as they do when responding to emergencies like bush fires / wild fires (depending what country you live in) and earthquakes or hurricanes / cyclones.

As well as dealing with car accidents, house fires and the like, they go into situations most of us wouldn’t want to find ourselves in – bush fires, cyclones, floods, earthquakes and more. They help those who are stressed, injured or sadly there are times when they have to deal with people who have died.

They stay calm when others lose the plot and panic. They fight through fatigue to keep people safe and protected. And we thank them but when the major incident is over we can so easily forget. We don’t think much when they’re attending an accident or house fire; it is in a large-scale situation that we see them rise up to a higher level and that we really take notice.

It is in large-scale situations that we see people from other states, and in some circumstances from other countries enter to give crews rest, and to help deal with whatever emergency is happening.

I can remember when I was 17, driving the car and had to stop at the intersection. As I waited for the lights to change a motorcyclist and car collided in the middle. The poor guy was decapitated, such was the impact. I can remember hearing the ambulance and thinking I don’t think you guys can help.

To this day, every now and again when I hear the ambulance siren, I see this incident play out in my mind. It’s still so clear and ugly. But if I can remember an incident like this, then those who work in the emergency sector day in and day out would have memories play out in their head too.

And yes, you shut it down and you push through, but it’s still in your head somewhere. So, to all those who work in emergency services. Thank you.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, and just in case I haven’t said it enough –

Thank You – You’re awesome.

 

 

What? Sorry, What Was That?

In Australia, 1 in 6 are affected by hearing loss. 1 child is identified every day with impaired hearing and 1 in 1000 babies are born with significant hearing loss.  That’s just the Australian figures. Deafness occurs throughout the world so it is plausible to say, that people with hearing issues is a big issue.

The problem is that deafness is an ‘invisible’ disability. While businesses are required to have disability access and treat those with disabilities with respect, very few include deafness in their planning of having a disability friendly business.

It is interesting how some people treat those who are deaf or hearing impaired. They forget that hearing-impaired people are good at reading lips and so talk in front of them, sometimes quite derogatorily, and at other times about issues that they would never speak about, in front of a hearing person.

Then, the majority of people when they are told that you are hearing impaired, tend to do one of three things. They make an excuse to get away – It doesn’t matter that you have been talking to them for the last ten minutes, the minute they find you have a hearing problem, usually because you have, to keep asking them to repeat themselves, they make an excuse and leave.

Or, they will start yelling at you – as though screaming at the top of their lungs is going to help – it doesn’t. All yelling does is make it harder to figure out what is being said. Or they will speak to you really, slowly – I mean really, slow to the point, you want to slap them across the head and say I’m deaf not stupid.

I know, I have these things happen on a regular basis. I am hearing impaired. Not a huge amount but enough to cause problems. I hear parts of words and sentences, so I take what I hear and what I see, put it in the context of where the conversation is taking place and come up with the most logical sentence.  If it sounds logical and fits the context I run with it and I’m pretty good, the majority of people, wouldn’t know I had a problem unless I told them. Although there are times when I totally mishear and then people figure it out but it can be quite funny.

But just because someone is deaf or hearing impaired doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. We can work. Okay, you may need to have some equipment modified, but it’s not a huge amount. Sure, you have, to make sure we’re actually looking at you when you speak, but at least we’re listening. The bonus is that when you do have deaf people come in, you have someone who can sign to them. That’s a win – win for everyone.

But we work as hard as anyone else, maybe even harder. And there are those who dance and sing even though they’re deaf. How? You don’t wear shoes, you feel the beat through the floor and you just have, to trust your pitch is right, if you sing.

I have heard that there is an app or one that is being developed that is designed to help those who have trouble hearing. My understanding is that those who you converse with have, to have the app but basically, it picks up what the person is saying to you and prints it out on the screen.

Deafness is an issue for many, but instead of yelling, or talking slowly or walking away, just speak in a normal tone of voice, because we are normal people, we just don’t hear as good as most, and if you have, to repeat yourself, so be it.

 

 

It’s Just a Blood Test, Right!!!

I’m just one of those people. My veins are deep and at the mere thought of a blood test, they just don’t want to play. The advice is plentiful.

Drink water – lots of it as it will make the veins more accessible. Well I drank over a litre of water and guess what? No blood.

Heat pads will do the job – yeah … um, nope. No blood.

Exercise, get that blood pumping – of course, what a good idea. Shame no one told my veins it was a good idea – no blood.

Is it any wonder that I hate blood tests. They usually end up going into the wrist which hurts. Man, does it hurt. Once the nurse went into the wrist and then said ‘Bugger, it’s rolled, don’t move’ as she dug the needle through, following it.

And apparently not only are my veins deep but my veins are not where they should be. In my left arm I have a ligament and in the right a tendon. But I did the right things, I drank a lot of water, kept warm, they used a heat pad and I had been exercising so the heart was pumping and the guy gets the needle and syringe …. and nothing. Not even a hint.

So after half an hour he gives up and tells me to come back the next day. I go back. Different person but maybe they’ll have success. He takes one look at my arms ‘You have no veins.’ I’m breathing and moving and if I cut myself I bleed so I must have them somewhere. But he quit before he started and referred me to one of their of their senior persons.

I go see her. I give her the form and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m not easy to get blood from.’

She looks at the form and sees the previous two attempts. Looks at my arms and says ‘Uh huh, you’re one of them.’ She tourniquets my arm, feels around and finally finds one … she thinks. She picks up the syringe.

And I say ‘You don’t want to use that type if it is the suction one (so know the technical names .. not), they don’t work on me.’

She says ‘well I need 20 ml and our biggest syringe is 10ml. I don’t want to stab you twice. So she gets a butterfly and sticks it in. Keeps feeling my arm and says ‘I can feel it but the needle wasn’t hitting it. Finally after digging deeper she says ‘Got it, don’t move’ and collects the blood needed.

As I’m leaving she says ‘You don’t want to ever need to go to hospital for an operation. The anesthetist  needs a vein to work with.’

Not planning on going to hospital but thanks for the tip. Only three months till my next one. Anyone want to take my place?

I Wish I Had Learnt At School …

School was not a favourite time for me. Let’s be honest I didn’t like school, I’m an introvert and found it hard, but I look at the schools today and laugh. I chatted with a young mum and she was horrified at what the teachers got away with in my school days.

Back in our days we marched around the school yard saying the times tables over and over till we had them memorised. There was no way anyone passed unless they passed the tests and exams. There was none of this passing a student so they could stay with their friends and not lose their self-confidence.

If students talked too much or mucked around in class then the teacher threw whatever was handy, the duster, the stapler, the text books at the students to get them to stop. There was bullying back then, too but there was no mediation or policy to stop it other than whoever won the fight led the pecking order.

There was no friend chair to sit on – you either had friends or you didn’t. There was no consideration for allergies or noise sensitive students and the accompany policies to cater for them. And in a way, that is a good thing because the world does not cater for you, you have to adjust to the world.

But there are some things that I wish had been taught at school. Life lessons would’ve been nice. I’m talking real life lessons that would actually help you. Things like:

Budgeting – we weren’t taught about money, the value of it or how to budget what you earn or get on social security benefits. My mother taught me to whack everything on credit, but not how to pay it off. I had to teach myself how to budget and sometimes I screw it up, but that’s because, it’s getting increasingly harder and harder to live on a couple of hundred a week. But budgeting would be a useful thing to teach students.

Parenting Skills – how to deal with a child that is challenging. Television and magazines show the stars with their perfect children in looks and behaviour. Occasionally, we get glimpses of them misbehaving but overall, the projection, the image the stars want you to see is perfection, the children are to fit into their image. Some of them give the child a name that if it were a normal person, would see the child teased and ridiculed, but because the parent of a child is a star or influential person, they don’t seem to get teased as much.

But it’s not a fair description. You don’t have many stars going well my child has depression, or ADD or ADHD or Asperger’s or any other of the challenging behaviours. You hear when they get sick or injured and when they go off the rails but not many seem to have challenging behaviour’s which gives a distorted view to those who adore and hero worship their favourite star.

Even those reality baby dolls they are now giving to teenagers with the design to show them how demanding a baby can be, but they are programmed to cry when hungry, need their nappy changed or they want attention.

I’d like to see them programmed to resemble a colicky baby. See how long they last before they want to give up. It would be nice to have a perfect baby but life isn’t perfect and neither are babies. Teach teens about caring for a baby, how to feed, change and look after it. Why not? If they’re going to have sex, they risk pregnancy and if they get pregnant at least they might have some skills to cope.

Basic Car Maintenance – Gone are the days when you could drive to a service station and have the attendant check your car’s oil and water levels and the tyre pressure. I can name one. Many people just don’t know how to do these basic things and then wonder why the car overheats.

But learning to do a basic check including safety tips like don’t open the radiator cap if the car is hot or you risk getting burned. Don’t do what one of my school friends did and check the level of his petrol by opening the cap and trying to see into the tank with a cigarette lighter … it was not a good result.

 Forms – How to fill out the endless pages of government forms. Once you leave school you have tons of forms to fill in, although most of it is online now but it still requires you to understand them. You have tax forms to fill in, forms for your employer if you’re lucky enough to have one, if not you have social security forms to fill in. Endless pages, sometimes with what seems to be the same question but written differently. But it would be nice to understand the nature of these forms and how to fill them out before you dive into the world of forms.

Cooking – How to create a menu and prepare it so that is nutritious. Not just the odd recipe but understanding the food groups, how important they are to one’s health, what foods go together, how much of one food group should you have as well as how to create a menu and prepare it. It doesn’t have to be exotic just basic.

 Cleaning – What cleaning is. My grandmother used to literally sweep the dust under the rug. A lot of people have no understanding of how to clean a house. Teaching about the different products available, how to store them, how toxic they are and how to use them. Simple but a necessity.

Children learn from their parents. If they have a parent who doesn’t know how to clean a home properly then they won’t either. If the parent never cleans and the house is a mess, the child will think that is normal and then get a shock when they realise that actually that’s not normal.

Shopping – Shopping on a budget, how to buy in bulk, what should you buy in bulk and how to store the items when you get them home, so that there is no cross contamination. What should the fridge be set at? How long can you keep things before they need to be tossed.

These are basic things everyone should know but many do not. Many get to adulthood and don’t know these simple basics of life. And if they are not going to be taught at home then they should be taught at school. They should be taught at home through one’s family, but it doesn’t always happen. Maybe it’s just me but these are the things that I wish I had learnt and judging by some of the upcoming teenagers they need it too.

 

I Wonder Why?

I wonder why cats think they’re so superior and that they rule the house and the human. One minute they want to be with you and the next they don’t. One minute they’re purring and the next they’re snarling. You call them and they ignore you, but they want you to fall into their whims of what they want and when they want it.

But then again, I wonder why dogs act like they’re on some important mission that will save the world when they’re looking for a place to do their business. Have you seen the frantic search that they do as they sniff around looking for the right place?

And why is it that whenever I wash my car it rains? It can be the middle of summer, no rain on the horizon, in fact, it could be the middle of a drought, and yet the minute I start to wash my car – grey clouds turn up and hey presto, drenching rain on my handiwork.

I don’t get why if I’m painting I will run out of paint with just a few brush strokes to go. Or if I’m printing an important document, it will choose to run out of ink just as the last couple of pages are printing.

But then I wonder about the serious things in life. Like why can’t people just get along. Why can’t we just accept that we all have our quirks and differences in what we believe, how we dress, speak and behave. Some of it is culture, some of it is life but at the base we are all the same.

We get hurt by another person’s words or actions. We bleed when we cut ourselves and yet we can see humanity come together when a disaster strikes. People helping another who is in distress or injured. But I wonder why we get so self-obsessed and ‘Me’ oriented at any other time.

Why is it that despite there being plenty of money in the world, poverty exists? Despite the abundance of money circulating, it is held by a handful of people. Credit though a lot of them have set up foundations and charities to distribute their wealth to different programs, and some of them have worked incredible hard, but barely scraping enough to get by, let alone have wealth is elusive to many.

Maybe, it’s because people don’t have the education to understand things like budgeting and saving. Maybe, it’s because we live in a ‘I gotta have it now’ society or they don’t understand the difference between a want or a need. Maybe, it’s the greed of people taking advantage of someone by charging an exorbitant interest rate. Maybe people really don’t understand the value of hard work. Maybe, it’s all of the above, and more.

Why is it that we live in a world full of complaints instead of thankfulness? Heartache and anguish instead of peace and love? A world where people hide behind a façade of saying and doing what they think people want to see and hear, instead of just being themselves – real and vulnerable.

Just once I’d like the news to filled with nothing but good news. Just one day nothing bad, no accidents, no deaths, no, I’d like one day of nothing but light and fluffy good feel stories, like the police puppy who failed police school, because he was too friendly, and so now, he is the meet and greet dog at the governor’s house in Queensland.

Like two people who met online at opposite ends of the world, with one in the UK and one in Australia and it ended up with them getting married. People say that long distance relationships don’t work but here we had two people who fell in love despite the distance, and despite the people around them saying it wouldn’t work.

I look forward to the day when the news will be filled with good, nice, happy stories. I wonder if there will ever be a day where that happens. Oh, well back to reality. I’ve just made a coffee and really, like I only needed a little bit of milk, but no, the carton has run dry and no matter how much I try, there just ain’t enough in there to add. Why?

 

 

 

 

# Reality Check

Perspective is a funny thing. How we see things varies from person to person. Is the glass half full or half empty? Is the person positive or negative? Is their perspective tainted because of the way they grew up, the things they were told? Does it matter?

The world is vastly different today from when I was young and even more different from when my parents were young. The younger generation struggle to understand how someone could live without a mobile phone. That once upon a time the choice of car colour was black, black, or you could get black. But now it’s every colour of the rainbow. Television used to be black and white, then colour came into play. Now we’re into the digital age and soon everything will be able to be done with a click of a button.

There was a time there were no computers, no Internet and no social media options which meant there were no personal blogs, no photos of what someone had for dinner or their kids getting into whatever mischief kids get into.

Now though everyone has the option to write a blog, pretty much everyone you know is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. And everyone, has the ability, to make an opinion whether right or wrong. There’s a lot of good information on the Internet but there is also a lot of bad information.

One can comment on another person’s comment and it can be constructive or it can be negative. The comment can be written, based on whether the person is having a bad day, and wants to share that around, by bringing someone else down.

Everyone who has a camera can theoretically be a reporter. You don’t need a journalism degree. Come across something, take photo, write a couple of sentences and upload to your favourite site. Except that what is written, in all probability, is from your viewpoint and may have nothing to do with what happened. Then there’s the video’s that are uploaded. The majority don’t need explanation as you see people brawling in the middle of the road or having a rant at someone they’ve taken a dislike to, or the drivers who take some incredibly stupid risks.

But we’ve learnt there’s a lot of fake news. There are some photos and videos, that look really good, and it sucks people in, they comment it on, express their outrage or love for it, and then it’s revealed that it was a hoax all along. Ouch.

Then there’s the ads and on some sites, you have to watch them. I get it that there’s money in advertising, and the people who allow advertising on their site get paid if someone clicks on it but to be forced to watch something… sorry, no I’d rather not read the article or watch the video than get stuck watching an ad I don’t want to watch.

What we see a lot of is perfect bodies, perfect stories and perfect lives. Even television programs and reality shows have people that on the outside have this facade. A few break the mould but mostly those on television have perfect bodies, perfect looks, perfect lives. Ads show perfect bodies, looks and that perfection tends to feed on our insecurities.

It can make us feel bad about ourselves. We can look at these people and say they’re successful because they’re thin and pretty or got great abs and looks. Very few speak about the issues they have had in their lives which feeds the facade although some are now starting to come out and say things they’ve gone through.

People don’t like perfection they want to pull it down. People seem to love negativity, maybe because if they can make someone else feel bad, if they can find someone having a worse life or time than them, it makes them feel better about their lives.

Perfection is not reality. Too much negativity, can drag a person down to the point of giving up, and too much praise can give one an inflated ego. A balance is needed to keep one on an even keel.

I personally like stories of people who haven’t had a perfect life, who are prepared to share the pain, the ups and downs of their journey. Why? Because it shows that they are real, that they are just like you and me … human. A human with all the flaws and emotions both good and bad just like the rest of humanity.

You can feel for them as they go through the stuff that life and others throw at them, and you can cheer for them when they overcome, and that is what makes a powerful story, that gives hope and encouragement to others.

And yes, there will be those that have to comment negatively, but they are outweighed by the positive comments. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, it helps balance and you can learn from that.

The reality is that life can suck at times but it is how you handle it that matters. The reality is that not everyone is going to like you but it is how you handle the negativity, as well as the positive that matters. The reality is that there is a lot of anger in the world today and not everything is going to go your way but it is how you deal with conflict that matters.

The reality is that perfection is a facade, no one is perfect and the reality is, that one day you will die – how do you want to be remembered by others?

 

 

James Arthur – Safe Inside

I don’t normally talk about songs. It’s not that I don’t like music I do but normally that’s all it is to me. Something to listen to. And sure, there are some songs that I like more than others, some whose lyrics I can relate to, such as … Innocent Man by Billy Joel, That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain, I Believe in You by Michael Buble and others but there was something different about Safe Inside.

They say that songs are written for the same reason a book is written, that there is a message, that the creator of the work, wants to send to people. The only reason, I’m writing about this song is because it has touched me in a way, that quite frankly I don’t understand. So much so that because of how much it stirred in me I had to find out why this song was written.

I never hear of James Arthur until recently, I didn’t know anything about him and sometimes that’s a good thing, if you haven’t read anything about someone then you haven’t got a preconceived idea to draw from. You see the first time I heard this song I found tears running down my face. Not a huge amount but still that was unnerving. How could a song have that effect on me? How can a song still have that effect on me?

Life was not kind to me, and so I shut down my emotions down in order to survive it. One of the things I shut down was the ability to cry. I just don’t do that and yet this song causes me to shed tears. And anyone who knows me knows that just doesn’t happen.

And so I found a video of him discussing the lyrics and what he was trying to get across. The fact that it was about the close relationship with his sister who was abandoned by father.  He took her under his wing. That really says a lot about someone’s character despite any mistakes they, themselves may have made.

He relates to the worry of a parent for a child, he has a deep love for his sister. And he opens up about the drugs that he took and that he was in a dark place, yet he got himself together and hoped his sister wouldn’t go down the same path. He talks about how the family issues created insecurity for his sister. In his Facebook page, he talks about growing up in foster home and he has trust issues.

And as I watched this video of him talking about the reason behind the song I could see that it was hard for him to talk of these things. That it was deeply personal and when it’s personal it can be really hard to talk about it, because sometimes you feel as though you are the only one going through it, when in reality many others have gone, are going and will go through the things you have. And when you make yourself vulnerable by opening up, sometimes people can use it against you so it is not easy.

Many people though, have trust issues, insecurities, rejection, the list goes on. I’m one… I have serious trust issues and insecurities. I know people have given up on me but that’s okay because the few that haven’t give me strength when I want to quit.

Yet I feel that this song has a deeper level. That it is about a deep love one person has for another and that there are times when you either have to let go or there is a separation for whatever reason be that a parent – child relationship, a sibling relationship, friend or partner relationship.

That kind of love is deep, it is protective as well as nurturing and accepting. That kind of love will do anything to protect when they see the person they love hurt. It will give hope and make them want to stop the one they love from making the wrong decisions, knowing that all they can do is give advice and hope the right decision is made. And when the wrong decision is made be there to pick up the pieces.

Some siblings are so close they know each other so well that they can see and feel what the other is going through. They don’t want their brother or sister to be hurt and so that deep love that is protective kicks in and if they see their sibling making the wrong decision they will want to stop them. They will worry about them until they know that they’re okay. But they will love them, wait and when needed be there to pick up the pieces.

Friends are the same. I have friends that are close and when I don’t hear from them I wonder what’s going on? Are they okay? I don’t worry about them to the point I can’t sleep, but I reckon if I had a really, close relationship with them, then I would. I know that there have been times when talking to them and they’ve said things, and I think that’s not going end up being good for you, yet all you can do is tell them what you think and stand back, wait for the fall out and pick up the pieces.

Marriages and relationships fail sometimes. Yet often the couple still love each other deeply and they worry about the other person even if they are no longer together. Or they may be separated by distance because one lives or works in another country. They may chat every day but if the internet is down or there’s a disaster of some kind and they don’t hear from them. Then they worry, what’s going on? Are they alright? And they can’t sleep until they know they’re okay.

Then I watched the video. Thanks heaps, it set of so many triggers. I had flashbacks, but I was able, to not let the flashbacks pull me back too far, which I think is great. It shows I’m healing. I’m allowing myself to feel emotions which by the way suck sometimes, but I’m also liking the nicer ones.

But why does it stir so much in me? Probably because I can sense and feel the depth of emotion and love that he has for his sister and that resonates, because I am learning about that depth of love and understanding that emotion I can sense through the song is the feeling, the emotion that goes with it, which for me is quite intense.

I also read some reviews that were critical of him and read others that talked about him having a breakdown and I thought you know what, this social world of the internet will always have haters and critics, but for a person who writes, be it songs, books or articles, what they write, isn’t for the majority, of the world, although that would be good if everybody liked what you wrote or sang, but it is for the one.

The one person that you touch, that what you say or sing makes a difference, helps them in some way, that is what matters to writers and singers.

I think if James Arthur can stay humble and not fall into the glorification of fame, or let himself get too overwhelmed again, he’s got a great message of hope and overcoming obstacles that he can share with the world.