Twitchy babbling blah.

I’m feeling twitchy this week. Like I have lots to do and I don’t know where to start. Like I have a million ideas and don’t know what to think about first. Which is kind of true and kind of not. I have a few things to do, yep, but nothing major. All of it can wait (what for, I don’t know). I have ideas but they’re all little ones that I’m not sure how to start developing. And I want to write. But I don’t know what about. I have about 5 blog posts in draft but none of them feel right yet. The words just don’t come. I have to be in the right mood for these words to get written down (which probably explains why a lot of my posts are perhaps rambly and babbly as it’s just what comes out of my brain with little filter). So I end up doing nothing. This is probably familar to a lot of people. Bloody procrastination.

I’m away with work so I’ve just been for a walk to look for a supermarket to buy Maltesers. Procrastination. Something to do. I didn’t even really want the Maltesters (although they’re tasting pretty damn good, and I’m sure they help me to write). What I should have done is just gone for a walk and got some fresh air. As when I was walking I realised I just needed to write something, and I have done for a while now. And so this is it. I just haven’t known what to write about. Nothing seemed right, or too negative, or not that interesting. But then that’s life though, isn’t it? The ups and downs, the good and the not-so-good. Not everyone can have the perfect life, all the time.

——–The Maltesers are all gone now. Writing will get shit.

Have you heard of #lifeunfiltered? It’s a hashtag that’s doing the rounds on social media to highlight the difference between what people post on social media and how life actually is. Because most people don’t want to post what a shitty time they’re having. They create this amazing life to portray to people. What they want people to see. So you see a smiling picture on Facebook and assume that everything’s OK, when actually it’s anything but.

OK, so no one wants to post the crappy mundane stuff. And in all likelihood no one probably wants to read about it either. But unless you ask, you’re unlikely to know if someone’s having a tough time. Or unless they tell you. Because that’s the other thing. People (and I’m aware I’m talking in general, but I’m kind of basing this on anecdotal evidence from conversations I’ve had with people and media articles – as always, please take with a pinch of salt and feel free to enter in a discussion with me) aren’t necessarily interacting as much anymore, because social media does it for you, right? You can see someone’s OK because they’ve posted a picture and liked your status. You don’t need to actually speak to them do you? Or even message them? I posted about this once when I was travelling. Because I found that because I was away, posting all my pictures and blogging about it, people stopped getting in touch. You know, saying hello or asking me how I was. Or telling me what they were up to. It’s just not the same, trust me.

“But I’m so busy.”

I’m sure everyone has heard or said that. Hell, I have said it. And only recently. And kind of why I’m writing this post. The last six weeks or so for me has been pretty tough and relentless. Some of it is my own doing, and some of it unfortunate circumstance or bad timing. Training for London to Paris as well as trying to foster a new social life in a place I’d just moved to, work a job that involves me being away from home most weeks and all the travel logistics that go with it, keep all the usual domestic stuff going with only the weekend to do it all, try and keep fit and healthy, a bereavement and being away from family, a birthday spent alone without any cards or phone calls and trying to not neglect existing friendships/social life. And frankly, I struggled. I’m still struggling.

But did I post about this on social media? No. (Well, unless you count this post, but I think this is different, I’m a bit back on track by now, although sorry to anyone I saw last weekend as I know I wasn’t quite myself.) Because the other thing is that it’s hard when people know you as a positive, sociable person who just gets on with things. They sometimes don’t know how to handle it. And as that person, it’s hard to tell people or ask for support. And sometimes when you do, and you don’t get it, that makes it twice as hard.

I’m normally busy, and I know so many people are but it’s about prioritising the things you enjoy rather than things that stress you out. For me, I like being busy with all the things I love doing (e.g. I don’t have any time to watch TV but I prefer to go running) but I don’t like having all my free time planned in. I need to be spontaneous to either do something or do nothing. I like to have the choice. And for me it’s important that I keep in touch with people outside of social media. Or, directly, rather than just liking a status etc. Because of the above. People are having crappy times but you’d never know. So maybe it’s time to ask them actually how they are, rather than taking their life as it is perceived through a collection of status, pictures and 140 character statements. Get involved.

I haven’t really looked at social media much recently, so if I haven’t liked your status or pictures it’s not because I’m being rude, it’s just had to take a back seat. Let’s try and talk about it instead eh? Talk about real life. #lifeunfiltered.

So here’s my #lifeunfiltered photo tonight. Think working away from home is exciting, glamorous and fun? Not always. The reality tonight – the unfiltered – is a box of Maltesers, a single bed, cups of tea made with UHT milk and writing this. I’m missing my flat, my own bed and my Kindle, which I forgot to bring with me. I miss cooking my own tea and having something healthy. I’m annoyed at myself for eating Maltesers, because I wouldn’t have done that at home tonight. Of course I could have gone and explored London and gone for a walk or a run by the river and it would have been amazing. But I’m shattered and my mojo’s on holiday for a bit.

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I’m not sure what the conclusion of this post is. Think this is one of those posts that’s probably been more helpful to me to write than for anyone to read. But maybe the moral is to not take everything at social media face value. Don’t use it like a spy hole into people’s lives, as it’s probably not real; interact with people as well. Don’t assume that everyone is doing OK. Some people might need a bit of support. And that support might be something as simple as asking how they are.

 

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Skinny fit.

I’ll admit it. I want to be skinny. I always have. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve never been skinny either. I used to want to be bony skinny, especially as a teenager and into my twenties. That little bit too thin. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because it’s what society says we should be. All those pictures in magazines and on TV. Maybe the teenage me thought that’s what was attractive or it was what I should look like for other people. Maybe it was my own brain saying that’s what I find attractive.

Whatever it was, I never was. I never had the willpower to not eat a lot. Because generally, that’s pretty much what it takes. Unless you’ve got natural genes, metabolism and small bones.

But, I still want to be skinny. Well, actually now, I guess it’s not really ‘skinny’. I want to be lean. Healthy. Toned. Thin but not bony. And, well, I guess I’m pretty much there. I’m happy with the way I look. And feel. I judge my well-being on how I feel inside, what I see in the mirror and how I feel when I run or do exercise. I’ve never owned a pair of scales, and doubt I ever will. I feel pretty healthy, and know I eat [mostly] healthy stuff, exercise a decent amount and don’t smoke. Ok, I probably still drink a little bit too much but hey, I’m not perfect. And I’ve realised that if I feel healthy and do all those things, I feel good, and I’m happy with what I look like in the mirror.

That’s not to say there’s things I wouldn’t change. Of course there is, everyone’s got them. The bits they’re not that keen on. But really, I can live with them, and overall I’m happy with how I look. It all makes up me. Character, as my Dad would say (generally about anything that’s a bit different, wonky, not quite right or imperfect).

But why do people, women especially, get so hung up about what they look like? Why are women never happy with the way they look? According to surveys, most women are unhappy with their bodies. One, commissioned by REAL magazine, found that only 3% of the 5000 women surveyed were totally happy with their bodies. 3%? 3%? That’s bloody awful. (Link here, sorry for Daily Mail link but it’s the only write up I could find)

Why ladies? Why so negative and down on yourselves? Do you treat others that way? Would you say the kind of things apparently said to yourself to someone else? I doubt it. The survey found that 91% of the women surveyed were happy with the way their partners looked. So what do you think their partners think about them? They’d probably say the same surely? But if you told some women that I guess that wouldn’t make any difference. Whatever they were told they wouldn’t believe it because those thought processes are so ingrained. They don’t want to accept compliments. Don’t believe them. Unfortunately it’s not a new thing either.

Interestingly, a survey conducted for Fitness magazine shows slightly different results. Still not great, but a bit better. The numbers and % seemed to be a bit better. I’ve read before that people who exercise tend to feel better about themselves and their bodies, whether they look different or not, the fact they are doing something seems to help the way they feel about themselves. And this can only be a good thing.

People come in all shapes and sizes. We should learn to love ourselves for who we are and what we look like. Character and all. We should look after ourselves, eat healthy stuff, do a bit of exercise and have the odd bit of indulgence. Give ourselves the credit we are due. Accept compliments. Take pride in who we are. And if other people don’t like it? Well, it’s none of their business is it? Their problem, not yours.

Confidence. It’s a powerful thing. Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. So, go forward, accept yourself and your character and always realise this: “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”.