Archive | February 2012

# 60 Leap Year Proposals

Leap Year is a funny thing. Here and in Ireland it is a traditional for women to propose marriage. A 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (strangely aged just five), said that if the proposal was refused by the man he had to pay a fine. Compensation ranged from a kiss to a silk gown and in some places the tradition was restricted to the modern leap year day, February 29.

But I’m not entirely cynical about such things. So I’d just like to say congratulations to my brother and his girlfriend. She popped the question today and he said yes….

# 59 Following your own advice

I am fairly well known my no nonsense and pragmatic approach to everyone else’s problems. I can rationalise everything and dish out advice by the truck load and if you follow it generally you’ll be okay or so I am told. So why is it that I take so long to get my own house in order? It’s one of the stupid things about me that I cannot seem to follow my own advice.

I guess it’s hard to be subjective about yourself. Only you know your own heart, your own motivations, hopes and fears and your own reasons for doing what you do. You can see things far more clearly if you’re not emotionally attached.

Eventually of course, I do inevitably end up doing what I know I must, but it can take a while to get there.

Sometimes the decisions are periphery and inconsequential. Fish and chips or bangers and mash? Sometimes they can be far more life changing – snog, marry, avoid. So many choices.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to get my house in order this week. And things are looking decidedly ‘up’. This makes me truly very happy and now that everything is settling down I get on with being me.

# 58 Living outside the bubble

I have a friend who is ‘blessed’ with a very different perspective on life. Well, because of his life I guess. Basically ‘shit happens’. In many ways he’s lucky to be here at all and because of that he doesn’t live in the little bubble most of us exist in of thinking that our own problems are the worst in the world.

Looking at what he has gone through, I’m ashamed of the way I’ve behaved these last few months. But as I said to him, we all live in our own world and the bubble is all that we know. We don’t appreciate the wider story if we haven’t experienced it. We just know what we know. And if something’s going badly there aren’t many of us who can sit down and say well it could be worse ‘I could be living in war torn Afghanistan’ blah blah blah….

But I would like to take a leaf out of his book because his philosophy rocks and I really don’t have anything to complain about. We are all selfish to our own needs in that respect and generally we only see our own problems. But take a look at what’s going on out there. It’s pretty scary, but it could be so much worse if it was happening to you.

# 57 How fast things change

Earlier this week, I made a decision. A personal one that shall remain nameless for many reasons. But no sooner had I made it than my perspective was changed by just one person who, like the decision, shall remain nameless for the time being.

They appeared out of nowhere, without provocation and sometimes in those situations you just have to accept things for what they are. Fate.

It just goes to show that no matter how much you ‘will’ something, or want something, or try so hard with your breaking heart to have something go the way you want it to, it isn’t always meant to be.

But sometimes someone else can step into the breach. And whilst they may not be your ultimate reward or the ideal you set yourself, they may be all that it takes to get you back on the road you were meant to be on. And that may be all the purpose they serve.

And that’s okay. Because you don’t know until you try.

# 56 Rat Race

These days I find myself on a constant cycle of worrying I’m not getting enough work done and it’s getting irrational.

Generally Uni is a 9 – 4.30, five days a week affair. I try to switch off to it in the evenings and at weekends when I catch up on personal projects, client work or admin / website updates / blogs / promotion etc for my business. Project work is slotted in between doing the dinner and other household stuff I can’t avoid. Weekends are much the same. Invariably I will have a couple of photoshoots per month which fall at the weekend. Let’s say for arguments sake that takes up a day. Last weekend I worked solidly. One was a shoot, the other was finalising my dissertation for my degree.

Flicking back through my diary I have worked out that the last time I had a day that didn’t involve doing something business or Uni related was 28th December. I had 6 days off for Christmas and was staying with my parents.

So why do I insist on convincing myself I don’t work hard enough? I suppose it has something to do with not having any defined cut off points between home and work. This is a dangerous thing to lose sight of. I don’t do a day job that I walk away from at 5 o clock. When Uni finishes my business begins and that’s the work I do from home and where the blurry edges are. I don’t have a ‘work’ room either so I can’t just walk away and forget about it. I feel like I’m treading water a lot of the time, as I pick up and put down work continuously giving that feel of never quite getting anything done.

I’ve promised myself a week of genuine downtime at Easter when Uni is shut. By this time both of my collections will have been completed. I realise that once I finish my degree mid May there won’t be any lines to blur. Work will be whenever and whatever comes my way because I will be entirely reliant on it for my keep.

Getting used to a committed work ethic now should put me in good stead but I am hoping I can find the means to take Sunday as my ‘day of rest’ and recharge my mental if not physical batteries.