Monday, 5 January 2015

Chapter 16. "Choose the happy few"

   This is a tough one. We are where we are because of a number of factors. One being the people we choose to surround ourselves with. You want to change but that will unsettle those around you who don't. You charging ahead will only remind those around you of their unfulfilled desires. All is not lost though SC believes there are good people around us all and we should determine to spend more time with them and less with the cynics.
   In other news...... I listen to the radio a fair bit at work. Mainly talk stations. I like music but not the chatter that goes on in-between, sometimes there's more inane chatter than music. So I stick to talk radio, plays, interviews with interesting people or book readings. Work can be pretty mundane at times so something in the background that is interesting, challenging and/or educational makes the day scoot along. The BBC planned to play the whole of "War and Peace," ten hours long, split over ten episodes over Christmas. They also did a little biog on Tolstoy the author, to get you interested. He was born into the Russian nobility and during his early years lead a pretty decadent and racy life style. As he turned 30 he began to change. He began to empathise with people. People vastly different from himself and by all accounts he was pretty good at it. Now empathy is a word often used today and I thought it was something I do and do relatively well. However something totally unrelated made me think otherwise.
   I downloaded an app that streams podcasts and listened to one of those TedTalks. Verna Myers, talked about overcoming our biases. She said she was on a plane and when the pilot came on the tannoy. It was a woman's voice and Verna thought "Yah, you go girl." Then later into the flight, when the weather turned bad. She started to wonder if, maybe it might be better if a man was flying the thing. Verna, a woman whose job it was to go out and challenge people on their biases found out she still possessed the odd bias herself. I smiled and realised I too had plenty of bias left in me. So how could I truly empathise with someone else? Or for that matter how could I show self-empathy while I possess a healthy list of bias towards myself and others? something for me to ponder on.
   Now I don't want to get too bogged down on the self analysis matter and it's not the only item I've been thinking or reading about recently. A lot of my friends have been talking about their New Years resolutions and the eventual failure of most of these resolutions. There's also been lots of articles about why we fail and what we can do to lessen the chances of failure but that all takes time, planning and thought. So here's a list of late resolutions you can take up knowing you'll probably be 100% successful. It's a bit of a pick and mix bag so choose what you want.
1. Grow your hair, a beard, your nails. This doesn't have to be any particular style indeed early results will make you look wild and unkempt but tell people that's exactly what you were after.
2. Look your partner/friend/stranger in the eyes and do/say/think nothing until they say "your not listening to me are you?" then say the first thing that comes into you head like "yes I was."
3. Lie awake at night and think "I can't sleep" "why can't I sleep" "I don't feel tired now."
4. When you are watching a film or listening to a piece of music and you realise you've forgotten who the star or the singer is try and remember then mention it to others and while they try and remember really really try and remember cos you don't want them to remember the thing you couldn't remember in the first place. This can be a little difficult at first so here's a little tip. Don't mention what it is you're trying to remember until you remember it. Then pretend you can't remember and sit back while they strain with the remembering and just as they think they know tell them.
5. Things you're already good at. Add them to your list of resolutions. Having something you're already good at takes the pressure off slightly and brings with it huge feelings of smug well being. Particularly when telling anyone and everyone how many resolutions you've achieved.
   Final I went to Ikea this weekend, with "mad girl" a holiday isn't a holiday unless you drive for miles to the nearest Ikea then sit in a long queue to park your car and join another queue to get a trolley to put all the things you didn't expect to buy into. At the end of your visit and happy with all the unexpected goodies you have no room for, unless you throw out your previous Ikea purchases from the last holiday. You join a real snake of a queue to get to the checkouts which you cannot even see because of the multitude of people and trolleys in front of you. As you get close to said checkouts you start to notice a number of discarded items. A light, a clock, a plant, rug, or a cardboard box with a name like Narnos or Hurdal on the end. You start to wonder what is this, then realise it's the smart Ikea shopper, saving themselves the expense of buying it only to get rid of it later by getting rid of it now.
   Don't think I'm not a fan, I am. I love Ikea. I follow that zigzag path around the store with glee until I am completely lost and brain washed. I am at the point where I would give away everything I own including my children to breath fresh air and see my family and friends again. All the while I'm looking at things those clever blond Swedes have made for me, which I didn't know I needed and near the very end of this Scandinavian version of heroin they coming up with a brightly coloured storage container to put it all in. I tried to hold it together while "mad girl" filled the trolley like err a mad girl but succumbed and brought some storage jars for my none existent kitchen and the snazzy slippers pictured. I'm so pleased with my big slippers that I'm tempted to go back soon and see if there's a magic carpet to go with them.
OK enough for now.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment :-)))

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