Fifty Three

SO here I am, all fully transferred to the blog-site that is WordPress! I feel sure I will never be as prolific a blogger as I appeared over the last 3 days, after all 52 blogs in 3 days would be quite an impressive feat! that is not entirely the point, however but it does relate. As I have been transferring my previous posts across it has struck me that there are some recurring themes running through them. Not least of which is the idea of taking responsibility for your own actions. I feel I need to say a little more about this today, and extend the concept to not only taking responsibility for your own actions, but for your life. The inspiration for this post comes from a situation that a very good friend of mine has been in recently, it has now been resolved and that story is not mine to tell but the idea of someone taking advantage of my friends make me angry. So in keeping with tradition, here is a picture of my friends:

I am lucky, i think, that I surround myself with friends and family who are descent and kind people. They would go out of their way to help me if I needed it as I would them. It is beyond my comprehension tha there are people out there who would take advantage of this nature to further their own selfish needs.

I have spoken before about choices and about filling your life with as much as you want to fill it with in a conscious manner rather than coasting through life asleep. These choices are as much about taking personal responsibility for yourself and your life as they are about hobbies. Every one of us chooses they way our life goes at some point. There are some situations that are beyond our control, and sometimes the actions of others have an indelible effect on our own life, but there comes a point (for the most part) where you can choose whether you will let these actions steer your whole life or whether you will actively choose to move beyond them and make yourself into something you want to be.

There are times in most people’s live when they are put in difficult situations, either through choices they have made or through the actions of others. The measure of a person is not how they get into these situations but how they deal with them. It is at these times that there is the temptation to blame other people, make excuses and expect the world to give you everything you need. This is where personal responsibility come in…it is here that you have to stand up and do everything possible to help yourself…If you have to ask people for help, then make sure you are doing as much or more than them to help yourself.

I am attempting not to rant, I am also attempting not to sound like I am telling you how to live your life. I will instead ask you a question about how you would prefer to be though of.

Would you like be a person who has the respect of others, who people could help with the certain knowledge that you would do the same for them?

or

Would you like to be alone with the knowledge that your excuses have driven away your friends?

Would you like to be embittered by the belief that everyone else has done you wrong, an embitterment made worse by the fact that deep down you know you have no one to blame but yourself?

I know the answer I would choose and I know that is why I will continue to live consciously and choose the way my life goes.

 

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Forty Four

Originally posted 2nd April 2011

It is springtime people! There is new life bursting out all over the place, I know there is I have seen it. Out side recently I have seen small, young looking sheep bounding about, leaping and gamboling much like baby stereotypes; I have seen new buds on bushes, little burst of greenery breaking out of the brown trees, and I have seen flowers, in fact a proliferation of yellow flowers. I have noticed that the overriding colour of current springtime is yellow! by way of proof, here is a sample of the archetypal springtime flower…

Of course I was talking about the daffodil, you cannot turn around without meeting a daffodil at the moment. There are far more types than you might think too, a little bit taken for granted, daffodils but if you really look at them there is more variety within this species than you might think! However, it is not just daffodils, I have seen Cowslips and buttercups and daisies (not all yellow but it is there). There is white too in the hawthorn and black thorn flowers but the overriding colour of spring is yellow.

And how appropriate, a cheerful and vibrant reminder that buried under all the bleak and cold winter frosts and rains there is life in the ground waiting to burst forth! It is reassuring that it happens, every year the wheel turns and the world is renewed! The interesting thing about it is that it makes a real different to how you feel. Even in the modern world where we are insulated from nature by layers of brick and concrete, and separated from the natural world by the barriers introduced by technology and trappings of frenetic modern life, we still look out of the window and are cheered up by the yellowness of spring.

Think about it, step outside into the fresh, warmer air and look around, let the spare life force in the world give you a boost. Get out of the office or the house, step into the world and herald this time as a time of renewed energy and new beginnings. Use it as an oppertunity to let go of the winter blues and face the spring with a new sense of optimism and positivity. After all, who knows what the future could hold, it is yours for the taking and is as good as you make it!

 

Forty Two

Originally posted on 25th March 2011

I was thinking about what to write in this blog post, then when I wrote the title it all became so clear… and after all there has to, in any blog be a post about the meaning of life! For those of you who have no idea why the title of this post lead me instantly to pondering the meaning of life, may i point you in the direction of the book, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I do recommend reading the book, not just watching the film! It is an excellent book and has some very convincing ideas about how to fly…simply throw yourself at the ground..and miss!

How could I possibly choose any other photo for today’s offering!

The book states that the meaning of life is 42 but what is the question? Well to be honest, I am not sure of the question and I am not sure what the meaning of life is either, I am not even sure that it has one. To seek the meaning of life after all smacks of ‘higher purposes’ and “grand plans” and other such”‘fate is written and my life is out of my control” thinking; I may not know the “meaning” but I am at least fairly sure in my belief that my what happens in my life is (for the most part) under my control. It is my choice to do what i do and it is my responsibility to take ownership of those choices, good and bad!

The other thing I do know is that what ever we do and whatever we think of the meaning of life, we need to live it. I quote here another media reference (a possible prize to those who can place it) “the hardest thing in this world…it to live in it” although it sounds a little morbid, it is not far from the truth as I ee it. It is the easiest thing in the world to sit back and lose hours doing nothing, to waste time and waste life. Take all the time you have and live every moment of it, do every thing because it is something you want to do not just because it is something to kill time! By the way by “something you want to do” I don’t mean live selfishly and only to please yourself, something you want to do can just as easily be something you want to do because you know it is important to someone else!

At the end of all of this, you may not find a “grand plan” blady blah meaning of life, but you might just have had some interesting and valuable life experiences and you may even have found something that you really like doing and you can do well…that at least helps on the meaning front!

Also wear as many watches as you like…it is your life and your wrist!

Thirty Three: Concerning Dreams

Originally posted 6th March 2011

I just had a conversation with a friend and it turns out that we both dreamed about the same person last night, very different dreams but coincidence nevertheless! It goes along with something I have been thinking about a lot recently and that is dreams, sleeping dreams, waking dreams, living the dream and all the other meanings of the word. This in its self has made me think as it is an interesting quirk of the english language that the same word can be used in so many different contexts. A breakdown of the idiosyncrasies of the english language is not what I am going to get into right now however, I do not have that kind of time! Instead I am going to attempt to explain some of my thoughts about dreams. I am also (of course)  going to post a photo to represent dreams, you may think this is an odd choice, but ir does make sense when you think that in dreams, things are not often what they seem…

This photo, on first glance looks like a big pile of balls, but on closer inspection there is something else hidden in there, a lot like a dream, if ou really pay attention to it.

It is not uncommon to hear people saying “it is good to have dreams”, “living the dream” and (possibly the scariest) “may all your dreams come true” I makes my wonder, if the people who say that sort of thing really actually pay any attention to their dreams at all! If they did, would they really want to make them all come true! The details of my dreams terrify me, if they were to come true the world would be somewhat more scary than most people could imagine. It is also said that it is in your dreams that you deal with the subconscious issues that you do not have time to deal with during waking hours, It really makes me wonder sometimes what my subconscious is trying to tell me. There are a fair few classic anxiety representations in my dreams, I have lost count of the times I have woken up relieved that I still have all my teeth because during my dreams they have all fallen out! This is definitely not a dream I want to come true! I know…I am not supposed to take these statements literally, but literal is what I do.

Even taking these statements as they are intended and considering the other meaning of dreams, I am not sure having them come true is always to be recommended. It is good to have them, dreams go hand in hand with hopes and are in some measure the thing that keeps you going. It is also true that they can become all-consuming, a dream that is just out of reach can become an obsession and not in a good, I like to take photos kind of way. A life spent chasing a dream can become a life that is so focused on the future that the present gets forgotten. To spend too much time dreaming is to miss out on your life.

It is more important to live your life than to dream about it, and next time some one says to you “may all your dreams come true” just think for a minute about what they are really wishing on you!

Twenty: Concerning the nature of small talk

Originally Posted on 18th February 2011

Well who’d have thought I would go as far as 20 consecutive posts…I can’t swear that they all make sense all the time and I am fairly sure that they don’t contain earth shattering insights but, they are my thoughts and somebody somewhere might agree with some of them so I will keep putting them out there! Today it is February, technically not just today, but that is not really the point. The point is, we are still in February, and February is still quite conclusively winter. Bearing this in mind, why do people keep complaining about how cold it is? It is only to be expected that in a country like ours, a month that is officially designated as winter will be cold. I suspect that it is more to do with people feeling the need to say something and commenting on the weather seems the thing to do, however I think it is time we thought of winter in a different light and found something more inventive to make small talk about. Today’s pictures are of winter.

This one is a view across a small garden in Brighton, I love the low bright winter sun, the air was so crisp and clear that the quality of the light was spectacular and the highlights of the snow on the trees really enhance it.

This is the bough of an evergreen tree it shows me that under all the snow and the winter cold all the green and life is still there, it is just resting.

This is a tree that I have posted before as I love the shape of it, I went on an expedition through snow up past my knees to get this but I thought that the snow would pick out the shape of the tree, I was right.

These three pictures wouldn’t have been possible without the snow which in turn wouldn’t have been so spectacular if it hadn’t been so cold. I know snow and cold and winter have lots of bad points, but I think it is time we accepted that it happens, and that winter is cold but that it does have some surprising benefits.

Eighteen: Concerning sense memories

Originally Posted 16th February 2011

Today I suffered a brief moment of existential doubt…well not really but the timesheet system wiped me out a week early and I suddenly did not exist in the world of my company. This struck me as slightly ironic as I am working like a crazy person to get everything done when there are many who, this close to mass redundancy, could probably be removed from the system without too many detrimental effects. I dedicated a moment of my time considering why, if I was indeed a figment of someone’s imagination, they couldn’t have made me a bit taller! This however is not really what I intended to write here, just an aside. I was actually thinking, following on from yesterday’s smiley photos, about the methods we have of capturing our memories; how we capture our life, how we affect the world and leave our indelible marks upon it. Of course there is a photo to go with these musings…

An obvious method we have of recording life events and memories are photographs, I sit every day looking for an appropriate photo to go with this post I remember the time I spent taking it. I remember what it was before I processed it, who I was with when it was taken and the adventure we were having. This is possibly why I can never look at the photos I take in the same light as impartial observers. However without explanations my photos, in years to come could raise more questions about my life than they answer. Despite this, they are, for me, a valuable way of storing memories for easy access at a time of my choosing.

These memories are generally accessed, as I mentioned, when we choose. More powerful however are the memories that become associated with different senses. There are songs in everyone’s music library that they love but to which they can no longer listen because the memories they bring up are too painful and they rise instantly and unbidden the moment the first bars start. There are also those songs which you love despite them being cheesy or rubbish because the memories they evoke can’t fail to make you smile. These sense memories are not only limited to songs, they extend to smells too and in a lesser way tastes.

Photos are without a doubt something we leave in the world for others, but more subtle are the sense memories we make in others, those that in years to come will bring our faces up in people’s minds and hopefully cause a smile.

Ten: Concerning the nature of hobbies

Originally Posted 8th February 2011

Woo! we are into double digits, as they say. I have mentioned that this might be becoming an obsession, well this is not strictly true I am just finding it an interesting diversion as I have enjoyed writing things in the past but it always seemed a little pointless to write what no one would read. This way I can at least say it is out there for everyone to see, whether they read it or not is up to them. Now, while it is true that this is not entirely an obsession, it has also been pointed out to me that I have a slight tendency to get enthusiastic about things to the point of obsession. Now I do not necessarily consider this a bad thing; admittedly, in a work situation it can lead to control freak tendencies, but in general life it leads to having a wide range of interesting hobbies about which I am passionate (not obsessive). So today’s photo represents hobbies (and obsessions):

This was taken at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, where there were a great many amazingly restored and cherished steam engines, many of which have been the focus of people’s obsessions for a lot of years. In all honestly the photo I chose for today was relatively immaterial as any I chose could have represented my main obsession which is photography, and a lot of the themes and subjects I chose to photograph are also obsessions but I am not going to revisit them here. I do however want to talk about hobbies and interests.

I, as I have already mentioned have a fair few hobbies, I am married to a man with a variety of hobbies which often lead to him spending a large amount of time in a workshop underneath some sort of vehicle or at a machine making something for said vehicle. I have friends who all have more hobbies than you could safely shake a stick at without hitting some sort of new invention / home-made item / cake / photograph! Now I feel I may be going round the houses somewhat, but my point is that having interests makes for interesting people. I don’t mind what you are interested in, as long as you are interested in something!

This life is the only one we get, fill as much of it as you can with hobbies and friends and fun!

Incidentally…I am still wearing 2 watches…but one of them is a different one!