Sunday, January 25, 2015
So, butterflies. Many years ago I referred to the butterfly effect, but in my own way. Not the generic well known way. Here are my thoughts on it. And so profound was the belief in the feeling, I even had it tattooed. One of my first pieces, and one I still hold dear to this day.
From time to time in life you have a moment, a point in time where things change. For a short spell of time everything else takes second place, thoughts go on hold, and life stops. For that moment, for however long it is, the most important thing of the moment is right there. Times like this you need to stop, take stock, and appreciate it. Like a butterfly in a garden, fluttering from plant to plant. Once in a while it settles for a rest. As you sit in the garden and watch this natural beauty dancing around, if you sit still enough, it will settle on you.
As it touches your skin, you freeze. Motionless you look on and appreciate how delicate it is, how fragile this and the rest of life is, and how quickly it can pass. No matter how long the event really lasts, the second it is over it feels like it was just the blink of an eye. Always to be remembered, a moment in your life that truly matters.
However this precious moment can be ruined in a heartbeat by the wrong action. The most simple of wrong moves can upset the balance, and take the whole moment away. Some who experience these moments try and capture them forever, but this is just a false hope. Touch a butterfly, try and capture it, or hold on longer that time allows and the balance it ruined. The life drains from the butterfly, and what was there for a second will never return.
The only way to really embrace a butterfly moment is to just let it happen. Hold your breath, look on in wonder, and enjoy what is happening. What will happen will happen, and when its over, let it go. Hold dear the moments that you had, and don't try to make it something it is not.
Life seems to throw quite a few of those at me, or at least my mind interprets it that way. I am yet to squash one, but struggle desperately to try and read the pattern and interpretations of them. Long after the butterfly has flown, the moment finally makes sense and I can get a read on it and appreciate it.
Sometimes things in life are just as they seem, as described, as advertised, as per the label. However to hope that there is more inside, shaking the now empty packet hoping more will fall from it, just a fools game. Blimey how many more metaphors can I use before just saying it like it is.
But back to the butterfly effect.
The simplicity of it is the beauty of it. Spend your whole life rushing around, never paying attention to your surroundings, and you will miss SO much in life. However take life at a slower pace, look around from time to time, soak up what is all around you, and take stock of the beauty that surrounds you each day. From time to time you will notice moments worth treasuring. Like a butterfly landing on your hand. Sit still, look on, and realise how blessed you are to have been touched by a thing of beauty. When it is rested, and has taken from the moment what it needs, it flies away leaving you with something profound, and a moment of time you will never be able to re-live, but will never forget.
That paragraph above is the one I have been sitting here for 20 mins trying to squeeze out of myself, and sums up my thoughts right now.
Now if only I can just sit still long enough and not make the wrong move, all will be well, and I will remember this moment for the rest of my living years.
I love butterfly moments.... But they can really mess with my head.
Thanks for reading, and for a select few, thank you even more for being a butterfly, and touching me profoundly.
Some might say the heart plays a part in that, and maybe in a metaphorical way it can, in the same way we suffer heartbreak etc. But the truth is it is our thoughts and feelings which truly control our mood and state of mind.
Many years ago, before a night out, feeling down, a friend took a whole cocktail of drugs which would have most completely off their face, and high into the heavens. But seemingly over-riding the effects of the drugs, his mind kept him low as can be. Thought process and ability to function however was as affected as you would expect. Nothing but his own thought process was going to free him from this spiral.
As anyone who read the last few blogs will know, I have been on a bit of a whirlwind tour of my mind recently, dropping to basement level a few days ago, without warning, or indication that anything was wrong, my mind just bombed. Being quite familiar with lows like this, I prepared for the worst, and got myself ready for a long low period. Yet for some reason (part of which I understand) I bounced back, stronger and harder than I ever recall. By the next morning I was back to my old self +10% more. Strange for me.
For a long time now it has been clear to me that I am influenced by those around me, affected by their moods and state of mind. Am I a mood leech or something, or do I just get affected by trying to make others feel better at my own expense. Draining myself of mental energy for the sake of others? Strange, but I really don't know.
I had lunch with a good friend yesterday, speaking of lots of subjects including one very prominent at the moment to me. Speaking about it, I made perfect sense of the two conflicting sides of me which battle it out, trying to justify my behaviour towards certain others, and make sure that things are not totally one sided. But the truth is, its natural in today's life to give and not take, or vice versa. Sadly my tiny mind struggles with this concept at times, and for that, I pay the price.
Sometimes I wonder if I carry out apparently selfless acts for moral gratitude, from no other than myself. Like an arsonist who likes to watch their fire burn, gloat in the control of the situation and feed from its energy, I wonder if I am the same. Do I get some form of satisfaction from 'helping' others, or am I just getting close gloat on their misfortunes. Only to be drawn in, and feeling obligated to help. The two sides of my mind once again in conflict.
As ever, songs play a huge part in driving my moods, and there are certainly a few in my playlists recently provoking emotions for sure. But how.... Well simple.. My mind. Like I say, the most powerful drug known to humans. Taking the words of others used as lyrics for a song. Translating them in a way where they fit to my state of mind, thoughts or emotions, and turning them into powerful musical messages to myself. Stirring my emotions, and putting my mind into places of happiness and sadness. Sometimes in just minutes.
The drive to work can be torture, the wrong song at the wrong time and its all over for me, the day ruined in a flash. Or on the flip side the day is made in a second.
I have but a few influences on my mind recently, but powerful ones none the less. Conflicting, complex and confusing as hell, but the main thing is, im on a high, and I intend on staying here.
At times like this, my blog plays a key role, so my apologies for any weird ramblings like this that might appear over the coming days or weeks. But just know that getting it off my chest really halps with things, just like it did the other day. That simple Boom! entry changed a lot for me. So if you have things on your mind, trying to figure them out, get them onto paper or a screen. Better still if you can find anyone to listen, talk. Verbalising things can sometimes make so much sense. At times as I am saying something, I am understanding it at the same time.
The mind eh!
PS, I bought a new 'REAL' keyboard as I have a lot of writing planned over the coming weeks, so I am a happy man right now, loving typing once again.
Have a great day, and don't let that mind of yours mess about with you.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Normality to most is in fact routine. Not a set of values we use to assess others, but a set of rules which we follow in our day to day life. Habits, behaviours, and moral beliefs. For example, if you see two people kissing, do you look away a little embarrassed by being a witness to their actions, or do you look on and think 'how sweet'? Already we have a baseline for what I mean. A simple act of care and affection like a kiss can divide the masses, and provoke us to determine if its right or wrong, normal or not normal.
Others have a slightly more open minded to what normal is, and while accepting the everyday decisions and actions of individuals around them, tolerating difference in opinions of what is OK to do on a day to day basis. Choosing only to judge normal and not normal on much more powerful and thought provoking matters. Violence, sex offences, and 'extreme' views on religion and power.
So why do I use the phrase 'not normal' so freely? Well, over the years, as the blog no doubt shows, I have slowly but surely got to know myself, and my mind quite well. Seeming to be a little different to most people I know, in my opinion at least. Yes we are all pieces in the giant game of chess that life is. But what piece we believe ourselves to be determines who we are. For me, a mere pawn is where I see myself. The first to feel the force of the opposition, tiny in comparison to other pieces, and sometimes a little powerless. But when it comes to the crunch, this little pawn can be mighty and topple even the greatest.
OK, quite a strange analogy I know, and maybe not my best to date, but its a start.
The big thing for me is my interest in others. Constantly seeking to help somehow, involved on a much deeper level than most care to be in other peoples lives. An over-thinker, taking far too much time to try and understand something or someone, while sometimes missing the entire point. A knowledge sponge, constantly on the search for something new, something different, a new experience.
So back to the question, what is normal? Well in short, every person around you while sharing certain moral values, will have a different of what normal is. Tattoos, another amazing example of how easily we judge and decide if someone is normal or not. Colouring your skin in, with needles and inks, well its not natural, no of course its not. But by today's standards, given its popularity, its pretty normal now.
Ultimately it is all about opinions, beliefs, and values. Once you have your own baselines for those three categories, you are a little closer to being able to give your definition of YOUR normality.
As for if I am really normal or not, well that's for you and you only to decide if I conform. If a complex minded, considerate, over baring, sharp tongued, tattooed man who bares open his soul to the internet is 'normal' to you... Then I take it all back, I am 100% boring and normal.
If my blogs confuse you, tattoos disgust you, or personality irritates you, then I am in a sense happy, to be individual and different in your eyes. Either way, I don't mind how people see me, judge me, or what they say about me. I am happy with who I am. It took years to perfect this careful balance of considerate arsehole, so I'm not changing, not for anyone.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Have you ever had one of those moments, be it a penny dropping or a bulldozer smashing through the walls of your mind. Suddenly something changes or just makes sense, and boom! It's done.
Just had one of those right this very second. Like a plane hitting an air pocket and dropping a thousand feet in a few seconds.
A void appears, consuming you, taking your thoughts both rational and fictional, and tearing them into tiny pieces. Uncertainty looms, confusion arrives, and your mind works overtime to try and regain control.
Mental and emotional free fall sets in, and you are along for the ride. Simple thoughts now become complex and confusing, the most mundane task seems like a chore. How could this all happen so fast?
Sometimes references in life can trigger you to draw parallels to your own business, be they fictional, or factual. First hand or a tale told by another, they are all relevant when your mind makes that connection.
Helpless, the fall is over, you have survived it, but are lost, in a strange place, no idea where you are, where to go to seek out the normality you crave so badly now. Searching the deepest corners of your mind, trying to find the reference you need to make sense of it all, and to get back to your crazy life you call reality.
Strength, lacking in it, you dig deep, a smile, a thought, just something to give you the strength you need right now, right this second to take control again, become the master of your own destiny once more, and shake free from the reigns which have guided you to this place.
Rise.... From the ground, collecting yourself, gathering your thoughts, drawing up your battle plan to once again be that person.
Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. Another epic mistake, a misunderstanding or simply over reaching? The question need not be answered, but the lesson must be learned.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
In all walks of life, regardless of which aspect, there is always something to gain. Some see the gains and rewards as trivial, others thrive to be the one coming out on top. But the truth is, those who want to win every time are in fact the biggest losers of the games.
Without the lows, there are no highs. Without the loses, the pleasure of victory dwindles into normality, and what was once something to feel good about just feels like an ordinary day. And that is where it gets a little out of control. Like someone addicted to a high, each high has to be higher to maintain the feel good factor. Some people in life take the same approach to the game of life. As they tire of the normality of their victories over others, getting one over on people, or always being the one getting the cream, they up their game.
Unfortunately, all this means is, the losers they usually leave in their wake. Or should I say, those who were not victorious this time around, no on is a loser really, I digress..... Those not coming out on top each time just get trampled on more and more for the stampede of the selfish and glory grabbing, trying to reach higher and higher.
My personal take on all this is simple I guess (but I bet this turns long winded all the same!)
Victories are over rated. Thriving to achieve something which only makes you feel good is not only selfish, but also just a little bit lonely. Succeeding as a team, a group, a unit, makes any victory far greater. Everyone remembers it, everyone knows what the other did, and what was achieved. Rather than a quiet little hollow victory, with you woop wooping to yourself in your selfish little mind.
While I love a victory of any kind, given the hands I have been dealt in life over the years, I am happy for getting to the end of a day and waking the next morning.
My aim day to day in general is simple, live a full day, smile, make others smile, and end the day feeling ok about the day now behind me. If something amazing happens, fantastic. If not, hey ho, such is life, maybe tomorrow eh.
To all those with so many goals, wants and desires, who are willing to sacrifice the happiness of others around you. Take a long hard look at yourself, and ask yourself..... Is an entry in the hall of fame under "Biggest Wanker" really the legacy you thrive for? Or would you prefer to be the simple existence, but the one everyone cares about, respects, and misses whenever you are not there.
For me, I think quite selfishly I might actually achieve both. Two persona's calls for different goals in life, and im sure I already have the first of the two acolades. Now my goal is simple, be the real me, and be the latter of the two to the majority of people in my life.
Remember now... Dream BIG, tread carefully. You never know when you might need the help of those you consider below you.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
So whats changed. I know, it must be that new year thing that happened a couple of weeks ago. The giant reset button in the sky that wipes away all our woes and worries of the year gone by and starts us off with a clean slate..... Errm no!
Got it, new years resolutions, they are the key to success in life. Say something daft while drunk and on your knees on NYE and of course the stars align and life becomes super sweet.......Nope!
Its simple really, a lot of my troubles of years gone by are just that, left in years gone by. Of course I miss having mum around, and a small part of me misses the responsibility I finally found in caring for her. Purpose in life is important, and gives you a bit of drive to do at least something on a regular basis. Then there is routine. As boring as they seem, they are key in some peoples lives, and help us stay on track for what we want. Talking this morning I was asked what I was up to today, and I replied joking that it was the same as previous. But honestly, that's not a bad thing, to me at least.
So that is actually the answer to the above question of what changed. Routine... I found mine again. For me life is like a perpetual motion machine, and as long as the motion and activity remains regular, the machine never stops. In fact sometimes its so in sync that it will pick up momentum and I will soon be flying along. That's where I love being.
When my mind is occupied, busy and challenged, I'm at my best. My thought process goes into overdrive, my creativity increases, and my want to get things done grows exponentially. All of a sudden for example, I have the desire to write, lots and lots. Get a couple of my blogs back up and running, and get back to that happy sharing place that I thrive.
The one thing missing from this equation is a little button covered device which once empowered me to write big long blogs on the spot, in the moment. My Blackberry!
A year ago, 75% of all my blogs came from my Blackberry's whichever I was using that day. The speed at which I can rattle off a stream of thoughts was incredible, and as much as I love Swiftkey on my Android phones, and tablets, I just cant seem to get my flow.
Same with modern keyboards, who decided that all new keyboards should be wafer thin with flat lifeless keys on them. The same way my aunt once commented that she could not use a standard PC keyboard and far preferred her typewriter, I am caught in the same bind, but a generation later. Flat keyboards are indeed sexy to look at, and for general use are fine. But for really hammering out a long blog, I find them useless. Each to their own of course, and I'm sure similar comparisons exist throughout the world of input options.
Anyway, I digress, this is about me me meeeeeeee, not keyboard and devices of days gone by. Although I should point out that I am currently using a REAL keyboard, a good old fashioned noisy DELL standard keyboard. Hardcore Old School !!
So back to me... The other part of the feel good factor is physical. Getting the get up and go to get back in shape again, buff for summer, pleasing on the eye for the ladies and all that lol. Seriously though, for me its more health than vanity, but cannot deny that I love seeing the definition start to show again, and the shirts pull tight in all the right places, for all the right reasons. Sadly with that comes the desire for more tattoos, which obviously isn't a bad thing, but it can get expensive to have good quality ink on large areas **and flex **
Over the last couple of weeks I have returned to normal dog walking routines. Avoiding my must reach #10MilesADay goal, and just doing what I can, when I can. At the moment that's about 6-8 miles a day, and slowly increasing as my body adjusts. Unlike previous times I'm not rushing in and setting myself stupid goals. This time its all about steady lifestyle changes, and getting into the groove. Along with the daily walks, there is adjusted food intake, but still plentiful, and two short training sessions a day. Once in the morning with some simple physical activities likes press ups, dips and sit ups. And a PM routine on the multi gym hitting back, chest, and arms.. Glamour, glamour!
All in all its feeling good, core tightened, body got that lovely ache to it constantly, and both sitting and standing taller and stronger.
Enough about physical training though, that's what the other blog is for, right!
I guess I just wanted to make this entry for my own sake really. Looking back over years gone by there have been some super low emotional times around this time of year for me, so I'm doing my best to break the loop, and stay on track for my own good. Early every year has historically been bad with the whole Xmas and Birthday dramas, sadness about my daughter, and in more recent years now with Feb being my aunt and mums birthdays, and with my aunt actually passing on my mums birthday, its still a bit of a weird time for me. But, that said, no sadness, just happiness and celebration these days, even managing to get a little bit excited about my own birthday, only took a few decades to care about it haha.
So here's to positivity, being who you are, showing your true colours, and being that little bit selfish and self centred. After all, if you are not firing on all cylinders, what use are you to anyone else, right?
Thank you to little Miss Sweetie Drawers for the inspiration for this entry lol.
Monday, January 12, 2015
But the truth is, a lot of the time we have just wasted our breath, or at the very least were not understood at all. "You know what I mean" has become the new "How are you?". An open and usually empty comment made during human contact. No harm done there eh?
Well, that depends really, on what we hoped to achieve from the exchange. If its a simple moan, who cares, you will have forgotten about it in no time at all. You probably owe the poor soul who listened to you a hug or something for enduring you.
On the other hand, from time to time we all actually reach out, in hope of being understood, word for word, thought for thought. Sometimes its important to us that someone really does know what we mean. For sanity sake, our subconsciousness hunts for those physical and verbal cues which give confirmation we have made contact.
Whether you know it or not, we all seek some kind of connection. Not the general friendships and relationships that we thrive, but the deeper kind of connection. Not all sloppy and messy, but the sort that keeps us sane. It can be with anyone, a complete stranger, or someone you have known for years, and trust implicitly. Either way, whoever the person is, you need to be able to just unload on them. Let it all out, take a deep breath and say everything. Not be interrupted in your flow. And at the end of it, KNOW that if you were to say "you know what I mean", their response will be unfaltering when they say,"yes, I really do".
The problem with this of course is self esteem and pride. Because to be able to just let loose with emotions and thoughts, first you have to drop your guard and let that person close enough to hear as your mind whispers is deepest thoughts to you. In today's society we are all suckers for reputation, and think that its what people think about us that counts. Well, that's kinda true, but at the end of the day, anyone close enough to truly matter can see right through it all. What really matters is who we actually are. How we interact with others, and how true to our inner feelings our outer persona really is.
Year on year, famous, rich, happy people shock us. Dying from a cry for help suicide, coming out with shocking revelations about their private lives or childhoods. People who for the cameras look fine and dandy, but when it comes to it are miserable as sin. Fame and fortune, global stardom does not equate to a happy life. Quite the opposite in fact in some cases. Happiness is found within a circle of trust. Not quite like a Meet the Parents kinda way, but being able to allow a friend to comb through the memories in the back of our mind. To make sense of the things that bother us after many years, and most of all, not judge us.
Do you have a muse? A confidant? We all need one at some point in our lives. For me I would say I have had a few over the years. I guess in a way I'm blessed to communicate in such a way, that people understand what I am trying to get at. Also being able to speak with the confidence that whatever I am saying, I am not ashamed or embarrassed by it, and certainly don't regret it. For others, I know this is not so easy. Having been that person for many over the years, I never grow tired of spending time with someone until the doors are wide open and words are flowing freely.
Whatever our personality, however we cope with emotions and feelings, from time to time we all spill over and need to make sure that the sensitive overspill (not sure that's a very nice mental picture) ends up somewhere safe.
I know I do, and I look forwards to my next session, whenever that is, of speaking freely, and having a good old clean out.
Thanks for reading.
A short while into the writing, I kind of lost my way for a bit, so the writing ground to a halt. But recently I have been inspired to maybe give it another shot.
I did buy a nice shiny new PC while back so I could carry on writing another old project, but I don't seem to have found my way back to it yet. Who knows, maybe this is what I need.
One thing I DO need is a proper keyboard. The one on the Dell, this one on my Chromebook, and the one on the laptop just are not up to the job of a proper keyboard pounding session.
SO...... Shall I knuckle down and get back on with it?
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Shamefully I have to share his idiotic comments to make this make sense to anyone who has not seen it.
I have only seen just a short clip of the idiot on YouTube, and have to say I am shocked. In an open and free world, where travel and news between our countries is free flowing, where in the hell does a grown man get information like this from. And wherever it is, doesn't it even cross his tiny empty mind to double check it?
To go on television in front of however many viewers you had for the show, then to be seen by the growing masses as the #FoxNewsFacts hashtag begins to trend, and make statements suggesting Birmingham is 'Muslim ONLY' and that London somehow has some form of policing purely based on a single religion is offensive.
As someone from the UK, a country who apparently has a 'special relationship' with the USA, I am offended by this mans comments. The reason for my anger is a simple one, which is probably a good thing as you seem quite simple Mr Emerson.
While you parade yourself as some kind of expert, there are gullible people out there who will actually believe you. While to the educated among us scoff at your stupidity and ignorance, sadly there is a minority out there who will believe the UK is a segregated and hateful country. Somehow intolerant of the Muslim faith, and one which divides itself city by city.
Your ignorance feeds the anger which in turn causes the violence and hatred we see on a growing basis now. The media seems to thrive on spreading only the negative stories about such events, and brings religion, especially Islam, into every negative story it can. Then when the violence subsides for a while, the media switches to reporting on how religion and hatred for Muslims is causing unsettled societies.
So putting such a stupid man on screen, spouting such utter rubbish, just goes to show the true source of the hatred in society. No SOCIAL media..... NEWS media.. Drip feeding people daily on stories of fear and anger. Building walls, not bridges between the different races and religions in society. Black, unemployed, Muslim, broken home..... Where are the positive stories?
I don't need to say much more, the world of social media looks on with shock, shame and disappointment at both Fox News, and their supposed 'expert'. I have heard more believable stories from a naughty five year old trying to explain who broke the vase. Stop day dreaming, stop making stuff up and tell the truth.
In the light of recent events, and in the knowledge that this is far from over, I beg you news channels... Please please please stop insighting hatred among people. Build bridges not walls, and stop thriving from the violence and suffering the misleading stories generate.
Lots of love...
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Over the years since taking over from Lewisham Homes, for me at least, they have done a sterling job of taking care of business.
OK there was the issue with the bathroom taking a little longer than expected to deal with, but other than that. A few hiccups, some no show contractors from time to time, but really nothing to cry about (apart from the bathroom, did I already say that?)
So, a few years back (2010) the driveway was resurfaced. I use this term loosely as the driveway was actually covered over with a good few inches of concrete. During the laying of the driveway, in Dec 2010 we had heavy snow and freezing temperatures, which sadly had an effect on the way the work ended up. Now i'm not saying it is not an improvement on the old drive, it is. But what I have said to L&Q all along is, the finished result was not what I would personally sign off on and agree to pay a contractor for.
Sweep it on a dry day and you can sweep away layers and layers of powdered concrete, walk on it on a wet day and you will slip on the exposed stones. As one of my neighbours did a few years back, breaking her ankle in the process. This was what drove me to contact L&Q again about the condition. The fact it has deteriorated this much in this short space of time, and someone has already slipped on it. Thats not to mention the dust and stones kicking about the place.
Well today the results are in, and after provisionally agreeing it needed repairing, the new surveyor has made the decision that NO work is needed on the driveway and it should remain as it is.
I am fine with this decision, and accept it with no challenges whatsoever. However....
Should anyone have any form of accident in the coming years relating to the condition of the surface of the driveway..... I WILL say I told you so.
So for now, its back to sweeping the drive carefully of leaves and snow when they cover it, in case I sweep the drive away, and looking out for fallen neighbours over the winter as the colder weather makes it even more slippery.
As for the rest of the work being done on the house. Thank you L&Q for looking after us so well. I am more than happy with it all, just bad call on the driveway. In my untrained opinion of course.
Work in progress in Dec 2010 (before the snow stopped play)
The whole area was laid with hand mixed concrete.. The house up the road had it delivered on a mixer for the same contractors working for L&Q. Clearly learned from this mistake. Theirs is fine by the way.