we are more than our biggest mistakes

Mistakes in life are unavoidable. I often find myself crippled under the weight of my mistakes, and the shame and embarrassment that caresses them. Whether they make a huge impact on those around me or not, every little mistake I make creates a ripple in the surface of my personality and makes me question the type of person I am.

How can I be trustworthy and respectable and reliable if I keep screwing up?

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The little mistakes accumulate in my mental catalogue until the last straw breaks the camels back; like that one time I misplaced my purse on the bus with a few bob in it and the new bus pass my mam bought me left me in a sodden pile of hideous sobs and a whole load of college notes to catch up on.

What I have had to come to terms with, is the reality that people make mistakes.

Just like no matter how early I get up, I’ll always be a few minutes late. No matter how much I prepare, I’ll always forget something. No matter how hard I try – I will always. make. mistakes.

I will never be perfect, I doubt I’ll ever go a day in my life without doing something ‘wrong’. What defines us, is how we learn to deal with these mistakes. The ability to be honest with myself when I’ve screwed up, to look at the situation from a different perspective and most importantly, seek out what there is to learn from the ordeal.  And of course, all attempts are made to fix it. The mistake does not define your character. Chances are, what’s happened wont even matter to you in a few months from now.

People are not either ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies’, as the typical narratives would have us believe. People are multi-faceted, dimensional, rational beings that make good and bad decisions and mistakes.

 

 

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mondays

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’ve got a to do list as long as your arm, lack of motivation to do any of it and are already losing the will just at the thought of acting like you care how your colleagues spent their weekend. Or I’m extremely cynical.

I used to live for the weekend, I’d triple heart the inevitable TGIF IG post’s and purposely wear black on a Monday to highlight the sombre and mourn the loss of the weekend.

Reset

A shift in my perspective has put a gradual stop to this destructive mind set. I, like most, use the weekend to re charge and reset. However, I continue this vibe throughout my week. I truly listen to my body and ensure that day by day I set a little time aside to myself. This usually takes place in the mornings, which I use to wake up slowly with my cuppa, beloved porridge and a good book, at least ten minutes of Yoga and a lot of Sigrid. This sets me up for each day and puts me in the right mind space.

Goals

I love routine and structure. Writing down my goals on a Sunday is one of my most favourite things to do! When Monday rolls around, I’m excited to smash my goals and get the week off to a good, productive start. This creates a much better relationship with my to-do-list and makes me inspired to chase that sense of accomplishment.

Fun

Can’t be all work, no play.

Although I am most excited for Monday at the prospect of a successful, fulfilling week, a feel good catch up on a Monday night with my beloved partner in wine truly is good for the soul. And yes, I do work on a Tuesday. Hydrate between drinks, don’t get in too late, make sure you get a decent amount of kip and you’re good to go.

It’s your life

It’s no way to live, solely for the weekend. That’s five out of seven days a week that you’re not making the most of. That’s a lot of your life you’re wasting. If you don’t like your reality, try to change your perspective or change your reality. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but truly dig deep and be honest with yourself – make the changes you need to make to change your reality. You’re in control of your own life.

favourite healthy habits

Social life, uni work, lectures, assignments, family commitments, health;  just a few things that are of importance to me.

For me, this starts with my well-being, primarily my diet. I find that my diet is the thing that affects my overall well-being the most. If I’m making bad food choices, it affects my mood, my skin, my energy levels, which then affects my productivity levels in other areas of my life. At some point in my teens I made a silent pact with myself to put my well-being first, starting with my diet. These are my favourite little hacks that I’ve come up with along the way.

  1. Get a water bottle

It used to be a 6 cans of DrPepper a day kinda gal. Then I got tired of the fuzzy teeth and foggy brain (gross). I had to force myself to drink water throughout my teens, for the skin benefits more than anything. Now, if I don’t drink water my brain just doesn’t seem to work. It helps my digestion, my mental clarity and also helps to keep me active as I’m always running to the toilet – a little tip for those of you fit-bitters who are trying to get your 10,000 steps a day in. I take my water with a few slices of lemon in my bpa free water bottle. However, I am on of those conspirator’s who are silently suspicious of the levels of fluoride in tap water and am looking to get a water bottle with a built-in filter – if anyone has any info on this pls do not hesitate to share.

I am also sure to hydrate immediately straight after eating so that I don’t over eat. Also, if I find myself excessively snacking throughout the day I’ll drink a few sips of water to make sure I’m actually hungry and not just dehydrated.

2.  Eat your veggies

I love carbs. I’m also a (admittedly, flexible) pescatarian. It got to a point where every meal would consist of 90% carbs. But instead of feeling energised, I felt sluggish, weighed down and unproductive. I realised that whilst I was eating healthy meals, I was seriously lacking in my greens. Now I use veggies as a base for my meals and then chose my added source of protein, fats and non-refined, slow energy releasing carbs.

3. Listen to your body

I was recently listening to one of my fav podcast’s by ultimate babe Venetia Falconer – Talking Tastebuds, featuring Max Lowery, which revolved around the topic of fasting. Max’s philosophy suggests that we don’t actually need to eat three square meals a day, with snacks in between, but this the way our bodies have become conditioned. I was one of these people, eating according to the clock. Since listening to this episode I have been really trying to listen to my body and allow it to become hungry, instead of pre-empting this hunger and buying processed snacks from Tesco to suffice. Speaking of snacks, if I do feel I need an emergency snack during these times I’ll go for a Medjool date. I am so addicted to their caramel, sticky goodness.

4. Balance

Back to the topic of carbs, as much as I love them, I am not an olympic lifter or running a marathon anytime soon. I don’t need to eat pure carbs for every meal, my energy levels just do not require them. These days, I make sure I eat my carbs at the start of the day (I am one of these people who wake up RAVENOUS), and am most productive in the mornings. I love my morning bowl of porridge and can rarely make the sacrifice to have something savoury for breakfast. So I make sure I plan the rest of my meals to have higher proportions of healthy fats and protein.  I have been really trying to implement this more over the past week, swapping my mid afternoon toast snack and lunch time panini, although both still healthy, for some nuts and an omelette. Feeling more energised, less bloated and less sluggish already!

Do your research – find out where you can get your energy sources from and which methods may be best for you.

5. Experiment

See what works for you! It’s so important to experiment within your diet and find out what options are available for you and you individual body. Get creative and push the boat out a bit.

I don’t have a thing

You know what winds me up? I’ll leave the majority up to your imagination, because, as you can imagine, there are a plethora of daily qualms I love nothing more than ranting about (#positivity).

I’ll put you out of your misery. One thing that particularly grips my shit is the requirement placed upon us mere beings to stow ourselves into airtight categories. Particularly in the blogging sphere, I’ve found, each blogger has their ‘thing’. I get the marketing purpose of this, however I find it mildly soul destroying.

I have lots of ‘things’, this is the issue. Why would I restrict myself to two or three ‘things’ that I talk or post about? Also, is that not just really boring? Not to mention completely unrealistic, as we’re about as malleable as the Pandora ring that’s changed shape due to excessive wear and is now moulded to fit your finger and your finger only. I don’t want to give myself a tag line, highlighting my ‘things’, because they’re empty promises.

What I want to talk about this week, from a place of passion, I mightn’t want to talk about next week. Yet we feel this necessity to class ourselves as a certain ‘type’ of person, which then directly affects our actions. It causes us to think in terms of types; what would this ‘type’ of person wear, say, eat, feel, enjoy, care about, post, write or talk about?

It’s whats in your Instagram bio, your blog tag line and the caption of your photo. It makes society a simpler, more controlled, more easily manipulated place.

 

 

please note I have plunked this post in the ‘uncategorized’ category. 

 

issues with obsolescence

We live in a society that is fulled by consumerism, whether we’re aware of it or not. For the good of the economy, at the cost of the environment.

The long established belief that the amount of happiness you have directly correlates with the amount of consumer goods you own, and the amount of money you have, is a common one in contemporary society. I’m not saying consumerism is bad, retail therapy is something I’m extremely partial to and would partake in such activities without the influence of PR and social media, I do believe. However status competition would suggest that high levels of consumerism may potentially cause a decrease in ones happiness and well-being; one of the many issues spouted from income inequality.

To put it simply; lots of people are buying lots of shit and it ain’t good for anyone’s actual well-being, not to mention the environment.

Further fuelling consumer culture, the concept of obsolescence means that products are not manufactured to last. From the earliest light bulb to the latest iPhone, as their lawsuit earlier this year revealed, obsolescence is a technique designed to devalue your product physically or ideologically over time. Meaning the amount of times one will repurchase said product increases throughout their lifetime, resulting in a higher amount of revenue for the manufacturer.

PR industries, ‘influencers’ and blogs not dislike my own are used to instil values of consumer culture within us; convincing us that we need the latest commodities to keep up with the rest of the world. So even if something’s in perfect working order; it still appears to the majority to possess a state of obsolescence and is therefore undesirable – status competition at play. This gives power to multi-national companies and makes it increasingly difficult to enforce sustainability in the manufacturing of products, meaning that perfectly good technology is being disposed of irresponsibly in third world countries. Such disposal of toxic waste and the continuous creation of tech is having a huge impact on global warming, which, despite surprisingly common disbelief, has increased on around a 1 degree Celsius scale by two- thirds since 1975. If you don’t think that’s much, bare in mind it took as little as a one to two degree drop in temperature world wide to induce the Little Ice Age.

It is perfectly possible for companies to create sustainable tech, such as the ethical Fair Phone, built using replaceable parts. Can’t even take the back off your iPhone/Samsung.

Putting pressure on companies to consider the effects on obsolescence is one step in the right direction. If not for the environment, then maybe to save the hole burning in your wallet. I needed to write this post to remind myself of the importance of reducing my carbon footprint in some way, and paying attention to the impact and frequency of my consumer habits. Hopefully this post has inspired you to do the same!

Is putting on make-up a waste of time?

In 2015, Hillary Clinton expressed her thoughts on the impact of the ‘Hair and Make-up tax’ on the daily lives of women, including herself, drawing attention to the ways in which women specifically are fleeced of time and money in order to make themselves look and feel presentable.

According to The Washington Post, the cosmetics industry makes $60 billion per year; arguably subsidised by the insecurities of women, driven by media pressure and social norms of wearing make up. The pressures of which I can personally relate to, since gathering round the streaky mirrors of my comp’s communal toilets at 13, plastering my then spotless skin with Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse and over lining innocent eyes with electric blue eyeliner.

I initially found it difficult to establish boundaries with make-up throughout my early teens. Older women around me wore it daily; family, peers, teachers – so did I have to wear it daily? Special occasions only? Do I put it on even if I’m not leaving the house? I certainly felt a societal pressure in school to wear it. My skin tone resembles that of a porcelain doll; so white it’s almost see through, often water coloured with subtle highlights of blue when it’s cold complimenting the strong pink undertones it fashions at any other give time. So without make up (girls, tell me I’m not alone here), I’d have to defend myself against the inevitable inquisitions as to why I was in school with the flu, when I’d just decided to have a day off the slap.

Hillary emphasises the ways in which make-up has become a necessity for women to be taken seriously professionally, a pressure unknown to men. This thread of thought was touched upon by renowned author Zadie Smith in 2017, who implicated a fifteen minutes make up ban per day upon her 7-year-old daughter after she discovered her spending an increasing amount of time “looking in mirrors”.

photo from: https://goo.gl/images/J7bB55

Thanks to the growth of ye old internet, it is now extremely accessible to take a make-up class from the comfort of your bed – and many women are becoming self-taught make up artists (I think this entrepreneurship is bloody wonderful and by no means do I attempt to devalue the practice of being a make-up artist, which undoubtedly requires skill, patience and commitment). However, the trend of applying make up emphasised through social media irrevocably perpetuates the social norm of women buying and wearing make up, possibly highlighting the need to cover up insecurities and attempt to achieve superficial perfection. That being said, wearing make up is a choice that all women have the right to exercise, as a form of personal expression and creativity.

Personally, I agree with Zadie’s motive; that it may be unhealthy to develop a fascination with ones reflection, which could possibly distract young girls and women alike from a plethora of other hobbies and interests. I am also extremely sceptical of the cosmetic industry, because how can you sell women cosmetics if they’re not some way insecure of their appearance? However, as highlighted by Stephanie Eckardt, perhaps Zadie Smith, a naturally stunning, successful woman, does not fully understand the ritualistic enjoyment or sense of confidence women feel within themselves through the application of make up.

Are cheat days dangerous?

I like to think I’m pretty healthy in the grand scheme of things. I make most of my meals from scratch, drink at least 2 litres of water a day and listen to my cravings.

But it hasn’t always been this way. I’ve had quite the journey with health and fitness and have admittedly been rather influenced by various online presences, articles and fads. I’m not blaming any sole individual for the relationship I developed with food, however, I have definitely felt a social media shaped barrier between it and I.

Whilst I always listen to my body in the gym and genuinely crave experimental sessions, for which I have Crossfit to thank; I get bored in the kitchen. I’ll often stick to the same food routine for a few months, until it’s retirement due to the discovery of fresh, haphazard obsessions. Around this time last year, I was obsessed with finding healthy alternatives to my favourite sweet treats. I have the biggest sweet tooth, something I used to consider to be my biggest downfall when it came to sticking to a healthy diet (which, by the way, I largely maintain due to the way eating well makes me feel, not in order to maintain a particular shape or weight. However, I would be lying if I said there was no aesthetic motivation in my food choices).

I’d make healthy versions of anything – not worrying about the calories but focusing on what benefits the ingredients would contribute to my health. However, this did nothing more than fuel more cravings for my sweet tooth; I didn’t know when or where to stop. This habit evolved – all I could think about throughout my day was indulging in whatever sweetness I’d knocked up that week. I wasn’t aware at the time that this practice may have led me to a state in which I became fixated on food. I thought, as long as it contained healthy ingredients I needn’t worry about the calories – I could indulge in basically whatever I wanted.

I would worry if I couldn’t get my hands on a ‘healthy alternative’ when on the go, no doubt packed with sweeteners and god knows what else. I would worry about the quality and quantity of my snacking throughout the day. I’d had enough of constantly thinking about food. So, I decided to change up my routine. I’d pick one day of the week only to eat unhealthy food – a ‘cheat day’.

This was possibly the worst decision I could’ve made. I consider myself as a headstrong person, but man, I was a slave to the sugar. I’d deny myself whatever I wanted, which made it all the more desirable, and then allow myself to have it on the weekend. However, this left me with just one out of seven days to indulge in ‘shit’, so eat ‘shit’ on that one day is all I would do, fully aware that this opportunity would be denied to me until the following week. I forced myself to eat unhealthy food for this reason, and restricted myself wholly during the week. Whilst I believe that one size certainly does not fit all, and you must listen to your own body – who am I to suggest that this diet is dangerous and will not work for you? – from personal experience, I would suggest that this is not healthy. I don’t think this period of my life was menacing or dramatic, but it was undeniable.

I know, it’s totally bizarre to allow such a habit to maintain such a dominant position throughout my day to day life, both in practice and mentally. Looking back, I can see this so clearly now and am quite baffled as to how I allowed myself to get into such a state in the first place. The answer to this catastrophe was simple, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted, but focused more on what my body craved, not my taste buds.

I no longer denied myself the odd doughnut only to devour the whole box of mouth-watering ring shaped delights when Sunday rolled around. Because I realised, actually, I don’t really want it. And if I ever do want one, I’ll just eat one. And then I won’t want it anymore.

I’m not saying I don’t love a super food powder, or don’t see more nutritional value in an apple than a bar of chocolate. I am, however, controversially (or maybe less so, contemporaneously) suggesting that my obsession with cheat days and ‘clean eating’ led to an unhealthy relationship with food in my case.

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More info on these themes here –

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/23/bad-fad-ruby-tandoh-on-how-clean-eating-turned-toxic

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/11/why-we-fell-for-clean-eating