So

There’s a trail of tropicO’s around my house at the moment.

I’ve been humming the Tom Jones/Cardigans version of ‘Burning Down the House’ for about a week now.

There’s a Paul Simon CD under the CD player in the car. The speakers aren’t working. I’m using the “If you build it, he will come” method of Getting Things Done.

Catstagram makes me happy.

It’s all I’ve got

I can think of at least three ways to react to any situation:

Denial: ‘Denying the consequence’ sounds like alternative terminology for a formal fallacy, with reason.  Some of the ‘science’ behind Freud’s theories may demonstrate his delusion, however the value of denial as a coping mechanism is evident in day to day life.  Without the ability to ‘deny’ or direct our attention away from stressors such as the fact of our mortality, living a productive life would be incredibly difficult.

While denial is indeed a way of coping, it is rarely a constructive one when used to ‘address’ problems. The intent – conscious or not – is to avoid anxiety. It is the root of procrastination. It may provide short term gain, though how can we learn from something we deny?

Adopting the role of the ‘victim’: An alternative, or perhaps postscript to denial is adopting the role of the victim. This method of coping is encapsulated in the description of the situation: ‘That’s just my luck’. ‘They were out to get me’.  ‘They had picked someone else before I even had a chance’. ‘That’d be right’.

The situation is explored in stages of outrage and self-pity. By believing things just ‘happen’ to us, how can we take a proactive approach to either understanding and resolving the issue, or learning from it to avoid similar scenarios in future? By adopting the role of the victim, we effectively rob ourselves of the power to take positive, constructive steps and of the opportunity to actively engage in seeking the life we want to live. We wait for something good to happen to us rather than seeking out fun, excitement, new experiences.

Embracing the power to choose: By identifying a set of circumstances and holding ourselves accountable for the steps we take, we can embrace our power to make a choice. These choices are not always ‘good’ ones. Ill-conceived decisions can cause disruption, concern and grief; however when reflected on, the consequences can present an excellent opportunity to learn about humanity.

Being accountable can be difficult. The choice itself can bring the temptation of denial. But denial brings with it the role of the victim, and I for one would much prefer to take a well-calculated risk and fail than live a life inside an intellectual prison of my own design. Liberate the mind. Life should not be something that ‘happens’ to us. Ideally, life is an opportunity to learn as much as we can about happiness and its many forms through our successes and failures.

It takes a lot of courage to assert control over our own lives.  To stand ready to make a choice. To consider how to react. To seek or create a moment of clarity, of reflection. To forge our own path, complete with peaks, holes and other clichés.

For me, self-empowerment has afforded me more enlightenment than I could have hoped for.

Glad Game – Edition 75007

Inhale, exhale.

Let’s play the Glad Game.

* I am glad that to have food, shelter
* I am glad that I am safe
* I am glad that I have the means to donate to those lacking the above
* I am glad to have companionship
* I am glad to have a bed to sleep in tonight, and a job to go to tomorrow
* I am glad for weekends
* I am glad for tea
* I am glad to know people who make me smile and inspire me
* I am glad that after all this time, I think I’m starting to get it

Thank you

Cynical thought association during a commercial break on what feels like another Monday night

– Get a dog. You’re single. Buy this food, or it will get fat. So will you. Then you’ll never find a husband.

– You are fat. Buy into our new fad. You are not worthy.

– If you owned this car, you would find yourself basking in the wonder of the wilderness with extremely attractive and well styled friends. You will be socially accepted.

– INSECTS! Single mothers, buy this bug spray. Rebellion serves as further proof that you are failing your children. You need to find a man.

– Buy this car, and your IQ will increase. Along with your ego. If you buy any other car, you are stupid.

– I can’t write about that vampire film.

– Here’s an ad for the television show about to resume. Now we’re just showing off.

All that is missing is National Geographic, August 1992

I have been unable to pinpoint the catalyst. Annual Shedding of Youth Day? New Years Day? Monday?

To date, 2011 feels like a strange year. The year to end an era.

A number of important dates are pencilled (some are engraved) in my calendar. Many of them mark significant transitions. The end of a tumultuous time for a loved one. The end of childhood in my generation of my family. The end of my current career (such a bold term) as I know it. The end of one stage of my academic pursuits.

With no offence to Mayans intended, 2012 seems like it will be a year of beginnings.

2011 is a year of transitions.

I am impatient.

New levels of self-obsession

My own sign off on the last post triggered a memory from Year 4…

Mr H – a tall man with giant ears and a penchant for staring at Mother Stone’s chestal area rather overtly – once made me write lines after I was caught passing notes in class. His indignation was not directed at the note passing, but rather my incorrect spelling of the word ‘sought’. My punishment was to write ‘Sought of, not sort of’ 25 times. I was outraged, though complied with his demand.

While counting the lines on the piece of paper I submitted, Mr H started to blush. He hadn’t considered the context in which I had used the word ‘sort’, and only now realised that my spelling was in fact correct. He apologised, laughed awkwardly and I think I could actually hear the recoil of his brain when he realised that he had been out-smarted by a 9 year old.

Daft thumb tack.

Procrastination: Complete.

Free time!

When semester comes to a close with the submission of my final assessment task on Monday, I will have my life back for a glorious month before knuckling down with my head buried in text books until November.

While that sounds quite glorious, right now I’m doing my best not to freak the frizz out! So, I’m taking a short break (procrastinating) to list a few things to look forward to once the end of semester craziness is over with.

In the month that is mine, I will:

* Spend quality time with R
* Play with the fuzzy snails
* Make time to see my friends and family
* Write about the awesome Christmas, birthday and New Years Eve of 2010
* Get an eyebrow wax to resolve the hostile take over my brows are waging on the rest of my face
* Take some photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* Listen to music
* Watch some films
* Go to the theatre
* Donate blood
* Write some letters to people I know, and people I don’t
* Read a book for entertainment!
* Clean and reorganise the house
* Drive
* Do something spontaneous without worrying about my schedule

Back to the books. The sooner this task is finished, the better.

Sincerely studying… sort of,
Agnes Stone

From hiatus to high rotation

‘It’s not as truly hostile about Americans as say “Born in the U.S.A.”: it’s merely sardonic. I was traveling in Java when [its] first McDonald’s went up: it was like, “for fuck’s sake.” The invasion by any homogenised culture is so depressing, the erection of another Disney World in, say, Umbria, Italy, more so. It strangles the indigenous culture and narrows expression of life.’

– David Bowie.

Quote taken from here.

She’s no dog biscuit, that’s for sure

Some people impact your life without them even realising it.

M is a lady that I have shared a lot of laughs with. We’ve helped each other plan journeys and recounted endless anecdotes about places we had been to, and places we wanted to go.

Earlier this year, M and her husband funded and built huts in a poverty stricken community. She said it was a life changing experience, and cried every day she was there.

M continues to give people hope with her positivity. In the space of only a few months, M has been diagnosed with breast cancer, a heart condition, and also had a stroke. Despite this, she showed up at work today. To actually work. On a Monday no less.

I hadn’t seen her in weeks, and figured she was off on an exciting holiday. Then I saw her standing in the kitchen today, drinking coffee from the Christmas mug she uses year round, comforting a colleague who had just heard M’s news. She is an amazing lady, and today I finally told her that. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity. It’s sad that so often, comments like these are left unsaid.