Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Oh, poo.

A few years ago I went out with a guy who had ADHD. One of the consequences of this (and I would say one of the causes of it too) was the fact that he couldn't focus long enough to cook anything without burning it, and so he relied on microwave meals and take-outs. It was a vicious cycle - the one thing that could have helped improve his attention span was also something that he didn't have the required attention span to achieve.

But he was resigned to this diet of microwave burgers and chow-meins - going so far to say that he hated the process of eating so much that if he could take a pill every day instead, he would. Putting any effort in to cooking for him was a waste of time. I would create a tasty dish in the hope that it might spark up his taste buds, but his response was always "Yeah, it's alright, I guess" Hmph. There's gratitude for you.

The outcome of his poor diet was that he only emptied his bowels once a week - luckily never in my house - but he would usually tell me of the results with respect to length, smell, girth, how many people in the direct vicinity died, etc. His greatest achievement was passing an eighteen inch stool which stood so far out of the pan that he had to stand up to complete it. I kid you not.

So why was I reminded of this? For the first time in my entire life, the very same thing happened to me. Okay, not eighteen inches, but long enough not to flush. And I always thought that this was something that only men had to deal with - how to dispose of a super-sized turd. Because let's face it - us ladies just don't admit to pooing, do we? It's not a very ladylike thing to do, having a poo, even though most of us do it every day.

The thing is, I am not adverse to dealing with poo or talking about it. I have mopped up babies, cleaned up after dogs, and even changed the incontinence pants of a disabled man who I cared for once upon a time. And that wasn't pretty. And every day when I was travelling, the conversation round the dinner table always turned to the state of everyone's bowels and stories of instances where people came close to crapping themselves in the middle of a public place. It was par for the course. But somehow I just don't want to deal with this. I don't have any wire coat hangers to hand, I'm certainly not going to dive in with the rubber gloves and I couldn't imagine the potential state of the toilet brush. So what to do? Will it just dissolve, maybe?

I remember one solution told to me by a friend years ago. He shared a house with two other people, back in his University days. He is a very neat and tidy guy. He does not like germs, dirt or poo. One afternoon he was in the kitchen slicing some bread. It was a freshly bought loaf - not the cheap sliced white value bread from the supermarket, but freshly baked and healthy, and perfect to accompany the nice cheese to which he had just treated himself. Luxury in the life of a student. His scruffy flatmate strolls in to the kitchen.
Friend: How are you, alright?
Scruffy: Yeah, man, really good. Hey, you'll never guess what!
Friend: What?
Scruffy: Oh man, this morning I did the biggest turd in my life! The thing was nearly walking by itself! I tried to flush it but it wouldn't budge!
Friend: Oh gross. So don't tell me you've left it there?
Scruffy: Nah, man, I had to break it up to get it down.
Friend: So what did you use, a stick or a coathanger?
Scruffy: Nah, man. I used that knife... but don't worry, I did wash it.

At which point my friend picked up the breadboard - knife, fresh baked bread and all - ran out in to the garden and threw the whole lot in to the bushes.

And there is my answer. I need to find a stick.

Monday, 30 March 2009

That's what friends are for..

Friday night was dancing night. Yippee! Another night on the dance floor with Mum's The Word!

I was so looking forward to learning some new steps and being spun and twirled and dipped again. And dancing with Martin, of course. And touching base with Ex Potential New Man (oh sod it, his name is Jeremy - much quicker to type).

I had my new shoes which didn't pinch my toes and I was sure they were the perfect height for dancing and snug enough to stay on my feet. With these shoes, surely I could really strut my stuff?

Martin was there and greeted us both warmly, promising a dance or two throughout the evening. With or without the dancing, he is such a lovely, lovely guy.

The lesson started out well, although I soon discovered that I couldn't easily turn in my shoes as the heel was stiletto thin and the soles a little bit grippy. And then as my feet warmed up, they started to slide forwards so that the strap slipped off my heel. Nevertheless, I persisted.

But still the evening continued to go downhill. Over the next hour:
  • I danced with a guy who was very good looking and a fabulous dancer, but also very keen on close holds which were a little too close for my comfort level. He kept telling me to relax, but how can you relax when you are being held in a close hold from behind and are wondering "Oh My. I hope that's a phone in your pocket..."
  • I lost my balance and stepped on a woman's foot - with a very sharp heel. And she wasn't too happy about it either, screaming "You stupid f**king Bitch!!" at me before I could apologise, before pointing at me across the dance floor to single me out as both completely inept and a danger to all other dancers.
  • My shoes fell off a total of 5 times. I couldn't relax, I couldn't spin, I couldn't concentrate on anything other than staying upright.
I changed back in to my trainers. And then I had a dance with Martin. Yippee!!!
One minute in to the dance he smiled and said
"You know I love dancing with you. You have excellent eye contact which is very important and you are an absolute joy"
'can this get any better?!' I thought"
he continued (uh-oh) "when you are dancing you weigh about twenty stone. How can you weigh about twenty stone?" He puts his arm around my shoulders and shepherds me to the side, "Come with me and I'll tell you...."
And so I got my first telling off. I was throwing my weight back when it should always be forwards. I wasn't in control. I was hard to hold on to. An effort to dance with. I was gutted. And quite upset.

Could this evening get any worse?

I went outside for some nicotine solace, after brooding for a while with a bottle of water. I spotted Mum's The Word on the way out and expressed that everything was going wrong. I was having a horrible evening. Five minutes later she joined me outside and asked how I was, and confirmed that as I was improving, Martin felt that he could correct me, and that he was just trying to help. She then said that there were two people that she wanted to quickly dance with but after that, if I wanted, she would be prepared to leave early. I was touched.

And that was the turnaround point for me. A couple of years ago I would have sulked. I would have given up on enjoying myself. I would have passed off the evening as a bad experience. I would have said "Yes, let's go home. I'm not having fun"

But now I understand that life is what you make it. You can choose to be happy, or miserable. You can choose for your next dance to be much better than the last. You can choose to 'get over it'.

The evening didn't automatically pick up, after greeting Jeremy and being almost instantly brushed off with 'I'll catch you later' (which he never did - but I suspect he left early). And anyway, I didn't give him a chance to catch up with me, because I spent the rest of the evening dancing with one partner after another.

I tried to put Martin's advice in to practice and I found that, actually, he had a point. And considering that every other man was telling me that I needed to relax my arms, I tried to do that too. And what I ended up with was an evening of dancing with men who were willing and patient enough to teach me new steps, help me to identify certain leads that I repeatedly missed and who gave me the confidence to relax and have fun.

Through my own frustrations (and my disastrous shoes) I had created a room full of enemies, but through overcoming my pride, I left appreciating a room full of friends.

Life is good. Friends are worth making double the effort for. And Jazz shoes are the next on my list.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Let's face the music....and daydream

If you read my blog yesterday you will know that I reported a bit of an unpleasant 'Aha!' moment. A kind of 'Aha!' I'm a disgrace to society and I am wasting my life!' kind of moment, except deeper and more profound.

I am still kind of curious about it, having never experienced anything like that before and wondering whether it could have been due to less than 8 hours of beauty sleep. But the shock of seeing my life in all it's glory - which if I remember rightly seemed to consist largely of me sitting on the sofa, daydreaming about all of the wonderful things I was going to do once I got myself together (and not before) whilst people in need of my capabilities were losing out because I was 'fannying around' (technical term) - had quite a profound effect. As it would, I guess.

So yesterday I was back in the house and it was the first day of the New Moon of Aries, which deals with the energy of the month of Aries. Deal with this day in the right way, and you are injecting energy at the seed level in to the entire month. Well, I can do that.

The 'Tips for the month of Aries' in my little "preparation for Pesach" book advise me to 'Look to complete things' and 'Remember the past to avoid repeating mistakes' and my plan for the day was to clear away the negative energy in the house. I wanted to do the following:
  • clear out the second bedroom of boxes, books and clothes that I wanted to sell (as the second bedroom was starting to stress me out with clutter);
  • wash the bedlinen (which is no mean feat given that it is winter and I only have one set of bedlinen so need to get it done in one day);
  • dust and vacuum the house, finally sucking up the dead leaves that I carted all of the way up the stairs on Sunday, and left there;
  • clean the bathroom and the kitchen, including the floors, with the aim of trying not to kill anything that might now be living there (like my new spider next to the bath - Jim).
As usual, I left it too late to complete the list. For more than the first half of the day I was struggling with my sinuses and waiting for the snot to settle. And of course, I underestimated simple tasks like taking all of the items that I wanted rid of to the back room, which involved dragging out the stepladder and traipsing up to the loft to find a suitable box to carry everything in (which then meant that I had to vacuum the bedroom floor for a second time to suck up the loft fluff stuck to the boxes..)

But despite this massive insight of "I must change my habits" I was still dragging my heels - despite listening to my favourite playlist, I was uninspired.

By 5:30 pm, I was no way near halfway through the list and I sat down to take stock. And then it struck me - I was playing the wrong damned music!! How could I be so stupid?! No wonder I wasn't getting anywhere!! I was playing my dreamy future vision playlist which includes:
  1. "Coming Around Again" by Simon Webb, which I match with a vision of my sister or I (or us both) stepping out on stage to inspire a theatre full of people with our wit and insight,
  2. "Ain't No Longer Asking" by Dodgy, which I match with a vision of us coming off the stage at the end of the show and signing books for all of our 'fans' (with utter humility and modesty, of course - no Egos here...)
  3. "You Baby" by Neil Diamond (from the Jazz Singer) which is of course being sung to me by the man of my dreams at a Karaoke session (which just isn't going to happen because I hate Karaoke and anyway the man of my dreams doesn't yet have a face which is kind of creepy..)
  4. "Gimme More" by Britney Spears - a simple dancing fantasy where I spot new man of dreams across the dance floor, get eye contact, and mime "I see you.... an' I just wanna dance with you.." before he sweeps me off my feet (what anyone is supposed to do with the words "it's Britney, Bitch", I am not yet sure. Is 'Britney' meant to be a state of mind? I mean, what is the point of this song if you are not meant to use the opening words on the dance floor?)
  5. "Let's Face the Music (and Dance)" by Nat King Cole. I have tried to work out how I would dance to this music and visualise it frequently. Perhaps a Quickstep with a smattering of Lindy Hop - neither of which I can do - hence the daydream.
I selected the playlist purely to give me some motivation to change, believing that I would not have to give up my daydreaming in order to get things done but instead that focusing on the future and therefore the whole reason for performing these mundane tasks would actually be a distraction from the process of doing them.



(Lesson today: Learn from your past to avoid repeating mistakes in the future).

Hmm, now let me think..... Bentley Rhythm Ace.

I was introduced to Bentley Rhythm Ace ten years ago when at university and shared a house with a cooler and younger chick than I (which wasn't difficult, to be honest). We shared the house with two lazy men and a shedding dog, and every once in a while when the fluff got too prolific, Amanda ('mandaaaa') would stick on Bentley Rhythm Ace and we would get cleaning. And once the CD was playing it felt as though anything was possible - even cleaning the dog yack from the gaps between the tiles on the half-finished kitchen floor.

I found the album on my iPod and pressed Play... I was off! Boxes out of loft! Boxes in to back room! Vacuum the back bedroom! Second pass at vacuuming my bedroom (loft fluff, remember?), cleaning the loo like a wasp on speed, whizz, whizz, whoosh.

And because the songs are mainly instrumental, with the occasional commentary ("Have you ever been tickled, and laughed like this? Have you laughed 'til the tears ran down your cheeks?" and "Let's put on our dancing shoes" and even better "Who put the bom in the bombomtiddlybom? Who put the bom in the bombomtiddleybom bom bom bom tiddley bom put the bom in the bom bom...") it doesn't seem to matter how often they are played.

In fact, it seems as though you press play and download some freaky force from the Universe. It was the strangest change in energy: Plug In. Switch On Automatic Pilot. Go.

So there is a lesson learned for future cleaning bursts.

Last night I dialled in to the Kabbalah midnight teleconference to hear all about the New Moon of Aries - Taurus energy, which, in case you are interested, is all about going outside of your comfort zone, all day today. Which I am hoping isn't a prediction for how my new shoes are going to feel on the dance floor tonight.

But the first instruction for the day was to get up earlier than usual and pull your feet out of bed before you have a chance to think 'I'll just press snooze'. I ended up going to bed at nearly 2am and set my alarm for 6:30, determined to make the effort. Oddly enough, I was awake a few minutes before the alarm went off, and I did indeed sit bolt upright before Neil Diamond drew his first opening breath through my iPod alarm clock.

And so here I am, drivelling my usual nonsense, but just at an earlier hour.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Snot fair

Warning: this post is guaranteed to contain no funny comments whatsoever. So laugh with pity, if you must...

I think I have caught Pneumonia from my nephew, Captain Underpants. Or Bronchitis from my sister. Or something. Yes, I know that they live 4,000 miles away, but psychologically I'm there in sympathy.

Last night was almost the longest day of my existence, excluding the train journey I took from Agra to Chandigar, back in 1995. I was up at 5am and at the Kabbalah Centre for some mentor training at 6am, then after a day of seeking inspiration, I went back to the Kabbalah Centre for the New Moon of Aries at 8pm.

The next 12 days are important for making big changes for the year ahead and in identifying which parts of our Ego we need to break. Strangely enough, I knew exactly where my problems lay after a very strange moment at 5:05 am when I was about to step in the shower.

I have been living with excuses to protect myself for as long as I can remember and have always been good at identifying where I need to change and then procrastinating on making that change actually happen. Yesterday morning, as I was about to step in to the shower, I had an 'Aha!' moment. Except that it was not a pleasant 'Aha!' moment - I can only describe it as the kind of moment of insight I would receive when I am dying and my life is flashing unpleasantly before my eyes - all of the opportunities wasted, all of the people who lost out because I wasn't present, all of the people I could have helped but didn't because I was too afraid to step up to the plate and every good cosmic reason why my Dad starts every conversation in person, phone or email with the question 'have you got a job yet?'

And for the duration of the shower I was mortified - it hit me on such a deep level and for a while I wanted to cry with shame. It was a powerful awakening.

I remember reading one of the Kabbalah Daily Tune Ups where the question was begged: "How do we change?" and the answer that Yehuda Berg gave was "we look at our behaviour, and we get disgusted with it so that we cannot not change". And before now I had never really felt that level of disgust.

And so despite still having those feelings of fear, unworthiness and a childish need to be 'rescued' from my situation, I know that I do need to change. (And the Universe says 'Oh, finally you get the message, about bloody time too').

I left the Kabbalah Centre later than expected last night and caught the 11:25 train home. My eyelids were starting to droop, so I decided to keep myself by trying to finish the book I had brought with me, but as soon as I picked it up, I was interrupted by a rather inebriated man who staggered in through the nearest door, ricocheted off several vertical surfaces and then launched himself across the seat opposite and said "I'm sorry, I'm incredibly drunk, I can't keep up with your English drinking culture - guess where I'm from?"

It was an interesting train ride home, especially after I realised that a) he wasn't about to throw up and b) his inebriation had gifted him with the memory of a goldfish and therefore he was like a lamb to the slaughter as I changed my answers to his questions time and time again:
'What was your name again?'

Puzzled pause. Curious look which reads 'are you messing with my head?'
'Are you sure it is Sally? I'm reeeeaaaally sorry, but tonight I am a bit of a pisshead' (which is quite schweet when schaid in a Nor-weeegian accent).

He was quite an interesting chap, and he was very flattering too (beer goggles, gotta love 'em) but one thing he said really made me defensive and then made me wonder why. He said "It must be so nice being you. You are so gorgeous, it must be nice looking like you. *hic* You must have a wonderful life"
And initially I replied with a 'never judge a book by its cover' type remark, with a hurt feeling of "you have no idea what I have been through in my life" rising up and pricking the backs of my eyeballs.

...and then I thought: What a message to receive. If only I could be truly grateful for everything that I have. There is no reason why I couldn't be living a wonderful life. Right here, right now.

And so I start today. With the aid of Lemsip.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Stop me if you've heard this....

A dog walks in to a hardware store and asks the man behind the counter: "You got any jobs?"
The assistant's jaw drops open at the sight of this talking dog and stammers "Have you tried the circus?"
And the dog replies: "Why, do they need plumbers?"

For some strange reason, this joke tickles my funny bone, every time. It also brings back happy memories from when I first heard it, and tried to repeat it to a colleague at work. I was laughing so hard that by the time I squeaked out the punchline he was already crying tears of laughter, and the small crowd that had gathered were giggling even though they had no idea what the joke was about.

Ah, laughter. The best medicine. I have a strange sense of humour sometimes and my favourite jokes involve a play on words, like:

Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A: A carrot.


Q: How do you make a bear cross?
A: Nail two bears together.


A vet finishes examining a rottweiler, turns to the owner and says
"I'm so sorry, I'm going to have to put your dog down."
The owner asks: "Why? Because he is so sick?"
And the vet replies: "No, because he's heavy".

Sometimes my humour misses the mark though, like the other day when a friend of mine was commenting that she wasn't keen on networking in a particular room, because it was too dark and I instantly responded with "Who said that?" which then led to ten minutes of me repeating the statement and my friend looking blank-faced and saying "I'm still not getting you..."

Ah, it's the way I tell 'em...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sitting in this house is killing me...

..and I don't mean with boredom (although, there is that too) but I mean quite literally.

For the past couple of years I have been suffering from Post Nasal Drip (which sounds like a fabulous insult to throw at somebody, doesn't it?! You are such a post-nasal drip!) and I have identified several potential causes.
  1. Depression;
  2. Eating dairy foods; and
  3. Allergies.
I wouldn't call myself clinically depressed but I've been doing a lot of soul-searching over the past couple of years and have had more than one low point. Us creative people are like that, you know.

I jest. But seriously, I presumed that due to a reasonably commonly held belief that the cause of physical dis-ease is emotional upset, I was kind of hoping that as my mood started to improve with all of the recent "Aha!" moments that I have been having, that my PND would start to subside.

I've noticed that over the past few months, the PND has subsided whenever I stayed over at a friends house - but I presumed that was because I was happier in company than sitting on my own.

Apparently not. After spending most of my weekends away having fun, I realised that I wanted to spend at least one weekend at home so that I could actually make some progress on realising my new found dreams. So I regretably cancelled the dancing last weekend and have kind of spent a lot of my time inside the house.

And I feel like shit.

The house I live in is a beautiful Victorian end of terrace, with absolutely no insulation whatsoever. It has single glazed sash windows, a sizeable gap by the front door where the wind whistles through, carpet laid on to floorboards, and is an absolute bugger to heat. It isn't damp enough to grow mould on the walls, but the little dehumidifier under the stairs needs to be replaced every other month. Oh, and there is some kind of white fur growing on the outside wall of the kitchen. Now that's not normal.

So I am finally putting two and two together.
How long have I had a tendancy towards depression? 27 years. okay, okay, 38 years.
How long have I been eating dairy? 38 years.
How long have I had Post Nasal Drip? 15 months.
How long have I been living in this house? 18 months.

Elementary, Mr Dear Watson.

That's my excuse to pay to go dancing this weekend, and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Mother's Day

I never really used to appreciate Mother's Day. In fact, some years it has been a bit of a hassle - yet another day on which to find an appropriate greeting card, work out whether the gift should be chocolate, flowers, both, or something more personal.

Added to this, I have a step-mother too. Double the cards, double the visits, double the gifts, double the stress.

Not that either of my mothers were ever ungrateful or expectant. For several years my step-mother reacted in surprise when I gave her a card and a nicely chosen plant, or chocolates - but this was confusing in itself, spending time to 'find the right thing', worrying that I wouldn't get it right, only to be told 'No, really, you shouldn't have' (which for a long while I incorrectly received as 'You are no child of mine.').

And my Mum always insisted that all she liked was a nicely chosen card and didn't care about anything else.

But it is only now that I am 'of an age' that I can truly appreciate why Mother's Day is so important, watching my friends and family with kids and understanding exactly how much dedication, commitment, selflessness, love and anxiety it takes to raise a child. The least that Mums deserve is a card. And not just any old card, but one with a carefully chosen message (which in this day and age, is so easy to do). This should be the barest minimum. And if you can't afford a gift, then a phonecall or a visit has to be part of the day.

Long gone are the days when I used to shout "I never asked to be born!!" at my mother, because now I understand that, actually, I did ask to be born. Not only that, but I chose Mum to be my mother, to teach me the lessons that I needed to learn. It puts a whole new spin on Gratitude for Mother's Day.

Another reason for gratitude is the fact that I still have (both) my Mum(s) in my life, when a number of my friends no longer have a mother to send cards to. And some children have no mothers at all.

And on that note, I read the news this morning that Jade Goody passed away early this morning, leaving behind her two boys, Bobby and Freddy. Jade's mother, Jackiey, was at her bedside when she died - not the way you would wish to spend Mother's Day. God Bless.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I could see that call coming..

As a means of distracting myself from the things that I really need to get done today, I ran yet another Tarot report from Tarot.com.

It starts as it always does, by reading the horoscope that I receive daily via email. The generic horoscope is there in full on the page, but the horoscope for Gemini contains only the first two lines. So I click "read full horoscope" and am taken through to the website where a whole host of offers are on display to tempt me.

And every now and again, one catches my eye, and today it was the Wheel of Fate reading costing a mere $6.95. Being in denial of the strength of the pound (or current lack of), I perform a conversion in my head which results in a cost of £3.50, justify that I spent more than that on chocolate last week, and click the 'Go' button.

The process for a Tarot reading is as follows:
  1. Hover over the hands to 'shuffle' the cards
  2. Click on the spread to select a card.
  3. Repeat steps one and two until all cards are selected
  4. Click on 'Run Report' to take you to the payment screen
  5. Opt whether to pay with 'Karma Coins' or 'Credit Card' (I never have had enough Karma Coins, so I select to pay by card).
  6. Click the 'Purchase Report' button.
  7. Locate Mobile Phone and wait for Credit Card Security Team to call.
  8. Answer security questions (address, date of birth) written down on the script asked by the nice man or lady with the Indian accent.
  9. Confirm that yes, the card is still in my possession
  10. Confirm that yes, I did just spend £4.95 (£4.95?! not £3.50?!) on a reading from Tarot.com
  11. Listen to the justification as to why this transaction caused alarm.
  12. End the phone call.
  13. Return to computer and read report.
The first time they rang, many months ago, I refused to believe that they were not somebody trying to steal my credit card details, as they wouldn't tell me what the call was about before I gave them my information, and wouldn't confirm snippets of my personal details to prove that they already had them.
They had to send me a letter in the post before I would trust that they were real (well! you have to be so careful nowadays!!)

But since then, I have started to expect their call, and so on this occasion the conversation started:
CC Lady: Hello, may I please speak with Miss Kabbalah Rookie, please?
Me: Yes, speaking.
CC Lady: Hello, Miss Rookie, I am calling from your credit card company and..
Me (cutting her off, midflow): Hi there, yes, I know why you are calling. You want to ask me about a small dollar transaction to Tarot.com that I have just made on my credit card and confirm that the card is still in my possession! It's okay, you call me every time I buy a report. And I do have the card and I did make the purchase."

This comment was met with a confused pause followed by:
"Miss Kabbalah, I first need to ask you a few security questions to confirm that you are the owner of the card..."
And she walked me through the script, one question at a time.

The poor woman - she obviously didn't see that one coming.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Monday Morning Irk #1

I wasn't going to blog this morning (it's another distraction for not doing the things that I really need to be doing - thanks, Satan) but then I read my email and found three from a friend I met when I was travelling nearly two years ago. We catch up every now and again although the contact is becoming less and less frequent.
The first email contained funny pictures like these:
which is right up my street sense of humour wise.

So I opened the second email, which as the title suggested ("To My Sisters - here's one big Cyber smile") was full of chunks of text delivering the usual warm, smaltzy, feel-good messages:
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Love the ones who don't just because you can. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Kiss slowly. Forgive quickly. God never said life would be easy. He just promised it would be worth it.

This was accompanied by pictures of waggy daschunds, love hearts, glittering pouted lips and the usual chain mail verbage:
Today is Sister's Day. Send this to all your sisters - even me, if I am like one.
If you get back 7, you are loved.
Happy Sister's Day!

Oh no! So what if I don't receive 7 replies?! Does that mean I am not loved?!

I never forward this type of chain mail, even if I appreciate the sentiment from the person who sent it - it's just not my thing. I don't tend to get offended (because it was the thought on their part rather than the content, that counts). But if you are true friends with somebody, write them an email, a letter, or give them a call. And if you are pushed for time, send them a one-liner!

But it was the third email that really got me. The title is: FW: Emailing: Fw_[Fwd_Fw_Read alone (Do not delete)].

Oh, here we go.

The first thing that irked me was the spacing in the email (which when directly copied in to Word took up 30 pages). Everything was printed two lines to a page with double-line spacing, so the following friendly warning took up four pages:
Believe whatever is in store for
Us will be
For us.
Poem is very true, unfortunately.
Sure you read the poem!

What then follows are three "Case Studies" of what happened to real people (they are named so they have to be real) - the first two did not read the poem! *gasp* and the third did.

Oh my goodness, and guess what happened to the first two people?!
Well, the first woman was proposed to by her boyfriend of three years, returned to work, stupidly IGNORED the email (can you believe this woman?!) and later received a phone call from the police to say that her fiance had experienced a slight run in with an 18 wheeler and was now DEAD. I kid you not!!

The second person, Katie Robinson (hey, real name, I'm telling you), didn't have the minimum 5 email addresses to forward it on to (Ladies and Gentlemen, she failed in this simple task). Later in the evening she went out to a masquerade ball, and on the way back to her car was hit by a drunk driver in the car park and killed stone dead. And all for not following the simple instructions. (I would love to see the outcome of the police investigation on this one: "Yeah, Sarge, well it appears she kind of brought this one on herself...")

And of course, Richard S. Willis, who followed all of the instructions (like the good boy he is), read the whole poem and forwarded it on to at least five of his friends. Then twenty minutes later went out for lunch and bumped in to the woman of his dreams - THE Woman whom he had admired from afar for two years. And guess what Richard did? He confessed his passion for her and proposed three days later, and she (Cynthia Bell - I told you this was real) accepted. And deservedly he is now living happily ever after (although I happen to think he probably now spends a little too much time forwarding emails just in case).

As for the poem (yeah, I read it - just to see what all of the fuss was about) it isn't anything astounding. It's basically about keeping in touch with old friends and not saying "Eh, I'll call Jim tomorrow" because tomorrow Jim might just be dead. Sweet.

I'll tell you what, instead of calling Jim to keep in touch, why not send him this sick, threatening chain mail poem instead? Jim will love it just as much as you did. Plus it will save you time and probably save you from imminent pain, degradation and death.

Aaaaand...... Delete.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

A chilled and chilling Sunday

Today is the first Sunday that I have spent at home for a long time, so I decided to spend the day doing absolutely bugger all. Of course, this goes against Kabbalah, where the period of the week for doing sweet fanny adams is from sundown on Friday night to sundown on Saturday night - but for this weekend, without fear of a wrathful, judgmental God, I am going to use my divine nature and forgive myself.

And anyway, I have been on a trip to the supermarket, put a load of washing on and folded some clothes ready for ironing later on, which counts as work. So I guess I am off the hook.

With a day of leisure ahead of me and the sun shining, I found that I spent far too much time deciding what to do which then led to running out of time for doing it. I ought to have spent a couple of hours in the garden, which has been neglected since the end of October, but instead I made another cup of coffee, switched on my iPod and ended up counting on next weekend being just as sunny.

Although the sun was shining warmly through the windows, the house I live in is generally cold and damp so I tend to wear lots of layers and get suspicious of the real temperature outside. It might look warm and sunny but I have been deceived before, shivered my way in to town and wished that I had worn a warm coat and a big thick jumper.

On the homeostasis front, I am reptilian in nature - when I get cold then only lying on a slab of rock in the sun or jumping in a hot bath will warm me up. When I get too hot then I want a beach umbrella and a cool breeze (the same as any other Bearded Dragon), or a cold shower. So it didn't surprise me when I walked in to town wearing two vest tops, a long sleeved roll-neck, a merino wool cardigan and an overcoat, and saw everyone but the very old sporting short sleeves or a spring jacket at most. And I still didn't feel warm.

On the way in to town I walked past Specsavers and remembered that I needed to make an appointment for my contact lense check up. They sent me a reminder at the end of January telling me that it was nearly six months since my last check up. Then they sent me another reminder last week to say "you might not realise this, but it is now over a year since your last checkup". Goodness, how time flies. Have I missed my birthday already? I might wait to see how old I am when the next letter arrives - perhaps I might qualify for free eye-care in May.

So now I am back at home, have just polished off another cup of tea, listened to my iPod until the battery needed recharging and decided to spend some of my leisure time browsing through some blogs. And I came across one entry which made me even more determined to enjoy the rest of my day.

I have been following Braja's blog "Lost and Found in India" for a couple of months now. Braja is a wonderfully spiritual but grounded Australian Yogi, living in Mayapur, India. Her last post was on Wednesday, giving the details of her trip to Bangkok - the taxi that would come and collect her and her husband at 3:45am for the three hour drive to Dum Dum airport - and how the sights, smells and sounds of her village seemed so much more intense as she was about to leave.

I started to read updates from the blogs I follow in turn, and the first was a week in review from Marinka on her Motherhood in NYC blog, who reported that the taxi carrying Braja and her husband to the airport was involved in a huge collision. Braja went from the back seat to the front windscreen, knocking a two inch hole in it. Her husband suffered multiple fractures and was in a critical condition. The driver may still possibly have to have his leg amputated. The updates give details on their progress, the wreck of the car, how they were pulled from the car presumed dead because they were unconscious and unceremoniously dragged by the arms along the floor of the hospital until somebody noticed that they were still breathing. They are all still alive. Just. And maybe not entirely out of the woods.

It's funny how you can get to know people through their blogs (although on that note I will add that everything I write on my blog is entirely ficticious and nothing like me at all in case you suspect that I a whinging, neurotic layabout who spends most of her day in her head dreaming about life and most of her time on the couch eating chocolate).

I have never met Braja, never talked to her, never emailed her. But I feel so much better for having found her, and very grateful not to be losing her. I wish her, her husband and the driver the speediest of recoveries.

And I remind myself that every day - no matter what the weather - is precious.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

It's murder on the dance floor....

... and that was just my shoes. My feet were killing me!

So last night was my third Ceroc night and GBM came along to join in the fun. And Oh, What Fun.

The dance floor was packed. So many people turned up for the beginners lesson that there were four rows of us squished in to the hall, and I only had to miss one turn when the ladies briefly outnumbered the men. During the beginners lesson, I danced a turn with Jim, a scotsman who had deeply hurt my feelings in the very first lesson I'd had, tersely spitting "yer all o'er the place. ye'll have te be better than that if yer want te dance wi' mee!" after my slippy boots had let me down. But this time he exclaimed "My gawd, yer fantaastic. Look at yer go. Yer look phenormenaaal. Ye'll have te come back agen". Psycho.

After the refresher session, the freestyle session was heaving - like one huge mosh pit. I seemed to spend more time being spun in to other people and apologising, but there was little need - all the dancers seemed happy to suffer for their art. Most of the beginner men grabbed their coats and left early, which meant that the men then outnumbered the women. This theoretically meant more time on the dance floor for me and less time sitting on the side like a lemon.

And it did. But although it increased the chances of avoiding Jim, it didn't seem to increase my chances of dancing with the men that I wanted to dance with. Every time I took a short break, and scanned the dance floor to look for the guys my age who looked like they knew their stuff, I was approached by men that I had overlooked. Literally.

I must just have a very kind face, or something, because 80% of the men that I danced with were shorter than me. Some significantly so, if you know what I am saying. Okay, do I have to spell it out? I seemed to dance with more than my fair ratio of men who were less than 5 ft tall and much as I enjoy learning from every dancer, there is something slightly uncomfortable in trying to do a double-handed turn with bent knees, and something a little offputting about dancing with a man who is eye level with your chest.

Not that all of them stared at it, of course. Probably because there isn't anything much to stare at (which is just as well because every week I dance with one short man who asks me to 'bounce'...)

But I didn't just dance with short men. Oh no. I danced with old men and I danced with slightly crazy men too (like the very tall, hippy guy with wizard's grey hair who led me through an entire song with his eyes shut, his head back and his mouth open). I also danced with men who looked as though they were about to go ten rounds with Mike Tyson, such as the guy who looked like one of the original T-Birds from Grease, and danced as though he was frustrated at being overlooked for the role of Danny. Every time I made a mistake (which - given that my feet were very sore by this time and he was trying to showcase at speed - was pretty often) I apologised, but judging by the look on his face didn't think I had apologised enough. But at the end of the song, he beamed a warm, wide smile and said "Thanks so much for that - you did really well. Really well. You were great!" Blimey. That was better that the headbutt I was expecting.

It was only looking back at the end of the evening that I felt that I had been slightly short-changed (pun intended) but I still went home with the largest grin on my face. Why? Because I danced for two songs with Martin (who was taking a week off from being a Taxi Dancer).

It took a while too track Martin down, partly because he seemed to be in such high demand, and partly because the dance floor was so incredibly packed that it was virtually impossible to pick him out. Plus it would be risking life and limb to hover nearby in readiness to pounce.

But at long last I got my chance, and to my delight, danced with him to 'Sway' by Dean Martin, plus another follow-up song which was similarly dramatic. There is something so delightful about dancing with Martin. He is used to leading beginners and therefore I find him quite easy to follow and make fewer mistakes. When I do make a mistake he picks up the gap effortlessly.

I laughed the whole way through each routine as he led me in to turns, holds and a couple of fabulous dips - every move appropriate to the music and every second expressed with such joy.

I could go on. No, really. I could go on and on and on and on. The same way I went on and on to GBM and Belle Grey on the train home and for a couple of hours afterwards, when we all traded stories and compared bruises, and I repeated the same thing again, and again and again. As if they didn't get the message the first time.

Anyway. The long and the short (sic) of it is, it seems that being trodden on all night, being bruised and beaten by numerous elbows, spun in to oblivion by over-enthusiastic men with dancing styles that I can't quite grasp, dancing with weird men, grumpy men, short men or old men doesn't ruin my evening at all. As long as I get to dance with Martin.

Heaven help me when he doesn't show up.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Reasons to be cheerful

My weekends of repeatedly living life on trains and out of suitcases have finally taken their toll. The cold that I have been trying to ward off since the weekend has finally won, so I am 'resting' today.

And despite feeling even groggier than I did yesterday, I decided to count my blessings. And then having counted them, I realised something rather sad.

When I am ill, it means that I am grateful for:
  1. my normal state of mental acuity and energy, which I remind myself is only on temporary leave;
  2. having the excuse to wear my baggiest, warmest layers knowing that I don't have to see anybody today;
  3. slobbing on the couch watching the next installment of 'Six Feet Under' (as has just been pushed through my letterbox);
  4. the opportunity to doze between episodes, at will;
  5. the knowledge that chocolate does not contain any calories when you are sick;
  6. the option of flicking through my email, sending long replies if I feel fit, or putting aside for another day if I don't;
  7. the fact that I currently don't have any kids to delay the recovery process;
  8. not having to contact the office to call in sick, because I don't have a job; and
  9. guilt-free space to daydream about all of my future possibilities, knowing that taking action with my current lack of clarity probably would cause disastrous results.
And the sad thing I realised is that the only difference between days when I feel good and days when I feel sick isn't what I am actually doing with my time (well, not much) but the level of guilt I feel on how I spend my time. If I had been feeling on top of the world this could have been the one day where I took the action that made the difference.

Oh, who am I kidding? This would have been yet another day where I looked at my oh-so-exciting To Do list and wondered where the time had gone.

Perhaps this is a minor wake-up call. Sod it, where is that snooze button...?

Monday, 9 March 2009

Break my nose, but give me cheese!

I've just returned from the most wonderful weekend away. A friend of mine, J, has a cottage in Dorset that she rents out for holiday makers and this weekend the cottage was free, so J invited myself and another mutual friend, D, down for a weekend of escape.

The weather could have been better, but the company couldn't. On Friday morning, J picked me up from London Bridge tube, then drove through London to pick up D. After stopping briefly at a supermarket to pick up essential supplies (tonic water to accompany the vodka) we arrived in Dorset early evening, settled in to our rooms, and took a brisk walk along the headland of Lulworth Cove, which was still lightly covered with snow.

D and I were well and truly spoiled, all weekend. J insisted on cooking every meal (J enjoys cooking, D and I both find washing up unusually cathartic). J chauffeured us back and forth, here and there. J lit the fire every evening. J topped up our glasses. J asked us if there was anything else we wanted to see or do. J patiently waited for D and I to be tired enough to retire upstairs so that she could unfold the sofa bed in the living room. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for us.

The cottage itself was perfect and quaint, and every morning I woke to a glorious blue sky, visible through the thatch roof overhanging the windows. If the early bird catches the worm, then the late birds miss the morning sun - we were all far too chilled to make the most of the good weather and each afternoon was filled with a brisk wind and grey, overcast skies. But that didn't dampen our mood.

On Saturday we were driven to Lyme Regis, where I finally had my chance of walking out on to The Cobb, twenty years after studying "The French Lieutenant's Woman". J even managed to find a loan copy of the film for us to watch that evening, which was viewed in between courses of wonderful food and sips of vodka.

On Sunday we spent lunchtime in Weymouth, after 'rescuing' a young Jack Russell called Popeye who was wandering along the middle of an isolated country road. The poor chap was covered in mud and had obviously had a scrap with something - either another living animal or a barbed wire fence. His owner called him a 'little scamp', after running away with his mother two days previously. I would have called him more than that.

Given all of the attentions bestowed upon me by J, I decided that my abstinence from dairy would have to take a back seat for a weekend, and discovered that I was really not any worse off as a result. I have been buying Lacto-free this, and Soya that for the past few weeks, avoiding butter and milk and ice-cream, and have not noticed any benefit. Plus I am mildly allergic to so many things that the difference in symptoms barely measures on the mucus scale.

In addition to this, I knew I had my appointment with the ENT specialist this morning, and subject as I am to miraculous recoveries, I didn't want to take any chances of turning up with a dry nose, no cough and a clear head.

This morning, feeling partly relieved at being groggy and bunged up, I turned up at the hospital to see what was going on up my snout. I knew that the process would involve sticking a camera up my nose but I had no expectation as to how uncomfortable this would be, and so decided to look on the bright side.

The consultant was really rather lovely which can either be seen as a good or a bad thing. Good because it's nice to have rapport with medical professionals. Bad because it's hard to portray the essence of attractiveness to a nice man if he is checking out your bogies.
He looked in my ears. He looked at my throat (without making me gag - now that's skill) and then he selected a 'lady-size' nostril expander and gave me a good squirt of numbing spray and sent me back out to the waiting room, where I pondered how long it would take for the procedure to be completely painless. I am the biggest coward where noses are concerned.

I returned to the examination room, explaining that the spray was making my nose run. He then explained that the human nose produces half a litre of mucus every day. I suspected that half of my daily volume had been created before he had finished his sentence.

Much as I found him rather attractive, it turns out that he is completely untrustworthy. He said "this will feel like a tickling sensation" which was a blatent lie. As the camera got to the top of each nostril, I felt the same painful sensation you get when you snort salt water and want to sneeze. Except that I couldn't damn well sneeze because I was too frightened of impaling my brain on the camera. So I cried instead, snivelly, 'jeez, that smarts' tears.

After the examination he told me that I had a couple of things wrong with my nose. Firstly I have asthma related allergic rhinitis, for which he prescribed a strong nasal spray to reduce the inflammation (oh, Beconase is so yesterday). Secondly, I am a deviant. No, that's not quite right. My septum is a deviant. That's not right either.. Oh yes! I have a deviated septum!

The plan is for me to use the nasal spray for a couple of months, and also book a scan of my sinuses (because heaven only knows what is going on up there). Then I will return to see him in three months time after the results of the scan, after which he will decide whether I should have my deviant septum corrected surgically and whether there is anything else that they can hack away at whilst I am under anaesthetic.

I am already smarting from the prospective pain of having my snoz interfered with. I have seen pictured of nose-jobs on the telly, and they always involve a mallet and a chisel. In my humble opinion, mallets and chisels don't belong anywhere near noses. Neither do power drills, except in horror movies.

But despite his lies, I am looking forward to seeing my consultant again. Roll on June...

And I am looking forward to eating more cheese. Purely as a challenge to my new nasal spray, of course.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

News Flash!! He's just not that in to me!

Okay, so this is day two of PMT and I woke up feeling dehydrated, tired, drained and bloated. Plus every extremity was aching from doing the Bar Method DVD on Tuesday. And I promised I would make the Bar Method an Every Other Day thing... but changed my mind abruptly this morning.

Today's big task today was signing on - a self-inflicted painful event that occurs every two weeks. Self-inflicted in the fact that I could avoid all of the angst by getting a job. And I will do. Soon.

So I got on the bus and became absorbed in my iPod all of the way to Hertford, then decided to browse the shelves of WHSmith's for spiritual/scientific/inspirational books that I really ought to read (if I am ever going to write that book of mine).

The selection was poor. I didn't find "A Course in Miracles" and I couldn't find anything by Wayne Dyer either, or Deepak Chopra. Patanjali? Forget it. Instead my eyes settled on a book called "he's just not that into you" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This was the book that sparked the film (which I haven't yet seen). Well, this could be useful research, given that most of the books that I have are centered around women - I need to have a male perspective too. Plus, of course, it might help me to move on from ex-PNM, who I still cannot stop 'iffing and anding' about, a week to the day that he dumped me.

This may seem pathetic, but something changed from the moment I met ex-PNM until the moment he dropped me. For the first time in a very long time I:
a) was attracted to somebody; and
b) was dating somebody (okay, I know, twice, but still twice more than nothing); and
c) I had the first bit of hope that Something Nice might be happening in my life.

Oo, Something Nice.

So maybe after a long time of not being special I was a little overexcited at potentially feeling special. And when he dropped me, those little feelings of hope were hard to let go. It may have only been a couple of dates, but the memories were still fresh. One minute I was being kissed and swooned over, and the next it's a 'Probably best not for both our sakes'. It's hard.

I hoped that although there were lessons to be learned on my part, maybe he might still be thinking about me, or wondering whether he had made the right decision.

I have read pretty much all of the book since I arrived home. It is a fabulous and honest book. What I love about Greg's writing is that he is constantly relaying the message to women "This man might not be in to you, but you deserve a man who is, and he is definitely out there". Each of his theories are backed up by a selection of men. So much as it might be easy to brush off the advice of one nice, funny man, it is hard to ignore a small jury of them.

And the result of my findings? ex-PNM was just not that into me. Hard to believe, I know. I mean, what is wrong with him?! Nothing, actually - he called things off before either of us got really hurt - he didn't disappear, he treated me well, he had the decency to not leave me guessing or string me along, he let me down gently with a compliment thrown in - he's a nice guy (and I'm not just saying that because I found him attractive) - but he just wasn't that into me.

Which just leaves me open for the next man who is. Let's hope he catches me on a good day, and not one where I am stomping around in a tearful, hormone-induced huff...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

PMT and an unhealthy slug of martyrdom

I was busy marking my calendar this morning just to remind myself that my life was not entirely void of human contact, and remembered at the same time to mark my monthly cycle to keep track. And after that, not wanting to get caught out for another month, I counted the days back to my likely attack of PMT. Oh. Apparently it all kicks off today. Great.

At 2:30 I caught the train in to London to volunteer for the first afternoon meeting of the Business Gym - a networking group for businesses run by the Kabbalah Centre, which aims to bring spiritual understanding to business people. Rather than teaching the basics of Kabbalah, it introduces concepts such as the Ego and Resistance in the form of lectures based around real business issues, like Prosperity and Leadership. The delivery and the message are always spot on and I feel lucky to be involved and contribute where I can.

And I continue to observe my own reactions and behaviours where I feel challenged - and today was one hell of a reactive day for me.

Every time I attend a Business Gym gathering, I miss the presentation. The first week I was a greeter, welcoming people in and showing them where to register. There is always a good half hour or forty-five minutes of networking and refreshments before the talk starts and people move in to the main room to be seated. Then the doors are shut and I am left outside.

When this happened the first time, I was disappointed as I had been looking forward to injecting a bit of positivity in to my day and was expecting to be invited in to listen to the lecture, but I accepted that although I was there on my own time and had paid through the nose for an early morning train ticket, I had volunteered to support the event and not to actually attend it. Plus there were two other women who had processed the payments who were sitting outside with me - so I thought maybe that's just the way it goes and I shouldn't have expected to be invited in. When the group broke to discuss the topics, we all snuck in and found a seat (and in my case a plate full of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs).

The second meeting the same thing happened. This time I was again the greeter and was asked to wait for any late-comers (who never arrived) and when the doors slammed shut, there was nobody outside waiting with me. So I didn't really know what to do. I felt too embarrassed to enter the room whilst the talk was in progress, not knowing whether I would cause an almighty cafuffle trying to get to an empty seat. So I sat outside trying to convince myself that I could hear enough of the talk to benefit from it, whilst silently switching between seething and redressing myself.

To cap it all, two of the women came out towards the end of the talk and saw me sitting outside, and said "What are you doing sitting out here?! Why didn't you come in?!" and despite the fact that I wanted to say "Thanks a bunch for just leaving me outside" (amongst other things), I made a heap of excuses and must have sounded like a complete and utter drip.

I thought about my overt politeness and my usual stress over turning up late. I hate turning up late or at the last minute. I hate entering a room of already seated people. I dread having to go to the toilet in the middle of a live comedy show, in case I am ridiculed as part of their act. I would rather wet myself in my seat than suffer the trauma of making a row of huffy people sit sideways.

I explained my rationale at the end of the talk and insisted "next time, save me a seat and let me know when I can come in".

This week the time had changed to the afternoon, to capture the people who hadn't been able to attend the breakfast meeting. I arrived early and found that I was processing the registrations and payments. And I wasn't comfortable with it at all, even though the task was simple. (There is a great saying that I read today in a Kabbalah book - just because it's simple, doesn't mean that it is easy). The process involved marking people off on an attendance sheet, making note of how they had paid, asking them to complete a registration form, collecting a business card from them, finding their badge (and if they didn't have a printed badge, writing one out for them) and processing their payment, whether it was cash, cheque or credit card.

Despite being super-multi-tasking Gemini, I just couldn't get it together. Three people would turn up at once, and I would get confused between tasks and felt embarrassed at how long it took for me to take simple credit card information. I became flustered at making them wait. Plus I found it difficult to write on a reception desk which was at crotch height.

And then there was the small talk. Why do I have a problem with small talk with people that I don't know? It doesn't take much - a smile and a straightforward "Hi, how are you? Can I take your name? Let's see if we have a badge for you... Could you fill out this registration form for me? And how would you like to pay? Would you like a receipt for that?" It's not rocket science, but somehow I fell short.

But I did okay - people eventually got their badges and made their payments, - and I made the decision that the fact that I didn't enjoy one second of it must have meant that I was Truly Sharing (which is a good thing). Not that this made me feel any better.

Switching the time to the afternoon didn't turn out to be a good thing, because at least ten people who had promised to be there hadn't arrived by the time that the talk was meant to start. Theoretically it is easier to get out of bed an hour or so earlier than it is to get away from a heap of issues at the end of the day. So yet again I was asked to catch any late-comers and was left on my own at reception, knowing fully in my heart that not one of them would show.

But instead of asking "How much longer do you want me to give them, and can you make sure that there is a seat for me?" I processed the thought 'you're not even considering that I might want to listen to this talk, are you?', took offence, then smiled and said "Okay, no problem!"

So I sat in reception with an air of martyrdom which would have had Joan of Arc singing "We Are Family! I Got All My Sisters With Me!" with the same conversation going round my head:
"No, that's fine, you just go in AGAIN. I'll just sit here like a f**king lemon AGAIN. I'll just miss the lecture - don't you worry about me. I'm sure I'll survive. I don't need to hear a lecture on money anyway. These people aren't going to show anyway, so this is a waste of my time and if they can't be bothered to show up by x time then they shouldn't be allowed in. How else are they going to learn good timekeeping?".

There were times during this hour that I started to feel very sorry for myself - particularly dejected and glum. Sulk, sulk, sulk.

It's a good job I wasn't standing in the street because my bottom lip was big enough for two tramps AND their dogs.

And all of this because I couldn't simply say "Shall we give them another ten minutes and then I'll come down - is there a seat for me?" It was nobody elses fault but my own. If I can't stand up for myself and say what I want then why should I expect anybody to read my mind?

I did make my feelings clearer at the end of the talk - next time I would like a cut-off time and a seat saved. I can make it known that I would really love to hear as much of the lecture as possible. And given that they record each talk, I could even ask whether I could have access to the CDs.

And yet still, in the nature of my mood, I only realised on the train home that every sorry thought in my head this afternoon was heightened by hormones. That's why I was feeling unusually tearful, and that's probably why I was so cack-handed at admin too.

Oh well - maybe next time. At least I took the opportunity to demolish the rest of the buffet whilst nobody else was looking....

Monday, 2 March 2009

Time to Get The Message

My life, at present, feels like a mess. I spend my unstructured days in my head, daydreaming about all of the future possibilities, trying to inspire myself in to action and beating myself up for the things I am not achieving. But in truth, only action leads to action. It is only those baby steps which are going to open up my world and bring all of the people in to my life who will enable me to grow and realise my purpose.

Awareness is key, though, and at least if I am not walking the walk of what I wish to teach, I am listening for messages all of the time. And since I started actively listening, I have realised that messages are coming at me all the time, from all directions.

Take, for instance, Potential New Man, who decided to become Soul Mate Lesson Number 1 on Thursday night after just two, short dates. After seeming so incredibly blown away by my company on Tuesday night, by Thursday he had decided that we wanted different things out of life and suggested that we just remain friends. His explanation was that:
  1. He didn't want to become involved with a woman who wasn't financially secure. He had been there before, it hadn't worked and wanted to save us both pain in the long run.
  2. He wasn't looking for anything long term.
Fair enough. If we had posted our profiles on a dating site then these things would have been stated up front and we would never have met. But then he also said that I make him melt whenever he sees me and that he would have to do his best to control his actions whenever I was around.

My inner response was mixed. First there was the hurt that he disapproved of me not being financially secure, along with some anger that he wasn't seeing my potential and was judging me on my financial status alone. Second there was the sheer joy in hearing that I had the power to make someone melt with desire. Because it's what we want to hear, isn't it, ladies?

On Friday night I went to Ceroc with the attitude of "I'll show him what he's missing - boy, is he ever going to regret dumping me" expecting some kind of sign that my sexual power would far outweigh his logic.

Big mistake.

When he arrived I greeted him warmly (or is that coolly?), then danced with him for several songs, trying to keep things light. And after that - apart from some fabulous (if not sensational) dances with other men - it all went a bit tits up.

The women far outnumbered the men and I found myself on far too many occasions standing by the side of the dance floor, trying to avoid eye contact with the men with whom I didn't want to dance. Perhaps it was my Glow In The Dark Beginner's Bracelet that put some of the better dancers off, wanting to avoid an accidental finger in the eye or crushing of the foot.

Unfortunately this imbalance meant that ex-PNM was not without a constant supply of dance partners, and so my downtime was spent consumed with jealousy watching him dance with other women. Other, quite sexy women. Other, quite sexy women not sporting a Beginner's Bracelet. For several dances. With lots of talking. And despite the fact that he had said "I'll catch up with you later", he didn't so much as glance in my direction once during the rest of the evening, stopping by only as I was easing my blistered toes back in to my trainers to say "see you around".

Wow. Either he is a fantastic liar or a master of hiding his feelings. So much for making him melt! I felt totally crushed and struggled to untangle my thoughts and understand his.

But it makes no difference what or how he is thinking. If I suddenly became "financially secure" and he became interested again, would I reconsider? Does it matter if he was being honest about our 'values and direction' or was just looking for a quick shag and realised very quickly that he wasn't going to get one? Does it matter if, having not found quick (and rather fantastic, I might add) shag with me, he finds someone else who will satisfy his urges? The answer to all of these is No.

The truth is that I am looking for something deeper than just a physical relationship. I am looking for someone who will love me for me. And I can't do that by giving a man the best sex he has ever had in his life - he has to want something on a deeper level too. But I am also struggling with loving myself at this moment in time, unhappy with what I am or am not achieving, frustrated with my current situation and lack of visible progress - and so I have attracted someone else in to my life who thinks the same as I do. He is disappointed too.

Perhaps at the moment I feel that sex is the only thing that I have to offer that can possibly appeal.

But there was a second and more important lesson to be learned on Friday night. Part of the reason that I hold myself back from making progress on my purpose is because I have limiting thoughts on what I am able to achieve. I tend to wonder why anyone would choose to be inspired by me, or how, given that there are so many inspirational people out there writing books, mediating, counselling, running workshops I could ever be that good. I underestimate my abilities constantly and I like to set other people's expectations accordingly so that I don't hear the words "I thought you said that you could..." or "So-and-so is much better than you are".

And here is the strangest thing: Friday night was only my second night of dancing Ceroc. Even though it is the man's role to lead, there are so many moves that I don't know. Sometimes you think you are heading in one direction, and they spin you back the other, or round again. So every single man that I danced with I set their expectations beforehand that I was a beginner, so that they were prepared for me to be crap and weren't disappointed by the mistakes I made or the misread signals.

And every single man that I danced with said "Take that bracelet off! It doesn't matter how many lessons you've had - you have natural rhythm and you follow the lead perfectly. You can dance!"

Or in other words "Don't set my expectations at a lower level than that which you are capable, because you are fooling no one but yourself".

The Beginner's Bracelet has to come off - and not just on the dance floor.