Friday, 27 February 2009
I just had a phone call. Nothing unusual about that really, except that this one was. Unusual, that is.
Here’s how it went:
Ring…ring… [I check number, it’s unavailable. I answer anyway, there‘s a few seconds pause and I clearly hear the caller put the phone down.]
Ring…ring… [I check number again...still unavailable. I answer.]
Him: Is that Mrs Sharon?
Me [thinking it’s strange he didn’t use my surname]: Who’s asking?
Him: I’m calling about your loft and cavity wall insulation for [tells me my house number and street]
Me: Sorry, I know nothing about any insulation. Goodbye.
I was rather abrupt in my manner when I put the phone down but the whole thing felt very dodgy to me and I wasn’t about to stay on the line with him.
1. Why an unavailable number?
2. Why put the phone down the first time he called?
3. Why not use my surname?
4. Why, even though I asked, did he not introduce himself?
I’m sure that whatever he was up to, it wasn’t kosher. He even sounded nervous, like he knew he didn’t really ought to be doing what he was doing; the pause between me asking who wanted to speak to me and him responding was just a bit too long, if you get what I mean.
It really is worth being aware of dodgy phone calls. I mean, I can’t say for sure that he was up to no good, but the signs are definitely there. I should really have asked him for the name of the company he worked for and his name, but I wasn’t in the best of moods and I do remember reading something a while back that said you shouldn’t keep anonymous callers on the line for longer than you need to but it would have been interesting to have heard what he’d said if I had asked.
I guess I won’t be getting any loft or cavity wall insulation.
Sharon J x
Image Credit: Deman
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Now I know language doesn’t remain static. Every language evolves whether we like it or not - if that weren’t the case we’d still all be speaking in the same way Shakespeare did, or even Anglo-Saxon, but I really don’t like what’s happening to it these days.
This is copied from something a 15 year old friend of the family wrote recently:
“I had da best tym todaii it woz wiked. Just gt in nd am 2 tyred 2 fink. C ya 2mrw.”
I’m really not sure whether that’s txt spk or just a case of bad spelling, grammar and everything else rolled together.
This isn’t an isolated incident either. Go on any social networking site and take a look at how young people write these days. Not all of them - some youngsters write beautifully - but far too many.
Is it because they’re not being taught proper language skills in school? Is it because of txt spk influences? Is it just sheer laziness (can’t be bothered to learn)?
I really hope this isn’t a sign of how people will be speaking/writing in the future because that, to me, just isn’t beautiful.
Sharon J xx
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
My daughter’s out tonight. Just recently she’s been spending more time than usual at home and definitely more time sitting in the living room actually wanting to talk to me. Every night this week so far and all but one last week. And the one night she was out last week was because it was her birthday so was taken out for a meal by some friends. She did make me a lasagne before she went though (my favourite - she hates it) and apart from an hour or two spent shopping in the morning, spent the day with me.
This is most unusual behaviour for her but I know what’s happening. She’s moving out in a few weeks and knows that this is the last of her time left being part of this place… being here whenever…. In the future it’ll be visits and that’s never the same. For the same reason I’ve been really enjoying her company.
We’re both heading off into the unknown now. I’ve just realised that I’ve never actually lived alone before. I went straight from my parents’ home to my married home and when that went tits up I had my children living with me. After 48 years I’m finally going it alone.
How we’ll cope remains to be seen but I’m optimistic.
Sharon J xx
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
Saturday, 21 February 2009
A few weeks ago I bought myself a new bracelet. I wasn’t being indulgent or anything, it’s a simple bracelet of stones on elastic. It’s nicely made and looks nice and at £5.95 it won’t exactly break the bank.
But I didn’t buy it because it’s pretty or cheap, I bought it because my shoulder has been giving me gyp for about a year now. I have no lateral movement in my left arm and can’t lift it over my head as well as my right and sometimes - about 2-3 times a week on average - it’ll ache like nobodies business. Since Christmas the aching had increased in intensity and was starting to happen more frequently so I decided it was time to see if I could do anything about it.
I’d heard that hematite’s said to have electromagnetic properties so I grabbed a few books that I thought would give me the information I needed and low and behold, they were said to be useful for easing joint pain.
As I tend to prefer to try the natural remedy first, I took myself off to eBay and searched for a hematite bracelet. There were a few different choices available but the one shown above was by far the one that suited my taste best.
That was about a fortnight ago. I’ve worn it every day since it arrived and apart from the first day, not once… yes, that’s right, NOT ONCE, has my shoulder given me anywhere near the kind of pain it used to. I still don’t have any more dexterity in it but I’m no longer kept awake because I don’t know where to put my arm, and believe me, that really was driving me potty. Most of the time I don’t notice any pain at all, and when I do it’s really not too bothersome.
Now it could just be coincidence so I’m in no way saying that my lack of pain IS down to the hematite, but it seems probable to me. All stones and crystals are said to have their own energies that draw or repel other energies and, apparently, hematite works by attracting the iron in the blood (or rather, the energy of the iron) thus increasing the blood's flow.
I know some people would argue that it’s just a placebo effect but if that is the case, as long as it works for me that’s ultimately what matters.
Sharon J xx
PS: If you're interested in looking at some hematite bracelets, I bought mine from this seller.
Friday, 20 February 2009
Living on the earth is easy, we all do it without giving much thought to it. But how about living with the earth?
We’ve been blessed with a beautiful planet that, if treated properly in order to give nature a chance to do things the way they were intended, would provide for all of our basic needs; there would be enough nutritious food, clean water and shelter for everybody.
But we don’t.
Most of us choose to just live on the planet instead of living in harmony with it. We no longer follow the natural cycles of life, whether that’s our own lives or those found in everything natural that surrounds us. We’ve built a society where living in peace and harmony with the earth is actually the more difficult option, but surely it should be the easiest and most natural thing to do? Shouldn’t understanding nature’s cycles, including the natural cycles of our own bodies, be instinctive or at least learned through the generations so that we ‘just know’ rather than something we have to teach ourselves and strive to achieve? Shouldn’t respect for the environment be an established standard rather than something we need to reminded of? Shouldn’t we naturally prefer food that’s free from chemicals and toxins and from livestock that’s treated humanely rather than weighing up what’s best for the earth and everything that’s a natural part of it against what’s cheapest for us?
Many hundreds of years ago people lived in closer harmony with the earth but eventually man became materialistic. Once that happened, there was no stopping us and these days, those of us who still try to live as natural a life as we can, and who truly care about the environment and want to preserve this beautiful planet are still all too often seen as ‘a bit weird’. I’ve been called a new age hippie, a tree hugger, an old witch, an eco-warrior, and a green trendy and while I suppose I’m all of those things in differing degrees (except green trendy - there’s nothing trendy about me), they’ve been said in a derogatory manner as if caring about our environment is wrong!
We can’t hide behind ignorance. We all KNOW how important it is to care for this planet and yet so many still do far less than they‘re able, if they actually do anything at all.
Sharon J xx
Thursday, 19 February 2009
My daughter and I were chatting last night and the subject eventually came round to the way people are always wanting more - something bigger, better, flashier, more impressive and always more expensive.
She said that she’d much rather look back on a life filled with memories of adventures and experiences that had made an impact on her life, even if only on a spiritual level, because buying stuff doesn’t create lasting memories, not unless there’s been some real blood, sweat and tears put into actually getting it, and those who continuously buy new stuff don’t generally do that.
Do you remember the nights you spent just watching the TV and look back with pleasure? Do you look back on all those days your kids spent in front of the TV playing computer games and smile, laugh or even cry at the wonderful memories? Do you look at your sofa and feel warmed by the memory of buying it?
Do you remember the nights you spent with family and friends and look back with pleasure? Do you look back on all those days your kids spent playing in the woods with you, or learning how to ride a bike, or watching a bird bathe in a puddle and smile, laugh or even cry at the wonderful memories? Do you look at that old sofa and remember cuddles with the kids on it when they were younger?
Things are just things but love, laughter, friendship and experiences are what makes our lives special.
Sharon J xx
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Yesterday was Paul’s birthday. Most of you probably know who he is by now but for the benefit of those who don’t, he’s my special needs son who’s currently staying with my parents in order to help Mum look after Dad, who’s very, very ill at the moment. He was 31 yesterday but to all intents and purposes, he’s still very much a child. An incredibly loving, helpful and honest child.
I phoned him yesterday to wish him happy birthday - like you do - and after a quick ‘conversation’ (Paul can’t actually speak and as he obviously can’t use sign language or gestures via the phone, conversation is difficult) I spoke to my mum.
She told me he’d received a card from my ex husband. This is a man who I haven’t lived with for about 18 years and who isn’t Paul’s natural father. Paul was a year old when we met, two when we married. Since going our separate ways, he’s had relatively little to do with Paul (long story but there is a reason) but never once has he forgotten him. And there’s always some money in the card too, even though he’s far from ‘flush’ himself.
Paul gets ever so excited about birthday cards - small things mean a hell of a lot to him. Far more so than they ever have to me or my daughters. Paul sees and appreciates things that most of take for granted. Sadly though, he only received two cards. The second one was from my mum. Today he should get two more, one from me and one from his sister (ours obviously didn’t arrive on the day) but unless there are some more late-comers, nobody else bothered.
Now I understand that we usually stop sending cards when children grow up, and that some people won’t send cards at all for ethical reasons, but I would have expected a few more people to understand that Paul isn’t ‘grown up’, especially those who have been close to him, and that he doesn’t have a great many of the pleasures in life that we all take for granted, and at least taken the time to send a card to brighten his day with - to help make him feel special and appreciated. Because he IS special, in so many ways.
I just feel that fewer people seem to take the time to think about what would make somebody else happy and actually do it - sending a card isn’t that difficult. Even a phone call would have been something. Or a letter. Anything!
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t expect anything. Maybe it’s just me being selfish, expecting others to give a damn about my son.
Sharon J xx
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
I’ve blogged about toxic people before so most of you probably know already that I’ve been doing as much as I can to remove them from my life and clean up any negative emotional debris that they’ve left behind, but somebody recently asked me WHY I see certain people as being toxic, a question that led to quite a lengthy and interesting conversation.
All relationships are based on a trading system - give and take.
When we meet new people, whether or not we become friends with them depends entirely on whether they have something to offer that we need/want in our lives and whether there’s anything we can offer back that’s of value to them. It could be the ability to make you laugh, being a good listening, shared values, helping out with odd jobs, being a travel companion or one the myriad other reasons why we enjoy being with certain people. Usually though, for a close relationship to develop there needs to be several matches from both sides and for things to balance and create a harmonious relationship, there has to be an even amount of give and take from both sides.
When I realised I needed to remove certain people from my life it was because the relationships I had with them were far too unbalanced - I felt I was doing far too much giving in comparison with what I was receiving back. That sounds selfish, and some would say that we should always give without expecting anything in return, but I just can’t see how any long term relationship could survive like that. We may not consciously expect anything back, but our spirits become unhappy when our kindness is being abused.
Obviously all relationships become unbalanced at times - sometimes a friend’s need can become so all consuming that they’re simply not able to give anything back at that time, but when there’s a continuous unequal measure of give and take, a relationship becomes toxic to the person doing the giving. We can become tired, frustrated, lose our confidence and even become depressed, depending on the level of giving that’s expected of us and how many people are abusing their relationships with us.
But not all toxic relationships are based on ‘selfishness’. Some become toxic simply because the original ‘things’ we needed or could give are no longer valid. Perhaps one or both is still loving and kind but just doesn’t have enough to bring to the table anymore to keep the relationship as strong as it once was. This, I believe, is what most often happens when partners come to a point where the only answer is to walk away but don‘t. They keep going back, keep trying, even though they know deep down that the relationship can‘t survive, whether that be a partner, an awkward boss, a friendship or any other kind of relationship. It’s nobody’s fault - people change and so do their needs or ability to give what‘s needed.
Unfortunately, because there were so many people in my life who I felt were doing far too much taking, either on a spiritual, emotional or practical level compared to what they gave (in some cases, nothing at all), I was running myself dry. That was no good to anybody. If I’m run down I’m of not use to those who do deserve my time while the ‘leeches’ will just move on and look for a new ‘victim’.
Since removing certain people from my life, or at least minimising the time I spend with them, I’ve felt I could once again breathe out and take stock of my life; regain the control that I felt I was losing. I’ve worked on clearing the negative energy they’d left behind in me and I’m gradually ridding the house of their residual energy too. The longer time that passes and the more people who have a positive effect on me I have visit, the better the atmosphere becomes. The law of attraction is once again working in the way I need it to and those I spend time with nowadays are giving me what I need and giving back feels so much easier.
Sharon J xx
Image Credit: Sarah Azavezza
Is it just me that’s a lazy mare or do other people drag out going to loo for as long as they can because they can’t be bothered to get up?
Admittedly, when my energy’s low or I’m ill, getting up to visit the privy can be a huge effort, but this happens on good days too. Not all the time - I’m not that lazy - but it happens. And sometimes I leave it so long that I'm bursting by the time I get there.
Please tell me you do it too.
Sharon J x
Sunday, 15 February 2009
As much of a cliché as it’s become, I do believe that what goes round come round. That what you send out of good or bad energy/actions will come back to you again. That we all get our comeuppence; that God - whether that be Allah, God as depicted in the Bible, the Cosmos or any other form of deity - does repay all debts.
Everything we do on this planet (or elsewhere, if we happen to be astronauts!) has an effect on other people, creatures or nature otherwise. Our actions create a reaction - cause and effect- which is sometimes immediate, other times not so, but a reaction will happen regardless. It may not always be a serious reaction that has any noticeable effect, but sometimes the reaction can be devastating.
I don’t care who you are or how you’ve lived, some of your actions WILL have created a negative reaction. And while most of those actions will have been unintentional, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that there are times when I’ve been a damn right nasty cow. There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that some of my past actions have had a profound negative effect on others.
No doubt I've created some bad karma for myself but I'd like to think I've created some of the decent stuff too, although I would have liked to have done more good. But we can’t change the past, can we? Or can we?
Is it possible to go back and settle our karmic debts?
I believe it is.
After a good session of theorising and generally putting the world to rights with a couple of people last night, we concluded that if karma really does exist in our lives then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be to create some better karma for ourselves by righting our wrongs and that there are two ways that this could be done.
One is to simply stop and actually think before you act. What might the consequences of my action be? Would buying a new car put too much of strain on the environment for it to be acceptable for me to have something that I want rather than need? Would it hurt this person if I tell them they look tired when they’re on their way to a hot date? I’m not saying we’ll never make mistakes but by stopping and thinking a bit more we can at least minimise the amount of damage we cause by our actions.
The second way is by repaying our debts by helping those we‘ve wronged. If you know you once did something that that had a profoundly negative effect on a person’s life, whether intentional or not, then you should do something that will have equally as great an effect on them, but in a good way in order to balance the karma again.
Personally I’d start with the things I’ve consciously done - those time I’ve just been down right horrible. Selfish acts that I did regardless of the consequences even though I knew what I was doing was wrong. Then would come the times I’ve hurt somebody because I had PMT and couldn’t control my tongue, and the times when I’ve been stressed or worried or for some other reason took my problems out on others and hurt them more than is excusable. Because I haven’t been an angel, and although I don’t consider myself a horrible person, I’ve have been
a right bitch unjustifiably horrible at times.
It doesn’t matter whether the other person knows we’ve paid off the debt or not - this isn’t about getting thanks, it’s about balancing your karma which is a private thing between you and your creator, whoever/whatever that may be; as long as the debt’s paid, the karma’s rebalanced and that’s what matters here.
And what’s more, even if this is just a load of old poppycock, we’ll have still touched a few lives and some people will feel a little bit happier along the way. Knowing we've made others happy ultimately makes us happier too so everybody wins. And that can't be bad, can it?
Sharon J xx
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Right. Well… here I am again. I just couldn’t keep away.
The thing is, I love writing and as something of a jaw-me-dead, I have lots to say so blogging kills two birds. Then there’s the fact that I missed this place, sharing my thoughts with people who clearly appreciate them and when several of you sent me messages on Facebook or through emails, asking whether I planned to start blogging again and telling me how much it was missed, well I just knew I had to come back.
I even stopped reading blogs regularly for a while because I found so much inspiration in what my favourite bloggers were writing about that it was becoming a bit frustrating. It didn’t help though, because life in itself does exactly the same thing. Inspiration is everywhere around us, every day of our lives.
Since deciding to lay the blog to rest, a good few of you have added me as a friend on Facebook but it isn’t the same. Not even close. Facebook has its place but it’ll never take the place of blogging. Thanks for adding me though, it was really nice to know that so many of you wanted to stay in touch.
Anyway, I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every day at the moment but as I said, I’m a jaw-me-dead so no doubt I’ll be posting regularly. There’s just so much to say, only this time I won’t be sticking to subjects that are related to simple living, although I'm sure simple living with still feature heavily. I’ll be ‘chatting’ about anything that happens to interest me at the time. And you’ll probably discover sides of me that I haven’t written about before so watch out for a few surprises - this is me, warts and all. And what’s more, it doesn’t matter anymore that ‘somebody’ could be reading this because by stopping doing something I enjoy, I’m letting somebody else control what I do, even though they’re not actually trying to. How daft is that?
I’ll be back tomorrow with a proper post.
Take care, everybody. And happy Valentine's Day.
Sharon J xx