Stoicism

tantrumUpon arriving home last night I expressed my absolute frustration to the husband about some random work orientated things. Expressed it clearly and precisely in words of one syllable. And I might have declared that I was so irked that I felt like acting like a child by throwing myself on the floor, having a stiff bodied tantrum, and a jolly good scream and shout.

(I’d had a VERY bad day at work.)

The obstacles we face in life sometimes make us emotional. The only way to overcome them is to keep those emotions in check. If we can “keep calm and carry on” then everything will be ok, right?

The ancient Stoics had a word for this state: apatheia.

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Home is where the heart is.

d25e6eac73427212e857488080ec5267So I’m doing the rounds at the moment, trying to raise some dosh as I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for a charity. It’s a charity that is near and dear to my heart, but something has stumped me since I started shaking my virtual bucket at people: the response I get when I tell people who I am raising money for.

I am running for Crisis – the national charity for single homeless people – and it’s the word homeless that appears to be a bit of a sticking point.

Homelessness has increased over the last three consecutive years, partly because of housing shortages and cuts to benefits, with an estimated 185,000 people a year now impacted in some way across England.

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Promises, promises…

second chance quotes“But they broke their promise.”

Words muttered at me by a friend. 

We all make promises. Give our word. State categorically that this will happen without fail.

We make promises with the best of intentions, on behalf of future selves that we believe will fulfill them.

And sometimes we break our promises.

Whether we deem a broken promise as something that is forgivable or as re-affirmation that nobody can ever be trusted will be determined by our past. In the moment many of us pay no heed to the minutiae of a specific situation, we simply apply hard and fast rules to the world, everyone around us, and how we believe people should behave.  One size doesn’t always fit all.

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Keeping it real.

François-Guillaume Menageot.It seems to me as if we’ve changed our definition of what is real to accommodate an economy based on the currency of sharing. It’s an economy that seems to me to measure an event’s value by the number of likes and retweets it gets. An economy that changes the way we make decisions because we start to seek out the things that have the highest “share value”, while we shun the quiet, everyday activities that make up life.

As I graze through my Facebook feed at night, I munch on the extraordinary and exciting lives of others. A night on the tiles with the girls. A hike through the wilderness. A business meeting that came good. A birthday celebration. A funny thing someone’s kid said. And of course, the photos. The endless, happy photos of dancing, smiles, mountains, wine, travels, more wine, and lots and lots of babies. Everyone is having an amazing time in an amazing world.

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Mistakes. I’ve made a few…

mistakes

Back when I was a wee person, my parents warned me about this terrible thing called “making mistakes”. They talked about this a lot. They filled my head with all kinds of horror stories. They believed that as long as I did things with caution and care, and learned from other people’s blunders and faux pas, there was no need for mistakes to be made.

Whenever I did screw up – which face it, happens a lot when you’re a dustbin lid – I was chastised for not being vigilant, for not thinking things through, or for simply not listening when I was told (lectured) about the other people’s cock ups.

It goes without saying that I grew into an anxiety-ridden teenager, afraid of making even the tiniest mistake, and strove for perfection at every turn.

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Going with the flow…

flowI kind of wrote this post to myself the other day (mentalist, I know) as I was getting annoyed by something. It was something that I desperately wanted to control but knew that I couldn’t…

It is futile to fight inevitability. Life is change; if we stop changing, we stop growing. Be pragmatic for a second: life is never going to go exactly the way that you want it to. Something is always waiting to crawl out of nowhere and nibble on your left buttock when you least expect it. The more that you attempt to make life go exactly your way, the more it will do its level best to do the opposite. Fact. 

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Push the button.

button

Something happened the other day – a throw away comment landed in my inbox – I thought about it for all of five minutes. And then wound myself up some more. And then a bit more. And then I decided that I was mad as wasps about the whole thing, and the only option was for me to take umbrage with said individual. Severe umbrage.

And it got me thinking about how best to deal with my ire. And the umbrage. Natch.

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