It is the start of March and it is biting cold! The ‘Beast from the East’ arrived. Londoners, who rarely see proper snow, were anxious and excited in equal measure. I mean, how does one dress fashionably well without looking like the Michelin man and be warm and comfortable too? I,for one, love snow. I mean, who does not love beautiful snowscapes, right? I want a picture of a frozen landscape without actualy traveling to the Artic. The parks with the bare trees and snow hanging on their branches will be a sight to behold. It will be a perfect opportunity to whip out the winter coats kept hidden in the closet and take “Intagram- worthy’ pictures declaring to the world – Yep! I love snow! The first morning we had negative temperatures, my feet were freezing whilst riding in the bus. I was hoping that I will not get frostbite. I regretted not buying a new pair of snow boots when I threw away my last pair. Who knew that I will be requiring snow boots when it had snowed for years?! I had to stomp my feet several times upon entering work, if only to get some proper circulation back into them. I guess my pretty suede ankle boots will not suffice for these temperatures. That morning, I declared to my colleagues, I am buying snow boots! My colleagues, being ever supportive, started googling online snow boots on sale and where I can buy them. Let me clarify, we were waiting for a meeting to begin when we had this conversation. Working with female colleagues have its perks because women understand the fashion dilemma- real, practical or not, women face. The catch? I need to leave work on time inorder to make it to the stores in the town center before they close at 18:00. Yep, the stores in this part of my world close at 18:00 and it is almost impossible to make it in time especially with the added winter demands at work. It was already 18:20 when I was ready to go home that afternoon. I remembered that the local Marks and Spencer store near my flat closes at 20:00. They might just have what I needed in their limited display. I made it to the store at 19:20 so I went straight to their shoe display. The low-healed laced up boots with fur at the ankles proved to be difficult to put on especially in the limited time I had. I found a 2-inch heeled pair with fur lining at the ankles as well. They zip up so were not hard to put on. They look nicer and smarter too. The soles are rubber and look to have a good grip. My anima brain keeps screaming, “me likey” but my animus brain is skeptical about the heels. Of course the female brain won and I became a proud owner of two- inch heeled fur lined rubber soled boots. Did they work? The next day whilst I was sitting in the bus on my way to work, my feet were freezing, again! So no, they did not work! That afternoon I decided to go to leave work on time to get to the town center. I managed to get in one shoe shop before they closed. I was the last one in. They actually closed the door whilst I was still in there. I was torn between two pairs of shoes. I ended up taking a picture of both boots and asked my friends on our message thread which one to buy. Isn’t technology amazing? I was tempted to buy both as they were on very big sale discount but I managed to control myself and just bought the brown pair. I still think of the black pair up to now but decided that I have enough black boots right. I also decided to buy thermal socks. The next day, I wore my new snow boots and thermal socks plus I decided to sit further away from the bus doors. Well, if I am to achieve something different(i.e. keep my feet warm) then I need to deviate from my routine. As Eistein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” And Voila! My feet were just cold but not freezing! By Friday afternoon, everybody was rushing to go home to try escape the forecasted heavy snowfall and not be stranded in the road. I planned to just snuggle under the duvet the whole weekend. I already bought the not-so -healthy food to ‘help warm me up’. I don”t normally stock up on crisps, chocolates and bread but it seems to me the situation called for them. Carb loading it is then! But come Saturday morning, all I can think of was getting out of my flat, despite the cold temperatures. Another silly thought passed my mind was that I wanted to wear my hip-length coat which is not that thick instead of my warm knee-length coat. I will just layer up! I was pondering on how I will keep my whole body warm and not just my feet whilst I was in the shower. I decided that it’s time I wear my skinny jeans again. I have purposely avoided wearing my skinny jeans for months now as I have put on weight. Ok full disclosure… I do not weigh myself for years now. My guage is how my clothes fit me. I have always been wearing the same sized clothes so much so that at 2015, I still fit in my clothes from 2000. In 2015, I dropped another dress size then I started stress eating in 2016- death of a parent and a heartbreak are great stressors. I never stress-eat before yet somehow I started and my 40 something metabolism cannot cope with it anymore so I piled on the pounds. It isn’t that obvious as I still fit in my clothes but they are slighly tighter than usual. I dreaded putting my skinny jeans. This pair used to be very loose in the waist area- now I had a struggle closing the button. I could reason that it was newly washed , ironed and that I have tights and leggings on as well. Those, unfortunately, will not explain the waistline! I am stubborn so I decided to wear my skinny jeans anyway and just hope that it will loosen eventually with wear before I pass out. As I was zipping up my jeans, I swear at the designer of skinny jeans! I was contemplating of wearing one of my pretty skirts but I will not be defeated by skinny jeans! I guess, no more carbo loading for now. Hmm… may be I will just need to finish what I bought because I cannot really throw away food! Think of all the starving children… With that in mind, I left my flat with a resolution to achieve 10,000 steps daily- cold weather or not. Well, wish me luck!
So this morning as I was putting my make up on, a thought crosses my mind that I am starting to look old. For a brief moment, I felt sad then I asked myself, what do I have to be sad about?
I had a wonderful and happy childhood which was filled with love and laughter. My years in academia was also similarly fulfilling though I now laugh at myself for crying over a passing, though not perfect, grade. I lived my adult life as I wanted to live and work – as stressful as it is sometimes, I love my work. So what do I have to be sad about? Should I be sad for my lost youth? It wasn’t lost and everybody grows old. Should I be sad for being on my own all this time? But I love my life – it’s not perfect but I truly like my own company so much so that if I am constantly socialising as I am wont to do- I will eventually crave for my alone time. So that brief moment passed very quickly and I proceeded to put my lip gloss.
I smiled at my reflection and reminded myself that I had a good life. And well… my days in mini skirts are now numbered but in the meantime, carpe diem!
The tears flowed and never ebbed
The colours faded and not returned
The heart ached and ached
The eyes forever trained on the horizon
Music died and silence reigned
Clock ticking and yet time stood
Waiting for pain and love to fade
Yet here I am hoping and praying
I just Let it go
I Leave the words unsaid
I Make fear of getting hurt rule over
I let pride overpower love
I just accept it as it is
Tomorrow does not come
Time runs out
There’s no other chance
Our paths never cross again
We cannot reach across the void
I never get to say sorry
I never tell you I miss you every minute since
I never show you the tears our separation costs me
I never hold your hands again
You never know that I love you
Here I am where I was
The world continued going
Life carried on without pausing
Motions of life I imitated
Smile pasted on a face where eyes do not smile
Evey night I cried, wondering and pining
And I stood still
Stuck to the place
Where I watched you walk away
Neither voice nor energy came
I wanted to call out
Or run after if only to glimpse your shadow
Like a lost waif I waited
The sun has shown brightly
The leaves turned brown and fell
Yet here I still stand waiting
For you to find me
Dear heart, I implore you
Emotions flying high
Pride and hurt reigning
Love gone hiding
I have no right so you say
Rejection tasted bitter and seared
Reflex is to lash out and inflict same hurt
So I closed my eyes, holding the tears
So I have decided to keep mum
My regret and my reason for my pain and silence…
This truth I kept from you
You are my beloved
In my heart of hearts I keep you
Every minute, every second I miss you
Should have said, ‘ I love you’
Now in my heart I keep
My regret and my reason…
Eyes flutter open
Sunlight streaming in
Birds singing melodies outside
A thought, a feeling surfaces
A longing, yearning for completeness
Filling and bursting my heart
A thought, a feeling same as last night
Before sleep took away my consciousness
I knew it then and I still know it now
First and last conscious thought everyday is
Last Wednesday, I was annoyed by a situation that I was rushing to go up to rectify the situation. I did not go up via lift but decided to go up the stairs instead. I had enough annoyance in me that I would have been faster than the lift. In my annoyance and rush, I miscalculated the height of one step that I fell forward. I only stopped myself from being another statistic in A&E by grabbing on the rails. My face was just a few inches from another step. Without missing a beat I carried on going up, ignoring the pain on my forearm and the inquiries by the OTs who were going down the stairs at that time. Whilst it was only a split second incident, it helped calm me down. I carried on to my destination and objective but now less fueled by annoyance.
Yesterday, I noticed the bruise on my forearm and remembered the incident. If my reflexes were not quick enough, I could be sporting more bruises now or a new nose! This made me think about the 90/10 principle. This was explained to me by a friend years ago. I wrote a blog about it too. The incident made me realised that the 90/10 principle is indeed true.
What does the 90/10 principle mean? In quick and easy terms, it explains that 90% of what happened in our lives are within our control (e.g. How we react to things) and only 10% are out of our sphere of influence.
There are some people who love playing the ‘victim card’ and claim that the whole world had it in for them. The things is, though, we can only become ‘victims’ in life if we allow it. Sink or swim. Deal or be dealt with. Fight or flight. Stand up or crumble. It is all up to us.
I am not disallowing that life can be unfair at times. Yes, it might seem that work is piling up or that your texts are getting ignored or a loved one snapped at you unprovoked. These are the 10% that you will have no control over however it is how you react to these that will determine how things will flow in your life. In the first situation, you can go to your boss and complain at the amount of workload and throw a tantrum or you can take stock of the situation then think of the best way of dealing with it. The second one, you can decide to take offense, think that person doesn’t like you anymore and start ignoring the other person without asking for a reason or you let it go because in the grand scheme of things, the slight is miniscule compared to the love in your heart. I think we create the drama or the absence of it in our lives. I am not saying that this is easy especially when feelings are involved, when rejection and unreturned love or betrayal breaks your heart into pieces and all you want to do is lash out or ran away.
It is always a good idea to step away from the situation and weigh all the other options. As they say, ‘do not make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling.’ True, we may dislike some aspects of our jobs on some days or we may be hurt by a carlessly spoken word but if you step back you realise that there are more good days than bad moments at work; that you love your beloved more often than being angry. Decisions will differ when done in the heat of the moment or with a cool head. That decision could easily influence how 90% of our lives will unfold.
My bruises have disappeared now and I cannot even recall what caused me to be so angry at that time. It only goes to show that situation wasn’t life altering otherwise I would have remembered it.
I will do my best to be mindful of my reactions to things. I need to be more aware of the 90% that I can influence. I aim to choose love, kindness and fairness when faced with an emotion eliciting situations. I have to remember that a harshly spoken word is capable of burning bridges that I may want to cross over and over again in the future. It will be difficult to erase the hurt these words may have caused as once spoken, words and the emotions they have provoke are difficult to take back.
90/10… Most things in our own lives are within our control. We are not mere victims of circumstances. Our lives are the product of our own decisions and actions. We are the captains if our destinies so choose to make it a good one.
Love. Laugh. Live.
Today a conversation of a lost love made me think about love and fate. Whilst a friend was reminiscing about a lost love, I tried to give reassurance ( rightly or wrongly so) by saying ,” I am of firm belief that we are where we are supposed to be and that we are with the people whom we are meant to be with”. Whilst this is my puny attempt in trying to cheer up a friend, I now ponder if I really believe what I have just said. Is this a ‘defeatist’ attitude that just accepts Fate handed out to us or is it yet my Pollyana personality showing up again thinking everything will work all right.
I have read somewhere that “Fate determines who comes into our lives but we decide who stays.” The fact that I remembered it, means that I agree with it. We have no control on who we meet along this journey called life but we can decide if we walk some distance, if not all the way, with some people or we take a separate path from them. But there are times when circumstances out of our control pull us apart. Do we just watch Fate separate us from people we love or do we fight tooth and nail to keep them in our lives? Are we but passive receivers of the dictates of Fate or do we take the wheel and steer our own ships?
I do meet a lot of people and I always make a point of knowing people’s names and a little about them. Like most people, I choose the ones that will see the real me. Once I have decided to make a person a friend, there’s not much I wouldn’t do for that person. I am worse when it comes to the. person I love. I do not know how to play coy or the game. I always wear my heart on my sleeves that it will be hard to miss that somebody is the object of my affection. My patience and resilience will be almost infinite. My friends attribute my being single to the fact that I love too much, that I do not hold back with my affections and that I give too much leeway to the point of being taken for granted. It is not because I do not have self-esteem; It is because I do not know how to love any other way. Besides, if I play the game then I would no longer be true to myself. I believe that the right person will love my quirkiness. I am like a yoyo that will always return no matter how hard it gets thrown. I will love so I will have no regrets and will not be asking ‘what if’ 20 years down the line. I fight my damnest to keep the people I love in my life but I also know that the other person will also have to be willing to stay and fight for me. Love and friendship cannot be forced for them to last. It needs both parties to acknowledge and work on the relationship. The latest song that won in Eurovision said, ‘My heart can love for both of us’ but sadly this is only a brilliant song lyric meant to pull on the heart strings. It cannot be done in real life without breaking down the spirit of the one who loves without receiving it back and overwhelm the beloved. Love can never hold another captive against its will.
So… is it Fate or Will? Both, I would say. Fate is what brings us together and it’s our Will that makes us stay. It will not always be smooth sailing. There will be spats and misunderstanding that makes you want to leave the path. There will be times that you may want some time alone but Just don’t throw the yoyo too far and too often for the string might break and the yoyo will no longer come back to your hand.
Fate… Destiny…. Will… Call what you the force that bring two souls together but there should always be one constant..,Love to the point of no regrets.