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A Whole New Year

If you didn’t read the title of this post to the tune of Aladdin’s A Whole New World, you did it wrong. Go back and do it properly. I’ll wait.

Happy 2k19, mother chuckers!

The start of my year so far has been a mixed bag of the domestic and the disgusting. I suffered the most violent and delirious bout of food poisoning I’ve ever had, which prompted me to send my mother the following text betwixt chunders:

…any idea, anyone?

I then celebrated my survival of said grossness by buying a new wardrobe, which took 4 people and an entire day to erect (heh). Then, as if to spite me for allowing myself to feel like a “real adult”, my oven and grill (actual – not womb and teeth, thankfully) gave up the ghost , causing me to have a small melt down in which I announced to the other half that we were doomed and going to starve. He responded by turning the hob on and calmly making a spag bol. Turns out meals that don’t involve oven chips exist. Who’d have thought?

First world problems aside, I’m feeling optimistic about this year. No particular reason – it’s just more fun than to be pessimistic. I’ve been chewing over the idea that I should have some sort of overarching goal in my life for a while now, but I’m not a fan of the “If I don’t achieve <blank> by <date>, then I’ve failed as a human and the big teacher in the sky is going to give me an F” mentality.

However, I do like the idea of having something to at least steer in the direction of. If life is a river,then I’d rather have some vague destination to point my boat at, otherwise it all becomes a bit like the rubber dinghies in Alton Towers – while bumping aimlessly around the rapids is fun, it does give you a soggy arse and crap hair for the rest of the day. I think I’ve already lost control of this metaphor.

What I’ve opted to do instead of a New Year’s resolution is to come up with a list of things it’d be great to see happen for me this year, but that I won’t be crying into my bucket of wine about failing to do as the clock counts down to 2020 in December. I’ve also come up with a few practical things that’ll help nudge me in the right direction for each one – something to refer back to if I get the feeling life’s gone a bit rubber dinghy.

So. <<Grabs paddle>> In no particular order:

1. I’d like to build on my content writing side hustle – My absolute favourite part of my day job is getting to play with words and create content in the form of newsletters, global emails, site content and whatnot. I’ve always done the odd bit of wordsmithery on the side for various sites and publications, but I’d love to build on that. So far, I’ve not done enough research to get properly stuck into doing it more “on the reg”. To get closer to doing this, I could:

  • Have a look at “paid per job” sites like Fiverr and see if they’re an option.
  • Actually take up opportunities to go to more networking events, like this one that my friend runs.
  • Locate and speak to people who are already regularly writing content for the masses. If anyone out there in the void of the internet has any advice, please share!

2. I want to make peace with my physical appearance – I’m not talking about getting to a point where I’m doing joyful backflips every time I look in the mirror – partly because I can’t do backflips – but I’m at a place where I’m sick to death of negatively judging myself about how I look, what I weigh, how I’m eating, blah blah etc. etc. I’m able to feel great about myself and hate my body with the fire of a thousand suns, all  within the same day (afternoon, hour, few minutes), so how I feel at any given moment clearly has naff all to do with my outward appearance. Picking myself apart is draining, needlessly stressful and frankly, just bloody boring. So, how can I stop wasting my time with all of that?

  • No more diets, avoiding certain food etc. etc. Tried repeatedly. Not worth the energy. I’ve had my wish come true and looked like I’m made of elbows in the past, and shock of all shocks, it didn’t magically make me happy.
  • Keep exposing myself (heh…) to podcasts, books and influencers who actively denounce all the bullshit. I recommend this lady’s work as a starting point, as well as the Food Psych podcast.
  • Be mindful of when I’m starting to spiral into the mindset of “Must shrink self. Can’t like self. Does not compute.”

3. I’d like to grow my audience for this blog – self explanatory. As a 2019 gift to me, if you like mah werdz, it would make me very, very happy if you could share Spilled Think with anyone else you think might also like to read it. To further entice people and trap folks in my web of words so I can feast on their attention, I can:

  • Keep posting content fairly regularly-ish. No bugger’ll come look at my stuff if there’s nothing to see.
  • Find some more blogs to follow and learn from. Hi, readers! If you’re also a blogger, please pop a link to your blog in the comments for this…saves me the effort of actually trying to find you amongst the masses. Kthanks.
  • Work out how to use social media a little better to trick unwitting people into visiting this site. Mwahaha.

I have a few more things I’d like to see happen, but I won’t bore you with them all. Not sure how realistic “adopt a small pack of adorable dogs” and “win jackpot on lottery” are. Probably need to have the latter happen to do the former…

Do you have any goals or wishes for the next twelve months? Share them with me in the comments so I can steal – I mean read – them. Hope 2019’s got off to a great start for you!

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Yours gratefully, me.

Currently semi-horizontal in bed, praying for the stabbing to stop. I’m one of the ‘lucky’ women in my family who gets the odd day where, for no apparent reason, we feel like we’ve eaten a cutlery drawer load of knives and washed them down with a tall glass of drawing pins. The remedy is to writhe around like a beached sea creature and loudly announce your imminent death to all and sundry until it goes away…and then ask what we’re having for dinner.

Much as I’m sure you came here to hear tales of my digestive woes, I think I’ll write something a bit more warm and fuzzy, and a bit less yucky and stabby – it’s nearly Christmas, after all; A time for getting drunk with your family and wetting yourself with laughter while your Nan reluctantly plays (and slays at) Cards Against Humanity. It’s also a time for gratitude. So here’s some stuff I’m grateful for:

Stomach knives

I’m too highly strung for actual relaxation, so my occasional bouts of gastric fuckery allow me a guilt-free opportunity to sit in bed during daylight hours, binge watching sitcoms with a slack jaw and no bra on. I really hope the government isn’t watching us through our screens, because whoever got the job of watching me today was in for a treat.

Family

As I write this, both of my sisters and their partners are stationed down the road at my family home in readiness for Christmas celebrations, which fills me with all the happy feelings. On Boxing day (I’m spending Christmas day at t’other half’s parents’ house this year), we will bicker about our not-always meshing opinions, drunkenly accuse each other of being the most drunk, and bond over the fact that our granddad has told us all to “fuck off out of my kitchen” at least once each within the last half an hour. Genuinely cannot wait!

Frands

Friends are the family you choose to annoy intermittently with your presence, and the holiday season gives me a great excuse to make mine eat food and drink things in my company. I know your friends are probably pretty cool and all that, but mine are better. It’s just a fact.

One sweet unicorn sent me a paperback copy of Stephen King’s On Writing yesterday, which I LOVE but have never owned in a physical format (I have the eBook and audio book versions) for no reason other than she knew I’d like it.

Another is a self-employed entrepreneur/empower-er of women that has a bajillion and twelve jobs and responsibilities, but still finds the time to pencil in regular “eating sweets and talking lots” sessions for us both throughout the year.

A third keeps in touch by sending me jokes and videos that offend me to my core, but makes up for it by being one of the funniest, most genuine and ridiculous humanoids I know (the ridiculous ones are the best ones). I could go on, but all this sincerity’s repeating on me a bit. Gag

Boyfrand

Andy’s super power is being my literal opposite and somehow tolerating it. I am a ceaseless merry-go-round of emotions and neurotic movement.

Picture a beach. Andy is a chill rock pool, just being some rocks in the sun. Not making any noise, not bothering anyone, full of crabs….(heh, sorry. He doesn’t really have crabs), having a lovely time…

And here I come – the wave – hurling myself head first at him with all my being, screaming “AAAAGH, I’M A FUCKING WAVE!!”, and projecting all my insecurities onto him because he’s a rock pool, so I assume that he’s the same as me because all I can see in my panic is myself reflected back. Okay, that’s a shit analogy. Here’s an example conversation that might portray it a bit better:

Me: <<feeling anxious because personality reasons>> Hey, you okay?
Andy: Yeah, fine.
Me: Just fine? What’s wrong? You not feeling great? You don’t seem to be feeling great. Why aren’t you smiling?
Andy: No, I’m fine.
Me: I can tell you’re not.
Andy: <<Happily continues to watch TV>>
Me: You never share anything with me! <<flounces off>>

Half an hour later, after I’ve reverse flounced back into the living room.

Andy: You okay?
Me: Yep, fine.
Andy: Hungry?
Me: << Instantly perks up like nothing’s happened >>

Yep, so there we have it. I have lots and lots more to be grateful for, but I have more medicinal sitcoms to watch. It’s good for my health. Plus, I have about nine seasons left of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to catch up on.

While I’m doing that, tell me what you’re grateful for this Christmas! I’d love to know 🙂

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How to ruin your own weekend

This weekend, I had the house to myself while “him indoors” was away with the Reserves doing Army things with Army types in Cardiff (talking about how great the Queen is and doing that belly crawl thing up the beer aisle in Tesco? I’m not sure).

As a bit of an introvert (while sober, at least), I always love the idea of time to myself – taking the weekend at my own pace, not feeling obliged to go anywhere or do anything, and a chance to be alone with my thoughts.

It’s that last bit that invariably kicks my plans in the knackers.

I’m the sort of person who, when given time to herself, writes a to-do list on how I’m going to relax, because that’s how super chill people like me operate. But then I worry about relaxing too much, because that’s a waste of the precious, borrowed time I get on this planet and I should be doing something with it before I stumble off the edge of this mortal coil, shouldn’t I?

But, then, I think, you’ve got to relax, haven’t you? Because stress is terrible for you and can actually kill you dead, if that Google hole I went down that one time was anything to go by, and I don’t want to be killed dead from stress.

So, to have a good weekend, I have to be productive, but not too productive, and relaxed, but not too relaxed. Easy, right? Only thing required would be to tweak that to-do list a little, yeah?

Anyway, so here’s how that kind of thinking managed to turn my plans for a couple of days  to myself into a helter-skelter of existential panic. Enjoy:

Friday evening

  • Drove home from work like Satan was chasing me in a monster truck to see Andy before he left, because am good girlfriend and good girlfriends let their boyfriends make them dinner before they disappear on two gruelling days of tabbing and saving the queen.
  • The second Andy left the house, donned marigolds to do the dishes (my skin hates doing the dishes even more than I do) and angry-cleaned the house to allow for a blissful Saturday and Sunday of relaxation and gentle productivity (i.e yoga, walking the dog etc. etc.).
  • After house is clean, pets march in and out of the garden in planned-looking, two animal parade, happily trailing mud behind them as they do so. Been up since half five, so by this point all fucks have left me and I assume this means the parading means I no longer need to walk the dog, so I give up and binge watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I’m extremely late to the party in discovering.
  • Midnight. Dog refuses to chill out, despite prior muddy pageantry. He also refuses to let me sleep. I lovingly call him a “fucking fuck” and let him drag me round the block, where all the pub people are starting to zombie their way home to bed. Am jealous of the pub people.

Saturday

  • Alarm. Time to go to yoga, except don’t want to go to yoga. Spend half an hour in bed stressing about whether it’s more stressful to go to yoga when don’t want to, or to not to yoga. Decide to skip yoga because now have headache, but opt compromise and listen to Headspace app and do a meditate, to check in with how I’m feeling. Surprise answer: am feeling stressed. Such zen.
  • Lunch with mum. Mercifully can’t overthink this one. Matriarchal company plus cake generally a plus.
  • Shopping. Need dress for work’s Christmas do, and retail therapy etc., so will be fun.
  • Is not fun. Is two hours of glaring at misshapen body in weird lighting only ever seen in dressing rooms. How do shops think horrible glare that makes people look like badly made clay figurines with fingerprints still on them will make them want to buy more clothes?! Spend majority of time in shops oscillating between thinking “waah, am gross bag of lumps!” and “Fuck society for making me feel like this and fuck shops for having multiple clothing items that are supposedly the same size, but some of them wouldn’t even fit over my big toe and others make me look like I’m wearing a pop-up tent.” Eventually landed on “This one’s shiny and fits over my head. Will purchase this one so can go home.”
  • Went home, binge watched entire last series of New Girl, wept at the finale because Zooey Deschanel is excellent and deserves my tears for her efforts. Wanted a snack, but decided couldn’t eat “rubbish” on account of lumpy sack body. Got angry with diet culture again for making me feel like bag of loose spuds and proceeded to pissily eat a whole bag of oranges because…I don’t even know, but they were nice and mad me feel better.

Sunday morning

  • Alarm. Andy due back in a few hours, so decided best thing to do would be to get that blog post and workout I’d been meaning to do all weekend done.
  • Opted to pack that idea in and downloaded I Feel Pretty instead because, despite all reviews I’ve read about it being problematic and no one agreeing to come and see it with me while it was at the cinema because “it looks a bit shit”, I still wanted to see it. I cry at the end. More due to previous evening’s changing room related PTSD than film’s rousing, albeit slightly naff climax. 
  • Andy home. Felt annoyed he’s back before I’ve started to feel suitably relaxed and “weekend-y”, and that if he’d been gone a few more hours, I’d have cracked relaxation.
  • We ate McDonalds. All is now right with the world. The weekend wasn’t so bad. It’s nice to have time to yourself, isn’t it?

Becky’s final thoughts

  1. You can’t think yourself into relaxing. That way madness lies.
  2. Despite this weekend being my most slothful one in a while, I feel the opposite of chill, so I’m thinking that knackering myself out at the gym as is the norm on weekend mornings is probably the way forward. It’s hard to overthink when your brain cells are sleepy and fugged up with endorphins.
  3. Oranges are great. I want an orange.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I’m off to go relax now (help me!).