A few weekends ago Dad, Shanae and I visited the Grandparents in Devises. It was Grandpa's Birthday on the Monday and we went to the cinema to see Les Miserables, I made lasagna with Grandma which we had for dinner and a lovely cake Shanae had assisted with as well. Coming to this house as a child meant that we would play board and card games, do puzzles, go across the valley and make forts in the green opposite the back garden, have pudding after each meal, and no WiFi. The latter was not noticeable until recent years and now with such smart phone technology it is no longer as applicable, but it is interesting to see how dependent I seem to be on keeping in the cyber loop.
I enjoy keeping in touch with people and playing games online with people miles away, and of course I blog, but it struck me a few weeks ago how I am not as alright being alone as I used to be. Losing Mum probably has something to do with this, but I think I've been searching for something for years now to occupy my time, other than myself.
When I was younger, about 9-13 I had my head stuck in books so much so that my brother would get frustrated with me when I would refuse to play games with him choosing instead to finish off a chapter or two in the latest Jaqueline Wilson book. I used to write a lot, poems, stories, letters, journals, and draw still life, people from photos and dress designs. I used to be quite content being by myself and doing my own thing and somewhere between then and late adolescence I got hooked onto social networking in different forms.
When I started my journals for this book I reclaimed my passion for writing. Having started my degree in English and Film Studies I have rekindled my love of reading and expanded the horizons of my interest in film, but since my studies took a pause last May I feel I've fallen back into the habit of being cyber-social 24/7. A while ago I started 'The Glass Virgin' by Catherine Cookson and I'm over half way through it, an interesting read! At my Grandparent's house I completed a 1000 piece puzzle and remembered, I love puzzles. This may all seem elementary for some people, and maybe others are thinking my habits sound rather similar to their own, but I am discovering new likes and dislikes I was before unaware of because I hadn't spent the time to figure them out.
To make a long story short - I am doing more things now in the real world, by myself, rather than staring at a computer screen/waiting for a message response, and it's awfully refreshing.
The other day I met a friend at my house and we walked up to a wee nature reserve in my village with a lake and watched the sunrise. I took along some hot chocolate in a flask and a few breakfast bars and we sat and talked and enjoyed the fresh breeze. It was surprisingly invigorating. Over the past few weeks I have been blitz clearing out my room, rearranging furniture and making it look generally more homey, my next project is to make a 'wall of frames' above the bed and it'll be done. A few days ago I dyed my hair red! My sister and I found the dye whilst clearing things out and I thought - why the heck not.
I have also been doing a few colourful things in my diary lately, and have a new idea to make my life from here on out more positive: I re-read my diary from last year and realised I complain in it a lot. Reading back over the things that went wrong, disappointments, sad thoughts and unwanted memories and I realised that they aren't the things that I want to remember. So I have decided that I will only write positive things in my diary. An idea on Pinterest was to have a clear glass jar and fill it with small notes of good things that happen each day in 2013, to re-read at the end of the year. If you use different coloured pieces of paper it can be a pretty display piece and you can be reminded daily of the good things that happen in your life.
So here's a wee list of things to brighten up your dull days as we wish the winter chills away:
- Go for a walk somewhere different (even just down a street or path you don't normally venture)
- Watch the sunrise/sunset with a friend (prefferably outside, if it's raining - take a brolly!)
- Drink Hot Chocolate in the morning (sweet starts to the day are always the best)
- Read a book (or finish all those ones you started and never finished)
- Do something different with your appearance (dye your hair/wear your good shirt to work)
- Clear out your room/redecorate (tidy house, tidy mind)
- Make a new playlist, discover some new music or get back into the stuff that you really used to love (I've been listening to a lot of country recently which reminds me of Spring Cleaning with Mum <3)
- Give a compliment a day (a 'Pay it Forward' idea - give a little love and it all comes back to you)
- Make something (a card/present/cake/smoothie - Valentine's Day coming up! We have a special ability to be creative, and Doing It Yourself can be rather therapeutic)
Do something new. Be content in what you have. Do something for someone else. And repeat - do, be, do, be, do...