2012 in review for Anyway I Digress -Woohoo, love this!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Joy is Now, Happy Christmas

Joy bauble

Today I will choose joy

I woke up at 5am for some reason today – Christmas day. I went to put another present under the tree; one which my daughter would guess if she saw it. Then I decided to tidy away every last thing I could so that when the mess starts, it wouldn’t be added to. Next I puffed up the sofa cushions and swept the floor so that when everyone wakes up it will look that bit more special. Next I took a photo of this year’s tree and ‘haul’.

And then I saw my Joy is Now sign in large wooden letters placed on the floor by my boyfriend. His idea was to move them around each week so that I didn’t get used to seeing them and was constantly reminded that every moment is as good as it gets. And what a day to be reminded! Christmas – the pinnacle of my joy (or so I thought) as a child. For all the wrong reasons maybe but either way my joy was my parents’ joy, and my siblings and anyone else there. Joy is Joy. As it says in one of these lovely quotes;

A joy shared is a joy made double

 

So my joy is now and I also get the anticipation of joy because my kids (all teenagers) still love Christmas and show it. So I agree with this quote

 

Seek joy in what you give

 

I have bought things which I believe will bring an extra twinkle to my kids’ eyes. That handbag that my daughter longed for and couldn’t possibly guess that I bought (for many reasons). That skirt for my other daughter which the first daughter and I already want to borrow and which we know she will just love. The books and clothes for my son which he will use the minute he opens them without saving anything at all for later. I love that about him. It takes him ages to open his presents this way but he really knows about Joy is Now and he continues to enjoy things Later also. 

 

Happiness is for this hour

 

But I don’t need for them all to wake up to experience joy. Joy is Now – in the anticipation, in the pottering around tidying up, in the blogging, which I didn’t think I would get time to do today.  I am soaking up the Christmas magic

Be filled with joy

 

What I buy my kids isn’t expensive in Western terms. Most is bought at Target and Kmart and Big W and there is lots of it – matching underwear sets for $9, a cheap video camera as a family gift for $49 which has a waterproof case  to use in the pool.  I think it’s the most expensive gift under the tree bar my new bedsheet and the gifts from their Dad, my ex, who is sleeping downstairs as a last minute surprise. Really it’s all kind of rubbish and yet the whole feeling of Christmas is still there, still magical. And long may it last.

 

Joy is not in things I can hear something. Better go. It’s time to share the joy

To have joy one must share it

 

Happy Christmas. May you find your joy in today, wherever and however it may lie. 

 

what brings you real joy

 

Or in the words of a Christmas Carol

Joy to the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Minds think Alone

Great minds think alone

What an excellent twist to ‘Great Minds think Alike’. Only our egos quote the alike one when we want to pat ourselves on the back and form connections with other people so that we don’t feel so alone. So this is kind of the opposite!

How much time do bloggers spend alone? I assume it’s a lot, seeing as we are artists. I LOVE MY ALONE TIME. I had to shout it in capitals, sorry. I bet you love being alone too. Ever tried blogging with someone there talking to you? Impossible.

Being alone with your thoughts is nourishing. Personality tests describe me as an extreme extrovert. Nothing introverted about me. Anything to get attention!! But I need a good deal of time to potter. It’s my favourite thing. Absolute freedom to do what I feel like, when I feel like it – either hopping from thing to thing or deep in thought on one thing for hours.

Do you start to come unhinged if you don’t get alone time now and then? On a similar tack, I once read how important it is to also get a dose of nature regularly – be it fields, water, trees. Best to surround yourself completely if you can. And how many other people will you find in that nature? Not so many usually. The city on the other hand attracts people, coats them in concrete and other hard surfaces and gobbles them up. Dare I say it also spits them out? They head to parks and beaches and out into the country from time to time but they may not realise why; that their soul needs it. I’ve been there.

So how calming is it to get into nature and be alone? How long would you want with nothing interesting to occupy your mind? A minute, an hour, a day? A month in a cave watching spiders?

All Alone

I find this photo very calming. Not only do I love the colour of the water but imagine looking up and seeing those snow covered rocky mountains. It shows us how unimportant we really are in the grand scheme of things; how our troubles are nothing but unhappiness derived from the ego.

I hope we can all get a dose of this over the holiday season. Stillness in the frenzy, calm in the eye of the storm; even if we have to stay up late and watch the stars alone to do it. That’s when the magic of Christmas comes flooding in for me.

Healthy to spend time alone

What are you doing today?

Luminarie-De-Cagna-1

Sometime today it’s the end of the world. I was slightly concerned when I first became aware of this. But it got me thinking, which I always enjoy. Then I read that the Mayans didn’t have leap years so, if it was supposed to happen it should have been around 6 months ago. Thanks for whoever wrote/made? that up! It provided a little relief but not as much as if I were truly concerned by my ‘end’. It will come when it will come.

 Maybe the Mayans really had a crystal ball and this was their way of trying to change the course of history, even if the end of the world isn’t nigh. Maybe they had a great sense of humour and left this as their little joke, as a serious way of getting people to change their thinking. Maybe we are reading it wrong and they are looking down from the Universe saying “No, not today you morons!!”

But if they are watching us somehow and are all knowing, they wouldn’t be bothered one way or another by anything. And nor should we.

 It may or may not be the end today. I am in Australia, towards the front of the clock so in effect ‘today’ is nearly 2 days long. Every ‘day’ is two days long actually. I never thought of it before! Cool!

If I really, truly believed it was the last day of my life today, I would think some more. A whole lot more. How would I want to spend these last moments? And I would have done a whole lot more. I would have changed my actions in the last few days, weeks, years. I would have worked out in enormous detail and moved with great energy and purpose towards everything I ever wanted to achieve. Or would I?

 Do you believe in fate or in having power over your own life and outcomes? How much responsibility do you take for things? Do you believe that you ultimately have some control? Are you then trying to control other people, your life and circumstances or your wayward mind? If others are controlling you, or you feel they are, how much does it bother you? How easy going are you? Can you accept anything in life?

Do you live in the present and value each moment as being equal or do you use the present purely as a means of getting to the (better) future? If you live in the present then you are in a state of bliss in each moment and it matters not a bit what you do in your last moments before the end of the world, or indeed the end of your own world, should you be hit by a bus today or something.

I have to say that this state of bliss sounds very appealing, should one ever achieve it. And if the world crumbles around you and you realise the Mayans were right, your adrenalin levels will not rocket, you will go in peace, wherever that is you are meant to go.

Today, (all two days), I wish you peace. If we wake up tomorrow, I wish you even more.

Calm in the chaos

Who wants this?

Pretty fit

Who wants this kind of body?

What I love best about this photo is that she is smiling and looks pleased as punch and proud of her ‘work’. I imagine it would take a lot of effort to get a body like that. I personally don’t want one so strong and toned and would be very scared if I saw that in the mirror one morning. It wouldn’t be ‘me’, like wearing certain clothes isn’t ‘me’ and they would make me uncomfortable. My mind is not strong and toned. Does your mind usually match your body? Others will look at this image with envy, or react favourably because they know they are on their way to achieving this or appreciate the beauty of the human form.

And that is the joy of this life. There is something for everyone. For every ‘me’. We don’t all want the same things. Not only that; we might set out on a path to get one thing and end up with something else we like much more. Or even better, we can get our heads around anything and convince ourselves that absolutely everything we have is the most fantastic thing we could have had at this point in our lives.

Actually, look around at what you have… Your possessions, your body, the state of your mind, your friends, your job, your hobbies. You could test some things by the ‘is it beautiful or useful?’ rule. (I think you are supposed to throw it away if it isn’t but what about sentimental or humorous etc). Each ‘thing’ probably has some stored meaning for you – a memory, a purpose, a response to it. It’s hard to throw away your mind or your body but you could throw away the state it’s in now and work on creating ‘new’ states if that’s what you want.

Anyway, I am just happy that we do want different things. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Though many aspire to live in a mansion, many others couldn’t think of anything worse. Too precious. One person wants the limelight and the other is very private. One wants recognition for all they’ve done and the other would hate to be thrust in the spotlight, perhaps feeling guilty and undeserving. So there is abundance in this world; no lack – of love, joy, appreciation – the things which these ‘possessions’  bring you. The possessions themselves are actually immaterial; just a means to an end.

What do you actually want today?  To feel toned or worthy or clever or to have fun? Add an activity that makes you feel any of these to your ‘To do list‘ every day (if you keep lists) and if you don’t take the time to do it today, you will have to catch up and do two of those activities another day, or 3 activities, or however many you have put off. You may decide it felt more like a chore to do that thing, so you will make better choices tomorrow and know yourself a little better. Take 5 minutes!

It’s always a useful thing to know what you want on your way to a better life.

 

Top 10 Benefits of Loving Yourself

Like me or dont

OK maybe it took me a few more years than that but I finally got there. Definitely life’s most important lesson; that whole loving and accepting yourself thing. It really is such a relief. And it’s true you don’t have time to convince someone else. The point is that you don’t need to when you love yourself. Maybe it’s you that you were trying to convince in the first place by trying to be popular.

Anyway here are 10 benefits of loving yourself off the top of my head.

  1. If you accept yourself, you can accept others, warts and all. ‘All criticism is self criticism’ – Harry Hooton. I’ve blogged on that before. See below.
  2. You save loads of time and head space not stressing about what you did or said wrong, because you accept it, let go and move on to thinking about more fun and constructive stuff
  3. When you screw up you can laugh at yourself instead of cry and that saves on tissues, and Botox further down the track
  4. It’s amazing how your confidence about doing things the way you do them rubs off on others and they start to do them too, which is fun! Start a movement.
  5. When people leave your life, as they were supposed to do, you are OK without them. You’ve always got yourself after all
  6. Your kids learn by example and learn that it’s OK to stuff up and be accepted. This fosters more honesty and communication between you.
  7. When you make a mistake you can admit it and move on instead of lying and covering up, which takes far more energy. I don’t often try it but I know that lying is super hard because lies beget lies and new stories and all the lies have to interweave perfectly to be believable. You have to create a whole new world to fit the lie into.
  8. Other people don’t have the power to offend you any more. Woo hoo!
  9. Other like-minded people are drawn to you and the non like-minded people keep away. They may bitch about you but it’s nothing to do with you and you don’t give it a second thought.
  10. Your world expands instead of contracts. You try more things, meet more people and develop constantly instead of trying to hide what you don’t like about yourself. Too much thought energy is wasted on the big ‘cover up’ instead of creating new stuff.

Well that was fun. Try it yourself! It started with 5 and then I kept going and going. It was fun to put myself in the headspace of being totally self loving in order to think of things. I do forget that I love myself and therefore berate myself unnecessarily and/or harshly sometimes but that’s OK too because the overall feeling is there and I forgive myself my mistakes, right? 🙂

Mind over matter

Well I’ll be Damned – pissing people off

Self Criticism

The Greatest Love of All

Building that Loving Relationship

 

I guess I must like this subject because I was looking for one of my posts on the subject and found at least four 🙂

Where the bell meets the silence

The day is too short

 

I just spent 40 minutes looking at quotes on Pinterest because I prefer to use a quote with an image now. More to think about and reflect on. I decided they were too direct and messagey in themselves so I went looking for quotes by Zig Ziglar and then by Winston Churchill and then just on the subject of Christmas. Nothing was satisfactory. This left me very little time to blog today but I still learned something, which is the point of blogging in the first place. To learn.

I learned that some days you are just not all there. Today the quotes were unsatisfactory, I was unsatisfactory. Nothing is sinking in. None of the beautiful quotes and images spoke to me and no doubt if I put my iPod on shuffle, I would keep on going because none of the songs I carefully downloaded after years of listening pleasure would speak to me either. I have a grey filter on my soul for as long as it lasts.

Other days I am spoiled for choice with quotes and images and I want to listen to and marvel at every beautiful song, every beautiful thing. On those days I feel just like John above. And those are the best days. You are interested in everything. Those are the days that are the polar opposite of depression when nothing interests you.

So today is just a ‘Blah’ day. That’s all I have today. The blahs and mehs too. Until …. a moment comes any time soon and I no longer have the blahs. The veil will be lifted. It could be in 10 seconds or it could be in an hour. I wonder if I will recognise the moment when the sun comes out, like the moment when the sound of a bell resonating in the silence meets only silence. It will be beautiful, all the more so because of recognising the blahs now.

So if you find your days are Too Short, just like Mr Burroughs above, you are incredibly lucky. Enjoy. Enjoy it all. Nothing will be completed and it doesn’t have to be if you are treasuring each happy thoughts and moment instead of needing to have done ‘ALL’ to rate it as perfect.

I am happy just thinking of that day to come. It could be any moment now 🙂

 

Step away from the Grinch

Keeping busy

Brilliant! I would like to extend this to criticising not just others but to criticising anything at all. As soon as I find myself being negative about the weather, something I’ve done, a person, the way someone navigates a roundabout, anything, I know it’s time to take stock and direct my focus to something more constructive.

On the subject of roundabouts just to digress for a minute I just want to share a little thing that I always do at roundabouts. I always indicate and then exit them really slowly so that the car waiting to enter will see the gap and be able to enter it themselves. I guess I enter roundabouts quickly and exit slowly. It’s like my little act of random kindness that I developed because of my daily commute. It’s very hard to enter a particular roundabout because it’s on a constantly flowing main road. Sometimes I even shout ‘Do you need a written invitation to enter?’ to the car hesitating in front. Of course I know it’s all about my being disorganised, late and impatient and I can usually put the responsibility back where it belongs, with me and settle down. I have no idea if the people I ‘help’ to enter are even grateful. But I feel good about it so I keep doing it just in case.

Anyway, this quote is awesome. It reminds me of another of my favourites which is ‘Never compete, create’ by Earl Nightingale. It’s about bringing the focus back to yourself for all the right reasons. Aren’t you always improving and refining your life, your things, your friendships, your world? Why do we get off that train occasionally? Usually when something or someone doesn’t act the way we think they should compared to our expectation. So lose the expectation, lose the ‘should’!!

Short and sweet today as I am still too filled with thoughts about the children of Newtown, CT. May every person who is touched by this tragedy find their own peace within.