Resolutions for 2014!!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!!

So let’s get right into it. For 2014 I would like to expand my brain and give it the confidence and vigour that it previously had when I was 16 and always learning (as opposed to 24 and stumbling through life lessons that I had learned and then completely forgotten years ago) :-s

I have realized that putting vague large or obvious goals isn’t necessarily very effective. What I have decided to do to make sure I get results out of myself this year is set resolutions that are definite, objective baby steps to becoming a better me! I always hope to be a better person, and here is how I am going to do it:

1) Read AT LEAST one good book every two months.

2) Write down my thoughts at least once a week in a personal “journal”.

3) Paint or draw at least one GOOD work of art for the year.

I have decided to do this cos I need to get my creative juices flowing. I often just feel a little bit like a robot, doing the same thing over and over. My brain needs some real excersise to better prepare me for the actual life decisions which, however big or small, often need to be made on the spot and one thing I HATE is making decisions on the spot! I just don’t have the confidence! I have heard it said before that “one can never know the extent of the ripples of ones actions”…. That is probably SEVERELY misquoted by whoever came up with it… But whatever it is true! And it is equally as TERRIFYING as it is EMPOWERING. 

So yea, in order to help myself to become a better person, I need a better brain.

Its the same goal I was hoping for last year, as well as planning a bad ass wedding.

I think that in order to excel in all parts of life, whether it is work, love or life in general, you need to excercise your brain in whatever it was made to do. Unless you are employed in your dream job, then there’s a good chance that the 9 to 5 is not doing this for you. You need to excercise your brain on your own time! The good thing is that is just means picking an activity you love and feel you can be good at. Do not just sit and watch YouTube and Facebook!! Yes I am SO guilty of this. So here I am trying to read, write and draw again. :-) Getting creative so that I can try and be a functional human being!!

Have a wonderful 2014 everyone!!!

Lots of Love!!

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Update / Forms of Prayer

OMG I’m getting married in almost ONE MONTH!!

This year went by incredibly fast!

I have been so busy.

I have been hiding from the internet.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

My faith, along with many other things tends to progress in hills and valleys, meaning: sometimes my faith is strong, sometimes it is weak, sometimes I take God for granted. Seeing those last few words on paper just seem so harsh. I don’t like it.

I’m not like some people who’s faith is so ingrained in them that it just seems to come so naturally, that missing church on New Years Eve or on a random Sunday would be unthinkable. Sometimes I have to remind myself to pray and some times it. just. doesn’t. happen. For whatever reason, I could be distracted, I could have nothing to say. Most of the time distracted.

Anyway, I was very happy this weekend because 1. I went to church. 2. It’s time to choose readings for the wedding :)

Reading seems to help me more than anything when it comes to prayer. It just focuses my mind and it motivates me. It gives me different topics to think about and dwell on. I feel/hope that on the days when I don’t manage to lie down and focus on just silent prayer, that my reading and the thoughts sparked by reading are heard by God.

On top of this, I am very thankful when people are willing and eager to talk about faith. You could be Christian, Atheist, Muslim, whatever. We don’t have to agree on everything or even on most things, but I am just happy that these kinds of discussions keep my mind on or around God and that hopefully I am doing the same for you too!

Anyway, time to go and prepare for tomorrow. Tonight that means sleep and pray!

Goodnight and sweet dreams :)

This Time Last Year + 40 Days and some

I’ve been hiding for a while because sometimes in this world… you just gotta hide! Nuff said.

So last year was such an experience!

I love looking back on it, remembering where I was at this exact time and seeing how far I have come. Especially since this is an amazing Lent story for me!

Remember that job I wrote about at Christmas time?

Well, I resented that I had to commute to North London every day when the job I had applied for was supposed to be just a 15 minute walk from my flat! They coaxed me in by saying “Oh just a couple weeks in North London while we get the Hammersmith site set up!” and then a couple weeks turned into 5 months. I almost quit the job but after having a rant to my employment adviser at the agency, then announcing my plans to move abroad she exclaimed how happy she was for me, and that it is probably best I just stay in the job she got me until it’s time to leave! Yea yea, it’s her job to say that but she really did cheer me up that day! What can I say?

So I reached February and it was Pancake Day, the day before Ash Wednesday. I got home after 7pm every day so was not sure how to go about asking my “temperamental” boss to let me leave early to go to church. I got to work and he was not in for the whole morning. I kind of resigned myself to just end up missing church on Ash Wednesday and finding a way to make up for it in my own small mind….

Then I hear some employees say “Code red from Hammersmith!” which basically means the guys at the Hammersmith office made sure to let us know that the boss was heading over to us and he was not happy!

I walked downstairs to get some tea and look who it is! The boss! He says “I’m moving up your date to start at Hammersmith.” I said “Oh really? To when?”

“How about tomorrow?”

Yessss!!! I moved to the Hammersmith office on Ash Wednesday and finished work with plenty of time to go get my ashes at church!

It felt sooo perfect! Waking up at the exact same time every day only to get home a whole 2 hours earlier! Walk 15 minutes to and from work, have lunch at home, return to day light… perfect!

And on the exact day that I started my secretarial work in Hammersmith my colleagues and my new boss start saying “you should apply for our architectural position!”

OMG!!

I had sent out at least 200 applications for architectural jobs and with no more than just one unsuccessful interview which I had managed to fail nearly 2 years before…. and now this opportunity just seemed to fall into my lap.

But remember, I had already made the plans to move abroad with my the boyfriend that year. Would he or any of his family expect me to stay true to my word if I take the job? But look how long and hard I had worked for it! Everything had come together for that exact moment!

And then I remembered:

It’s Ash Wednesday.

God had put me in the perfect position to go to church and get my Ashes exactly when I needed to, and then says… “So… here is your life. What’s it gonna be??”

I was at a fork in the road that began right on Ash Wednesday and went on for God knows how long, and I can’t say if the two paths would have ever merged again.

So I had to give up something right?

I remembered that God is Love, and went on with my life.

Here I am now :D

Happy Easter!!

(I know this is late… but it’s still the Easter season!)

My First Grown Up Christmas :-D

* started writing this Christmas Eve… got half way then had to finish the rest today!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

*Oh my gosh I have SOOOO much to rant talk about!!

But it’s Christmas Eve.

I have today off!

And everyone else has work :D so it’s just me, Bob Marley and my laptop :)

And rather than rant today it would probably be much better for me and my wonderful readers to reflect upon the importance of this season and what it means to me.

First of all, what this means to me :)

The first time I really discovered Bob Marley was Christmas time when I was about 15… So now Bob Marley never fails to put me into the Christmas spirit!! Is that weird?

Some other “Christmas” albums for me include:

Usher Raymond – 8701

Destinies Child – Survivor

Miseducations of Lauryn Hill

Wale – Ambition beautiful song, but I decided to link to a clean version for the sake of the internet!

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

Drake – Take Care

Note that the last three were all out before last Christmas and always take me back to my days sitting on the tube on the way to work in North London….. I know that NONE of these tracks actually have anything to do with Christmas!! But it’s the memories I associate with them! There’s more too but I guess these will do for now :)

My job in North London wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for as an architecture graduate. I was a site secretary (a.k.a. secretary in an office on a construction site) and there were many days that I really had to draaag myself out of bed and into the 75 minute commute to work. But in this world there is beauty that can be found in everything. Looking back I am VERY happy for my experience there and the many fun/different/annoying/happy characters I got to work with. Even my daily commute provided much needed time for prayer, contemplation, reflection, people watching, entertainment and observations. I tried to make sure I always had a rosary in my pocket :)

One moment of beauty was when I was sat on the tube and the last view I had before going underground was a wet and grey Hammersmith… then about an hour later I came out from the tunnel and was greeted by a wonderful snowy white view of the park, roof tops and trees! It brought a smile to my face, it was beautiful!

There were other funny/awkward memories, like when I was rushing into the next tube in the middle of my journey and was elated to find a carriage with THREE free seats all next to each other! So I rushed in and sat right in the middle, only to notice everyone nervously staring next to me. I looked to my right and, yep, I was sitting next to the crazy person! Changed carriages at the next stop :-p but not before he had time to stare in my face and proclaim to everyone that “she must be in love!!”

* So I have just spent my very first Christmas with the fiance.

He is amazing.

I really do miss my family a lot. They went to visit my Granny and Uncle in Wales, and are now in Switzerland for a week as has been the tradition for the past four years… I know… lalalaaa the life of an expat brat!

This is also the first Christmas I have not taken time off for. The office has been closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Today is a half day and tomorrow of course I have off again :) Last year I took two weeks off. The year before that I was free as a bird (a.k.a. unemployed/volunteering :P) and before that I was a student….

My first GROWN UP CHRISTMAS!!

And despite my little emotional outbreaks I get from time to time, especially when I miss my family but am trying very hard not to(!) my fiance has been wonderfully supportive and I am very happy to be with him this year.

This little reflection I am doing right now on where I was this time last year in relation to now is a wonderful perspective to view the past from… So although I have things to rant about at the moment and probably always will, a year from now these inner rantings will probably cherished memories. Why? Because it is all part of making me who I am… dare I say that in the past year I have (gasp) become me again?

I cherish the memories I have of being miserable on the tube for two-and-a-half-hours a day! It makes me appreciate my current position even more!

I wasn’t always, but I am now VERY grateful for all of it :)

Now on to the next part!

Christmas in this country is certainly different e.g. NO SNOW! It is warm and sunny at the moment, which kinda adds to the reason why it took me ages to realise we are actually in December. Christmas music is Parang (Spanish instrumentals, usually English lyrics these days) food is more ham and pastelles than turkey with brussel sprouts and yorkshire pudding… similar but different! No one really stays home either, everyone is driving around to say Merry Christmas to all the different family members and friends.

I think I’ve just given away where I am living with all of those links… oh shucks! Not writing it down here though!

As for the religious part… well this is a Catholic multi-religious/cultural society!

Lots of church! And lots of people proclaiming the joy of Christ without being afraid of sounding over religious or freaking out the secularists :P Haha!

I love it!!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S. If anyone from work ever happens to stumble across this… don’t worry… I LOVED working with all of you!! I didn’t like the commute :P

Cute Angel!

Cute Angel!

Entropy :-D

Read something good today :) and he mentions the law of entropy (physics woooooo!!!)

This is a beautiful post that to me is an explanation/extension of the quote that:

“all that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

This is not politically motivated. I’m still a bit of a kid when it comes to those things.

This is more personal. You know… more related to the whole internal conflict of My Dark Side!

Although, dare I say, I’ve been feeling pretty bright these days! It’s good to read something every now and then to remind myself of my own personal struggles that I need to stay on top of. It’s better to read and be reminded rather than slip up and remind myself!

Oh and also, just for sharings sake, this is a post about marriage which I like a lot! A man tells his wife of 20 years “I don’t love you anymore.” and she goes “Psshhh! Yea right!”

Happy Weekend!

Smileyface :)

 

This One Time, at Band Camp…

I have just finished my first full week at my new job, and I feel like this entire week and a half has been one giant blonde moment!!

That plus the fact that I still have a knack for word vomiting my entire life story in one conversation means…

I am still the Queen of Awkward! And T.M.I. (too much info… incase ya didn’t know!!) :-s

Ugh… school days…

Oh well… it’s still early days. God willing, I still have plenty of time to redeem myself… Please God!

Anyway… YAAAAAYYYY WEEKEND!!!!

Lots of Love!

Smileyface!! :)

My Sunday (Thoughts About Faith and the Material World)

Did you know that The Big Bang Theory was invented by a Catholic priest?

Look him up! His name is Georges Lemaitre.

I love science, so was very happy to find this out! About 10 years ago I did have some trouble with the whole “science vs. religion” debate as although I did want to believe that there was a God, I didn’t want to forget science. It was one of my best subjects at school! Luckily I learned a few years later that actually science and Catholicism can easily go together and one very useful way to see it is that science is merely another one of Gods tools with which he creates this world :)

Boom! I find that quite easy to comprehend, and any science nerds that still try to debate that whole aspect of religion with me (a.k.a. Dad, brother, sister, classmates…) I feel just can’t handle losing that argument :P haha!

I could write an entire post about science and religion but would instead rather talk about my day today! Might come back to this later.

Today’s Gospel reading at church was the one where the rich guy asked Jesus how to achieve eternal life and Jesus tells him to give up all his possessions and follow him. Then the rich guy walks away feeling sad and Jesus proceeds to say how difficult it is for a rich man to go to heaven.

Right.

I know this passage might bring relief to a lot of people who are struggling financially. As for me, on the other hand, this passage always makes me feel kinda uneasy. I’m a spoilt expat brat. No other way to say it! Sure, I have known P-L-E-N-T-Y of kids who were more spoilt than I am, but I also know plenty of people who are much less spoilt than me and all I can do to make myself feel better is resort to relativism e.g. “at least I am not like them!”  In this case, “them” referring to all the other spoilt kids I ever knew or encountered! Although, I do try to hide it as much as I possibly can I am sure it must show through sometimes.

Today has been one of those days…. Nuff said, moving on!

Another thing I can say is “well, I don’t know anyone who would be willing to give up all of their stuff!” with the exception of the few nuns I’ve met briefly at church of course… They are different!

And also, by nature, as an artist and a designer I have an undying desire to surround myself with pretty things! My clothes, my accessories, my home decor, my blog theme etc…. My career (oh yea! I finally got a job!) is based on the principle of making material possessions both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Human beings appreciate beauty! I love just being able to see! From the trees and birds, to the cities, home decor, fashion, people and my own reflection. Yea, I said it. I am not one of those girls who always hates the way I look! No way! I appreciate it whole heartedly and I hope 30 years from now I can still say that!

I appreciate the things I see so much that I thank God for allowing me to see everything I get to look at everyday.

I also appreciate the things I see so much that I always want more. I always want more clothes, hair styles, shoes, ornaments, lamps, clocks, bed sheets… you get the picture?? It was a task being able to give away everything (yea right! Not everything!!) that I didn’t need in order to ship the rest during my move over here.

People do soften the impact of this particular Gospel reading by instead saying that it means that God does not want us to be “too attached” to our material possessions. That does make me feel better. I know that if I had to give away all my possessions then I could. If it was out of necessity. There are more important things out there and I know this at the bottom of my heart. I just hope that I won’t have to, and I hope that by writing this post I have not jinxed myself. Eeek.

Anyway, I am not quite sure how to conclude this post… I always suck at conclusions!

After hearing todays Gospel reading and then analysing my own attitude… I can at least thank God that he has brought this to my attention again and continues to on a regular basis through the world around me. I am reminded all the time that I should be grateful for everything in my life, material and immaterial. I pray that he continues to remind me, that I continue to grow in my ability to show thanks for all the good blessings in my life, and that I can grow and learn new ways of showing thanks and gratitude by contributing in my own way to the world I have been given.

Faithfully,

Smileyface! :)

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