Tag Archives: sense of humour

Laugh Yer Ass Off

Yesterday, I took part in teaching a class. I prepared what I would speak about, dressed up for the occasion, and delivered my presentation. I received excellent feedback and felt I was behaving quite professionally.

After the lunch break, everybody was sitting and waiting for class to resume. I sat down and, right in front of everyone, I fell right through the chair, landing on my ass. We all laughed, my cheeks reddened (the ones on my face!) and we continued on.

As I sat there, trying not to guffaw, I realised that this was a hilarious lesson on not taking myself too seriously. I’d had an emotional week and I’d been feeling tired and fed up. It all felt like hard work. But I was proud of myself for getting through it and doing my best. And then I fell, bum in the air, in front of a room full of people.

Last night, I drank a glass of wine with my mother, watched ridiculous YouTube clips with my sister, and smashed open a coconut like I used to as a child on Hallowe’en. I slept in my childhood bed and didn’t get up until almost midday, skipping an all-day workshop that I could have attended.

If yesterday’s incident has taught me anything, it’s that I need to lighten up, have fun and enjoy life for what it is, instead of attempting to control everything and be perfect.

The funny thing is that, even if I do wind up bum in the air in front of everyone, we can all laugh about it, and the show still goes on.

keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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Twelve Lessons

It’s almost the end of another year. Twelve months ago, I was upset over (you guessed it) a man, so I started this blog to make myself feel better. That man no longer has an effect on me but I’m blessed to still be able to share my passion for writing with the world.

A lot has happened in my life since then. I’ve made great new friends and discovered interesting new hobbies. During the summer, I meditated in the Scottish Highlands and hill walked in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

I spent a wonderful few months with a new guy. We camped by the shore in Kerry, chanted as we traipsed across the fields in Meath, picnicked on living room floors, and practised yoga in front of an alarmingly curious herd of cows. I learned a lot about myself and about relationships. Then, we broke up, and I learned even more.

Come to think of it, I’ve learned a lot of things these past 12 months. Here are 12 of them…

1. You don’t have to be qualified to help another human being. Don’t worry about not knowing the “right” thing to do or say. A hug, a touch, or simply sitting with someone while they talk or cry is more than enough.

2. Let your guard down. I was feeling incredibly depressed one day and instead of staying in (as I usually would) and waiting to face the world until I felt and looked good, I asked for help. As I sobbed in front of a friend, my hair unwashed and my face naked, he held my hand and told me: “It takes incredible courage to allow yourself be vulnerable.”

3. Life is all about sharing. Be open and you’ll never be alone.

4. You know you’re only human. Admit it to others. They will love you for it.

5. Allowing yourself to grieve is enabling yourself to heal.

6. The worst thing you can do is take yourself too seriously. A sense of humour is a magnificent tool. Use it as often as you can.

7. Breathe. Deep breathing creates a sense of calm and gives you energy.

8. Love. Freely and openly. Don’t hold back.

9. Alcohol is not your friend. No matter how many chances you give it, it will always let you down.

10. Don’t be afraid to give. Give love, presents, compliments… The more you give, the more you will receive. Abundance is all around us.

11. Be present in everything you do. Taste. Experience. Feel. Observe. Enjoy.

12. Honesty will set you free. Be honest with yourself and with others. You’ll be surprised at how easy life becomes.

Here’s a bonus one… It is Christmas after all…

  • You will never find true happiness if you seek it outside of yourself. Save yourself heartache and frustration and just stop looking.

Writing this blog has taught me a lot too. I love it and I find it therapeutic. I’ve also learned that it helps others, which makes it all the more worthwhile.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for following my blog. Your comments, encouragement and support mean so much to me. A very merry Christmas to you all.

Ex-communication: unexpected message from an ex

This blog was created out of heart-break. Things had ended badly with an ex and, though I knew deep down that it was for the best, it didn’t stop the hurt and disappointment. After a number of horrifically depressing, grief-ridden days, I couldn’t stick the pain any longer. So I took out a notepad and started to write. It was then that I decided to turn this awful experience into something positive. And so, out of hardship, and after a considerable amount of pushing, a beautiful blog was born.

And out of this blog, I’ve been granted many marvellous things. I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing. I’ve received encouragement, praise and support from friends and family, and even from wonderful strangers with whom I never would have come into contact without this blog. My life feels fuller. I’ve realised that I don’t need a man to make me whole. And I most certainly don’t need a man who’s going to use and disrespect me.

Time really is the greatest healer. I hadn’t had any contact from my ex for almost a month. I know they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but sometimes, luckily, it just makes it wander. Even though he still has something belonging to a cousin of mine, I’d been feeling too weak and too raw to ask him to return it. I knew if we had contact, and especially if I saw him, I wouldn’t be able to resist his charms.

This guy, despite warnings from loved ones and even from the logical part of my own mind, had a huge effect on me. I enjoyed his company. He was fun and open and vivacious. He was also dangerous and damaged and destructive. But I cared about him. I adored his eyes and his infectious sense of humour. I loved his smile, the way his lips drew back and his dimples deepened. I had started to fall for him. I was always there for him. I helped him and listened to his problems. And then, just like that, he was gone.

He still visited me in my dreams. Constantly. Like I needed to process what had happened and how I was feeling because I hadn’t had the chance to do it in person. I was slowly coming to the conclusion that he just wasn’t good for me and that I was better off without him. Once I got past his dark curls and sparkling green eyes, his immaturity, insecurity and selfishness became visible. When I looked back on how he treated me, I could very clearly see that he hadn’t cared about me as much as I had cared about him. All I’d longed for was a better life for this lost boy who hadn’t grown up. And I genuinely still want that for him. But, even though I still care, I now care more about myself. I recognise that I was putting myself in harm’s way every time I allowed him back into my life. I was too attached. And each time he cut me off, it hurt that bit more.

This heart-breaking episode has shown me so much about what love is and what it definitely isn’t. Ever since I took my first step on this remarkable new journey, I’ve been shown that the most rewarding type of love is the love you give yourself. In my experience, no sooner are you taught a lesson, than you’re tested on it. If our education system is anything to go by, why else do we learn?

So, you can probably guess what happened next. A month after this beguiling and utterly confusing man disappeared from my life, I received a message from him. I opened it with dread and an irritating remnant of hope. He told me that he had noticed that I’d removed him as a friend on Facebook, which he said was “acceptable, considering my behaviour”. He wished me all the best in my future and signed off using his full name. He had always been dramatic. This was probably the fifth time he’d bestowed me with such a final sentiment. He definitely knew his way around those heart-strings! Tears crept behind my eyes, ready to leap out at any moment. I couldn’t help this initial, very physical reaction. But something within me had shifted ever so slightly. Every other time, I’d fallen for his mind-games and engaged him in conversation until he inevitably said something much like the following: I just want to say that you’re an amazing woman. You deserve the best things in life. And bam! He was back! You’d swear we were the over-the-top leading characters in the latest Nicholas Sparks’ romance! This time, however, I simply replied: “Thanks, you too. By the way, my cousin wants his Sopranos box-set back. You can drop it over to him any time.” And that is that. I’m putting all this behind me, once and for all, and I don’t even have to see him. Why torture myself unnecessarily?

Sudden contact from this exhausting ex momentarily robbed me of the serenity I’d recently been enjoying. That familiar see-saw of emotions resurfaced all too easily. I feel sad about the loss of someone I genuinely cared for. But I know now that I was never really helping him, I was merely another of his distractions. And I most definitely wasn’t helping myself. Since we’ve ended it (for the last time, honest!), I’ve had extraordinary insights into the crisscrossed highways of my mind and how I’ve been negotiating them. I recognise that it wasn’t even the loss of him that hurt so badly, it was more the belief that my life lacked something without him. I felt empty and I had nothing to distract myself from that. A surprising sense of gratitude swept over me. I now thank my ex for forcing me to wake up. Because, without him, this blog would never have come into being.

I sat with my feelings until I had a clear picture of what was going on for me. And then I smoothed on a soothing balm prepared by my loved ones in the form of a laugh-a-minute lunch with my family and numerous indignant and reassuring text messages from my closest friends. And then, as my spirits were rising, I found myself drifting towards nature.

I left the iPod at home and walked with my stillness. There was something surreal, something magical about this quiet evening. Frost spread across the grass like icing. Sheep huddled in silence. I stopped and really looked at one of these creatures. It was big and solid and woolly, with a face that reminded me of nursery rhymes. I wondered what it would feel like to hug it. Suddenly, a large flock of birds swooped overhead, dotting the pink and navy sky with black. Dark trees stood stoically against the sunset. A sense of calm washed over me. I breathed in all this beauty and peace and breathed out the heart-break.

I have finally released him.

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Click here for or a list of tips on how to survive heart-break.