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Resolutions 2016

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I last did a post about resolutions. And FYI, the last lot didn’t go that well, apart from getting a Distinction in my Masters.

So this year’s resolutions are:

  1. Clear the fields: I’m getting really fed up of all the mess taking over the hedge lines, and it will need to go if I’m going to get a shed built. Yes, the bigger stuff will need more effort and a big skip delivered, but I want to make a real effort to take at least one box of smaller crap to the town skip every week. I don’t need to get the car onto the field: I can just carry the box up to the gate. And there’s plenty of small stuff to go too.
  2. Pull ups: my general fitness has declined recently, and I would like to be stronger especially if I plan to do mounted games and want to be able to vault. So I want to be able to do pull ups. I’m pretty sure I can’t even do one at the moment. I don’t really have a goal as to how many – I’ll just see how it goes and count every extra one as a positive.
  3. Use my cameras: I have a moderately expensive DSLR camera and accessories, and now an action camera. I would very much like to make more use of them, whether that’s going out and photographing fun stuff I’m doing or just improving my skills.
  4. Get back into disasters/development: I know the chances of me getting a decent job in the field in my current situation are minute, but it is still something I’m very interested in. I spent a lot of money and time developing my knowledge and skills and it would be nice to put that to good use again. So I intend to start writing blog posts and LinkedIn posts to prove my continued interest and knowledge.
  5. Rekindle friendships: I’ve written another ‘motivational presentation’ and in it I have listed people I would consider friends, as well as close family. And I see maybe about 10% of those people on a regular basis. Which is crap. I’m always down about not having people to spend time with and friends getting coupled off; and yes, it sucks, but there are still plenty of people on that list who I could make an effort to see and I don’t.
  6. Be more positive: about 18 months ago – during one of my lethargic, apathetic, miserable periods – I started a mantra of “Woo hoo! Yeah!” for everything I did, to try to inject some enthusiasm and positivity into my life. I mean everything: vacuuming, ironing, dog walking in the rain. And it worked. Yet for some reason I stopped. So this time I’m going to make a real effort, because quite frankly, there’s a lot about my life that I would like to change, but focusing on the negative is what makes me miserable. So if I can do something simple to feel positive and enthusiastic, maybe I can find the energy to change the negatives, or at least learn to live with them a little easier.
  7. Buy nothing new for a year: I’m going to write a longer separate post on this, but basically I have a lot of stuff, it doesn’t really make me happy, and I have to pack it up and move it every time I move house, and find somewhere to put it. It’s also bad from an environmental point of view. So barring essentials, I am going to try to buy nothing new for a year.

I started well last night: I forced myself to go out, saw some friends I hadn’t seen for a while, chatted to strangers, and had a good time. And considering I flaked on climbing twice this week, I think that’s pretty positive.

But I was really hoping not to start the year fancying someone else’s boyfriend. I should find someone else to be the object of my affection. Not something that comes easily to me in my current situation.

Grief Other

Birthdays of the Departed

Emma Griffin’s birthday has appeared on my Facebook news feed today. 25 years old today. Except she died last week. Took her own life.

We weren’t close: I’d only met her a couple of times. More a friend of a friend than anything else. We were chalk and cheese really, but the one thing we had in common was that we were opinionated.

I don’t really know what to say about her except that I couldn’t imagine anyone less likely to take their own life. Maybe that just shows how little I knew her. Or maybe it shows how well she covered up her feelings. She was always so bubbly and fun and outgoing and outspoken.

Despite the fact that we were very different and I had no intention of letting her change my mind, I was envious of how outgoing and outspoken she was. I have opinions about a lot of things, but I’m shy and generally only let my close family and friends see the real me. I tend to avoid rocking the boat with people I don’t know well. Keep a lid on things.

Emma wasn’t like that.

The first time we met she mistook my shyness for snobbery. I thought the fact that we had nothing in common meant we would have nothing to talk about. The second time we met she told me her first impressions and I was much less reserved. And we both changed our opinions.

About 5 days had passed before our mutual friend texted me to say what had happened. I immediately went on her Facebook page and read through hundreds of messages. Everyone who knew her – close friends and others like me – in an equal state of shock, wondering why and how they couldn’t have known her state of mind.

Emma G (sounds like energy!!).


Unrequited friendship

I feel like I’ve lost a friend and don’t know why. I feel like the more I try to hang on, the more she pushes away. And it makes me really sad because we were so close.

I felt like I’d found someone who I could be really honest and vulnerable with, and I’d never had a friend like that before. She made me appreciate my other friends more than I had been doing too, because she was such a good friend.

I think I was a pretty good friend to her too.

Maybe it was just one-sided. Or maybe the time apart when I was in Newcastle was just too much. I knew I would have to be “replaced” and didn’t expect to just slot back in and spend as much time together as we had been doing.But I haven’t been able to slot back in at all. Made more difficult by the fact that I’m not in town much.

I started off by calling and texting a fair bit, but now I don’t bother. There’s only so many unreturned calls and texts you can take without damaging your self-esteem.

Friends come and go. But it’s really shit when the ones you think will be around for ages slip away.



I feel like I really only have one friend at the moment. Maybe 3-4 at a push, but only one that I see and catch up with regularly. If I went out in town I’m sure I’d see plenty of people to talk to, but I’m not sure who I’d go out with!

Good thing I have a job. I don’t really class the people in work as ‘friends’ yet, but we have talked about going out so maybe that’ll change.

I’m not trying to make this a sob story, because I know I could make more effort with some people. But there are also others who I feel like I make an effort with, to no avail. I wonder if they don’t want to be friends any more and I’m just not getting the message.


Friends vs Acquaintances

Recently I’ve been hanging out with a group of people who aren’t really my friends, but friends of friends. They’re nice people and I chat and have a laugh with them, but I don’t feel particularly connected to them. Our conversations are quite shallow and superficial, and I wouldn’t say I know much about them.

Sometimes it makes me feel quite lonely because I wouldn’t just hang out with them, without my friends there. Other times it helps remind me that I do have good friends and maybe I should put more time in with them: the people I do have meaningful conversations with; the people who do know me well.

But maybe there is also a third option: trying to get to know them better, and making them my friends too. I’ve never found making friends that easy. I tell myself that they’re not really my kind of people, that we don’t have much in common; but maybe that’s just a way of protecting myself. After all, I have plenty of friends that I have little in common with.

I have been trying to improve my approachability, so maybe I just need to work harder. And if they become my friends then great, and if not, then at least I tried!


Best Friend?

It’s 10 years that we’ve been friends. And yet I haven’t been able to get him to spend more than one night with me while he’s been home. I know we’ve both been a bit rubbish at keeping in touch while he’s away, but it’s always been the same – we hang out loads and catch up while he’s home.

Either (a) I’m paranoid; (b) I’ve done something to piss him off; or (c) he just doesn’t want to hang out with me. Obviously the easiest way to find out would be to ask. But I’m afraid that if the answer is (b) and I don’t know what I’ve done, that’ll make it worse. And if the answer is (c), what then?

He has more power than most to affect my mood.



Last night I listened to my ex tell me lots of nice things about me. Three years after we went out. Then I listened to a guy I attempted to go out with tell me something similar. He was only two years late.

And the one I want to hear it from now seemed to be doing his best to ignore me. And I wonder how long we’re going to spend going round in circles. If he doesn’t want me, I wish he’d just tell me and we can go about having a normal friendship. And if he does like me then he should tell me so we can go out and find out whether it’s as good as I think it could be. Assuming I haven’t messed it all up that is.