I don’t know how to have fun…better work on this. (Or maybe I should just chill out).

I have been given an amazing insight by my long suffering mother today. I am actually one of those people who doesn’t know how to have fun – this is true. I think I know – but I don’t. That’s the problem. I think too much. For the first time in this life, I have admitted this to myself. I take everything so seriously (well, not everything but a lot) and ‘fun’ isn’t something I would consider myself being or having. I can have a laugh and a joke with friends and have a good night but my entire mindset is geared up to finding the point and the meaning within everything I do otherwise, there is just no point in doing it. Everything has to mean something.

I really do need to have more fun. Just for the sake of it! This feels weird to me…how sad!

‘Don’t you ever do things just for fun?’ ‘No mum, I don’t see the point. You have to learn something about yourself and the world around you and acquire new skills and a certificate in the process. Otherwise, you’re just wasting energy. What are you achieving?’ (Comparing me to close family members in the process…’you know you’re exactly like your sister, your aunt, your cousin…’

How did I miss this?

‘Is there a course I can do in ‘having fun?’ (Only joking…) No! That one is down to you… just chill! Not everything has to be a trial.’ I blame my training as a classical musician. ‘If you make one mistake in this audition, you won’t get in’ I made a mistake. ‘Yeah, that’s why you didn’t get in.’ So – I spend the early years of my life believing mistakes cannot happen and that everything is just that serious. For some people yes – but I am not one of those people obviously. I have a lot to unravel….or maybe not..I’m cool 🙂 I don’t have to understand why all the time…ahem! (Fighting every natural (or conditioned) urge in my body right now…

I came home from work earlier feeling a bit blue, bored and a bit tired. I decided to call home. I was preparing my negative monologue. ‘Ah there’s just no point to anything…this is a mad life. I don’t know what I should be doing.’ It is a mad life of course. Yes it is. So mad I can’t even begin to tell you. You know yourself what this planet is like.

I get uptight about silly things. I obsess about stuff I shouldn’t really – but then I think to myself ‘well if I don’t do this or if I don’t take this seriously, nobody else will and then something bad will happen or we’ll make a mistake.’ Yeah. Maybe. But…maybe not. Obsessive? Me? Ha! If I relaxed a little more, what harm could it do? I like to think of myself as someone who knows how to have fun. Why should I have to ‘know’ how to have fun? Why can’t I just ‘have’ fun?

I feel quite odd as I write this. I know I’m very structured, organised and I like my routine. I am a creature of comfort but I want to be different. I crave to be passionate, adventurous, more of a dare devil and an extrovert – but I really don’t think I am. I pretend I am and that pretense is what has been driving me crazy over the years. If I can finally accept the fact that I am actually quite wound up sometimes – (I really feel uncomfortable admitting this), perhaps I might be able to loosen up more as a person.

I mean – here I am telling people to make the most of every moment and enjoy life when I don’t do the same myself a lot of the time. If I took my own advice, it would be a good thing. I’m stuck in my head, lost in thought and neglecting the very basic fact that life is there for enjoyment – this includes myself.

(almost forgot about that).

© Christina McDonald 2014.

‘Just stay positive…’Managing the ups, the downs and the messy inbetween stuff..

‘Life is what happens while you are busy making others plans’.

John Lennon

The messy bits in between make life worth living….nothing is apparent or clear until we make our way through it all. Walking a path through the chaos is the way we find the path…

If there was anything I could say is ‘wrong’ with my life that I would want to improve, it is the inability to stay positive. I can remind myself to be positive on difficult days. Staying positive – well that is another whole kettle of fish sometimes. I can’t just stay positive all of the time. I’m moody and have loads of ups and downs. I’m just not one of those people. I’m more of a ‘if the glass is half full, then…I’m out of booze, fill it up with a large tequila to make me feel better….please God.’

(I usually snap out of it soon enough!)

I can bring myself back to a state of positivity but I’ll be damned if I can maintain it sometimes! I have a positive outlook on life and I am a great believer in being positive. Being negative for no reason sucks. The only problem is I am very sensitive and emotional and my mood goes up and down from one day to the next. A human sponge. I am conscious of other people’s moods and sensitivities and I am liable to pick up someone else’s bad vibes as a consequence. How can you negate the bad vibes and focus on the feel good stuff instead?

Don’t Think Too Much:

That is a curse in itself. Thinking too much places your entire day in a self-imposed bubble of nonsense. The chattering mind will not help you to gain or keep perspective. It makes you feel gloomy for no reason, even if everything is going well. Thoughts are just thoughts. Your reaction to thoughts means more than the actual thoughts themselves. I would rather think too much than too little though…(Not that I think too much or anything and end up tiring myself out over nothing…. (I gotta work on that one…)

Don’t complain about other people (no matter how much they get on your nerves):

Seriously – how often do we feel we want to get some annoyances off our chest? I do. A lot! I try to let those feelings go. Usually, I can feel myself getting very angry before I feel a tirade coming on.

So cue the following – ‘Deep breaths, calm blue ocean, let it go, let it go…one glass of tequila please’…:)

Learn to Laugh at Yourself:

Life can be hilarious sometimes. Just look around you. Taking things too seriously is no way to go. Take things seriously enough and that will be just fine. If you don’t laugh at life, you will end up being miserable. When s*** happens, smile 🙂 How often do things ever really go to plan? They will always work out but not according to the way you might have originally thought they would. They may even work out better for all you know….

Break your routine:

It is so easy today more than ever before to get trapped in a behavioural rut if we are not aware of it. We all work very long hours and especially in the city, it can leave you feeling comepletely drained. Many of us our a slave to routine. There is nothing like a good stable routine to make you feel secure sometimes but it can also weigh you down and make you feel as though you have nothing to look forward to.

Do something fun and shake it up! 😉

© Christina McDonald 2014

Food is good….

Travelling abroad recently combined with early starts, skipping meals and caffeine fuelled searching for departure gates reminded me of one simple thing-eating is important. Not just eating but eating and enjoying good food in a relaxed state. Lying in bed in my hotel room, I wondered why I felt so unwell. I had not eaten enough all day apart from a half a croissant in the morning (with a very strong black coffee of course).

The morning sunrise was something special on my first day there:

Sunrise in the Canaries...

Sunrise in the Canaries…

Running on empty was no way to travel sanely. Thinking about it, this crazy pattern of behaviour is symptomatic of my life as a whole. Always ‘too busy’ with other things to care about myself properly. When did I ever really appreciate the importance of eating well? The truth is-I do not as of yet appreciate or care properly about what I eat. I have a ‘grab a sandwich, anything will do’ philosophy which I am determined to change.

If anything, like so many of us, I love eating the wrong things. The ridiculous thing is that I love eating really good wholesome food. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling the food you have just eaten is doing your body good.

Working full time as an assistant manager for a chocolate company, I am slowly but surely learning to appreciate what goes into making great chocolate. My curiosity is expanding into new territories. Who knows what discoveries I will make on this new journey into appreciating food. I mean….’food glorious food’ must mean something good right?

BUT – the very thought of having to prepare a meal when I get home from work makes me feel exhausted….or perhaps that is my excuse for being too lazy to think about it. I know one thing for sure. I think I might actually enjoy it if I could just find somewhere to start. So -where to start? The kitchen. I think….

I always know what I enjoy eating. That part is easy of course. Cheese is up there. I love bread. I enjoy salads. …sometimes. (If there is cheese). With salads, I usually feel very hungry if I don’t have any protein or carbohydrates with it. As long as it is filling and satisfying, I am content. It is also where I fall down…I feel the same about pizza too.

What annoys me most of all, is coming home to a cupboard of food and not seeing anything I would want to eat. I only have myself to blame! First thing is first then – I have to make sure there is nutritious food that I enjoy eating waiting for me at home when I finish work. Then, I’ll have something to look forward to!

I am not sure I have ever really properly tasted food. Enjoying food and a satisfying meal, yes. When hunger is satisfied, that’s all well and good. My appreciation of food is still under par. Like so many things in life, I take it for granted. I don’t think I have tasted food and thought about how the ingredients have been combined to create the enjoyment of tasting it. Why does it taste good? Why do certain flavours work brilliantly together?

Apart from being hungry and subconsciously eating three meals a day, I now want to satisfy my curiosity about food, not just my appetite.

I wonder if we actually truly enjoy eating junk food. Isn’t it just the convenience we enjoy more? Having easy food ‘ready to go’ as it were, (I used to love microwave meals at uni), isn’t cooking. The most most important part isn’t included – having to think about making it. Making a list of healthy foods that we really enjoy is step one of the plan.

If we approach cooking with enjoyment, it ceases to be a chore. So – what do you love eating?

Get cooking! 🙂

© Copyright Christina McDonald 2014