Witty Title – Toxic Traita

‘I don’t really have a lot to say’

A sentence you hear when somebody is too lazy to argue.

A sentence you hear when somebody is not passionate enough.

A sentence you SAY when you are coming up blank for a blog post but you are still trying to hit your 1000 words a week target that you set yourself at the start of the year.

I feel as though a peace has settled over me. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I have no love life drama. And I don’t know how to deal with it!

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever sought out drama, but I will admit I love a good argument to clear the air. I’ve never been passive aggressive, always direct and to the point which has landed me in some trouble in my history. I prefer to argue with facts and logic these days. I’m guilty of using words to drive in a sharp knife. Not in rude way, I’d never swear at somebody or insult them, because that’s mean. But I’m a spin doctor of sorts and will capitalise on what you say and twist it until you can’t even remember what the point was you made in the first place. I consider this my biggest toxic trait (after taking another glass to bed for water when there’s already one there).

I also have bad habits. I bite my nails until they bleed (anxiety thank you very much), I smoke (because alcoholism is way more expensive, and risky) I wash the dishes way less often than I should and my clothes somehow always end up on the floordrobe as opposed to in the wardrobe.

So when you combine my toxic trait and my bad habits, it’s easy to conclude that I’m not a person many would find easy to love. And I believe this. I also believe that I am a person somebody would be lucky to love. Can you see my dilemma?

So when somebody brings up an issue, I instantly go to the part of my brain that believes I’m shit to love. When somebody is not passionate enough in their response, same thing. And to protect myself I start waxing lyrical, using big words and weaving them into clever sentences; they are my weapons that protect me from my own self-imposed wounds.

I’m not the most secure person in the world. I am soooo confident in many things; sports, driving, my job, socially, around friends, family. Any outsider could look at me and easily denote me as a competent adult who has her shit together. But that’s only what you see on the outside. I have high functioning anxiety and imposter syndrome. Which basically means I have to please the inner voice over everything else. This is hard to do. And my coping mechanism is talking to myself which in turn becomes the same coping mechanism when dealing with any other type of personal conflict. I have a sharp tongue and I’m not afraid to use it. Sucks to be you.

BUT

It’s an issue that has raised itself a number of times in the past with partners and I’m finally listening and registering that my vocabulary and grasp of the English language (most of the time) is as much a strength as it is a weakness.

I don’t have a problem getting on a level with peers, colleagues, friends, family, kids, the elderly and everybody in between. But I know for a fact that maintaining these awesome communication skills I have with a lover has never been my strong suit.

And the one thing somebody can say to me to really raise the pressure in this interpersonal kettle that is bubbling to ensure those communication skills completely boil over?

I don’t really have a lot to say!

Or any words to that effect. Infuriating!!!

And I have no reason to be triggered by such a reasoned statement. It’s probably what a secure person would say to prevent an argument. But I’m not secure and therefore it’s lazy and passionless, don’t @ me.

Or maybe do @ me. I can’t even decide if this is a toxic trait I want to improve. I quite like being a wordsmith.

I’m frenetic in nature, so I will naturally swing back and forth between two ideas. Even when I have laid out a reasonable and rationale argument for changing my ways and even when there is supporting evidence that those ways are not a ‘good thing’, I’ll still argue with myself over which wins out.

Until, of course, the time comes that an argument is borne, and either the other person is left feeling like shit because they couldn’t defend my war of words or I’m left feeling like shit because my war of words worked and now they feel like shit. It’s a no win situation and I can’t not have the last word. At this point, I instantly chastise myself.

So even though it’s a behaviour that I need to change, I don’t really want to. Even though I’ll always end up feeling bad by behaving in this way, I’ll continue to do it.

And because this peace has settled over me and there is no drama (in my love life at least) I feel a little lost. I’m jittery, like one who hasn’t had their coffee in the morning (or way too much) and I’m gunning for a verbal showdown.

It’s ironic that that I can spit words out and yet I’m really not sure this post makes any sense.

I have nothing more to say**

** a sentence you write when you have no clear way to end a blog post.

Roaring 20’s, Boring 20’s…

My last major walk was on 14th December. That is over 2 weeks ago. It’s been a weird couple of weeks as I haven’t really had the motivation over Christmas, with school being out, working, planning for the big day etc, I’ve found it difficult to find the time. But the problem is I’m now in a slump. I have a whole morning to myself today where I would use this time to get some fresh air and get my heart pumping the red life force through me. But meh. Can’t be bothered. I’m doing a days walking tomorrow so might as well stay in bed where it’s warm right?

I also haven’t had football, and with my county going into tier 4 today, that might not continue either so this definitely feels like a lockdown again despite what the politicians, scientists and law makers say. Tier 4 is a polite way of saying ‘stop fucking mixing you imbeciles’!

And I’m annoyed because I have to go to work. I’m in a frontline industry, working for the emergency services. I don’t get the offer of being furloughed, I don’t have the benefit of working from home and therefore saving fuel. Throughout the last lockdown my son still had to go to school but he didn’t get any of the ‘home-schooling’ work at school because it wasn’t fair on the kids at home and so I’d be doing it after a gruelling day of working and it felt punishing at times. Eventually I just gave up, he’s a smart kid, he’ll pick it back up! The key workers amongst us are facing the COVID fight front on and the best we can get is a clap and a pay freeze. Yay! All because there’s no money in the public purse because our inept Tory government flounders it on crappy apps and PPE contracts to their ‘mates’. (Urgh, politics, I digress).

And I know I should be grateful to still have a job and an income and I am grateful, but it’s hard to maintain that positive gratitude when I see people around me only benefitting from this pandemic both financially and emotionally by being at home with their families.

It’s ironic that I feel like someone who is hard done by though. Because the truth is, sitting at home, working from home, not having the company of my colleagues some of whom are very good friends, means I’d be miserable and more miserable. And so in that sense, because 2020 has been a shitty year in so many ways, I’m glad that my life hasn’t been changed dramatically. It was hard enough adapting to the outside world regulations without having to adapt and overcome at home too!

But I’m really fed up now. And I’m not sure why….If the world opened up again, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even do anything, I might go out and celebrate the end of the pandemic once, but that would be it. I’m not convinced in myself I’d even go and make up for all the lost time with friends and family.

So why am I fed up? Am I bored? Is it the post – Christmas blues? Has the loneliness of singledom finally set in? Am I not fulfilled enough in my job? Do I have some strife in my life that I just can’t resolve?

Typically, I am the kind of person who just goes with the flow, never really making plans, always last minute. It frustrates people and after this year I suppose I’ve lost a bit of purpose myself. Or perhaps I just need new purpose? My 2020 Mind, Body, Soul resolution worked so well and as it is the time of year to make a resolution for 2021, I think I’ll make some new goals. After all, having goals and something to work towards is a challenge and making progress and achieving great things is what makes life exciting. So… goals to realise for 2021 are set out below.

Realisations.

New Years Realisations!!

1) Read a minimum of 12 books (once a month, not hard)

2) Write 500 words before bed every evening (except Sundays. And Mondays. And Wednesdays). Ok fine, 500 words twice per week.

3) Continue spiritual and personal growth to feed the soul by connecting more with friends and family.

4) Feed my need to know things; continue to explore the world and how to help it through documentaries, news articles, published papers etc and look into taking a new class in Human Factors and Cognitive Bias.

5) Hike once a month with a 5km minimum walk once a week (checking off 100 greatest walks of GB). Those glutes will thank you babe (and so will he).

6) Finish all the small little jobs left to do in the house. Renovation is a pain but so rewarding when the job is finally done. (Plus, do you want to be embarrassed??!)

7) Chores are for rainy days. (Seriously, if the sun is shining, get your butt outside!)

8) Keep a diary to keep me honest with my realisations and create a vision board to see it all.

9) Reduce screen time by 50% (Hahahahaha).

10) Continue to focus on nutrition and overall body health.

So there you have it, my 10 Goals for 2021. Some are totally achievable, others never gonna happen but I strive for the best. In fact, I may not achieve any of them in 2021. I certainly doubt I’ll be consistent with them, but at least it’s all written down, I already have the whole of January planned out in my diary!

And of course there is always the hope that having these goals will naturally lead me into a path of love because I am ready for it. Every crazy, neurotic, anxiety filled, stubborn inch of me is ready for love in my life!

Do you make New Years resolutions or yearly goals? Or like me, do you normally just face whatever the year brings? Perhaps you are you new to setting goals for yourself and finding it hard to keep yourself accountable? Let me know, I’d love to hear your stories.

Mind, Body. Soul

My New Years resolution for 2020 was to improve myself. I wanted to get fitter. I wanted to practice mindfulness more and I wanted to take care of myself more. I wanted to find healthy outlets for my frustrations. I wanted to start showing up for myself and become the best version of me that I can. At the start of the year I only stated this aloud to myself because there’s always that niggling doubt that I won’t achieve what I set out to do. Which is scary. I also knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix and it would take some effort, pushing myself to do small things until they become habit and I wasn’t sure whether other people would give me the patience I needed, but it is nearly Christmas and as such nearly 2021 so now seemed as good a time as any to reflect.

I started working on my body as this was the easiest place to start. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way I looked, a little too podgy in places, but instead of focusing on that, I wanted to celebrate what it could do. It keeps me moving. I have all working parts. I’m eternally grateful for the health of my body. I wanted to reward my body for all the hard work it does for me. I also wanted to focus on the amazing parts of me, my lovely thick long red hair and my big green eyes. My long legs. My athletic body shape. So what if I’m a bit podgy in places, that podge makes for a soft pillow when I’m cuddling my son, which he tells me often. And so slowly over the course of a few months, my mindset switched from fault finding to ‘you are fab’ I started rewarding my body with massages to straighten it out and dedicated a ‘me’ day where my body didn’t have to work so hard…sofa/duvet day with films/documentaries/tv shows/music/reading. On these same days I’d eat whatever took my fancy, whatever my body craves on that day and I’d end it with a hot bubble bath with candles for a job well done all week.

Then lock down hit. And the massages had to stop. I was still working hard as a key worker & felt a lot of pressure and stress, but I didn’t stop the Body process. I continued with the sofa days and the bubble baths and the binge TV, music, guilt free eating.

I found the beginning of lockdown fairly easy, but as the weeks turned into months I felt myself spiralling. And that’s when I realised I needed to do something about the mind. And so I started blogging again. This space has given me the opportunity to write down my own thoughts and feelings and just general get my crazy musings down so they don’t stick in my head. Admittedly it came from my dating life and it has continued along that theme because that is where I really needed the help. I imagine I’d get a lot of weird looks if I voiced out loud some of the things I write on here. I started to learn gratitude. Being thankful for the things in your life is a really great way to switch the negative thinking into positive thinking. I also started learning again. I’m not studying, but just taking some time each week to learn a little bit more about something I’m interested in. I also started creating again, drawing, podcasting and creating wooden signs.

Soul was the final chapter. I’m still finding it hard to articulate what this means to me, which tells me I’m still working on it. But at the height of summer I was able to get back to some of my hobbies – football and hiking, two things that bring me pure joy. And they do help fill my soul, I’ve also lost 1 stone since which is wonderful for my body and exercise is medicine for the mind. But I still feel there is something missing, I can’t quite fill up the tank because I can’t connect with my friends and I haven’t been able to travel much.

But, what has become blindingly obvious is that at no point has my Mind, Body, Soul goals and achievements rested or even touched on my desire to not be single. Which is rather remarkable given the amount of dating I have done this year (ironically, more so than any other year). But it has helped tremendously in an unintended way; whilst I still hold out hope that the chalk to my cheese is out there, I have found a peace in myself. I trust myself to find the right man when I am good and ready and to pick a better than I have previously because I am better than I have previously been. And whether it is the first man I meet and feel a connection with or the hundredth, if things don’t really go to plan, I will trust it is because something better is coming along behind. This mindset has been quite the epiphany, super enlightening, empowering even and when I couple that with my own sense of self-worth, which is that I can bring so much more to the table than just being a mother and having a job and well, that feels rather marvellous!

I’m pretty fly for a white…Gal.

She’s back!…..well, for a day at least!

So turns out Neptune and Mercury squared up over the weekend which is ‘Astrology’ for ‘expect a lack of confidence’….so that explains a lot. If I really held any faith in horoscopes then today I would be ‘nurturing a wildly creative idea and my thoughts would be all over the place, which is typical of my frenetic nature’. OK so maybe there’s some truth in that BUT I ignored my horoscope and actually took some of my own advice and found something else to do today other than ruminate on the thoughts and feelings of that teeny tiny percentage of the population.

I did an 8 mile walk whilst listening to some podcasts, saw some countryside and got my groove on to some very cool, if not cheesy, music. There is absolutely nothing weird about a girl on her own singing and dancing along walking trails, right?

I got home and made myself lunch, researched how to write a boss blog and I’ve spent the rest of this afternoon putting up my Christmas decorations whilst listening to Christmas music.

Now I haven’t been perfect, FD has crossed my mind a few times throughout the day, but I have forced myself to think about something else, like why on earth did we used to turn into slutty sluts whenever ‘Push It’ by Salt ‘N’ Pepper was played the DJ in the club? Without fail, girls would start grinding on each other and guys would watch with their tongues hanging out. Couples would literally get busy with their clothes on. Does that still happen? I gotta say I miss that. I miss being so carefree you’d pretend fuck your bezzie from behind, or she’d be lying on the floor, that was always covered in spilt WKD or other sticky alcoholic beverage while you cowgirl’d her. I mean gross, but nobody gave a single shit! I’ll tell you what else I miss too, having my bum pinched. You know, when you was smushed up dancing with your gal pal’s and some random dude would just squeeze passed and give you a quick cheeky grab? Yes I know its 2020 and that’s considered sexual assault now, but it was such a simpler time, if they pinched your bum you was guaranteed a snog. The fact that the bum pinchers are most likely on the sex offenders register now is really not the point. I feel we need a new, less sexually aggressive move to act as match maker.

We’ve also not had a decent party dance tune since Cha-Cha Slide which I think is a real tragedy. There’s nothing like a moronic song to get the masses on the dance floor, flailing their arms and wiggling their hips. Somebody should come up with a new one!

Why, or better yet, when did I become so care-occupied (that’s the opposite of care free right? I’m going with it). Because I didn’t give a toss what a guy thought of me back then. I’d never even give a guy a second thought, even if I fancied the pants off him. I remember having a bit of a fling with a guy my friends ended up nicknaming ‘Rocking Robin’. We flirted, we hooked up a few times I was totally besotted and then I saw him leave with another girl one night. I don’t even recall if it stung, but I certainly didn’t pay it any mind. If my memory serves me well, I found a new dancing partner and the rest was history (well, not entirely, dancing partner now works for me FML). So when did I become so care-occupied? Maybe when I became a mother? Nobody wants to be the embarrassing mess of a mother. And I found new hobbies because as we grow up, partying, drinking and dancing becomes harder with families and more mature obligations. The jury is still out on whether I’m not an embarrassing mum, I mean, no kid wants their parent cheering the loudest from the side line at football or making them dance around the kitchen whilst I’m singing Christmas songs wildly out of tune. But tough shit kiddo!

Then again, the confidence I used to have may have been replaced by anxiety thanks to the trauma of being in love with a guy who was so far the opposite of in love with me that I’m just not sure how to read a situation anymore. And so instead of being the first to the dance floor, the loudest voice in the room, the first name on the karaoke list, or the first to tell a guy that I’m interested in him, I leave it to everybody else to take the stage. Or could it be that it’s just part of growing up? I’m not sure I subscribe to that ideal, I mean I was singing and dancing along a trail today. Perhaps its the experience you gain with meeting people through life, when a relationship doesn’t develop in a way you are accustomed (or hoped). But that’s a really selfish thing I think, hiding what are undoubtedly the best bits of you from others, not showing how unique you are for fear of rejection from somebody or a group of people. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be friend’s (or in love) with the girl who holds her own cabaret show whilst exploring woodland? That’s peoples problem, not mine.

So I want us to do something. Let’s start celebrating what makes us unique. It doesn’t have to be grand; mine is the fact I can make a dance floor out of anything and I love people who are equally DTB (Down to Boogie) on the fly, what carefree, unique quality do you see in yourself that you would love and appreciate in a friend or partner?

FD#5 – Before I spiral…

Yes I know I said I’d become a nun (said in jest). And I know I said I shouldn’t let 0.000000013% of the population affect my mood or my behaviour (I really want this to be a thing) & I really don’t want to have to repeat the mantra over and over again (but how else do I get through this?)……… FD didn’t even say hi today at training.

‘A guy who is interested, won’t have you guessing and wondering, he’ll want to do the chasing, and if he’s not interested, you’ll be confused’

Sooo confused so I guess that’s that.

Gah! So close yet so soooo sooooooooooooo far away.

Why Can’t I Get This Right?

First of all, I just want to share with you that this is my first laptop written blog. Normally I am typing my posts out on my teeny tiny old school iPhone, which makes me feel like this blogging lark is now actually a hobby and not just some lame diary to get down my random thoughts on love and dating. Even though that’s really all this blog is.

But I need help. Seriously HELLLLLLPPPP!!

My friend and I were discussing my current love-life challenges and my incessant questioning of everything that a guy I like does (or doesn’t do), and it has become apparent (and this whole blog is testament to this) that when I like someone I cant seem to carry my normal confidence and awesomeness across to it. It’s like I suddenly lose all of my inate abilities and I just become a walking, mumbling sack of potatoes. Only, potatoes would be more interesting, fun, confident and awesome than I am. My friend said ‘This side of you really surprises me, you’re normally so confident and you don’t let anything get to you’.

Errrrmmmm…Hello. Do you even know me friend??

But he’s right. I don’t feel this way at all when it comes to my friends, my family, my work, my hobby’s or my coaching. Don’t get me wrong, I do check myself and I have times where I wonder if I’m being a good enough friend, mother, daughter, sister. And I get things wrong at work and in coaching too, but it doesn’t really have me worrying for days. I just learn from it and move on maintaining my sunny disposition to life. And even when I don’t feel like I have been a very good friend or made enough time for my family, or been a very enigmatic coach or boss, I’m able to just ‘forget’ about it and move on. I’m not insensitive to any of these area’s, but I just don’t dwell on them, I stay positive and well, honestly, I just don’t have time to dwell.

But when it comes to a BOY? Who I LIKE? And I feel a modicum of ATTRACTION to? Well, I just cant seem to let it go. I invest wayyyy too much time analysing. Their moves, their words, their texts, their intention. Analysing if I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing. Am I coming off as too strong? Should I be more girly? Am I trying too hard? Am I being the right amount of sweet and salty? Should I flirt? Should I banter? How many xxxx’s should I put? Should I put any at all? Should I share this podcast? Would he like this song? The sheer anxiety from the weight of these questions sends me into such a spin of crippling paralysis, I often don’t do anything at all. And if I do decide to be brave and reach out, I’m then fretting because if I don’t get a response in what I consider to be an acceptable time frame or what I consider to be right response, those thoughts turn to he’s had enough of me, I’m not love-able, he must think I’m crazy, stupid, dull, boring or the worst of my self criticism’s….unfunny!

How fucking selfish is that? Not only to him because I’m already second-guessing his thoughts about me before I have even given him chance to form any kind of opinion, but also to myself because why on earth would I put myself through it.

And so I have been giving this some thought: oh yay! she’s thinking again. I have had quite an amazing year, despite the fact half of it has been during lock down and nearly all of it has been to the soundtrack of COVID19. I have dated a fair bit AND had fun with it (no really, I have), I’ve become an Auntie again to a beautiful little girl. I feel my relationships with my family are more solid than they have ever been, I have friends that are awesome and I know I can count on who pick me up and who can count on me when they need some unconditional love. I have laughed a lot. I have walked in some beautiful places and discovered amazing things (not to mention lost a stone). I have tried new foods, learned some history, gained an amazing perspective on what to be grateful for, developed a business idea, re-started this blog, successfully navigated my way through a worldwide pandemic, seen my Grandad through a successful heart operation, achieved level 8 in Parenting, saw my U9’s Football Team achieve their first ever league win after all their hard work. Yet somehow, despite all of that great stuff, the lack of intention from one man (who is the equivalent of 0.0000000013% of the population) has me feeling like a failure. WHAT!!

And I think I know why. When it comes to dating and love, I have no tangible proof of anything, and I’m the kind of gal that reads and needs to know things. I need physical confirmation that something is real or feedback that I’m doing well. I get validation from all the other areas of my life which is why I don’t give those aspects of my life much thought. I’m also scared. I really don’t want my heart to be broken. I really don’t want to show how vulnerable and neurotic I am. I don’t want to face rejection and have to talk myself through the mantra of ‘You are good enough, you are amazing, it’s his loss’ over and over until the next walking, talking Adonis comes along and the vicious cycle of waiting for their validation starts all over again.

People tell me all the time I deserve someone. Ok, but have you seen how messy I am, who’s gonna love that? You’re not unlove-able. Yeah, but don’t get too close because I’m really made of invisible barbed wire. You’re gorgeous and funny, any man would be lucky to have you. See these chin pimples? A lucky escape more like. Be patient, you gotta go through some Mr Wrongs before you find Mr Right. I wouldn’t mind Mr Wrong but I seem to only find Mr Fuck No!

I know I said I needed help, but now I don’t even know what help to ask for. It’s obvious that I need some intervention; Hello, my name is Louise and I’m addicted to self-sabotage. The first step is admitting it right? Maybe I should go cold turkey on dating. Hell, why stop there? Celibacy is embraced in many cultures, I could become a modern day Nun, singing gospel songs and donating all this time-wasted on thinking about whether 0.0000000013% of the population thinks I’m good enough to more worthy causes!