‘JUDGEMENT’

You look at me
Who do you see?
You think you know me
But what’s my story?

I’ll tell you what I see
Someone judging me
I will show you me
I’ll show you who I can be

Look and you will see
And learn what you can be

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80s Movies

For anyone who doesn’t follow me on Twitter, is a new follower, or just missed it – for a while I have been doing regular Theme posts on Thursdays (#ThemeThursday).

The idea is that a topic is selected (sometimes with the help of my followers and sometimes my personal preference) and I post related tweets all day on that subject. This may be memes, gifs, article links, YouTube links etc.

Themes I have had so far have included:
• The Walking Dead (#TWDThursday)
• Game of Thrones (#ThronesThursday)
• Disney (#DisneyThursday)
• 90s Nostalgia (#90sNostalgia)
• Harry Potter (#PotterThursday)

…& many more!

Some of these were successful enough that I may have future repeats with new material and new followers included.
I will also be running #BuffyThursday again as it has to be cut short on the day unfortunately, so look out for that soon.

To kick off 2019 I decided to have my first #ThemeThursday of the year as #80sMoviesThursday (inspired partially by my husband’s love of 80s movies).

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As someone who was born in the 80’s, they were a big part of my childhood and I remember going to the local video shop with my mum to buy the Little Mermaid which was from 1989.

As a child I watched movies such as Back the Future, ET, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters… I remember going on a school trip to see The Land Before Time at the cinema, and I remember other animations such as an American Tail, and puppet movies like Labyrinth. I remember being both entertained and yet quite disturbed watching Return to Oz (scared by the Wheelers for one).
I remember as a child I went to my friends house wherr we were unsupervised and she introduced to the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’, as well as being scared when we sat and watched ‘Poltergeist’ together.

Growing up I watched ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and learnt the secrets behind what made Freddie Krueger so scary (someone my older brother had always taunted me about).

I asked my Twitter followers about their favourite 80s Movies – running a poll (#SM80sMoviesPoll) and also asking them to comment their favourite movies and gifs.

Here is what some of them said…

@KrochetxKorner said “The Nightmare on Elm Street. I mean it’s a classic horror film, one of the very first I watched. I was born early 80’s so didn’t get to see it properly until mid 90’s, but I loved it from start to finish.”

@LivvieBrundle responded “oooh um… The Never Ending Story. The story is enthralling & thought provoking. it says a lot about innocence & imagination. The puppet/makeup fx are fantastic. The scene with the horse always gets me & the gmork, with those teeth & eyes… & words, is terrifying. ”

@donnafarrell43 replied with a ‘Dirty Dancing’ gif

@Carly_marie85 is also a Dirty Dancing fan “My favourite film since I was a kid! Obviously bcuz I thought Patrick Swayze was hot in this film! ”

@79_Alexandra is likes a lot of 80s movies, saying”There’s ALOT of really good ones so a tricky one to choose, but I will go with ‘The Breakfast Club’…The SoundTrack is pretty awesome (it’s in my car at the mo) and Some moments are Laugh out loud funny.”

What @PaHe56435751 likes about ‘The Breakfast Club’ is “This is a great movie which shows how we can get along even if we are really different from each other”

@MaddDawgDailey told me his favourite 80s movie is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ “because it has pretty much everything u could want in an adventurous blockbuster movie. IMO it’s the darkest, most emotional and most engaging movie in the franchise and of all of the big selling 80s movies I’ve seen or in general. Plus it’s the debut of Yoda and has the biggest and most intense cliffhangers in any trilogy. “I am your father”? Nuff said. And while Han Solo’s death in Force Awakens was very sad, him being frozen will always be the hardest moment to watch in a SWs movie…”

 

You can check out some of the related tweets here:

You can also check out my 80s movies polls by checking out the hashtag on Twitter: #SM80sMoviesPoll

Whatever your favourite 80s movies is, it seems one thing is for sure – the movies of this decade were certainly appreciated by many.

What is your favourite 80s movie? Do you prefer another decade for movies?

The Millennial Life

How many times have we heard the negative things about ‘Millenials’?
They get such a bad reputation that even people who I know that fall under the Millennial generation try and deny they are a Millennial – simply because it is a label, and a lifestyle reputation they have no connection with.

So who are these ‘Millennials’? Generally a Millennial is classed as someone who was born between the early 1980s to the mid to late 1990s.

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We are a generation who were raised in a time where it was still ok to play in the street and ride to the park, but where we had an array of TV shows at our finger tips on Sky TV or Cable; A generation who adapted quickly from the adjustment from video cassette movies to DVD players; The first generation to perfect their text typing speeds. We grew up in a world where Beanie Babies would one day be worth something, Pogs were banned in playgrounds due to them being a ‘gambling concern’, and where we were amazed that we could teach Furbies how to speak. In our childhood, the biggest worries were knowing who loved Orange soda, memorizing the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and remembering to feed our Tamagotchis so they didn’t die!

With the introduction of the internet and home computers becoming the norm, we were also the first generation to excel at online communication – waiting for someone to finish on the landline so that we can use the old dial-up connection to join chat rooms, log onto MSN Messenger and perfect our ‘MySpace’ layouts.

We had it all. We had everything. And we were reminded of this.
In the UK, growing up we had exams around every corner – SATS every few years, GCSEs, A-levels… We had the best opportunities and we were expected to succeed and being constantly tested to see how we performed.

We are expected to succeed academically so that we can succeed in our careers – so that we can excel and be the best we can be.
We are expected to have some kind of recognised profession co tributing to society – Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers.

Without the qualifications, will people want to employ you? Yet with the qualifications but no full time work experience, will people want to employ you?
I have seen so many examples where people have walked out of University with degrees and ended up working alongside those without qualifications – working sometimes for a higher wage for their degree and sometimes not. Those with a degree of course, still having to pay off University debts so being on the property ladder is not something they can even consider whilst in their 20’s.

The house prices these days make it terribly difficult for people to get their step on the property ladder. A study from the financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/81343d9e-187b-11e8-9e9c-25c814761640 looked at the cost of housing, while “incomes have faltered”.

There are, of course, those who are fortunate enough to have parents who can help them out financially, to help them onto their first step (for me and my husband our support came in the form of us both living with my parents while we saved – something which is becoming increasingly common in millenials in order for us to be able to afford our own homes).
There are those who are unfortunate that can afford to get onto the housing ladder due to an inheritance following a bereavement – something else which happens less due to the longer life expectancies.

We are faced with the challenges we learnt from the lessons of previous generations where pension schemes can’t always be trusted and you need hefty deposits to purchase homes.

Women are expected to work full time, have careers and still manage a household. There is still shaming from previous generations if homemade meals aren’t cooked. There is still a judgement from previous generations when it comes to hired help in the form of cleaning companies – and this is for the ones who are fortunate enough to be in a position to earn enough to have that as an option.
Men are also expected to work full time and have a career and expected to be a ‘modern man’ – contributing to household chores.

Women are stigmatized whatever choices they make it seems – if they choose a career, why are they not having children? Or why is someone else taking care of their children?
If they choose to be a stay at home mum – why are they not working to provide for their children? Why are they not setting an example for their children?

Who adds to the stigma Millenials face? Well for one, The Media. Compared to previous generations, there has never been such an overwhelming media presence – News 24/7 – News on the TV, in Newspapers, Online. The Media have to make stories to feed the demand.
Social Media also has a massive role to play – playing the comparison game on Facebook is not productive and negatively affects our mental health.
As we are the first generation facing this lifestyle, we are the ones who’s mistakes will be learnt by future generations.

More of the issues Millennials face can be found in this interesting post about ‘quarter life crisis’ https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/dec/30/me-and-my-quarter-life-crisis-a-millennial-asks-what-went-wrong

It discusses the pressures we are faced with and how it impacts us mentally and is an interesting read.

While we as Millenials are very fortunate, we are constantly referred to as the ‘snowflake’ generation – when the truth is that we are like many other generations – we have benefits previous generations before us didn’t, but there are also challenges we face that other generations were not faced with.

My view is that every generation can learn from the previous, and that in a time when we will be living longer and become a world of multiple generations, we should each respect our similarities and differences.

New Year, Same Old Me?

So 2018 has ended, and what did it bring for me?

Well like every other year of my life, and like pretty much most other people’s lives, it was a year of highs and lows. It was a year that in some ways feels it has taken an eternity to get to the end of, and in other ways I feel like “are we really at the beginning of a New Year again already?”
So basically it is like Groundhog year I suppose.

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This year for me started like most others, it ended on some massive lows but some good things have also come from my year.

I guess the lows reflect my ‘real’ life and the highs reflect my ‘online’ life (generally speaking).

The beginning of the year found me continuing to encourage others that it is ok to need and ask for help – that there is no shame in not being ok.
All the while, I was failing to see the downward spiral I was on mentally. I was aware of it to some degree, but hadn’t fully acknowledged it. It felt ok to say others needed help, but not ok for me to ask for it. At least not to the degree I was starting to feel I needed it.

While I was telling everyone it was ok to seek help and support, it began to open my eyes to the fact I was not doing the same myself.

After a while it became too much and my ‘mental meltdown’ happened before work one morning. I finally cracked and decided I had to seek professional help to try and stop feeling the way I did, and to try and stop some of the behaviours I had begun due to my mental health issues.
I called the Doctor’s Surgery and sent texts to my husband and mum. I apologised for failing them. I told them I couldn’t do it any more – that I needed help to stop me feeling the way that I did.

When I went to the Doctor that day, I barely said many words, as it was mainly tears. He was very kind and very patient. He prescribed me with medication and referred me to a local team to decide the method of support I could get, where I attended an information session. After this they enrolled me onto 6 group CBT sessions.

Having to take time out from work to attend these sessions, I was completely open and honest with my manager about my mental health issues and he supported my need to attend the sessions. This was a big thing for me because my role had changed at work and in honesty it was contributing a lot to my mental health issues, something I only truly begin to realise more and more as time goes on.
In addition to this I opened up to one of my work colleagues who I am closest to and she was very supportive and understanding, having experienced mental health issues herself before. It is amazing when you open up about Mental Health, that others feel able to open up too. This helped my day to day work life massively as she understood and could help reassure my anxieties, encouraging me to put my own mental wellness first.

I attended 6 sessions of group CBT and the tablets seemed to be helping a little and alleviating some of the behaviours I was developing.

I had a small Twitter account which I began using more actively at the end of July and started tweeting about Mental Health. Through this I met the incredible mental health community on Twitter. More detail on this can be found in my previous posts (‘The Me In Social Media’ – Part One can be found here: https://wp.me/paaGKg-j)

This led me to meet some amazing people and also to create The Mental Health Crisis Angels on Twitter (you can follow us here https://twitter.com/MHCrisisAngels)

Around the same time, my job role changed again. As my confidence in what I was doing with the Angels grew, and I loved the new purpose I had found – things at work were getting worse. I was increasingly unhappy in my job, and discovered I was going to have to take redundancy at the back end of 2019. On top of this I had additional medical issues which, combined with my anxiety, was causing me to take regular time off work – something which was uncommon for me.
My Mental Health was getting worse again, some of the behaviours creeping back in like they had before.

That didn’t stop me finally doing what I had been wanting to do for years though – and that was starting my first blog!

Nor did it stop me continuing the work with the Angels, and going on to create a blog for the MH Crisis Angels before the year was out. You can follow their blog here https://mhcrisisangels.wordpress.com

2018 ended in me turning back to the professionals, but this time it will be Private rather than through the NHS – and that is where my 2019 journey will begin.

So what does 2019 hold for me?

🦋 To try and make the best of a bad situation at work – to try and turn things around and see where things go for my final months in the company
🦋 To continue my mental health journey towards having much better understanding and control of my mental health and wellbeing
🦋 To seek new work opportunities
🦋 To continue the work I have started with my own Twitter account, and continue to grow the MH Crisis Angels to provide as much support to those struggling as we can
🦋 To work on and grow the blogs for My Simple Mind and MH Crisis Angels
🦋 To keep working on myself as much as I can – to be the best me that I can be!
🦋 To encourage and remind people that it is ok not to be ok – whether that is someone else, or yourself!!

Why I love Christmas

For anyone who knows me, or follows me on Twitter you may be aware that (while I am struggling this year and things are getting a little on top of me) I do LOVE Christmas!

I am so lucky that I have so many amazing Christmas memories that I have made over the years.

Coming from a ‘cereal packet’ family, I had some great childhood Christmases – writing letters to Father Christmas (based on the list from the Argos catalogue), visiting Father Christmas in his Grotto, hanging stockings, leaving out a mince pie and sherry, Christmas Dinner with the family… I feel blessed to have been able to have experienced such Traditional, Family Orientated Christmases.

Not only was I given the Traditional Family Christmas, but my Brother and I were truly spoilt by my parents, as well as the rest of family and friends. We were never left disappointed or wanting for anything.

Now, that isn’t to say that every Christmas has been easy. One year for instance, brought us a festive period which impacted me in ways I am still dealing with, and would have been enough to spoil Christmas for the rest of time, but my parents made the best of it for us. Christmas can be hard at times… for a post about loss and Christmas time click here.

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So why is it that I love Christmas so much?

  • I enjoy the build-up – the anticipation of what the season will bring. For those lucky enough to have time off with their families over Christmas, it is so lovely to have the time off to look forward to at the end of the year
  • The music!! I can’t help it! I just love the music – from the Christmas carols, to the classics and the novelty Christmas songs… I love it all! I love the nostalgia it brings and my mood can be influenced by music so I find it is good for me! I love walking around the shops doing my Christmas shopping when the Christmas music is on (I have to admit though I have to go early morning to do my shopping to prevent me getting stressed out about all the people around)
  • Christmas Movies – So many feel good Christmas movies out there to watch! From classics like ‘Home Alone’, to Christmas chick flicks like ‘The Holiday’, I love to spend time watching as many as I can squeeze in during the festive season, in between shopping and wrapping! See what my favourites are here.
  • Spoiling my loved ones – particularly true for my parents – they gave us such great Christmas memories during our childhood that I try each year to spoil them a little bit in the way that they did for us (I know it isn’t all material, but I enjoy having the luxury of being able to spoil people I love)
  • Decorations – everywhere!!! In the house, in the town, in the shops, in the workplace!!! Lights, trees, glitter, tinsel, red, gold, green… I love it!!
  • Spending time with your family and friends, and being lazy – the one time of year we all try and have time off at the same time and we spend our days with friends and family, or lazing around on the couch watching movies, eating chocolate and not feeling guilty about it!!
  • The food!! Turkey, Brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, carrots, turnips, and pigs in blankets… the list goes on! No Christmas dinner is complete without a Christmas cracker of course, with the typically rubbish joke!! But it isn’t just about the dinner. It is about the buffets, the tubs of chocolates that every house seems to have, the cheese and crackers we all buy at this time of year, satsumas, nuts… the list goes on! We see it, we eat it!! And then beat ourselves up over it come January!
  • Traditions – we have a few traditions as a family, and even myself and my husband have begun our own traditions… watching ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ on Christmas Eve while eating KFC for example! It is a strange one, but we love it!! We also save all our Christmas cards for family (like parents, each other, brothers etc.) and we all exchange cards on Christmas Eve… kind of like a card version of exchanging gifts I guess. I like it, as it kind of makes it a bit more special!

So… those are just some of the things I love about Christmas!! There are surely more, but those are some.

I am interested to hear what you like about Christmas?

 

Not everyone finds Christmas an enjoyable time of year, that is why we are running the ‘Angels Christmas Sanctuary’ (#AngelsChristmasSanctuary) on Twitter from the @MHCrisisAngels account. Drop us a DM on Twitter if you are interested.

Acs

Red Roses and Robins

Everyone loses their grandparents right?
It is the natural order of things.
It isn’t right if it is any other way – I know because I know of a situation where a couple not only lost their daughter but their grandson, both within the space of a year. It was tragic in the most genuine sense of the word.

Everyone has a different relationship with their Grandparents.
Some are estranged, some see them only on special occasions, some see them every day, some live with them.

So when the dreaded time comes – for some, sooner than others – everyone has a different experience.

When people hear that an immediate member of the family has died, there is understandably a deep level of empathy for those left behind.
When it comes to the loss of Grandparents, people are loving, supportive and caring, but not always knowing the relationship someone had with a Grandparent, do they understand the impact? Can they understand and see the depth of the grief someone may  experience at the loss of a Grandparent?

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I read that when we grieve we wait until we get through it, until we move on from it – when the reality is, we don’t move on from it – we move on with it. We accept the new version of ourselves that exist without that loved one – a new life with them no longer being physically in it. This is exactly the belief I have always had – We don’t move on from it, we accept it – we absorb the grief and it becomes a part of our story.

I imagine there are very few people who have not lost someone they love.
My husband only had his first loss of a loved one earlier this year, in his 30’s – in this respect, I have always thought him to be very lucky, to have gotten so far in life without having experienced it.

This time of year can be especially painful if you have experienced a loss.
And all the more painful if you have experienced a loss at this time of year.

You might have felt the pain of coming home from a Christmas pantomime to find out your loved one has suddenly been taken.
You might have thought you had the strength to call your friend and tell them of your loss, thinking you were strong enough to tell them, and then breaking down when the words don’t come out.
You might have been excited for a Christmas party and thought you had the strength to go, but it never felt the same when you did.
You might have had the pain of knowing for every Christmas card coming through your loved one’s door, it was another person who had to be told they are gone.
You might have had the morbid anticipation when a card came through your own door… wondering if it would be a Christmas card or a sympathy card.
You might have been reminded of the one you love whenever you see a robin on a Christmas card.
You might have had to shop for funeral wreaths instead of Christmas wreaths.
You might have spent your days at the Undertakers seeing plans for a funeral due to take place days before Christmas, instead of doing last minute Christmas shopping.
You might have had to put aside the Christmas gifts you bought them in favour of laying them to rest with a single red rose and saying your goodbyes.
You might know how it feels. You might have your own memories and experiences.

For me, there was one particular loss which was a huge moment in my life. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it was life changing. It is something I still think about so regularly… constantly torturing myself with “What ifs” and “I wish”… and yet for nothing… because nothing can change it.
Like I said above, I have absorbed it, moved on with it, not from it. It is a part of me, and a part of my story. It has shaped who I am today. I just hope it is someone to be proud of.

Christmas Tag

Thank you to @TheGoodTheHuma1 for tagging me in this fun festive challenge!

I really enjoyed doing this, and hope the people I tagged will do too! An for anyone reading this, I hope you get to learn a little about me : )

Christmas Tag

  1. Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts
    Giving – Don’t get me wrong, of course I enjoy and appreciate receiving gifts, but I LOVE to spoil my family!
  2. Do you make and stick to New Year’s resolutions?
    No – I generally find it puts too much pressure on yourself. In honesty, I always strive to better myself. I ask people for feedback in my professional life, and I know the things in life I need to do generally so try and do these all year round. I am not a massive New Year fan, though I do get sentimental and look back on the year that I have had.
  3. Have you ever made a snowman?
    Oh yes!! I have pictures from my childhood of my brother and I building a snowman, something guaranteed to be done whenever it snowed! (As well as snow ball fights!) I did try building one as an adult, but I think you become more aware of the cold and damp of the snow as an adult, and everything becomes more about practicality!
  4. Is your Christmas tree real or fake, and what theme do you prefer?
    Every year since my childhood, we have always had a real tree – it is part of annual tradition, going and picking the tree. It also became a tradition me and my husband had each year, though this year he has convinced me to buy an artificial tree. My theme is traditional red, gold and green, and I don’t really do tinsel! I love lots of lights and have to have them on the twinkly setting!
  5. Most memorable holiday moment?
    As a child, my most memorable moment was probably a moment, which is still mentioned now… the lounge door was opened and in my disbelief at so many gifts I just said “…alllll themmm presssents”. I was only really small at the time but we still laugh and say it now whenever we have all the presents under the tree! To me, it reflects how lucky we are to have been fortunate enough to be spoilt materially, but also in the fact that we have shared Christmas memories as a family year in year out!
  6. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
    We have a couple of traditions… one being exchanging family cards on Christmas Eve (no presents are exchanged until Christmas Day). I also love settling down and watching The Muppet Christmas Carol with my husband on Christmas Eve which has become a bit of a tradition, but only once everything is sorted ready for Christmas Day!
  7. What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
    There are so many gifts I have received, it is so difficult! One of the nicest gifts of recent years was an electric piano from my husband. He knows I have always wanted to learn piano, and had bought me piano lessons for a previous Christmas. His hope was that I would get back into it because I had dropped my lessons due to other things going on in my life. I really do need to get back into it! A lovely story of a beautiful Christmas gift can also be found here.
  8. What are your favourite holiday foods?
    Wow… Christmas involves so much food doesn’t it?! I would say pigs in blankets is one of my favourites! Also, my mum does Brussel sprouts with chestnuts, which is really nice and the only time of year we have them together like that.
  9. What is your favourite Christmas film?
    The Muppet Christmas Carol! You can read about why I think that, and some of my other favourite Christmas movies here.
  10. What is your favourite Christmas song?
    Over the years it does tend to change, but the last couple of years I am really into ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. I think this is because it isn’t one I used to hear as much. I have to say I do love ‘All I want for Christmas is You’, and I do love some carols.
  11. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

I don’t want to spoil anything here because I have a Christmas blog post coming up, so I will link it once it is published!

  1. What would be your dream place to visit at Christmas time?
    For me, I think Christmas is best spent at home with family. It is how it has always been and I enjoy a traditional Christmas at home with the people I love. That said, I would love to go to New York in the run up to Christmas to do shopping, though my anxiety would certainly set me back from doing that as how it is at the moment.
  2. Who do you spend Christmas with?
    On Christmas morning it is just me, my husband and our 2 cats (our furbabies). We open our presents (furbabies included), and then we get dressed and ready for the day ahead.

We go visit my Mother In Law, her husband, & my Brothers in Law. We all have a mass opening of presents, and it is also my Mother In Law’s husband’s birthday so we do his birthday present. We don’t have Christmas dinner with his them, we have New Year’s Dinner on New Year’s Day with them instead.

After that it is normally afternoon, and we head over to my mum’s for Christmas dinner. There we have dinner and more present opening with my mum, dad, brother and Grandma, where we pretty much stay for the remainder of the day. My parents live ridiculously close to us so it is really easy for getting home in the evening, where we spend what is left of the night lazing in the lounge with the cats and each other!

  1. When do you start getting excited about Christmas?
    On and off for months I guess. I started buying Christmas presents in May and felt pretty organised, but I feel excited on and off because I love Christmas, but in honesty I guess I do put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to shopping and wrapping etc. I always want the gifts to reflect the thought I have put in and the wrapping to show I have taken care and time to wrap it.
  2. You have one Christmas wish – what will it be?
    This is so hard, because as an adult, we just want basic things don’t we – for us and our loved ones to be happy and healthy. Something I always wish at New Year for everyone is Health, Wealth & Happiness, so I guess that would be my Christmas wish.

I would love to know what anyone thinks of the answers and for anyone I didn’t tag, please feel free to comment answering any of the questions yourself!

My tags are:

@CrazyQdilla

@the_rolling_20s

@lifeasjst_nikki