Monday, 7 July 2014

#consciouskindness So Far

Well my being nicer than usual is a bit of a challenge. Firstly I think I need to change the hashtag as #30daysofbeingnicerthanusual is just too long, even though it does capture the slightly daft nature of this self imposed challenge.

I am currently liking #consciouskindness, in the sense that I'm just making myself think about being kind a bit more. And also recognising that I am actually quite kind some of the time and that I should probably stop beating myself up. But Paul says it's too difficult to spell so I'm open to suggestions.

It's also not as exciting as a happy photo a day in terms of social media interaction. There isn't much scope for comment about me helping an old lady cross the road (not that I've found one to help with that yet). I'm also finding it extremely tricky to think of extra things to be kind about. So far I've done this:

Friday - I went down our road and put Chupa Chups through the doors of everyone I know with children. Enough for one each obviously. I told Paul and he said he wondered whether people would let their children eat them since they didn't know where they came from. A depressing thought.

I also lent a friend a mattress but I'd have done that anyway so it doesn't count.

Saturday - I got cross in town and had a minor melt down. I cheered up though when we went out to dinner and I tipped more than usual. But it was a bit annoying because the waiter wasn't actually very friendly. Now I'm not sure whether the tip will have a) cheered him up and therefore improved his customer service for the rest of his shift, thus benefitting all the later customers, or b) made him think that surly service is a good thing and to carry on as he is.

At 11pm my neighbours brought us curry and rice in yoghurt pots. I know it's Ramadan but I like to think it's also karma. But that's mixing beliefs systems so probably not related. They are just kind. And good cooks.

Sunday - I braced myself and didn't say I had jobs to do when Tilly asked me to watch a loom band tutorial and help her make a 'triple single bracelet' (whatever the hell that is) despite the fact that I really wasn't keen. I did say no to the game of chess request after though so I'm not that saintly.

Monday - I really wasn't that kind and may have used some negative if a little colourful language because of the following:
People who park in cycle lanes;
People who cross roads without looking both ways and therefore nearly getting hit by bicycles;
Sheffield City Council who haven't mended Abbeydale Road and seem to think I want to ride a boneshaker;
Gross man who needed to wee on the footpath as I rode past to avoid potholes on actual road.

Let's see if I can cheer up enough to be kind later on...

Thursday, 3 July 2014

#100 Happy Days...What's next?

So that's it. 100 pictures of things that made me happy on every single one of the last 100 days have been uploaded to facebook. I will aim to do a montage when I work out how, and order a photo book because actually I think it's been a hugely worthwhile exercise for me.

Ok so most of my pictures are of the children. On their better days. But there are also lots of pictures of me being happy. And other people and things that make me happy. I have had my eyes opened to how many things do that.

Days out, my husband, friends, singing, food, achievements, wine, new things, holidays, birthdays, silliness, reading, memories, family, rabbits, playing, nights out, quiet, my home, work and even bizarrely a spot of exercise.

The idea was it was supposed to make me see that even on the worst of days there are glimmers of joy. It did that. It may be cheesy but I'd recommend it for giving a bit of a positive boost. I tried hard to pick my favourite photo - which probably has to be the one of me and the family on holiday. But instead I'm using this - a picture of me being, well, happy.

The only trouble is I'm left with a gap. What do I do now? Clearly trying to do a different thing every week for a year on is not enough.

My good friend gave me a bottle of wine today. It was a truly kind gesture to thank me for something small I did yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I went to a comedy gig about kindness. I think that is enough to give me an idea. Perhaps I should focus on small acts of kindness.

100 days is a stretch. I mean I'm just not that nice. But I'm going to start with a month of kindness and see what happens. Not being self congratulatory just a concerted effort to be kind to someone. I'll call it #30daysofbeingnicerthanusual... Let's see what happens...

Too much to do

I've been awake since 5am. I woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of a dream where I was late to watch the girls in a show, Dad couldn't park and we'd all missed the best bit. There were also people picking up toys from the grass and people everywhere (quite a lot of them arguing with me) making me feel somewhat squished in the brain department. Not exactly hard to work out what's going on there then. I'm not at all struggling with the incessant round of child related things that are happening and feeling the pressure to a) turn up on time with all the correct children and their accoutrements and b) have a clue what's going on.

This week so far:
Monday - After work visit Decathlon and Go Outdoors in an attempt to buy relevant items for Brownie camp. Fail to buy a 'sitter' and feel frustrated that nowadays for camp cutlery it's a Spork or nothing. Mustn't forget to bring the extra child home after school (specified one). First child being picked up by a friend. Hand over extra child at 5.15. Pick 3 children up from choir and deliver to respective homes. Make tea. Insist first child finishes homework. Listen to second child's buggering sponsored read bobbins (don't get me started). Read extremely long chapter of Hetty Feather to children. Wrestle children into bed. Collapse.

Tuesday - Mustn't forget to bring extra child home after school. Second child at a friend's house. On return of second child feed all children and myself to avoid vomiting at bootcamp. Repeat homework and reading as before. Go to bootcamp. Sit sweatily on bed and read extremely long chapter of Hetty Feather to children. Repeat wrestling and collapsing.

Wednesday - Leave work early to watch Sports Day. Remember to buy cake. End up adding up scores for Panther team for Sports Day which leaves me with feeling of slight guilt in case I gave them too many points. They came second which I think is a perfect result. I don't look like I exaggerated the points and yet daughter's team very happy. Walk to fields and have a picnic for a friend's daughter and eat cake and strawberries (Hooray!). Pick up child number one from yoga. Frantically try to glue in photos, cuttings and various things that were stuck to the fridge into Arts Award portfolio with eldest daughter as it's a week late, while cooking dinner badly and trying to ignore the carnage that is my house. Have a rant about the mess and no-one picking up socks from kitchen floor. This includes me. Insist child number one does guitar practice (twice a week is fine right?). Read, wrestle, go singing. We skipped the school disco thankfully. There's only so much Gangnam Style I can take.

Thursday - Wake up ludicrously early and instead of doing housework, having a shower or making packed lunches use time effectively by finishing Bridget Jones - Mad About the Boy. Ah that's why I'm writing in this weird stilted style with no joining words. It was good though - cried a lot.

In a minute I have to start properly: not forget to send child to school with guitar, do the usual and then end the day watching eldest child get yet another award for attending extra curricular activities. Must remember to buy her another folder for more certificates. Must also fit in exercise as I can't go to bootcamp tonight. Which is tricky because my stomach hurts when I cough. Or move.

Two weeks two days to go until the holidays, and counting. Not that I'm off work much but at least I can leave everyone in pyjamas watching Little Princess with a bagel. Until at least 1.30.