True Love Waits Forever: Care Home Hooligan -Part 7

Sometimes I am reminded that my job is one of the best jobs in the world. That I am privileged enough to have a part of someone’s life, their most intimate moments and thoughts. This week I had one of those moments.

I was speaking with a gentlemen about his life and specifically his wife and he shared with me the story of when he first realised he was in love with her. It brought me also to tears. So here is his story:

She had been away in Doncaster visiting her sister-in-law’s family and I was going to meet her at the station. So as I am waiting on platform one at kings cross station, her train pulls in. She steps out and she walks towards me smiling and radiant. And, in that moment, I realised I was madly in love with her and couldn’t bear to be apart from her ever again.

That. That is the kind of love I want. That is the kind of love that happens once in a lifetime, that makes you believe in soulmates, that restores your faith in humanity. That is the kind of love that makes movies, that makes hearts melt, that gives life meaning and purpose. That is the kind of love you only get to witness in my kind of job.

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A New Year Fast Approaching

So 2017 is drawing to a close and my god it feels like both a lifetime and a second.

I started the year in summery New Zealand, working far too many hours for some lovely, and some rather horrendous people. I draw the year to a close back in wintery london, working far too many hours in the most beautiful and wonderful home.

How the two worlds link I am not quite sure, because my little life on the other side of the world doesn’t feel linked to 2017, to my childhood bedroom and snow.

I slept in hostel rooms with 10 people, friends I hadn’t yet met, and now cherish. I made memories and challenged myself and leapt from a plane. I did unimaginable things and brave things and things I don’t remember because there were so many things. I drank, I danced, I laughed, I cried, I worked, I slept, I didn’t sleep, I baked, I cooked, I met new people, I made new friends, I met family, I made family.

And now I sit at home, nearing the end of this magnificent year, wondering how next year can even try to compete with the year I became me, the year I went crazy and sane all at the same time. I have hopes and wishes and dreams for the year to come, I have anxiety and stress for what it brings, I have love and passion for the people I will see.

Christmas is a knocking, so new year will have to wait. I have 35 stockings to deliver and Santa can’t be late.

Care Home Hooligan – Part 4

So my day was going great, Santa’s workshop was nice and calm, we made our lollipop stick trees and chatted, all plain sailing. We had a lovely church service thanks to the local father, then I went and did one to ones and got to know our new residents. Nobody was in a bad mood, everyone joined in and was laughing and chatting away all day, in terms of my residents and me it should have been a perfect Tuesday…. yet of course I have left feeling stressed out and unhappy.

Why you might ask? After such a lovely day do I feel so panicked? Well because it’s not just me and my residents, it’s relatives and staff and head office. My boss was under inspection which meant it had implications for me and my job was being analysed to check she was doing a good job. So I have that report to look forward to tomorrow. Our home manager was asking me for a map that I haven’t had time to do which we don’t need for 2 weeks yet. All the staff had lost their heads and were stressing out and at me. It was all a bit much. Which is such a shame because my actual job in isolation was such a win today.

Reflections On Trump

So, its clear that Trump has turned out to be as bad as we were expecting, maybe even worse.

I don’t want to reflect necessarily on the bad, as they are obvious, his complete lack of regard for human rights, women’s rights, his total racists and xenophobic policies speak for themselves and there is no defending them.

But in a world of such uncertainty that he is creating, i want to look at a few positive, or at least different results.

1 – He has created some solidarity. I know this may seem like a crazy idea when all his policies are there to isolate and discriminate, but in his hate he is forcing us to show love. The mass of women’s marches is an example, he has brought together women and men of all races, sexualities and backgrounds to a place where they can show compassion and love for one another, while having a common belief and agreement. This is rare in the world today, where two people can come together and share an idea and a principle, not only enough to fight for it, but enough to show support to all those that can’t stand up and fight along side them. Another example are the attorneys that are lining airports across america offering their services to fight his injustice, to help people they do no know, to help people truly in need and those truly suffering under trumps brutal regime.

2 – He has shown that politics can be honest. This can at times sound like support for Trump, please do not take it as that. I simply want to show that he has done exactly what he said he would and in a world where politicians make endless promises about real change but never come through, at least he is a breath of fresh air. His policies are horrendous and things i think we all believed nobody actually had the power to do, and yet he did them. Which begs the question, if he can enforce such ridiculous ideas why can our normal politicians fail to pass policy on basic and humanly necessary things? I guess one argument is that Trump is not a politician by nature, he is first and foremost a citizen and does not clearly have the regard for rules and practices that other presidents stand by. But even so, if he can enforce a travel ban on citizens from several countries, why couldn’t the tories keep the promise to no cut tax credits?

3 – People are educating themselves and reducing their apathy. People are taking an interest in politics, in what the people in power are doing and what their vote means. And i personally think this is a triumph, i think it’ll lead to more people voting, and actually knowing what and who they are voting for. I am hoping it’ll lead to voting not on a party, or as a protest, but on policies and make parties really take care in their policy making. It’ll create more transparency and accountability because it wont only be the few that know what sneaky games they are playing, but the majority and the majority are the ones that really hold the power. We are the ones that can make and break a leader and an institution, because if the majority say no and really act on that no, then there isn’t enough force at the government disposal to stop us. And i am not calling for mass protests or riots, i am calling for people to actively in engage in lobbying, charities, communities, voting and mostly in parties, because the more people that join and can vote on party policy the more accurately it’ll represent real peoples needs and wants

So Trump, a complete and utter disgrace and a very dangerous leader. But maybe also, the wake up call we needed and the protagonist for change and political engagement.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO used to be, and still on occasion is my own personal torture.

In a world that is telling you to say yes to more, to go and explore, to just leave the house. Sometimes you just want to say no. Sometimes you just want your duvet, not leave the house for a couple of days and live in total bliss that the rest of the world doesn’t exist and isn’t going on without you.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, that little luxury is very quickly killed by snapchats, tweets, instagram and the ease of communication. Because, of course, the one time you don’t go out will be the day they all take photos and put them up everywhere for the world to see how you aren’t there, how ‘lame’ and ‘not fun’ you are in comparison.

So, inevitably, you drag yourself out of bed, have the long over due shower and force some kind of clothing on to make yourself look photo ready. Because, god forbid, you miss out if you don’t.

The reasons to drag yourself out when you just aren’t feeling it are countless… more than likely you will enjoy yourself when you get there, you rarely have the chance to see everyone in one go, you haven’t been out in ages. Unfortunately, we all know the real reason we are putting ourselves through this torture is because we don’t want our friends to think we are boring.

And we need to get over that. Our friends are our friends for a reason, and that won’t change just because we don’t want to go to the club this Friday night. They won’t think you are boring if you take the occasional night to yourself, although they may tease you are getting old, or some other rubbish in a last ditch attempt to drag you out.

We have created a culture that doesn’t allow you to just fancy some time at home, but instead guilt trips us into not allowing it for the literal fear of the social ramifications. Those social ramifications meaning you can’t join in that story, that something big might happen and you’ll be the last to know and worst of all you won’t be in the group shot that everyone has as their cover photo. Maybe i am getting old and boring, but, i am just sort of sick of the ridiculous amount of pressure i put on myself to go to things i just don’t want to do. I know i can just message my friends another day for dinner or to come round for a movie night, or something that just feels better for me. And that’s how i want my friendships to be, on a mutual happy little level where i don’t feel like i have to do anything or go anywhere to avoid judgement and loneliness.

So screw the FOMO, if i miss out, i miss out. At least i will wake up to hear plenty of gossip, of which none will be about me, I still have the killer group shot from last time to have as my cover photo and i know i will hear the story enough times that i will basically feel like i was there anyways. So yes, life might be about making memories and the big moments, but its mostly made up of small ones and boring mundane nights in, and you know what, that makes a pretty cracking life all on its own.

 

Success For A Woman

Many people have spoken about success and what it means to be successful, and most of them have been men, because for a long time, only men had the opportunity to achieve it. If you will, they had a monopoly on success, not only as an idea, but also in practice.

The door is opening for women to come forth and be more present in not only this discussion but also in this practice of achieving success.

But again, how do we measure it, what does it look like, how do we achieve it?

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” – Colin Powell

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come” – Dwayne Johnson

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

But what is it that makes you successful, that lines you up for success? Is it ignorance, consistency, perfection, enthusiasm? Or is it something else?

I don’t believe there is one way to measure success, one recipe for making it, one way to celebrate it. It is a personal struggle and a personal achievement that to me equates success. Only you can measure yourself and how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, if anywhere. That’s why i believe you can find no simple answer for what success looks like or what it is the measure of.

So i can’t give you something to work on, or look at, or ponder, or in fact any answers at all. But i can let some very important women give you some wisdom, that you never know, might just inspire you to find what will make you the most successful you that you never knew you already were.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

This is my take on success, and one womans voice in this great debate.

Life plan

I once read that “nothing will ruin your 20s more than thinking you should have your life together” and i guess that is true. I spend a large portion of my day thinking that i am getting old and that i am running out of time and that i need to work out my career, my life, my future. But i guess in reality, each day IS my life and IS my future and if i plan one day at a time, just those pesky 24 hours ahead of me, and thoroughly enjoy them when they come, in 20 years when i am 42 will i really regret not having a plan? I sort of don’t think i will. Even if i am still working some dead end job and trudging in the grand scheme of my ‘potential’ if i am still enjoying those 24 hours i planned, is that really the worst life i could have?

I guess its important to have an aim, a dream, a goal to work towards, but i also think a lack of one doesn’t have to be a point of anxiety.

And this year i suppose my goal, for a change, isn’t going to be to get organised and plan my life, instead its going to be ‘worry less, live more’