Sunday, 28 December 2014

New Year, New You? Nah!

I can't believe Christmas is over for another year already! Just as I was getting settled into sweets and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and long hours in front of the telly, it's been cruelly snatched from my grasp.  That, and I'm running out of Haribo.  I've enjoyed properly (and by "properly", I mean "drunkenly") catching up with my family, and with friends that I only tend to see once or twice a year because everyone's off on their own adventures in pastures new(er than where we went to school). Also, in my excitement, I've been trying to make use of every single thing I obtained in my Christmas loot from Santa.  Example:

Me, looking like a potato in a tea cosy and slippers after taking my beautiful, new, pink Asics and 1000-mile socks for their maiden jog... and then managing to lock myself out of the house in the freezing cold until A came to my rescue and made me coffee. Not sure why am making that face.  Can only assume is frozen in place.

So, now that Crimbo-time is pretty much over, I'm seeing the gradual drip-drip of New Year status updates filtering through my Facebook feed.  So far, they seem to fall into two opposing camps:

Camp 1 -  "As soon as the new year hits, I'm going to be a new person! All skinny and living in the gym.  Also, I will learn French and how to change colour like a chameleon.  I will be UNRECOGNISABLE!!  I shall be skinny, French and occasionally purple!"

Camp 2 - "Ugh, here come the New Year, New Me. Statuses!  They're never going to change, and I won't be able to park at the gym, because I am the boss of the Healthy Lifestyle Club, and there's no room for anyone else!"

I might be exaggerating a leedle bit, but that's the gist of what I've been reading.  Some people want to change everything about themselves, whilst others who have admirably managed to  create a regime they are content with scoff at those who want to follow in their footsteps and do the same.

Whilst I agree with Camp 2 that improvements to your way of life won't necessarily magically stick just because it's January, I don't see any harm in resolutions.  As long as you are prepared to be flexible with them, and don't admonish yourself and throw in the towel the second you inevitably stumble back into old habits. Everyone does it. Habits become habits because you repeat a behaviour until it becomes something you do more consistently than whatever you were doing before.

I believe that the end of the year is a great time to take stock of what you've achieved, and what you want to get out of the next 12 months.  I probably think this because I'm one of those cool kids who has kept a diary since I my early teens, which means I have an overwhelming compulsion to document every single thing I do.  It makes for terribly exciting reading.

It also means that I can look at old resolutions I've made myself over the years.  Let's see if we can spot a pattern!  I would offer you a prize for finding it, but I've eaten everything in my house that's not nailed down.  In no particular order:
  • Lose weight
  • Bite nails less
  • Be less shy/incompetent around other people
  • Spend less time sitting around
  • Watch less TV
  • Be more selfless
Etc etc.  Nothing revolutionary.  The trend?  Everything has to be less.  I think this is a common thing, especially in women.  We need to spend less time relaxing, less time thinking about ourselves and eat much, much less until we become tiny, waif-like molecules living off lettuce leaves and self judgement.  Hurrah! The year ahead is going to be spectacular! So much fun! 

We start on the assumption that we're not enough to begin with, which the logical bit of the brain (the one behind the bit that likes watching Netflix for eight hours straight and believes that after 3 pints, money isn't real) knows is... well, just bollocks, really.  Everything you achieve throughout the year is achieved by the person you already are, in the body you already have.  Here's some stuff that I'm proud of having done this year:
  1. Ran 3 half marathons.
  2. Got into a decent routine with the superhero runners at Run4All.
  3. Maintained a blog, which I enjoy doing and am proud of.
  4. Got a secure, not-too-shabby job that I'm comfortable in. 
  5. Tried out and loved Outcast CrossFit, and made more friends in the process.  Impressively strong and speedy friends!
Did I need to lose half my bodyweight and become an expert socialite to do any of those things?  Noop!  I still have all my "flaws" from before - I decide that I'm terrified of socialising at the most counterproductive of times (until I forget to be), I still have a weakness for anything edible that's terrible for my health, and my knee jerk reaction to anything negative is to berate myself for it.  But, overall, I'm pretty happy with my lot in life.  Everything I've done this year has come with perks - made me fitter, slightly more fulfilled and busier.  I'm just the same as I was before this year.  Just... more!  I'm Becky Plus!  Becky.2 ... etc.  I'm like an iPhone.  I'm essentially the same, just with the occasional software update.  Or a simile that's a bit more imaginative...

Point is, there's nothing wrong with taking stock of what you have and creating a plan to push for more things that will serve to add to your life experience.  Just don't forget that it's only you who can get you all that stuff - You, exactly as you are right now!

Hmm.  I didn't originally intend for this post to be all motivational-y.  Here's my favourite terrible joke to distract you from the sentimentality of it all:

Man goes into a farrier's.
Man: Hello, do you have any jobs going?
Farrier: Depends.  Have you ever shoed a horse?
Man:  No, but I said "fuck off" to a donkey once.

Haw haw.   

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Holidays Are Coming, Holidays Are Coming!

Only a few sleeps til the fat man in red creeps into our homes while we're unconscious (no wonder my sister was scared of Santa as a kid.  Seems only logical if you think about it)! I'm just crawling out of the coughy, sneezy tar pit that was my annual winter cold/flu thing.  All limbs intact, but seem to have gained a cold sore the size of France.  I'm no festive fitty, but at least I got my manflu out of the way before Christmas, as opposed to smack bang in the middle of the holiday like last year.  Silver linings and all that.

Coming down with an almighty case of the "eew, get away from me!!"s is all par for the course during the countdown to Crimbo, among multiple other things that it just wouldn't be Christmas time without.  Some people don't feel like it's Jesus-Is-Here-Oh-Look-Presents time until they've seen that Coca Cola ad with the truck in it.  Others don't feel right until they've erected their tree. 

Heehee.  Erected.

I've taken time out of my super busy schedule of emptying the fridge I just refilled and avoiding football noises from the TV to create my own personal list of stuff that has to happen in the lead-up to Wear-Something-Stretchy-Lest-You-Burst Day for it to officially be Christmas time.  Hope you enjoy!

1.  Compulsory viewing of Nightmare Before Christmas/Muppets Christmas Carol/Elf/Edward Scissorhands.  List gets longer every year.

2.  Abandon all intention of eating like a regular human up until the big day.  Instead opt to "sample" all available snacky items/gifts to ensure they are fit for consumption by the people you will be sharing them with come Christmas.  It's the polite thing to do! No one likes a disappointing snack.  

3.  Buy all of the standup comedy DVDs for self before even considering what to buy for relatives.  So far I've watched Lee Evans (meh. Not as good as his older stuff) and Jon Richardsons' (woo! OCD and neuroses! My kind of comedy) new ones.  Sarah Millican, I'm coming to get you next!

4.  Get even a minor case of the sniffles and hold off any and all forms of exercise for at least a week, telling yourself that it is for your own good.  

5.  Find self at end of said week sadly looking out the window, shoveling Nik Naks into face and wondering how you ever managed to put your trainers and go outside in that before.

6.  Go shopping for presents in real world, because it's much more festive than using the boring old internet.  All the smells and the lights and the trumpetty music and miserable faces, and stranger body parts digging into your body parts (not like that!), and the cold, and, and ... Abandon ship and order everything you need off Amazon from safety of car instead.  It's a bloodbath out there.

7.  Oh my God!  No hang over.  It's a Christmas miracle! This is AMAZING!! I have to get up and dance for jo- Oh, right. Still drunk.  Back to bed to wait for the pain to come.  Sigh.

8.  Convince self that not eating advent calendar chocolate for a few days and then cramming all of said days' worth into gob when feeling a bit munchy down the line is much healthier option.  Am saint.  

9.  Experience full-body rage twitches when the Christmas cards have fallen off the window sill for the billionth time because you dared to walk near them.  How fast do I walk?!

10.  Trawl Youtube for covers of classic Christmas songs =).  Here's my favourite.  Walk Off The Earth (they did that cover of Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know where they all shared one guitar)'s cover of Fairytale of New York. May it give you the warm tinglies too!

Merry Christmas, you scum bags, you maggots!  Hope you have an amazing few days!



Saturday, 6 December 2014

I'll Be There For You (but not really)

The season of festivities is upon us.  I know this because I've spent the whole day nursing a hurty head that keeps ninja jumping at me out of nowhere just when I think I've finally rid myself of the bugger.  I've also spent more time horizontal than upright to allow ease of access for any cheeky naps looking to ravish me, despite the fact that I was tucked up in bed and snoring (probably.  Drooling too, should imagine) by 11pm.  

What? The party started at 3! Valiant effort, I reckon.  I deserve a medal.  Or at least a calming hug.  I'm so very tired.

So today's been a bit of a non-day, punctuated only by naps and frequent feedings.  I'm really craving a chicken kebab as we speak.  One with peppers on it.  And sweet onion sauce like the stuff they've got at Subway.  


Anyway, TV got me through a tough time.  I don't do it often, but I love the odd lazy day where I do sod all and let my eyes turn square.  Today, I've watched Modern Family, American Horror Story and Friends.  Comfort telly to go with my comfort food.  Apart from American Horror Story. Didn't know until today that I'm actually a little bit scared of clowns.  Especially murder-y ones with no bottom jaw.  Who'd have known?

Friends, however, will always be my go-to binge watch in times of sloth.  Even though everyone on the planet and their parrot knows the sitcom line by line (which is why they need to make that reunion movie, dammit!! Why haven't they done it yet?!), I still find it just as funny as the first twenty billion times I watched it.  Like many people, I grew up watching the show, fully believing that Friends is what adult life would look like.  

...Up until last week, when my sister and I were watching The One Where Rachel Turns 30, and sibling dearest pointed out

"Isn't it weird that when we used to watch this, we were teenagers, but now this is about people around your age?"

Naturally, I freaked the fuck out, because 

1.  Holy ballsack!  For all intents and purposes, I am an adult.  A grown-up.  Yuck!!
2.  I have been duped.  My life is nothing like Ross, Monica et al's.  What is this evil trickery?

I've since forgiven the Central Perk gang, though.  They still make me happy, even though they are pedaling filthy lies.  Here are just a few of the reasons why I believe that Friends is a touch unrealistic as a depiction of the lives of your "average" 20/30-something year old:
1.  It crudely suggests that people can afford to visit coffee shops several times a day on the average salary.  Why do you think Starbucks pictures are always being Instagrammed in real life?  It's because that poor hipster had to sell their nan for a cup of delicious twitchies, and the least they could do to mark the occasion was document it.

2.   In Friends, everyone is thin and beautiful, despite not having a spare second in between "working" and coffee drinking to have a workout regime (except for Phoebe, with her beautiful flail-run that I believe I successfully emulate).

3.  Babies can apparently be had and then only feature in episodes where their presence is key to the story's plot.  When not required, they can be turned off and stored away, much like a Furby.  I'm looking at you, Rachel and Ross.

4.  Spells of unemployment are experienced by (I think) all in the show, but lack of income doesn't appear to be much of an issue.  They might be there for us when the rain starts to fall, but how long would they stick around if the bailiffs came a-knockin'? Hmm? 

5.  This one probably has more to do with me personally than the general public, but, much as I love my friends, if they were always in my house, eating my food and talking at me when all I want to do is have "shh, leave-me-alone" pyjama time, I would probably have violently turned on them and/or changed the locks.  I cherish my privacy, and have discovered as I get older that I'm programmed only to socialise a predetermined amount of time before I have to run back home to my cave and recharge.  I was on a busy, fun work's do last night, but I could probably cheerfully spend the next three days interacting with no one now that I've had my fill of merriment and talking and such.  Not even with Wilson off of Castaway, charming as he is.  It frightens me how easily I could become an actual hermit if society was a bit more accepting of it.  Hell, click and collect food delivery and Amazon makes it so easy these days.


I love you, Amazon.

What was I talking about again?

So no one told you life was gonna be this waaay-eee!

(clap clap clap clap!!)