Sunday, 22 June 2014

Friendzones and Fury

This afternoon, a male friend told me that men and women can not be friends. He is a little upset about what he sees as me putting him in the friendzone. I don't know about all these stoopid rules. I have a lot of friends, male and female. We can all be friends IMHO. If we go through life assuming everyone of the preferred sex wants to bonk us then that would be just strange. Instead, I choose to have lovely friends and let life be what it is.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

How I Learnt to Concentrate Again

Many years ago now, I went through a bout of clinical depression. That sickness killed my concentration span. I could not read more than one or two pages of any kind of book before feeling sleepy. As soon as I put the book down, I was alert again.

My concentration span was pathetic and not improving.

In October 2012, I watched a badly shot video of Joe Kraus from Google Ventures who introduced the idea of Gap Time and "Slow Tech" to me.

The basis of the idea is that we live in a world of constant distraction and that paired with our evolutionary tendency to respond to stimulus has resulted in us heightening that skill and reducing our concentration spans. Technology in particular has been a culprit in this decline.

His fix for this was to suggest that we take time to not be distracted. Down time for your brain. That meant not picking up my phone when I was sitting waiting for someone at a cafe; not turning on music or a podcast in all my down time; and simply letting my brain spend time background processing.

Since taking on board this approach and spending a lot of time not doing anything with my brain, my concentration span is quite amazing. After 6 months, I could read up to 200 pages without feeling drained or distracted. After 18 months, I can read a book cover to cover without pausing... at least when I have the time to do so.

For me, that is a quantification of how my mind has improved by taking the time to let it rest. Not watching TV or Facebooking but actually taking time to do nothing. Distraction is not a good thing, at least not at the rates we allow it in our lives.

Take some time to lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling or drive to work without the radio on. It will change you.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Love Letters

I wrote you a love letter.

I pressed the delete key until my pointer finger tingled.

I miss you. That is all.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Many Things

I've been through many things in my life.

It is true that there are many people who walk a simpler path and that I bring on certain situations upon myself.

It took me many years to work out why this might be the case. I looked to discrimination based on many of the minority groups I am in but that only explained the disadvantage. I looked to my choices to see if I was making bad ones on purpose. It wasn't a self destructive streak and years of therapy made me accept that.

Finally, I realised that things happen in my life because I choose to participate. I dive in to life head first. I fall in love. I take a chance. I change my situation to adopt an oppirtunity.

Some people die young and are not buried until they are old.

That will not be me.

I will not look towards the winter of my life with dread. I will not exist in the summer of my life and hope for moments of spring. No, each season will be the best that I can have and have the best of me that I can give.

Maybe that means I fall on my arse regularly but I also experience an overall level of happiness and contentment that a lot of people don't.

For now, I shall continue on this path. Yes, despite the downs. Always for the ups.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

A Happy Death

Book 12 of 2014 appears a month after the last book I read. Yes, I have been slack and not actually finishing anything I start.

In this case, A Happy Death is the last of  Camus' books for me to read. That is both saddening and a prompt to re-read those ones I love and that changed my life.

As usual, I'm left with too much to think about after finishing one of his books. There are so many lines that fit perfectly in to what is happening in my life and my own search for happiness in life, while I am unable to feel the connection of love that others so readily feel.

"He discovered the cruel paradox by which we always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage"

When I started this book, it felt too much like my favourite of his, The Outsider. However, it took a different path. Maybe one that was a lot more acceptable to readers when Camus was younger. The Outsider is still a better book but a different one.

The in-depth exploration of suicide (assisted or not) and self-imposed exile is something I connected to deeply. A need to rebel against everything you should do by destroying yourself is a hard subject to discuss and not scare people away with. Although he writes in a scattered way, the way Camus wields words will always make me listen and not allow me to put down his books.

You have to read something of his. This may not be the book but it is an insight in to the man, 100 years after his birth. Although, I adore everything he has ever written... I do worry what people may think of me for that :)

This may not be the Camus book you should start with but certainly one to read on your Algerian existentialist absurdism journey. At least it is on mine.

If that is too much for you, start by watching the Big Lebowski. At least you'll understand why I always sigh and say "obviously, you're not a golfer."

Should I read this? Yeah, it is short, perspicacious and beautiful. Like me.
What did I learn? “Yes, I'm happy, in human terms.”

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


I have learnt to forgive myself recently for being so sad, angry, happy and random. It was a situation I'd never been in, a place I never would have wandered myself and an ending that I would not have chosen.

So I dealt with it how I did. I will cope as best I can. And most importantly, I will be kind to myself because someone in this whole damn Universe has to be :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

As You Wish

This makes me teary now.

And the clowns come

If you can't find a Simpson's quote for it then it is not worth saying.

A Great Big World

"Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
Anywhere I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you
And I will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye" -- A Great Big World

And then it disappears in a puff of smoke

“She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.’”

Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner