December 31, 2018

Things I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 has been a funny old year, a relatively good one so far I’d say. I don’t want to jinx it and say the whole year has been great because we are still an hour or so away from January and the pesimist in me doesn’t want to jinx things because there is more than enough time for things to go reayally tits up but as one of my favourite quotes goes – 

“Every day may not be good  but there is something good in every day”

It’s seen Lily’s 2nd birthday in, Eloise’s 8th, the first year in our new  (although not so new now) proper house and a full year of not having to do the school run (what has been epic by the way). Like any year there have been ups and downs but I feel like this year, I’ve tried so much harder to focus on the ups, even the littlest of ups to outweigh the downs. I feel lighter this year, not physically, hell no. I eat too many crisps and cheese to be lighter in physical weight but my mind feels lighter. Now don’t get my wrong, I’m still an anxious mess of a person but I definitely feel like a slightly happier, more positive anxious mess of a person, haha.

Anyway, I digress, the point of this post was to concentrate on the things I’ve learned this year, about me, about my life, about the world, and everything in between. So without delay, let’s get bloody on with it!

Things I’ve learned in 2018…

01. We are all so very small but together we are magnificent

By this I mean that in the grand scheme of things, us, people, humans, we are all so tiny but as a group we can do anything. However small you think your one, single voice may be; every wave starts as a ripple. Collectively we have the power to change things for the better and all that takes is one little voice to start the ripple. Soz for going in mega deep on the first bullet point.

…every wave starts as a ripple.

02. Accessibility should be a necessity

Now this isn’t something new but as the years go one this gets more and more obvious and more and more irritating that it’s 2018 and shit still isn’t done to make even the most simple things accessible to those with disabilities. Even big fish like NowTV don’t have subtitles across the majority of their shows. I see people sharing and gushing over videos of children hearing for the first time after receiving hearing aids or cochlear implants or that fantastic video of children signing out All I Want For Christmas, and I know this bothers Ben too, that the majority of people sharing these things have absolutely no intention of learning sign language. That’s just one example. It’s great to see some big fish, like Instagram adding things like alt text but there is a fucking long ass way to go.

03. The Earth is in danger

This isn’t a new one either I’m not going to go into massive detail here but this year it has been unarguably the most eyeopening year in terms of the change needed to save our planet and by “save our planet” I really do mean save our planet. Watch Blue Planet II, particularly episode 7 where they look at the affetct of microplastics which a lot of people don’t even consider but you can bet your bottom dollar most of us have them in our homes. Microplastics aren’t the only problem, think of every piece of plastic that has ever been created on this planet (thats a fuck load for those who are wondering) that shit is still going to be there when our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren are around; the nappies we wore as babies are still hanging around somewhere, the crisp packet that blew away at the picnic in the park when you were 4, those scruffy cunts who left there rubbish dumped somewhere after their BBQ or day at the park, still somewhere too. And it isn’t just the sea suffering, it’s the land too, in just 40 years we have destroyed over half of the worlds rainforests and going the same way we are, in 100 years they will be gone altogether along with all the animals, plants, trees, and tribes of people who live there. Now I’m not here to pressure you, whether you actively do anything to save our Earth is totally up to you but our children deserve to hear the words “I did everything I could for your future” if it all goes tits up. It’s not even hard to help, reuse your bags instead of getting new ones each week, buy loose fruit and veg where you can to reduce your plastic waste, pick your litter up instead of letting it fly into a birds face causing it to suffocate and/or starve to death, look into reusable versions of everyday things and make small sustainable swaps such as baby wipes, makeup wipes, sanitary towels, nappies, water bottles, lunchboxes, etc, plant a tree or butterfly or bee friendly plants and flowers in your garden, eat less meat, choose cardboard packaged items over plastic where you can, write to your local MP to help put pressure on those in power to change, take it upon yourself to encourage people to change.

“…you say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes” 

–15 year old Activist Greta Thunburg

This is a global issue which needs a global responce in order to protect our home. This is the only planet we have.

04. I’m stronger than I think I am

I think when you have anxiety, a lot of your energy is spent down playing it to everyone else in order to make them feel more comfortable, it’s a weird but tough trap to get into. On one hand, you don’t want other people to think you’re ridiculous because lets face it, some of the challenges us people with anxiety face probably seem utterly ridiculous and almost impossible to warrant being anxious about, even to us they seem ridiculous but often this isn’t helpful both in giving an accurate representation of what living with anxiety is actually like but also by doing so, you trivialise the things you find difficult and don’t give yourself enough credit for the hurdles you do overcome, whether that be for good or just on one Friday morning in June. If I went up to someone and said “I went to the shop on my own today!” They’d probably look at me like I was a bit strange and be quite shocked as to why I appear so pleased about the fact and wonder why I looked like I wanted to be congratulated on completing such a mundane task. However, when you have anxiety, and I’m not saying everyones anxiety is around going to the shop because it’s not but having generalised anxiety disorder means I find a lot of things difficult, particularly going anywhere on my own. Anyway, to your average Joe, that doesn’t seem hard at all but to me, and a lot of others, it’s no easy feat so I have started really allowing myself to feel accomplished when I do manage to do even the most seemingly easy tasks because, and I think a lot of people don’t take this into consideration, even if you find something a walk in the park, there is somebody else that finds it extremely difficult and next to impossible. So don’t be a dick to yourself. This year I have really put a lot of energy into battling my anxiety and really challenging myself and although I’ve ducked out of a lot of plans, there are things I’ve done this year I wouldn’t have dreamt of being able to do even just last year. So high five to me.

05. It’s ok to say no

Bear with me on this one because I reckon it’s going to be quite a tricky one for me to explain. What I mean by this is although helping others is something we should all try and do and not only for something in return but we shouldn’t put someone else above our own mental or physical health. Quite often, kind people get taken advantage of and this year I have really opened my eyes to it and some people always want something for nothing and have absolutely no intention of helping anyone other than themselves and basically fuck those people. Say yes only if you truly want to.

06. Milk is in fucking everything 

Veganism is something I have really tried to get stuck into this year and while I have been veggie for the large majority of my life, cutting out dairy is the most difficult hurdle and one I am yet to overcome. Not only that but I feel like dairy substitutes are the most expensive aspect of going vegan and I know that’s a crappy excuse in the grand scheme of things but it’s something I’m working on and I have made steps everywhere else into living a kinder life but at the moment I haven’t been able to cut out dairy completely. I do try and swap at least one diary item a week where I can, for example, we buy quite a lot of cheese so one cheese item I will swap for Violife or something or I will choose dark or vegan chocolate over dairy and avoid brands where I know their policies surrounding palm oil for example, are shady as fuck. I’m hoping to smash Veganuary this year but we will see how it goes.

07. Internet friends are real friends

I remember when the internet was this feared and terrifying place you absolutely should not use your real name on and certainly not your actual face as your profile picture because you will automatically get murdered through your computer screen or your house will get robbed, do not pass go. Fast forward and some of my absolute best friends are behind my screen.

Right then, that’s your lot. It’s currently 22:45 on New Year’s Eve and to be honest, there is no fucking way I’m getting this live before the stroke of midnight if I don’t shut up now. I’m sure there are a bunch of other things I’ve learned that I’ve forgotten to include but hey ho, there will be another time to write about them and aren’t we all just constantly learning anyway? It would be impossible to record every tiny detail so on that note, I wish you all a very okay new year.

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