I have a feeling, over the last 18 months of blogging, that I may have given the impression of being a bit of a whinger. If you need some examples, click here and here (but do that later, read this first). It’s safe to say there’s much about life that gets right on my very last nerve. BUT I’m here to redress that balance. There’s a lot of factors in my little world that give me pleasure too. I’m not going to talk about the more self-evident ones that the majority of us like; coffee (and lots of it), writing (obvs.) or cats (they’re better than dogs, you just haven’t realised it yet). The few I’m going to talk about, whilst not being exclusive merely to me, are perhaps a tad more unconventional day-to-day diversions that just help to keep me going.
Successfully navigating ‘bin day’ is a right of passage that proves you’ve really made it as a grown up, in my opinion. Getting the maximum amount of refuse crammed into your bin and wheeling it around the front of the house at the appointed time so as not to miss the early morning collection – that’s an art, that is. Where I live, the bin-man drives his truck around on a Monday morning – so you can see I’ve already got that little obstacle of ‘Bank Holiday Monday’ to factor into my routine (they collect on bank holidays, I just often forget that particular Monday isn’t a weekend day as I don’t have to go to work). Also, our rubbish collection schedule runs on alternate weeks:- one week is general waste (black bin), the next week is cardboard and plastic only (blue bin). I can be seen peering out onto the street on Sunday nights to try to glean which bin the neighbours have put out. But there’s no colour in the dark, so it’s a tricky business. So you can see how you run the gauntlet on bin day, and that’s a part of its charm. That smug little sense of satisfaction when you get it right for another week (the consequences of an already-full bin for another fortnight is too much to bear). But that risk makes the pay-off of an empty bin all worthwhile.
There is no way on God’s earth this would have made the list eight months ago. Salad was a dull accompaniment one had on one’s plate for garnish, fit only for rabbits, guinea pigs and 5-a-day brownie points. I used to eat a sandwich every lunchtime, and that was the way I liked it. Bread…mmm. But after I started my healthy eating plan and cut down on the carbs a bit, I realised salads were the way to go. I now eat salad every lunchtime and have done for the last eight months. I’m not talking about your tedious lettuce, cucumber and tomato trio. No. I’m talking full-on, shove anything in you’ve got available, f***-off salads. Yes, those. Apart from the filler of lettuce, mine often comprise of chicken, feta, olives, gherkins, beetroot, avacardo, sunflower seeds etc. etc. And a nice dressing. They’re hardly even healthy. But I maintain my weight loss because, even though they contain lots of fat, they’re good fats. Vegetables and protein (and fat) – mmm… I still love my carbs, and sometimes I’ll allow myself a small wholemeal flat-bread on the side, but salads are now part of my life. The other day my husband made me a sandwich for my ‘work lunch’ (we’d run out of salad). Bland does not even begin to describe it. The disappointment was unbearable.
Getting Up At 6am
I’ve always been more of a lark than an owl. But my favoured rising-time was about 7:30am – even on weekends. That was before the arrival of our cats. I just found I couldn’t get ready for work and sort out the school-run once I’d factored in ‘cat care’. So I started getting up at 6am – which I resented at first. But after a short while, I realised I had this strange thing called, ‘time‘ on my hands. What’s more, it was time alone (with the cats). Once those little felines were catered for, I could loaf about at the kitchen table eating a leisurely bowl of porridge, sip decadently on a proper coffee (not instant), surf the internet and catch up on social media (with my favourite cat on my lap). And I could do this until all the other house alarms went off and the rest of the family decided to show their sleepy faces. I get up early at the weekend too – to do exercise (which is something else I really love. I never thought I’d say that either). That was before my children got wise to the 6am gig. They too realised that there was something rather nice about not rushing. And now that quiet kitchen table is filled with chatter. Which is nice too. But maybe I’ll get up at 5…
Coming Home from Holidays
I used to love going on hols as a kid, I used to dread coming home to reality (I guess I didn’t like my particular reality). But I’ve changed a lot since I’ve grown up. Everybody likes going away on holiday. And so do I. Well, sort of. I guess I like the planning and anticipation and getting away from it all. But there’s also that fear of the unknown. What if I can’t speak the language (I won’t be able to speak the language)? What if the toilet situation isn’t quite what I’m hoping for (it won’t be what I was hoping for)? And then there’s that constant pressure that you must be enjoying yourself at every given moment. I like a break, a change of scene, to have new experiences – I do. But I just happen to like my own familiar surroundings better. No matter where I go, no matter how beautiful or educationally stimulating, I love coming home. I positively look forward to it; to have all my little things around me and everything in its proper place. Only then can I really be content.
What little things do you like (no matter how quirky or mundane)? What are the little day-to-day occurrences you take pleasure in? You’ve got to appreciate the little things. And let the crappy big things take care of themselves. So there you have it – some things do make me happy. I know what you’re thinking, ‘she still managed to whinge quite a lot whilst telling us what she enjoys, though‘. Yeah well, maybe so, but I said I’d discuss a few things I like, I didn’t promise to change my whole personality…
PS: Loyalty cards, with the stamps; collect enough of them and get free stuff. Like that too.