The Work Issue

It’s been a while!! My lively daytime Arlo is not loving the naps at the minute. I love it because he gets to see the world around him and he’s made so may friends in my coffee shop haunts. I really need to organise my time better – I’ve missed my wee blog posts!

My time off has made me realise one major thing – I don’t want to go back to my previous job when my maternity leave ends. I know I’m swerving into mummy blog territory here but it’s bound to happen the odd time! I work in a bank but I’m not very ‘banky’. I’ve been there 20 years come December so it’s really all I know. I’ve been in a back office centre for the last 14 years and in all honesty, as far as jobs go, it’s not that bad. I’ve always felt bad about working for a massive financial company but bills. Our office is very busy but pretty laid back. It gets too much sometimes though. We’re micro managed to within an inch of our lives – a system which doesn’t meld with the nature of the job but it won’t ever change. The thing is, I could probably keep on dealing with this and maybe drop a day cos they’re pretty good about stuff like that. My main problem is the commute. Even if I drive I need to leave at 7am and I won’t get home until at least 5.30pm. It seems cruel to wake baby Arlo at 6am and see him for an hour max when I get home. And what about his dentists and doctors appointments? I don’t want to miss the first crawl or the first steps!

This is in no way a criticism of the women who do this. I see ladies in work who have more than one child and way more stressful jobs than me absolutely rock it. They’re freaking superwomen! I’m just not very career minded and honestly I don’t think my mental health could withstand the lifestyle. I’m pretty sure my head would explode!

I do still want to work after my maternity – something part time that doesn’t leave me with a slight underlying feeling of dread before I go in. I had a look at some positions in the area last night and, although I still have a good few months on maternity I have a goof feeling about getting something when the time’s right. The only thing is, I have no idea what I’d like to do and never have but it’ll fall into place.

Now all I need is a redundancy from my existing job to get the mortgage out of my hair! I didn’t take up the last offer but what’s done is done so there’s no point dwelling on it. These things come up on a regular basis so I’m putting my faith in the universe to provide. I also have everyone I know either crossing their fingers or praying, wherever their beliefs lie ….. 🙂

Peace and love

Less judgement, more random hugs!!

I posted this one on facebook yesterday and figured I’d like to post it on here too.  Just to add a little bit of background to the story, the dad told me that they had to pay for IVF for their older son as his wife was 42 and they didn’t qualify for NHS treatment and there was only a 10% chance of success although number 2 came easily.  This is something very close to my heart as I’ve just had my first child at 40 and was at risk of a baby with chromosomal issues – thankfully Arlo was born completely healthly but we refused the tests.  This family are an inspiration 🙂

So I lost my mum in the shopping centre today and was sitting on one of the bench things in the middle. A man sat down beside me with his 2 boys. One of the boys, both of whom had downs syndrome, came over and gave me a massive hug then an even bigger one – made my day!! . Me and their dad got chatting and he told me their story. This world needs less judgement and more random hugs ✌️

I love my mental quirks ….

One of the reasons I started this blog was to give myself an outlet. I really enjoy writing – it makes me feel better and gives me buzz. I’ve several notebooks of slightly dark poetry hanging about my house somewhere. If I ever find them I’ll probably post a few at some stage.

I’ve suffered from depression for 16 years and first received treatment 15 years ago because I’m stubborn. I’ve been on and off medication for 15 years (anti-depressants) during this time. I’m now on my longest run of about 5 years. My doctors surgery seem to have a policy of removing medication once things seem to be ok and although I’m doing great at the minute and have figured out established coping mechanisms, I know I never want to be anti-d free again.

One of my lowest points was my ‘time of no sleep’ as I like to call it. Over the course of 4 years I was getting a maximum of 2 hours sleep unless I added alcohol into the mix. Thankfully I realised that this couldn’t be a long term option and didn’t allow myself to go down myself to go down that route. During this spell I visited my doctor on several occasions, She thought I was l lying and shouted at me a few times. I eventually persuaded her to send me to CBT. An appointment came through for a counselling session at the local mental health centre but half way through he dismissed CBT and said I needed permanent medication. He agreed I didn’t have an ‘off switch’ and was in danger of becoming very ill (I do have a very hyper personality). I can barely pass myself with that doctor now ……

I love my mental quirks and have no wish to have them medicated out of me! I’m happy just to take enough to get some sleep and stop the blues from getting too dark. Yeah, I’m a bit weird but my friends appreciate that part of me. If people don’t like me – not my problem! My wee quirks allow me to keep my inner child alive, I get excited about the small things like meeting a friend for lunch, grabbing a coffee at my favourite joint or going to my local for a few and chatting with my fellow regulars. And yep, I spout the most random stuff at the oddest times and nobody knows what I’m talking about but it makes my mates smile.

Ya know what, I wouldn’t have me any other way!

Peace and love.

I still wanna work in a record shop ……

My dream early teenage job was to work in a record shop and still is I suppose. To be fair when this became my aim it was just at the end of the vinyl era (but way before the vinyl revival!) just as cassette tapes were becoming all the rage but soon to be replaced by CDs as the last mass marketed form of physical music. I still say record shop though ……

I always figured it wouldn’t really seem like a job. I’d be spending my day listening to music I love and getting to hear music I’d never heard before. All us staff members would spend our days chatting about music we like and the work nights out would be live music heaven. Customers would come in and I could subtly point them in the right direction in, in my opinion, they had dodgy music taste. So maybe I love High Fidelity and Empire Records a bit too much but even before these 2 classics I still imagined it would be like that.

Unfortunately this seems very unlikely in today’s times. My town has no specific shops for to bay music in and neither has our closest shopping centre. The only choices are a couple of large supermarket chains who sell top 40 CDs. When the local independent sores were still around I resented large music retailers like HMV and Virgin. Before too long these were the only stores left and I was pretty devastated when my local HMV store closed and left me with no music retailers less than 25 miles away. I briefly found a semi-independant I loved (again, 25 miles away) but over the years and several premises moves it’s now managed to completely lose it’s charm.

I know in this internet age everything music wise can be bought online or downloaded instantly to your PC. This and streaming are definitely the preferred methods today but the physical copy always wins in my case. For me , nothing beats spending a stray hour ambling around a shop full of music. Maybe making a mental purchase list and, best of all, spotting something random that catches your eye, buying on a whim and finding a gem!

Peace and love.

The Perfect Coffee Shop

For me nothing breaks up the day like a large latte in a chilled coffee shop, a day enclosed within the 4 walls. I know I could be cleaning or doing something productive at home but honestly, I’m not the sort of person who gets pleasure from that! I know it’s not for everyone and according to all the money saving professionals I could be saving £££’s by constructing my own caffeinated beverage and during times of maternity pay those £££’s matter but at what cost? My sanity trumps cash any day of the week!

So every afternoon me and Arlo (and sometimes the boyfriend) get ourselves ready and make that trek up the town. All the cars parked on the pavement stopping me getting the pram past give me thoughts of having a stiffer drink (sorry, it’s a personal gripe!) but a baby in a bar that doesn’t serve food is generally frowned upon so coffee it is!

Over the course of (too?) many years I’ve refined my list of preferences. Here goes ….

– It must be independent. Although it’s not always possible to apply this to everything in life, I do it where I can and with sit down beverage drinking it’s mostly possible.

– The staff need to be nice. It’s always good to be treated to a friendly face and have the staff fing out your name and know your regular order. On a side note – ideally it’s good to eventually become Facebook friends with some of the staff and even better to become drinking buddies but I know that’s a rarity!

– The coffee has to be good. I’m a latte girl. Boring I know but hey, such is life. I throw in the odd americano but only if I’m feeling brave …… Everyone who works there needs to make a decent cup – coffee roulette ain’t my game!

– There’s gotta be some comfy seats. You might not always get one but it’s nice when you do.

– It needs that special something. Whether it’s mismatched furniture, cool pictures on the wall or innovative décor. These are my things but each to their own!

– And my newest addition to the wish list is baby and pram friendly!

I’m lucky enough to have 2 of these in my small town so if you’re ever in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, 54.4635N 6.33346W (though I can’t imagine why!) you should definitely check out Love Coffee and Icons Coffee House Tell them I sent ya!

Peace and love.

The Unwritten Rule Book

(Apologies in advance – I found an old poetry book and felt the need!)

 

That ‘great’ unwritten rule book

The one that dictates what we do

Who we are

What we wear

Depending on the decade of life

We are stumbling through

The one that stops us from embracing

The moment

And makes us think too much about

A future which may never come

The one that hinders so many people

From living their own life

And being the best they can be

All because they follow the rules

The expectations

Of how they ‘should be’

 

 

Those rule followers

Who look down on those of us

Who have chosen to ignore the constraints

Who dress, do and feel

How we want

Not how society expects

Or thinks we should

The girl who drinks alone in the bar

The people who get tattoos with meaning

The people who embrace their true selves

And don’t blindly follow trends

Those of us who have managed

To live as the free thinking minority

Despite the pressure surrounding us.

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Kathy and I’m addicted to my phone ……..

I hate to admit it but it’s true. It does my head in (Northern Irish speak – annoys me) when my boyfriend spends 10 mins sharing pictures of our lunch so I bitch and complain but spend half of our cafe time mindlessly scrolling through facebook at things I don’t even care about. It pisses me off when I’m with friends and they’re paying more attention to the ‘online person’ than the actual ‘physical person’ sitting there in front of them and again, I do the same thing to other people. The local bar looses part of it’s charm when half the table are neck deep in their portable online world.

My idealistic self would love to go back to the days of the basic dumb phone (not the house phone – I never answer that cos well, I don’t know who’s at the other end and screw that!) The days when I contactable but not always ‘on call’ when you didn’t see emails until you got home and random beeps weren’t plaguing your entire day. Those damn things knock the mindful right outta ya! But honestly, I’m a bit far gone for that now plus I do love the always in your bag camera thing 🙂

So how can I sort this? Am I ready to give up my breakfast game of BubbleWitch or my Instagram snapshots? Nah 🙂 But maybe I could turn off the notifications, have designated phone checking time and make sure the person I’m speaking to is my main focus. It’s not much but it’s something I suppose. I’m not gonna lie, it’s gonna be tough (I sound so dramatic …..) but something’s gotta be done before I short circuit and explode to the tune of my ringtone ……

Peace and Love