Thursday, 28 November 2013

Un-common Courtesy

The thing that strikes me about the phrase 'common courtesy' is that it doesn't seem to be all that common any more. From the people who leave their bags on the seat even though the train is full and people are having to stand, to the ones who push their way onto the bus before letting anyone else off, to the ones who fail to hold a door for you despite the fact you're only a couple of steps behind them, leaving it to slam shut in your face. It's not really hard to think of examples of it-it's happening everywhere, everyday. Not many people go out of their way to help a stranger any more, and a lot of people only look out for themselves. It does make me wonder what it is about our modern lives that mean the little kindnesses and courtesies are being forgotten?
Is it because no-one really lives in communities any more-no-one knows their neighbours and the people that live near them so they are less likely to do things for them? Or is it because people nowadays are so busy with life, and if they're not then they have their noses glued to their smart phones and don't notice the world passing them by. I think people don't feel like they can spare the time to help someone else out because their lives are too full of emails and Twitter and Facebook, and there's not much room left for the real world when the virtual one occupies your head almost entirely.
I can't help but wonder if there's more selfish motives too-along the lines of 'why should I do something for someone when it doesn't benefit me directly?' Or if not taking the time to give someone a little common courtesy makes your life a little easier, then why would you do it and put the hardship upon yourself?

It makes me sad though, that this is the world we now live in, where people would rather serve themselves over everyone else, where taking a couple of seconds of your time to do something small for someone else is too much for effort for too little reward. And, let's be honest here, it really sucks to be on the other side of this-to be the person who's had to stand on an almost full train when you've had a long day, to have to break your stride to not get hit in the face by a closing door, to be pushed past and shoved aside as if you're nothing but a nuisance to other people. I've been on the receiving end more times than a few recently-I've been looking for places to live in Sheffield since September and there have been at least a couple of occasions where I've been promised that I'd be contacted by the landlord, only to never hear anything from them again. The waiting and hoping without hearing anything was gradually replaced with just another sense of disappointment. To be honest, I would have preferred to just hear it from them-if they'd given me the simple courtesy of letting me know that the room had been let to someone else rather than leaving me hanging without a definite answer, it would have been much nicer, and the disappointment easier to take. Yeah, I know that it's never fun giving someone bad news, but I think they're going to have a lot more respect for you if you handle things professionally rather than just letting it slide and hope that they get the message.

As I said, it just makes me a bit sad that this is just the way things are nowadays. And I guess the only way to combat it really is to make sure I'm don't become one of those people myself-to make sure I do that little something to make someone else's day run more smoothly, to try and always show a little consideration for other people, even if they're not responding in kind. Who knows, maybe in the spirit of paying it forward someone else might then extend a simple courtesy to a stranger for no other reason than because they're a fellow human being, and we all appreciate the little things sometimes. I'm not especially hopeful though-I reckon I just have to come to terms with the fact that courtesy isn't all that common any more. I guess it's just another sign of the times, ey?


Friday, 15 November 2013

Barefaced Cheek!

[Source-BBC Website]
Tonight is the annual BBC's Children In Need fundraiser to raise money for children's charities across the UK. I'm not here to pick fault with the event on the whole because I actually take a lot of pride in the fact that as a country, we come together twice a year and give stupendous amounts of money to people who are worse off than we are-it's one of the few truly great things left about Great Britain, I reckon. Every year, the BBC suggests some sponsored events to take part in, and this is where my grudge lies. This year, they're asking women to be sponsored to go 'Bear Faced' for CIN, and I have all kinds of problems with this. The idea is that you forego all make-up (save for a small paw-print temporary transfer) for an entire day, and ask people to sponsor you for it. Ugh, this makes me cross for so many reasons.

Firstly, as I've said before, I'm not really keen on the idea of forcing people to wear no make up-for what ever reason it may be. Some women choose to wear make-up every day for a whole host of reasons personal to them, and I'm not going to judge them for it in any way. I know that for a lot of people, wearing make-up helps them be more self-confident, helps them feel beautiful or just helps them face the world a little better, and I would never want to ask someone to forego that layer of comfort, even for charity. Asking someone potentially feel uncomfortable or unhappy for a day as a way to raise money feels like a pretty dirty trick from the BBC to me. I know that all the money raised is going to good causes, but if it's at the cost of someone's self-confidence, even if it's only for a day, then it's asking too much, as far as I'm concerned.

Secondly, I can't help but feel like this is making an issue out of something that really isn't an issue-it's making not wearing make-up daily seem like a weird, abnormal activity. Considering that this suggestion lies alongside 'wearing your pyjamas to work' and 'sponsored silences', it's definitely placing the not wearing of make-up into the 'abnormal stuff you just wouldn't do all the time' category and not the 'this is actually a pretty normal thing' one-which let's face it, it is! There's already so much pressure for women to look a certain way, so many airbrushed photos telling us that this is what we should be that it's not really all that surprising that women wear make-up. That doesn't make not wearing it weird though-I can't help but feel like this is just one more way to tell women that they "should" be wearing make-up every day if they want to be "normal", and that makes me really cross. Whether or not you choose to wear make-up or not shouldn't make you "abnormal", whereas I feel if you started going to work every day in your pyjamas then you might get talked about. They're not on the same level of behaviour, and I for one am a little bit insulted that the BBC seems to think they should be.

Finally, I just don't think people should be sponsored for not doing anything. I realise this sounds a little contradictory to my first point, so I'll try to explain myself.  Personally, I would never feel comfortable asking someone to sponsor me to not wear make-up, because I might as well ask them to sponsor me to wear pants every day, or remember to brush my teeth. It's something I already do anyway with no thought whatsoever, so how could I ask someone for money for it when I have done literally nothing to earn it?
I know that this is not the case for everyone, and that some people will find the idea of not wearing make-up for a day a huge psychological trial-and they have my utmost respect if they choose to go Bear Faced anyway because that's a big thing for them. But I still feel like they shouldn't have been asked to in the first place-it's way too personal and goes way beyond simply not putting foundation on in the morning. For everyone else, the people like me who are fairly indifferent to wearing make-up, or the people who don't really think they need it, but just like wearing it, this is no big deal at all. It's literally saving you time when you get up in the morning, and I just can't bring myself to sponsor people for doing nothing.

So yeah, Children in Need will still be getting their money from me, but I definitely won't be supporting their Bear Faced campaign. How about you?


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

To Blog Or Not To Blog?

You can't fail to have noticed that I have been somewhat absent from this blog in recent weeks-again. I've not posted in over a month for various reasons (which I'll get onto shortly) and I was, for a while in two minds about whether I should continue blogging. Then I realised I'd miss it too much if I gave it up because actually, I genuinely love being a blogger. I just need to make it fit into my life a little better at the moment. I'm going to try to stop feeling bad about not posting regularly or on time and just post things when I want to, when I think of them, when I can-after all it's my blog to run as I please rather than let it control me with posting schedules and deadlines. If it means I am out living my Every Day Adventure more than writing about it from time to time, then so be it.

There are many reasons why I'm blogging less nowadays-firstly I'm happy. I've always struggled to find inspiration and be able to write well when I am in a good place in my life-and sure, it's far from where I would like it to be but the people in it make me feel happy. I've got excellent friends who never fail to make me laugh and I'm falling in love with someone wonderful-so who am I to complain? I've got blog ideas swirling around my brain clamouring for attention but as soon as I try to put pen to paper they shrivel away to nothingness and never turn into something worthwhile. I don't have anything new to post here because my brain won't let me write.
Secondly, this is no longer my only blog-yes I am cheating on this one with another, like a cat who goes to two houses for dinner. That other blog is a million light years away from being a lifestyle blog and doesn't really require me to think, to carefully sculpt words into sentences and craft those sentences into paragraphs and posts. This makes it a lot easier to produce content for, almost without thinking, and therefore it monopolises my time a lot more easily like a spoilt younger sibling pulling a mother away from its older brothers and sisters. This blog will always be my baby, and I know it's content to sit by and let me deal with the attentions of my second before returning, always, to it, with a shrug and a smile as if to say "sorry, you know how it is". I've also discovered a-whole-nother blog community out there, and I enjoy interacting with it a lot-though this again takes up time.
I'm not actually dedicating much time in my life to writing anything at all at the moment-and this is something that I do want to work on. Even if they don't end up being published on here, I want to try and write something every week simply because it's something I enjoy doing-sitting down for a while with a notebook and just scribbling away. I really wanted to get involved with NaNoWriMo again this year but I struggled to come up with a good idea for a story and it just never ended up happening.
Also, it got difficult. The next post in my 30 Posts Of Truth series is something that's not easy to say, so I've just avoided writing about it for the last 5 Sundays. But the reason I began that series was to learn something about myself and tackling the difficult issues within it is part of that, so I will be continuing, although I am going to allow myself a little longer to write them-I aiming for one post every other week. No matter how much I enjoy blogging, I don't want to make it a chore for myself, something I feel obliged to do.

At the end of the day, I need this blog, if only as a place to file away all my thoughts and feelings on my own little corner of the internet, but I don't want to let it take over. I don't want to feel guilty for not updating to a schedule or even at all, so I'm going to do things my way. I will post when I want to, not when I feel like I should, when I've got something to say, when I've managed to bend the words to my will to make what I want to say come out right. And as long as someone keeps reading, I'll keep writing, how about that?

Until next time