1. I’m not a kook just like Monica

    I’m not a kook just like Monica

    I’m a keen Friends fan and if I identify with any one character it’s got to be Monica.

    In one episode the others are teasing her about her lack of ‘kookiness’ as she likes to do things just so.  Monica ends up laying awake in the night having left something in the lounge area to prove she is a kook.  She just can’t do it.  Nor can I.  I think I worry that I will forget to do something – but what’s the worst that would happen in reality? No one is going to die because a bill isn’t paid (at least I hope not!).

    As much as I’d like to be laidback and relaxed, it’s just not the way I’ve ever been.  My brain seems to be constantly alert and I can easily overthink things.  This article on the Headspace website sounds very like me.

    Default Worrier

    My default setting is to have something to worry about.  If it’s not a work task, then I can easily fill that space in my mind with another concern.  Just this week I lay awake having been to a show that evening, unable to sleep and mind whirring with thoughts.

    To try to improve myself, I’ve started to write down what I am worrying about.  I will then revisit the list to see how many things were worth the time and energy.  I imagine very few will be.

    I like to feel efficient and can easily get overwhelmed if I feel I’ve got too much on my plate, often coupled with perceived lack of time to achieve it.  I could see myself behaving like Monica in this episode where she is busy cleaning because she knows her mum will pick on her.

    Christmas Present list

    Being a keen Friends fan I got excited yesterday when I saw a whole range of new Friends games out for Christmas and promptly added them to my Wish List.  Primark recently had a whole Central Perk range including a photo frame of the famous frame on Monica’s door.  I was also very happy to discover the Central Perk cafe in Singapore at the end of my trip last year.  There is something magical about Friends.

    With efficiency in mind, I’ve started to think about what to buy people for Christmas, even undertaking an ‘audit’ last weekend of what I’d bought so far as I like to pick things up throughout the year.  This sounds very Monica-esque to me.

    Subscription Services

    This led me to thinking about the current trends for subscribing to things like Spotify and Netflix, vs owning physical things.  There was a recent BBC article about this.  I still like to own things, but it’s also very efficient and ‘tidy’ not to have lots of things cluttering up your home.  I recently purchased the Magic of Tidying book though it’s sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.  I’m currently re-reading my physical copies of Harry Potter (which I also own on Kindle).  There’s something to be said about holding a proper book, but there are also merits to the ebook.

    I think my cupboards will always be a bit messy and at least I can be happy in the knowledge that even Monica succumbed to this problem too.  Or you know, I could worry about it.

    Enjoy today.

  2. Who was the first blogger?

    First blogger?

    I read recently that Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and The City) could have been the first blogger.  She essentially diarised the comings and goings in her life and those of her close friends.  However, this was issued firstly in print format and then published books.  She may be to blame (via product placement) for my writing this blog, but also writing it on my second MacBook.  In Bridget Jones’s Baby, Bridget had moved on from a physical diary to journalling on her iPad.  She also clearly found it therapeutic to write down her thoughts.  She didn’t choose to publish them as a blogger.  It wasn’t her ‘meal ticket’ as it was for Carrie (though like Friends with their ‘rent controlled apartment‘ she also lived a gilded life).

    Anne Frank’s Diary

    After my trip to Amsterdam, I bought (another) copy of Anne Frank’s diary.  I’m currently re-reading that.  Sometimes I feel sad and don’t want to read it, as you know the ending, but it’s also fascinating to read all the thoughts going on in her head.  They were confined in a small place, but a whole microcosm was going on within that environment.  She also (so far) has always had hope.  We all have things that we don’t want the rest of the world to know about, but writing it down can help.

    Month 5 of the new role

    I’m now into my fifth month at my new role and things are making more sense.  I can now complete tasks (still with a  bit of help) and there is a lot going on.  I know now if the motorway is bad I will get home eventually and the world isn’t going to implode if I don’t leave the house by 7am.

    I will continue to blog about my journey (though I’m still learning this and am a novice blogger), and also work on developing myself using the Headspace App.  Lately I’ve been listening to ‘Managing Anxiety’ again and things are resonating more.  You hear different things by repeating things.  I often feel that way about favourite TV and films.  You can pick up different bits at different times.  Some things are comfort blankets as well, for me that’s both Friends and Sex and the City.

    As far as diaries go, I also have been filling out a Lett’s Five Year Diary and am now into my fifth year of it.  What I notice from this is the cycle of events which seem to recur year-on-year.  My emotions may follow a cycle, but people might drop round at similar times, or I might go to the same place and then a few days later realise I did that a few years ago too.

    At work, I am starting to understand more about the everyday tasks, though my role will always have questions to deal with that I might not have done before.  It’s a challenge, but it’s also good to solve the problem.  I just prefer to feel in control and efficient.  I’m also starting to understand the personalities of people in my wider team and also the relationships between them.  Who are friends, who potentially aren’t.  It’s quite interesting to be a bit of an outsider in that respect.  I’m also starting to form friendships, but it seems to be a slow burn.  This may have been the case at previous places, but I was at the last company for a long time so I guess my network was quite wide there.  You forget these things quite easily.

    Documenting life

    The whole world of social media and bloggers does mean that we are documenting more and more about our lives.  In the past, relatives might have been lucky to have a few photos at the end of their lives, now we have a digital footprint (some of which we might prefer to forget).  The Queen is known to write a diary every night.  Her musings would be quite fascinating I’m sure.  The monarchy are also active on Twitter.  See the photos of Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte released by Kensington Palace recently.   Meghan Markle is also rumoured to have been an anonymous blogger before she became famous, and then launched another blog.  The recent controversy about Cambridge Analytica and the introduction of GDPR (are you getting as many emails as me asking for you to opt-in again?) shows how much data people are giving away and the value of Facebook and the like show what it’s worth.

    There are definite pros and cons to documenting life and ultimately it’s a personal choice.  I recently gave my friend my old Fitbit and she likes it but is worried about the data she is sharing.  With my job I am used to using lots of data and am ‘happy’ about the ‘value exchange’, but maybe I haven’t thought about the consequences enough.

    It’s a lovely sunny day here.  So enjoy today.

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