Dilly’s Sunday Brunch (Disaster)

Apologies for lack of brunch post last Sunday. I was at Center Parcs with no signal. In case you are interested brunch last week was Coco Pops for the kids and scrambled eggs for me. We know how to live.

So today’s brunch was a bit of a disaster. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for cinnamon buns for ages now. You can taste them now can’t you? Buttery, cinnamony; soft sticky buns, perfect for brunch. I made the dough, rolled the filling into it. These babies require a coronary inducing amount of butter. Covered the buns in goo and put them in the fridge overnight. I took them out this morning and they looked good. After letting them stand for an hour or so out of the fridge, I cooked them as stated in the recipe. I didn’t check that they weren’t browning too much. I didn’t have time; I was tidying up. I’d invited friends over to partake in the cinnamony goodness. I’d built up a whole brunch around these buns. Well, as the well known saying goes, don’t put all your cinnamon buns in one baking tray:

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Hmmm, bit of a disaster no? But I always promised on this blog that I would show you warts and all, none of this smug perfect life crap. So instead I dispatched DH to the Co Op for bacon and the finest pastries the shop had to offer:

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So, what’s hit my radar this week? Well, I signed the No More Page 3 campaign petition. How can it be that in this day and age a national newspaper, one of the most widely read in the country, can have a page dedicated to exposing women for men’s titillation? I’m not great on arguing the theory so I urge to read this great blog by Week Woman who delves into it a bit more.

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On a more frivolous note, I spotted this necklace on Twitter and I have rather fallen in love with it. Rock Cakes has some other rather weird and wonderful pieces in her Etsy shop so you should definitely check it out.

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Even more frivolously, next thing on my wish list is an ice cream maker. Wait a minute, that’s not frivolous. Ice cream is absolutely essential in life. And my favourite is the rather expensive Hagan Daaz. I’ve never really coveted an ice cream maker before, assuming them to be an expensive and under used appliance but this one is really cheap! I was flicking through Which? magazine which happened to be in my local library this week and found a review of ice cream makers. This Nuo ice cream maker from Robert Dyas gets excellent reviews, and is just a couple of points of being one of their Best Buys. Just looking at the website now it is reduced to £14.99! Now that is a best buy. Even if you only use it a few times, for the price of 3 tubs of Hagan Daaz you can have gorgeous, homemade, additive free ice cream in about 20 minutes.

Finally, on this rather chilly Sunday, I want to share with you a blog I’ve discovered. Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping is crafty, thrifty very funny. Her take on Mollie Makes is hilarious, you should definitely give it a read.

So that’s Sunday nearly over. The Sunday night work anxiety kicks in, so I’m going to numb it with a cup of tea and The Gilmore Girls. Have a good week!

Stepping into the unknown

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I’ve been a quiet on the blogging front recently, as well as doing very little crafting. I’ve been preoccupied, and there is only so much room in my head. But after posting my latest post I felt a bit of an uplift and I remembered how good blogging makes me feel. So I thought I would use my blog as a way of thinking out my preoccupation. One aspect common to people who are extroverts is that they tend to think out loud. Whereas introverts think inside their heads and carefully weigh up what they want to say, extroverts just blurt out what comes into their heads and think it through as it comes out. This is why some extroverts (myself included) can sound a bit chaotic in their speech, going off on tangents and forgetting their initial points. This is also why extroverts often dominate discussions and conversations, not because they like the sounds of their own voices as some might think, but because they just can’t help themselves, it’s their way of thinking things through.

Anyway, I think this blog post might be a way for me to think out loud. It may not be of interest to you; I have tried to protect my readers from the boring minutiae of my life until now. But as well as helping me thinks things through, it may be that some of you have just the advice I need. So here goes:

I have not really enjoyed my job for a while now. I don’t want to go into details, suffice to say its a respectable job, requiring degree level education, medium well paid, but it just hasn’t been the job I thought I was signing up for. When on the odd occasion I did some sort of personal effectiveness course, like the MBTI type thing, I really enjoyed it. I would read the course material and think “I get this. I feel at home with this” and it wasn’t that I knew the stuff already, but I had the foundations with which to assimilate this information. It was so refreshing to be in a course and actually understand what was being said.

What this made me realise was how much I missed psychology. Now, I left University with a Masters degree swearing that I was never going to be a psychologist or work in a University again. I was fed up with the low priority that teaching and education had compared to the research side, which was, as far as I could see, a bunch of emotionally deficient academics fannying around in labs spending a lot of money doing research that appeared to have very little practical application. Whether or not that was the reality, I stopped all links with academia and psychology when I started my new job.

Now I have conceded that perhaps I might actually like to be psychologist. But what sort? Well, definitely not a Clinical Psychologist, I don’t want to work with clinical groups, it’s not my bag. In the same vein I don’t really want to be an Educational or Child Psychologist, given that I’m not a massive fan of OPC (other people’s children). I’m not sure I’d make a very good counsellor or psychotherapist, I’m not great at listening and not talking (see above).I’ve tried to think about what I like to do and what I like about psychology. I like problem solving; I like trying to come up with ideas; I like trying to help people, but not people with really serious problems; I like the psychology of what motivates people and what makes them happy. So, I have been toying with the idea of Occupational Psychology. There are two main roadblocks in this idea however. The first is I’m not really sure about the reality of Occ Psych as a career. I’ve tried to explore this by sending my CV to a couple of Occ Psych companies offering some admin services in return for some shadowing but had no reply. The second problem, and this is the big one, the training. I’d have to do an MSc in Occupational Psychology, which I’m not adverse to in theory.

I can do the course part-time and distance learning. But there are risks, and I’m not good at risk taking. The risks are:
– money, it will cost between 5 and 10k to do the course. I’d have to get a Career Development Loan, assuming I’d be able to get one and not laughed out of the bank
– time, it is going to take up all my spare time. They estimate around 10-12 hours a week which doesn’t sound much, except I have a job, a house, two young children, a blog and various other hobbies. The hobbies would take a hit. Very little blogging and crochet. There will be an impact on my family life too, DH would have to do more, I would have to sleep less!
– what if I don’t like it? I’ve been dipping into a few books on the subject and they are a little bit dry. Is that a sign that I won’t like it, or is it simply that text books read out of the academic context and without a clear goal just are a little dry?
– what if there is no job at the end of it? The main idea is to move on in my career. Sure a degree is a nice thing to do for fun, but it is costly fun.

So there is my dilemma. I’ve tried thinking of alternatives. One alternative is do nothing, stay in my job and crawl the slippery slope of middle management. Except the thought of doing that for the next 35 years makes me want to shoot myself a little bit. Doing this course would feel like an exit plan, and it might help me enjoy my job more without the crashing feeling that This Is It. I’ve tried thinking of other viable careers. I thought maybe FE teaching in Psychology, but again, it’s more training and I think the jobs and hard to come by. I thought about coaching. Now that really does interest me, but the course and training levy would be similar and then I’d have to try and set up my own business. That’s too scary for me right now, as the main breadwinner with 2 little ones. I’m not sure I could actually do it at this stage in life. The one thing I need is security, which is the main thing that keeps me in my current role.

I’m this close *holds up a finger and thumb* to making a decision. But I want answers, answers that I am realistically never going to get, will I like it, will it overwhelm me, will I be able to afford it, will I get a job at the end, will it be worth the money? You might remember a post I wrote on decision making. The book I was reading said that change is hard and is is normal to feel ambivalent about it. It said you only need to be 51% sure about your decision, i.e. it is just a little bit more right than wrong. I’d say I’m at about 49%. But I’m working on the last 2%.

Stay tuned for part two of the dilemma which is “which course should I take?” I bet you’re eagerly awaiting that one!

It’s just not cricket

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I’m sorry I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently. I’ve been just so busy, plus I’ve lost my creative mojo a bit. I haven’t found much to inspire me recently, and I have been preoccupied with some personal development decisions which has rendered me more selfish and egocentric than usual.

However I heard something on the news this morning that was enough to spark me into breaking open the ol’ WordPress app and putting a metaphorical pen to paper.

The cricket Twenty20 World Cup kicks off in Sri Lanka this week and both women’s and men’s teams have flown out there, the men in Business Class and the women in Economy. While out there the ICC pay them a living allowance. The women get £37 a day and the men £61. Clearly those burly men need feeding up more than the women. At the end of the tournament the winning team can look forward to a million US Dollar prize money. No hang on – that’s for the men. The women get £60,000 USD. Good job girls, just not quite good enough.

Now I cannot find any reason to justify the disparity in daily living allowance. I have just returned from a work trip with a males colleague. Imagine that when we both put in our expenses claims forms when we return to work, that our company gives me nearly half the amount they give him, because I am a woman. There is no justifying the ICC’s decision here so I’ll just move on.

Perhaps, perhaps there is the argument that men’s sport brings in more revenue. Well, I’m sure it does, but that’s because it dominates the media. Are we in a vicious circle here, whereby the media thinks no one is interested in women’s sport so they don’t show it, so people don’t get a chance to be interested in it?

Were any of these people actually awake during the Olympic period? Did that not demonstrate the support for niche sports, women’s sport and para olympic sport? After all the celebration of our athletic heroes, male, female, able bodied or not, are we just going to go back to the status quo of football as the national game, with a bit of rugby, cricket, tennis and F1 thrown in, all male dominated. Did we learn nothing from our Summer of Olympic Love?

The ICC need to come out of the dark ages and stop expecting the girls just to be grateful that the boys are letting them play their game, albeit not actually with the boys. They might catch cooties from the girls, you know. Maybe that’s why they had to fly them different classes…

Dilly’s Sunday Brunch

Caitlin Moran Moranthology
Can’t wait to get my hands on this book

Morning all, I promised a Sunday brunch post, and to everyone’s surprise, including mine, I’ve managed to pull one together. As I just said to someone on Twitter, I tend to over commit and under deliver. This brunch post is great idea. When I usually write posts for my blog I like them to be coherent, well thought out articles, I often do a bit of research (well, I google a few facts…) and I plan them in my head for ages. This is why I don’t blog as much as I would like, as it is time consuming. Well, these brunch posts are unashamed opinion and blather, lacking in coherence and structure, much like a normal brunch time conversation, just without the other person’s opinion. Just how I like it.

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Anyway, on the menu today is bacon and eggs. Thick cut smoked bacon, half price in the Co-op, and farm eggs from the village green grocer, on wholemeal toast, slathered in ketchup! Sorry for the crappy picture, food is notoriously difficult to photograph, erm, especially if you forget till halfway through…

So, what’s been happening in my world this week? Well, I spent a happy hour taking part in the Mumsnet webchat with Caitlin Moran. Caitlin, if you don’t know her, is a writer for the times, previously a music journo, and top Twitterer. Her book How To Be A Woman is an excellent treatise on real life feminism. Some of her points are contentious, but her frank discussion of her abortion experience was excellent. When Caitlin had her abortion she was a grown up, married with two children, financially solvent. Having a baby just wasn’t the right choice for her or her family. Her response on Mumsnet about it was

The thing about abortion laws is that, if you were some right wing guy, you might very well think it would be okay to change them. After all, you NEVER hear women going on about their abortions. You’d think no-one normal was having them. This is why we have to normalise talking about it. You know – one in three women will have an abortion, but they’ll never talk about it. As a consequence, access to abortion could easily disappear, or be curtailed, because it just looks like no-one’s using those useful laws. When they were having that debate in the US, I wanted every woman in America who’s had an abortion to go on strike for one day – just so America could see, in one dazzling moment, how common this is for women. it’s not a marginal event. it’s absolutely part of our society. America would have ground to a halt on that day. And it would have been incredibly apt and symbolic, because if you curtail women’s access to abortion, their lives grind to a halt, too.

which I absolutely concur with.

Caitlin has a new book coming out Moranthology which is basically just her blathering about all kinds of crap and just how we like her best. I for one can’t wait to read it (and don’t yet have a copy hint hint to any publishers or just friends who want to buy it for me).

I have been listening to BBC 6 Music a lot this past week. Now I am completely not a muso, I mean, I like music, but I like, you know, Take My Breathe Away by Berlin and The Best of 70’s Disco. It safe to say I’m not schooled in the art of cool music. God, do people even use the word ‘cool’ anymore? Am I supposed to say ‘sick music’? Anyway, in the past few weeks I have been listening to 6 Music to alleviate the boredom at work, and I’m developing quite a taste for it. When I hear a song that I really like I write it down in my diary so I can check it out when I get home and the two songs I wrote down this week were Hail Bop by Django Django and Something Good by Alt J.

Turns out these two artists (bands? They might be bands, I’ve no idea) have been short listed (and are way up the list) for the Mercury Music Prize. Check me out, into music. And the final album I want to buy this month is Push and Shove by No Doubt. I feel like a teenager again, waiting for payday so I can go and buy a CD. It’s their first album in years and I have always loved them, since I used to listen to Don’t Speak when I broke up with my first love; sobbing while singing “I really feeeeeel like I’m losing my best friend…” Good times.

The news has been dominated more than was necessary by the subject of the breasts of the Duchess of Cambridgeshire. I’ve been trying to muster up an opinion on the matter and struggling, mainly because it’s not news. But here’s the crux of it, the French magazine was wrong to print the pictures of Kate. Tits out or not she was on private property trying to enjoy a holiday in peace. And taxpayer funded or not NO ONE has the right to take and publish pictures of someone half naked without their consent. It’s exploitation and an abuse of privacy.

But here’s the other side, the Duchess of Cambridgeshire should not get any special treatment just for being a member of royalty. The Royals are not special. They have got where they are by accident of birth or marriage. They live an exorbitantly luxurious lifestyle which they in the main don’t pay for, for which they give up about half their time doing light ceremonial work. Kate should not have had her privacy invaded. But let’s remember there are enormous number of other woman being exploited who do not have the weight of the Royal Family or the indignity of the righteous British public behind them. This should not be news. And let us remember that these publications publish these sort of pictures because they know we the public buy them. No British outlet has published them (so far) but that is because Kate is held up a some sort of Madonna figure by the British media. They are not short of other young women to exploit, women seeking validation and money in the way they have been conditioned to think is acceptable. When we buy these magazines and papers we are complicit in their exploitation. We can call for as much regulation of the press as we like but far better just to cut off their power and circulation by boycotting them.

Anyway, enough of my diatribe. Hope you are having a happy Sunday. What’s been going on in your week? I do wonder if there is mileage in making this into a blog hop. Blogging is so one-sides, it would be good to share other people’s thoughts and posts too. Tell me what you think. Oh and how to do it would be good too!

Dilly’s Sunday Brunch

Brunch with friends
Not quite the idyllic affair seen on most foodie blogs but the best we can do with two 5 years olds and two 2 year olds

We don’t really have any traditions in our house yet. Our kids are too young for regular rituals beyond watching Fireman Sam, they don’t even have daily baths (yes – shock horror!). But recently Sunday Brunch has become a regular feature of our house. I love brunch, the only meal where you can eat a muffin and it counts as part of the meal. Usually we just have bacon and eggs, a bit of OJ and toast, but I’ve been branching out a bit recently.

Last week I made ‘pain perdu’ or French toast, eggy bread, but sweetened and with cinnamon. I made it using leftover bread that I had made earlier in the week, and served it with bacon, maple syrup and caramelised banana. The salty bacon made a surprisingly delicious accompaniment to the sweetened eggy bread and syrup.

This week I forgot to get anything special in so decided to make some banana pancakes from Nigella’s Feast. Luckily we had some berries in to balance out the carb fest, plus the compulsory maple syrup. At the last minute we were joined by friends who were coming for communal car washing, but came earlier than expected. Fortunately there is always more pancake mixture than needed, so it saved DH and I scoffing the lot.

Anyway, I thought that I might post about our brunching exploits, if it becomes a regular thing, and use it as a excuse to muse upon the news of the week, kind of like reading the Sunday papers (now there’s a long gone tradition since having kids).

Here’s a little bit of music to get you in the mood…

Banana pancakes

So, tummy full of pancakes, let’s consider the world this week: well, the Paralympics is drawing to a close, and what a games it has been, exceeding expectations all round. We have a new set of heroes and heroines, and for many a new language for talking about disability like we never have before. There are tests commonly used in psychology called Implicit Associations Tests which are used to measure unconscious feelings about something. Basically you are given a list of words or pictures and asked to assign them to one of two categories, e.g. Good and Bad. Your response time to make your selection is then recorded, we are talking milliseconds here. They are often done using emotive themes such as race and religion and have consistently found biases towards white race and positive categories and non white races and less positive attributes (I’m probably not explaining this very well and don’t have any references, but this is Sunday brunch so let’s not get too hung up). Researchers found they could reverse the negative unconscious biases against black people by priming participants before hand with positive images. They showed clips of black athletes winning medals at Olympic Games.

All this a roundabout way of saying that I hope all the recent coverage of the success and tenacity of these Paralympic games has changed people’s subconscious perceptions of the disabled. It seems trite to even used that term now, as I don’t think I saw anyone ‘dis’ abled in these games. I saw people well and truly ‘differently’ abled. Is that still considered a wanky term? Sorry if it is.

So, onto politics, if one doesn’t mind over breakfast, and Cameron has make some quite frankly nefarious decisions about who should be helping him run the country. A climate change skeptic as Environment Minister; our NHS will now be run by a man who supports homeopathy but not abortion; and a man who supported the rights of a B&B to turn away a gay couple now Minister for Justice. You can’t make this stuff up. I’d laugh if I didn’t want to cry. All we needs for the rape denying, anti-choice for women Republicans to win this November’s US elections and the we might as well give up all hope. While these privileged white men get to decide how the rest of us should live our lives I fear that women’s rights will be put back too far to get any traction to come back from. If you didn’t see my post yesterday I nearly went on Radio 4’s Any Questions to argue as such.

On a positive note though, my friend sent me this fab video of a US diaper commercial. She explains to me that their long running ad campaign has been that first time mums buy big brands like Huggies first time round then with their second child they get real and chose Luvs diapers. This ad tackles breastfeeding and in the first five seconds you are thinking this is all going to go horribly wrong, they are going to bring out a bottle for the second time mum…but they don’t, and it’s ace!

 

So, plates are empty, we’ve have gorged ourselves on banana pancakes, I’ve dissected a little of the world this week. See you next Sunday? Who knows, I might even have a post ready in time for brunch!

Can I just call this post “cock off Lord Tebbit”?

Today I was contacted by a researcher for BBC Any Answers on Twitter in response to a tweet I’d sent them. Earlier in the week I was idly listening to any questions. Lord Tebbit, Conservative Chair was talking, not even sure what the news story was, but he mentioned employment laws for small business and started blaming, yes you’ve guessed it, those darn women getting pregnant. He lives in fear apparently of the horror of the women he employees getting pregnant. I tweeted my disgust at his comments. In anticipation of the Any Questions show the researcher wanted to call me so I could air my view. I declined for a couple of reasons. I’m clearly happy to sit my views but my weapon of choice is my keyboard rather than my voice, at least to the general public. I’d be terrified of saying something stupid or coming off like a moaning minnie. I mean Any Questions is just a middle class version of the Jeremy Vine show, full of Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells. Why don’t these people just write blogs?

The other deciding factor is I had 3 young children on my own this afternoon. Can you imagine me trying to make a serious point about feminism with “Mummy, I’ve done a poo” or “Iris is putting stones in her nappy” in the background? Hello YouTube.

But, not wanting to seem like someone who won’t put their money where their mouth is I thought I’d write a controlled and planned blog post instead.

Let me caveat this with the fact that I rarely read feminist discourse. I’m not well versed in political theory. I’m a feminist by gut instinct and logical analysis. I don’t have the language and reason more seasoned feminists have, and none of this is evidenced based.

Glad we’ve got that clear. So isn’t it nice that one of the high ranking politicians in the country’s (almost) leading party views my childbearing status with such horror. Do you know what, as a fertile woman I am so fucked off with being scape goated as the source of the problems for small businesses. I didn’t choose to be a woman. And do you know what, if DH could have been pregnant and given birth instead of me I would have let him in an instant. Does Lord Tebbit think it was fun to have 9 months of nausea, insomnia and joint pains? Not to mention 6 months when I was always only seconds away from crapping myself due loss of pelvic floor muscles post partum?

Sure we could chose not to have children but a) that would affect the perception employers have of me as a potential gravida, and b) wouldn’t the world be a bit screwed if ALL women chose to stop having kids. Can’t have it all ways Lord Tebbit.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more value was given to child bearing? You can bet if it was men’s job it would be. Women need maternity leave for several reasons. Firstly for recovering from pregnancy and labour. That 6 months or so is handy for getting back your pelvic floor in time for being released back into society. It’s important for establishing a breastfeeding relationship if that is what the mother wants. And it is important for creating a nurturing bond with the child, bringing up a child who feels loved and secure so they can grow up to be upstanding members of society. Perhaps one of my children will be the one caring for an elderly Tebbit in years to come. Hopefully then he will value the time I spent nurturing them and caring for them. But then I did stiff my company for two sets of maternity leave – mwah ha ha!

Yes maternity leave is a bit of a pain for small businesses. But the government pays the basic leave benefits so not as much of a pain as you’d think. I’m sure all those pesky equality laws are a pain for SMEs too. Let’s just say they don’t have to employee any disabled people, none of those gays or coloureds (might upset the customers), and certainly no women who look like they might get pregnant (maybe if they just picked the really ugly ones…).

No, I don’t really have any of the answers. But then I am not paid to. Now if only there was a group of people who were paid to solve this sort of problem, intelligent people who could represent everyone in the country….if only.

Never Too Late To Be Great

Crochet clock time
Crochet clock by Crochet Time

Yesterday, Richard Whitehead stormed to an amazing victory in the paralympic T42 200m, coming from last place at the halfway mark. This amazing athlete got off to a rocky start, slipping on one of his prothetic legs leaving him at the back. Something drove him on to overtake all the other competitors, somehow he found that little bit extra which took him to the finish line. Even in the Olympic games last month it always amazed me, not only how people could come from behind the crowd to take the lead in the final stretch, but how the commentators could accurately predict this, certain athletes being known for their ability to sprint to the end. These people are Completer Finishers, people who see things through to the end. OK, experts will realise that my using this team role description from Belbin is a bit of a misnomer in this context, but essentially I am talking about people who see the end is in sight and then find something more within them to give, no matter how much they have given already.

I am categorically not one of these people, I am in no way shape or form a completer finisher, nor a sprinter to the end. I start things off with gusto, but when the end is in sight I tend to lose momentum as if I am there already. I noticed this as I was running last night. I was nearing home and told myself I just had to get to the bench then I could stop and walk the last 50 metres. Trying to get the most out of my run as the bench came in sight I willed myself to sprint to it, but I just couldn’t, it was all I could to run at my usual pace to my designated end point, despite being able to run further on other runs. I am similar with my crafting projects. I get just near the end and I struggle with the finishing touches. And if a project needs altering once complete, forget it, that door has closed.

One of the reasons I think I am like this is that there are so many things I want to do, that as I near the end of one thing, my mind is already on the next. There are so many things that I want to do that I’m in a hurry to fit them all in. I have written before about my ‘scanner’ tendencies. I can’t bear to be doing nothing, not because I am afraid of boredom, but because I am afraid of wasting time. If I am watching TV I have to be doing something else, crochet or planning a blog post. Recently I went on a 5 hour (each way) car trip with colleagues. I can’t read or crochet in the car because it makes me sick, so all in all I had 10 hours dead time, making small talk with people I barely know. Think what I could have achieved in 10 hours. If I had been on my own I could have listened to Radio 4 or a talking book and you know, learned something. However, this desire to pack so much in sometimes has the complete opposite effect. I want to do so much, and so it well, and fear that I can’t possibly do so that I get struck with a sort of paralysis and instead end up on the sofa watching endless episodes of Gilmore Girls. At the end of those days, instead of relishing doing nothing, I beat myself up for not having achieved anything with my day.

This whole gamut of behaviours stems from fear, fear of insignificance, and ultimately fear of death. Not a fear of dying itself, but a fear of dying before I’ve done all the things I want to do in the world, before I’ve made my mark. I recently read a very salient article in Psychologies magazine by an author named Tom Butler-Bowden. He has written a book called Never Too Late: The Power of Thinking Long. The book is a reminder that success actually rarely happens over night, and we shouldn’t feel demoralised by our lack of (perceived) achievement. He even comes up with a formula for figuring out how much productive life you have left. I can’t find the magazine right now, so I will try and remember it. It assumes that you are most economically active between the ages of 20 and 80. So you take your age and take away 20, then divide that by 60 (no. of productive years in total) then times by 100. So for me that is 31-20/60×100=18.3. That means I am only 18% of the way through my productive life, I have a massive 82% left in which to make my mark on the world. The formula is meant to be a positive reality check, and it really was for me. I’m not even a fifth of the way through my productive life, there is plenty of time to fit in all the things I want to do.

Winston Churchill
It’s not too late for me to make my Priministerial bid

Plus, loads of really successful people didn’t get started till late in life. Winston Churchill, despite being born into very privileged circumstances, had a poor academic record and a speech impediment, and lost a few elections before becoming Prime Minister at 66. Alan Rickman, inexplicably attractive as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films, spent the majority of his career dressing other actors, and didn’t get a part in a film until he was 46. And last, but not least, Swedish Athlete Oscar Swahn won his first gold medal for deer shooting in 1908 at the age of 60 and was still winning medals at 72 in the 1920 Olympics. So, still time yet folks!

However, we do need to assess the way we measure success. I mean, at 31 I have a Master’s degree, a decent job, a happy marriage, two lovely children, I teach crochet classes, have a blog, am known for yarn bombing, and I am building up to running 10k (5 miles at the last count). Those are all achievements, and for some they would be enough. Not for me, but it’s ok, I’ve got 82% of my productive life to do the rest.

It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you don’t measure up. I feel this is especially amplified in use of social media. On Twitter I follow people I admire, writers, journalists, artists, bloggers. Immersed in their world I feel like everyone around me is more successful and doing more with their lives. But really, that is a select few, and classic case of confirmation bias. Not only am I following people because they are doing things I admire, and doing them well, but also they are likely to only be promoting the successful sides of their lives. It’s not real life and it is important to remember that. I need to ground myself in reality, in my friends and family.

So, these are my resolutions:

Stop worrying about time slipping away, and remember I have 82% of productive time left

Appreciate what I have already achieved in life

When I do have days doing nothing, just appreciate them

Spend less time on Twitter and other social media (yeah, blogs too) and ground myself in my reality

And maybe I need to learn to hold a little bit back, to have a little bit of energy in reserve that will see me through to the end of whatever I am doing, whether that is at work, a craft project or a run. After all, I’m in for the long haul.