IS PLASTIC FANTASTIC?

How can we age gracefully in today’s world, particularly as females?  I can really only talk about this from the female perspective for obvious reasons!  It seems ever more commonplace for women to succumb to the surgeon’s knife, now as much in the UK as across the pond.  It really depends on the reasoning behind why we do this as to whether it’s the best choice for us.  There are countless TV programmes which feature cosmetic surgery and this can surely, only add to our paranoia.

Smaller, straighter noses, bigger/smaller breasts,  tighter skin, fat sucked out from here and replaced elsewhere.  There seems no end to the things a surgeon can accomplish, but at what cost?  It is often apparent that there is not enough consideration given to having these procedures in terms of the dangers.  Recently, in the UK, there has been a huge scandal over breast implants being carried out which contained non-surgical grade material.  Frightening.  Although it was originally stated that no one should panic and that it was unnecessary to have them removed, most of the women wanted them taken out and replaced with the implants they should have originally had and this was perfectly understandable.   For me, it does beg the question, is it really worth it?  I should point out that I am excluding anyone who has undergone any form of corrective or reconstructive surgery, deemed appropriate after, for example a mastectomy.

It seems as though we will simply never learn that it is OKAY to age, while all the images we see, whether through fashion, film or any other media, are of a ‘certain type’, and are feted almost entirely, for the way they look.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t all strive to look and feel our best, but shouldn’t there be a limit on how far we can go?  Or at least shouldn’t there be more publicity stressing the possible dangers and complications that sometimes go hand in hand with surgery?  We should never forget that this is HUGE business.  I’m sure most of us are familiar with those TV shows which start with someone who is in need of a makeover, but it always seems to me that they never actually look any good until hair and make up get to work, so why can’t they do that first and show us?   What is also obvious to me, is that not enough emphasis is put upon preventative dentistry today.  People,  look after your teeth!!!  Go to the dentist at least once a year and if you have to, forego something in order to pay for it.  Teeth are important, and not just there to be admired.  Our teeth weren’t designed to last as long as they have to today, (we’re all living longer), so they need to be taken care of.  

By the way, I can think of two female examples of women who I think any of us would be very proud to model ourselves on.  Neither are in the Barbie doll image, and both are extremely fabulous, older women who look great!  As far as I’m aware, neither has had anything ‘done’.   One is Judi Dench and the other is Helen Mirren.  Interestingly, they are both British.  I think in the UK we are able to laugh at ourselves and our wobbly bits to some degree, but it is getting to be less and less that way, particularly amongst the younger women here.  It seems we generally, devote less and less time to thinking about the really important stuff in life, which to my mind, impacts on the way we look.  I mean to say, I’m aware that if I’m stressed, I don’t look as good on the outside compared with when I’m relaxed and happy.  It can’t be just me!!!    As a result, because we are constantly holding ourselves up in comparison to unrealistic images, we are becoming more and more unhappy with the person looking back at us in the mirror,  and so resort to anything we feel will help.  It started with going to the gym and exercising,  which is obviously a good thing and can also result in improvements socially.   Now things seem to be getting out of hand.  Perhaps we have become less patient and the idea of getting ourselves sorted out by surgery is the lazy option.  After all, going to the gym takes a lot of time and effort in order to achieve our goal, but it is as good for the mind as it is the body.   Is it going to take a number of accidents and possible deaths before we wise up?  Sadly, it might.

Perhaps you disagree totally?  I would love to hear all points of view and expand my own perspective, if possible.  Thanks for reading my blog.

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GIANT LADYBIRDS/LADYBUGS!

Okay, so last night I had a very, very strange dream which woke me up at 3.00 am……and I remembered it – stranger still!!  At this point, I would just like to say now, that if anyone has the slightest idea what this may mean, PLEASE let me know!  

So, here goes:

In my dream, I am asleep dreaming and I feel something crawl over my hand which wakes me with a start.  It is a ladybird.  When I come to, I realise very quickly, that it is a giant ladybird.  Now I’m not saying it’s the size of a dog, but let’s say maybe four times bigger than normal.  I brush it off and as I do I can see in the half light that there seems to be another one on the pillow next to me which I also brush away on to the bedroom floor.  I turn over and try to go back to sleep.  I begin to drift off when something makes me turn back over and in doing so I notice yet another ladybird!  Then another, and another and so on until there are at least 40 or 50 of the things on my lovely white sheets – I love my beautiful white, egyptian cotton sheets!  Now I’m in my car driving to my place of work.  I don’t know what I do there, but it is run by women and I have to go in via the back door, oh yes, and it is dark outside, and raining.  It is run by women who seem to lack education and who are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but they are very friendly and seem to know me well.  I explain that I’m worried about where I’ve parked my car, but they tell me that it should be okay and not to worry.  The shop itself seems to be small and the back entrance, the only one apparent in my dream, is through a corridor and down a flight of stairs.   Eventually, I am overcome by my fears for the safety of my car and duly tell everyone that I feel I must go home.  They agree and off I go.  As I leave, a sense of foreboding is with me as I step out into the dark, cold, wet night.  My car has gone.  I stand there in disbelief, wondering what on earth to do.  For some reason, I get into an old, black Renault 5 – but into the back seat.  Since these cars usually only have 2 doors, this is very odd indeed!  Once inside and out of the cold and rain, I get out my iphone, (I don’t use an iphone in reality), and decide to call for help.  As I do this, a man turns around to speak to me.  He is in the driver’s seat, and he tells me to stop.  Immediately.  He is threatening and very scary.  He warns me if I don’t give him the phone, I will come to harm.  (Those are not his words, but mine. His language is more colourful!).  His face comes nearer and nearer to me – he must’ve had a long neck – and then, as if performing some magic trick, his lips reach out to my phone and consume it!  

I am now awake!  It takes me several seconds to realise I’ve been dreaming and I go downstairs and make myself a cup of tea – the traditional restorative in the UK!  I am, of course, okay.  I can’t help laughing, eventually, at this very odd series of events.   Any ideas?  If not, I hope you find it amusing!!

STUFF ‘N HAPPINESS

 

It seems that today, we all want so much stuff – I include myself in this – but why are we all so seemingly dissatisfied with the things we already have?  However large our house, whatever techno gadgets we have, it never ever seems to be enough.  Are we so brainwashed by advertising that we have all effectively, lost our minds?  Or at least the abililty to say ‘no, actually, I don’t really need anything else to make my life better’.

Perhaps it’s partly due to our need to feel as though we belong, or maybe it’s our need to simply, keep up.  When we visit friends, sometimes we feel envious.  While we may compliment them on their house, and be absolutely sincere when we do, I think there is sometimes a part of us that feels that our house doesn’t live up to expectations or stand comparison.  Whether it’s our own expectations or those of our friends and colleagues, hardly matters, as either way, the outcome is a sense of dissatisfaction.  Houses, cars, clothes, jewellery, the area we live in, and so it goes on.  Are we being foolish?  Well, if I’m absolutely honest, then yes, a bit!  Bigger, better, newer, faster most of the time, doesn’t necessarily equate to happier.  

I am living proof that all this stuff we acquire is a road to nowhere in terms of how it makes us feel.  I have had EVERYTHING, but it certainly didn’t make me happy.  Why?  The bottom line is that, although, in terms of the things I could buy, there wasn’t any real limit and anything was possible,  my home life was not happy.  As a result, it really didn’t matter how much I had in material terms, the things I really needed were cerebral and therefore the material stuff only went so far in dulling down the real problems.

So finally, yes, the things we own do say a lot about us but mostly what they are saying is that the more money we need to spend, most of the time, it’s a substitute for other areas of our lives where we are unfulfilled.  In order to really make ourselves happier, we need to look for happiness from within and to work hard to ensure that those close to us are also happy.  And after all of that, should we expect to be happy all the time?  Of course not.  In fact, for me, the path to happiness lies in a feeling of contentment that comes from our interpersonal relationships.

One of the best feelings in the world is when we see that our children are happy and trying to help others to achieve a better way of being.  Whoever said, ‘It is better to give than to receive’, was right.  I choose to interpret this as meaning to give of oneself.   It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of this from time to time.

CAN WE HAVE IT ALL?

The truth is, I don’t know.

 It is also my belief that anyone who tells you it’s possible, is probably trying to sell you something.  There is ALWAYS some sort of sacrifice to be made, and for those of us unwilling to compromise in any way, obviously we are not going to achieve our end goals.  We are all constantly being told to believe in ourselves and this in and of itself is definitely the way to go.  But there has to be a proviso, yes, by all means, go ahead and DO believe in yourself, but don’t forget to acknowledge your limitations too.  This may sound negative to many of you, but it is, in fact, really a positive.  To put it another way, make absolutely certain you know where your strengths lie.  In this way, we are able to filter out anything which compromises our abilities.  For example, if I, at age 54, having held a lifelong dream to be a professional ballet dancer, was told to ‘go for it’ and as a result of believing I could do this, pursued my dream, I would be in denial of my obvious limitations and suddenly, self-belief turns into delusion.  It is what I would call an impossible dream.  And to add insult to injury, the likelihood of me being able to be successful, is probably nil.  So not only would I end up being disappointed, but the result would likely be a crushing blow to my self-belief and ultimately, my self-confidence too.  Not a good outcome, I think you’ll agree!

There are always stories in the media of people achieving things which are outside the norm, but these have to be seen as the exceptions, rather than the rule.  The real achievers are people who realise their limitations, know their strengths and play to them, and work hard to reach their goals.  This applies to every walk of life whether it’s work, relationships or anything else.  The object of believing in ourselves and our abilities, is supposed to be to make ourselves feel good within, but the importance of being realistic is not to be underestimated.  

Of course, there are always going to be people along the way, who fill us with negative thoughts.  They say things like, ‘do you really think that’s a good idea?’.  Most of the time we can dismiss these sort of  comments.  The problems arise when they come from someone who we respect and look up to, and who we also believe has our interests at heart.  I have had to weather some of this from my own mother, with whom I have an extremely strong relationship and have a great deal of respect for.  She was only concerned that I didn’t fail.   Even knowing this and being a fairly strong individual myself, it tapped into an area of my psyche which caused me to question my abilities again and again.  So much so, that I put my plans on hold for far too long.  Fortunately, I had an epiphany and realised that, actually I COULD do it and went ahead.  Now I am at the beginning of my path, but I hope it can go where I would like it to.  I am however, realistic!

If you have anything to add, or any comments or personal experiences you would like to share, I would be delighted to hear them.  To share our experiences makes us all stronger.

THANKS!

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have been kind enough to follow me and read my blogs, and especially to those of you who left comments.  It is really encouraging for me to know that there are people out there listening!  I am constantly inspired by your writing and hope that there is something I say that helps.  

 Just felt the need to say something out loud!!  My next blog will be sometime in the next 48 hours so please pay a visit and have your say, should you feel so inclined.

IS HE INTERESTED?

So, yesterday I chose to do nothing.  Well, nothing except watch TV.  To be more precise, I thought I’d catch up on all those movies I’d been saving up to watch – it was great!!!  And it covered almost the entire gamut when it comes to emotions;  grief, obsession, hatred, abandonment….you name it.  My brain started to whir,  (wow! on a Sunday!), and it led me here.  

How can we tell whether a man is interested or not?  I’ve made the mistake many times myself, of making excuses for why he didn’t ‘phone when he said he would, or why….well, you name it.  I think we all know what we mean when we say ‘making excuses’, don’t we?

LISTEN HERE LADIES!!!!!  If he isn’t making life easy, if he’s making you wonder where he is when he’s not with you, or if he’s making your insecurities rise to the fore in a big way, there is one simple truth.  He ISN’T interested.   You are on the ‘B’ list.  If you, at any point, feel the need to ask ANYONE, whether they think he’s interested, HE’S NOT!!!!!!  Ditch him, MOVE ON.  This rule applies at any point in the relationship, but most  ESPECIALLY, at the start.  Once you’re a long way down the line, living together, married, have children, then the rules do apply, but obviously, the course of action is entirely different – not always though.

Why would a lady who values herself,  put up with anything other than a partner who is as attentive as he should be in order to make it perfectly clear that he’s not messing around, in any way?  Why?  Well it’s the self-esteem thing again.  If we think we’re ‘worth it’, as a well known cosmetics/hair product company would have us believe, then we WOULD NOT put up with anything other than good behaviour.  That’s the tricky part though, and that’s why all these horrid men are able to get away with doing exactly as they please.  So, when we’ve summoned up the strength to say no, which in some cases, is like stopping an addiction, then we have a duty to ourselves to get to work on learning how to value ourselves.  In order to do this, I believe it’s really important not to get involved in any relationships for a while.  The reason for this is we could be heading straight down the destructive path again without realising why we do it, and perhaps more importantly, how not to do it.  

It isn’t easy, it can take a while, but with the right support, family and friends around us, we can all do it.  We can all find out that actually,  we are all ‘worth it’.

 

I very much value everyone’s feedback/comments, so please do go ahead and make my day!

MORE SOON!!!

Hi all!

Just to let you all know, I have more blogs coming soon!  I’m just in the process of sorting out what I want to say next.

Please keep watching and in the meantime, have a great weekend!

All the best to you all.