Monday, 18 August 2014

Taking stock....

I think this is a good theme for my post as it sums up what I have been thinking the last day or so....

As somebody who has had to tame the black dog, I have had to learn to catch myself out of negative thoughts about myself.

I was always taught to be humble, a little self deprecating; I think a lot of us have been taught not to toot our horn too loud. Yet I took that to heart. Thoughts that would start innocently enough, but would be so frequent and magnified, then they would be internalised and taken as God's truth without a single challenge.

I have learned a lot about mindfulness, and catching and letting go of unhelpful thoughts.

Better yet, though, would I dare think something nice about myself?

Could I catch and keep hold of a good thought about myself?

So I gave myself a challenge today. Think of five good things about myself. It was not a comfortable thing to think about, but here they are.

1. I make people laugh.

I am the queen of irreverent and inappropriate humour.  Get a couple of wines in me, and I am even better.

2. I give a shit.

I am a caring person. If I see somebody floundering, I will ask them about it and try my best to help. If I see your child about to swallow something they shouldn't, I will let you know (it takes a community to raise a child). I will give a person a hug if they look like they need one.

3. I am not afraid (anymore) to be myself.

We can only really be ourselves; to be anything else is very difficult and tiring. I used to show bits of myself then worry incessantly that people didn't like me. Then I would apologise and vet my behaviour.

With maturity, I have learned that there are times when I need to shut my gob, let it go to the keeper, but as a general rule I can be myself and people will like me for it (and people won't - their loss).

4. I am good at drawing.

And painting. I showed a bit of aptitude at high school but gave it away for more scholarly pursuits. It is a talent I would like to embrace a little more, train a little more.

5. I know a little bit about lots of things.

I think it's important to take an interest in things. If something piques my interest, I will look it up on wikipedia. Apart from 1970s bands and footy stats, I would be quite good on your pub quiz team.

The other thing I need to take stock of, I feel, is my spending. To be clear, I don't spend more than I earn, but money can burn a hole in my pocket and I tend to spend it on clothes and shoes. Fine feathers make the bird, as I said last post. However, more stuff does not a happy person make, and I would like to be a little more mindful about what discretionary purchases I make. It is far too easy to go shopping. In fact, I just did, which is what prompted this post (plus the fact they had 25% off shoes I had my eyes on....)

So as a first step, I got a (free) app to monitor incomings and outgoings....particularly these discretionary purchases. It might just get me thinking a little more before I buy.

Sooo, what about you?
Here is your opportunity to toot your horn - tell me some awesome things about yourself. Let's cheer each other on.
Any budgeting tips to share with me?


  1. I am a great eating partner bc I have no specific eAting restrictions like most things and will try most things except raw brain and canines. I have a good sense of humour.

  2. I do have a budgeting tip. I am terrible with money but if I don't see it in my account, am less likely to spend it so I have automatic savings plans set up with ING so money gets diverted there for different savings goals with each pay. They have a great phone app and it's motivational seeing the money grow when I'm feeling reckless and itching to do some retail therapy.

    SSG xxx

  3. Also, I go up on the minimum repayment for my mortgage. Even if it's just $50. Saving and repaying at the same time.

    Of course, all of this does mean that I feel entitled to spend everything left in my bank account after these deductions have been made. My next goal is to transfer any cash left in my account each month into a savings account.

    SSG xxx

  4. Well, of course it's a difficult thing to blow your own trumpet in Australia (we don't like the tall poppies after all), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't think it. That's just healthy self-esteem.
    I have healthy self-esteem. There are a lot of things I'm extremely bad at. I just accept that I'm bad at those things, don't think about them, and don't fight it and celebrate my positives - like my ability to design, or that I'm a good cook. The fact that I failed (literally) ballet, and was always picked last for a sports team due to poor coordination doesn't matter!

  5. I am good at being reliable and committed to doing something.
    I think I am a good friend because I understand that having friends will sometimes be 'inconvenient.
    I am good at seeing injustice and will go in hard for people.
    I am a good teacher because I have a high emotional quotient. I have 'lived' outside of teaching and understand differences. I am good at creativity and accepting wacky ideas.
    I like this post. Xx

    1. Really liked this post too. Liked all the qualities you described in yourself, especially your sense of humour and that you care about other people. Also your courage in facing yourself and then going public.

      I also love to laugh, sometimes irreverently too. And give a shit about lots of things, including political, social, environmental and humanitarian issues but usually refrain from saying much about this in comments on blogs or Facebook because I know how it can annoy people. Also I loathe being drawn into pointless political arguments that get you nowhere. Just sometimes in person, I have to speak out if being subjected to what I believe is a rant on something I can't in all conscience allow the other person to think I agree with. But I refuse to be drawn into an argument, just state my belief and leave it at that. If the other person persists with the rant I make an excuse and leave.

      Having survived some really hard times I pick up very quickly when someone is troubled. Even if I don't say anything much, the other person senses my empathy with them. But this can be very difficult for me as I often end up being the confidante of very sad people who are struggling with tragedies or divorce or other troubles.
      I'm also a problem solver with an analytical mind and an ability to prioritise. I've managed different kinds of work projects through to successful conclusions, drawing on the talents and enthusiasm of other staff. This sounds like a job application - but I've retired, and now work part time as a volunteer.
      I'm no longer young but I love the company of young people and children. I love life and try to make the most of everyday.

      One of my great weaknesses too is shopping. Luckily I love Op. Shops and find occasional treasures there as well as the odd visit to Chanel or Hermes.
      Also Heidi, I was always picked last for sporting teams too! So demoralising at the time, I'd buried it. Pamela xx

  6. Forgot budgeting. I bought a house by myself - I say to others if I can do anyone can....I sold my car, caught trains and saved like nuts. I used to catch the train to work with the chalkface juniors. Hilarious (not).
    But, to be honest these days there's WAY too much spending. I am lucky that in my younger years I wasn't really a big consumer. Not sure what's happened. My advice is 'go without!!' If you have big financial goals it's worth it.

  7. Spend money on the things you love and enjoy the heck out of them. Don't waste money on the meh stuff - stuff you buy just because you want a pick me up or whatever. It's just going to sit in the bottom of the drawer/wardrobe anyway.

    Pretty much the same principles as weight loss if you substitute money for calories :)