Quote: on coming alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

– Howard Thurman

One of my favourite people told me today that she sees me as a “PowerFrau”. That translates literally as “power woman”, but kind of loses something in the translation. She means she thinks I’m always doing/achieving something. She occasionally has a point. In the last 6 months I have, among other less noteworthy things, dug a pond, been to evening classes, survived a breakup, sat exams, moved house, set up a 350l aquarium, written and presented a dissertation, driven across Germany, visited my family in England twice, produced the prizes for a chemistry competition, helped a friend pack the contents of her house ready to move and worked more or less full time.

I don’t feel like a PowerFrau at the moment though. I feel like someone’s stolen my batteries, and maybe filled the space with lead. There are some days where life is just hard. Everything seems heavier than normal and it counts as an achievement to survive the entire day intact. It doesn’t help that it’s damp and dark for most of my non-working hours.

What I need to do to feel alive is probably sleep more. My sleep dept might not be as obviously well-recorded as my sister’s, but it’s still made it’s mark and left rainbow-coloured suitcases under my eyes. I look forward to a time where I’m not dragging myself to work, where I feel up to cooking, where I can imagine going anywhere non-urgent, for pleasure, instead of curling up on my sofa. Where watching the fish is something I do between activities instead of the main attraction. Where washing my hair isn’t a hassle and going shopping is something I can be excited about.

That’s a vision for a future in which I am slightly more alive than I am now. The future beyond that will hopefully be even better, I just can’t picture it yet.

Baby steps.

And sleep.

Lots of sleep.

On finding the cage door

“Take the time to do the things that make you happy”

I picked up this postcard because of the message in the middle. I didn’t notice (don’t ask me how) that it was covered with pictures of keys and an open cage.

I am one step closer to opening my own cage, so it seems appropriate.

Quote – humanness

It’s a funny thing about us as humans that tenderness, the humor, and the humanness, is the first thing we want to see in others and the last thing we want to show them in ourselves.
– Meg Word​en

Quote – regrets

I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.

– Brittany Renée
(Just to fill a bit of the gap before I finally post one of the million half-finished posts in my folder.

Yes, it’s relevant, because I would rather spend time writing than [insert all the things other people think I should be doing instead]. I hope I will somehow make MY priorities feature more often in my life soon. Now to figure out how… 🙂

Happy Thursday people!).

Quote – busy but barren – Sokrates

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”.

– Socrates*

I have been, and indeed still am, stupidly  busy for a month or so  – as witnessed by the emergence of a barren wasteland on this blog.

“This too shall pass”*

I will hopefully be back to writing semi-regularly in a year or so (maybe earlier if I ever get my act together and actually finish writing this essay ;)).

* both quotes found here – thank you 🙂

Quote: summing up the morning after [Brexit]

Just found this: written on the morning after the Brexit vote:

“Good afternoon, and welcome to a brave new EU-free world.

Just to recap: the UK has voted to leave the European Union in a result that came down to just 1.39m votes.

The value of the pound has dropped through the floor. Sinn Fein are calling for a united Ireland. Prime minister David Cameron has resigned. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland is looking at a new independence referendum. The Labour party has tabled a motion to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.

And it’s only lunchtime.

– Bethan McKerban

Whatever you think of the whole Brexit thing, you have to agree that’s a fantastic summary :).

On perfectionism

Today, walking back through town from a meeting, I was asked about my course, what it involves, why I’m doing it etc etc etc.. Meandering further, we moved onto work in general, and where I work in particular. Work is a difficult topic for me at the best of times, and inevitably I started complaining about some people I work with (but pretending not to*) when the guy I was talking to stopped me and said this:

“You know what? It sounds like you’re a perfectionist. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it probably means you’re really hard to work with.”

He’s someone whose opinion I value, so I think I have something to chew on for a while….

* apparently less effectively than I’d hoped…

Quote: Busyness, mountains and early mornings

“Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand why the old poets of China went so far and high into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.”

Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early

I wouldn’t go so far as to wake up early on purpose*, and I don’t have any decent mountains here, but I can certainly understand not wanting to accept the constant hassle, the hectic, the busyness thrust at me 😉

I’ve only recently discovered this poet, but I think I’m already addicted. 🙂

* at least not for pleasure…

Quote – On finding oneself

Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.

– Matthew Arnold

That sounds like the best sort of resolution….

(I found the quote here. Ray’s Daily is full of awesome quotes and inspiring passages – go and see for yourself :))

On bad weather and snow buggies

“Mostly we have good weather. Sometimes we have bad weather. But that’s good too. Bad weather is good for the soul – it gives you something to complain about”
– an old woman who lives in the darkest place on the planet. It’s dark ALL THE TIME! ALL day, EVERY day, EVERY year. ALWAYS. FOREVER. ARGH. The programme was great, and her attitude was amazing. 🙂

She also said:
“You can’t say I only stay here because I don’t know anything else, because I do. I’ve travelled. I’ve got a photo of me under a palm tree. That’s good. And palm trees are good. And it’s good when they stay where they are. I guess it doesn’t matter where they are – as long as they don’t get in the way of my snowbuggy!”

(We don’t actually have bad weather at the moment. This is meant as a reminder for when we do.)

On compost heaps and Peruvian chickens

“Wherever you go, you can collect all kinds of plants to take home for your compost heap, unless you’re really busy doing other stuff – like looking after Peruvian chickens* for example.”
– The Voice of Authority in my dream.

Apparently dreams are your brain’s way of processing what happens during the day.

Sometimes, when I wake up from such a bizzarre dream, I wonder just what part of my day/life needs sorting out.


A dream with such a distinctive message has to be good for something, however weird, so I asked Google.

The only Peruvian chickens Google offered me were either roasted or fighting. The chickens in my dream were more alive and less spicy than in the pictures, but totally uninterested in fighting.

I didn’t find that particularly helpful. On the other hand, I had no idea Peruvian Chicken were a thing at all until I looked it up.

To be honest, I didn’t know Peruvian was a word either, so I suppose overall it was an informative dream.

Now to bring back armfuls of exotic plants for my compost heap…