22:19

Is it really almost the end of January already? The days are flying by!

For me January is never an exciting month. After a hectic December I normally spend January sinking back into my normal day-to-day routine. Work is the same old grind: waking up to an alarm, taking the bus to the office, working throughout the day, and then returning home in the evening. Leisure times remain similar: reading, blogging thoughts, watching shows and Youtube videos, swimming, and occasionally babysitting my relatives.

January sometimes feels like the filler month before the year really gets going. I have plans scheduled for the rest of the year however my January calendar page remains empty. People talk about new beginnings and starting afresh in January, but for me it is a return to the old. It is a return to what I know, to how I have lived in the past, and is the waiting room for the rest of the year to start.

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17:16

Apparently it has been over a month since my last blog post. I am neither surprised nor disappointed in myself for leaving my site dormant. The past month has brought challenges and numerous events into my life.

Here is a lowdown of my month:-

  • I passed my driving theory test in late May
  • I reconnected with an old friend
  • I attended the Meadows Festival
  • I ran a 5km fun run called Gung Ho (inflatable obstacles and injuries galore)
  • I attended a friend’s wedding celebrations in Newcastle/Beamish Hall
  • I sang in my church choir for our annual Spiritual Convocation
  • I carried on with my swimming and got a lot better! (I brag because I have always been an awful swimmer)
  • I went out with my work colleagues and drank too much
  • I treated myself to many new purchases (RayBan sunglasses and this Macbook to name a few)
  • I encountered work politics
  • I deactivated my Facebook account

I had a problem with my old laptop after upgrading to Windows 10 thus rendering my site an orphan for a while. However I am connected again and will hopefully be remembering to post here now and again. It is good to be back.

 

23:29

One of my major pet peeves is people not taking initiative.

Another of my pet peeves is people who are so set in their ways that they think all other methods are wrong.

In my own terms I think to take initiative means to take action of your own accord, to do something without having being told to do so, to initiate something. A lot of times people are so set on following the exact rules or plan that taking initiative is difficult (which relates to my second point). I also think that taking initiative means to put yourself out there a bit more. It involves acting of your own accord. It may mean that people question your actions but a spontaneous action or reaction can also be valued.

One case where I think using initiative is key is when an individual is new to an environment or a group of close-knit people. The group already has connections, they already know each other well, and they are comfortable around each other (this could be in work, studies, social groups). Often when an outsider is presented, they will find it difficult to enter into that group unless someone takes initiative to invite them in or to include them. I have noticed that around my twenty-something age group that this is something that is seldom done. Cliques and groups are sometimes not as welcoming as they believe. People tend to stick to their own, and keep to what they know. This is something that I want to work on personally for this year.

As one of my pet peeves I am very aware that I may, on occasion, be a hypocrite. I am comfortable with my own circle of friends and I have a close relationship with these individuals. When an opportunity arises to include a new person into a conversation or a group, I do not always take it. However, I do try to include people and go out of my way to make someone feel welcome. 2015 is a big year for me and I will need to take initiative in many different contexts so I hope that I can work on that and push myself a little further out of my comfort zone.

My second pet peeve is related to the first in that some people are afraid to try new things, and just stick to what they know. Personally I like to try new things whether it be food, experiences or something really out there. With the example of food I always remember that my mum would tell both my brothers and myself that if we did not try something, then how did we know we did not like it? That mentality has stuck with me till this day.

Another point I ask myself when I am faced with something I have not done/eaten/seen before is, ‘Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity?’ and, ‘Will I regret not doing this in the future?’ For some people that can seem really reckless and not a good way of making decisions. Of course I do not justify doing dangerous things with such a concept! One of the most recent times I used this was when I was on holiday in Los Angeles. I was hiking in the Hollywood Hills with my friends from the UK and we had the aim of getting as close to the Hollywood sign as possible. At the half an hour mark we were pretty tired, sweating and being baked in the blazing sun. We stopped in the shade and tried to decide whether to carry on or not. The group was split in deciding with half wanting to carry on, and half wanting to turn back. Eventually a decision was made that we would carry on because it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When we could see the Hollywood sign in all its glory, we were all so glad we made this decision. If we had turned back then we would not have been able to experience this.

Anyway, I digress… So there you have it, two of my major pet peeves and a little insight into my life.