It All Comes Down To Love

lovely1My plans have changed three times for this weekend. Now we are actually here…I have been out all day…and this evening I am going to be in my little nest resting. Jack is at an event. I will see him again tomorrow ūüôā

I am looking forward to an early night. I need to do a lot of catching up with reading your posts in my WP Reader. But first I think I shall have a shower and put on some PJs.

Meanwhile…this is my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. I think most of you know already that wonderful Melanie, the creator of¬†sparksfromacombustiblemind, very kindly provides questions for each week for bloggers to answer in a post of their own. This is Melanie’s original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post for this week:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/11/04/share-your-world-11-4-19/

Questions

What is the meaning of true love?

To me, true love is motivated by warm feelings and based on the noblest of principles. It’s not just sentiment. It’s certainly more than hormones and physical attraction. It is expressed in words, acts and deeds.

We are all learners at love. Love is the reason we are alive. Our Creator first loved us. If we want to understand true love and imitate it, He provides the best possible example.

1 cor

Do acts of kindness have a motive?

stressMost actions have some sort of motive, including acts of kindness. Usually that motive is a good one. I think about how I can make people smile, make them feel appreciated, good about themselves, needed and loved. Why? Because I know that so many others have been kind to me and made me feel better about being alive. So I am highly motivated to be liberal in acts of kindness.

In fact, it’s a very good idea to spend time thinking about the people you know and asking what you could do to show a little more kindness to them. Is there something you could thank or commend them for? Could you spend some time with them, offer a little gift, take them out for tea and cake? There are countless ways to show kindness, but to become richer in acts of kindness, think about people and be motivated.

Sharing sweets

If you just leave kindness to chance and spontaneity – well, those acts of kindness are unlikely to be as frequent as those you plan. Kindness can become your default setting. Standing up for someone on the bus or train, opening a door for them, remembering to say thank you…let kindness overflow in everything you do. Unkindness is pants!

Sometimes people use kindness to win trust and affection, but then take advantage of that. That is a bad motive! Their kindness proves false when those selfish sinister motives are manifest.

If we live in a civilized world why do we see so many distinctions between rich and poor?

this world.jpgThe love of many has grown cold. Greed for more and more has driven economies. This world’s economic system is severely flawed, grossly inadequate. The extremes in poverty and wealth indicate it is completely unsustainable.

I googled the definition of “civilised” and this was the result:

an advanced stage of social and cultural development

There are so many shocking acts committed than indicate that whatever this world might aspire to and claim to be, it is riddled with barbaric, immoral, cruel abuses.¬† Over here in England recently, a lorry was found containing people who had come from Vietnam to seek “a better life”. Within the lorry’s refrigerated unit all of them had died. I found it too horrific to watch the news reports in detail. It was so disturbing.

I had to do some training for work about human slavery. It was so very upsetting.

I find it hard to understand why some people take so much pride in human advancements in technology and industry, when so many millions of people’s lives have been devastated by the greed of others.

It is not good enough that there are some people who are ok, live comfortably (a small minority with absurd amounts of money) and for others to be going to bed hungry every day despite working for hours. I long for the day when everyone on earth will be cared for with love.

Do we love ourselves more in the virtual world than in the real world?

annabelle holiday“The virtual world”? Is this supposed to be our online persona?

I think I am careful in real life and online when it comes to my security. As for loving myself…well, I think I have a balanced view of myself on the whole. I am aware of my good points and my not so good points, my strengths and weaknesses, my mistakes and the things I am proud of. I am fairly candid both in real life and online.

I think that in general I have a balanced view of myself. I don’t put myself down. But neither do I take myself too seriously. I have no pretensions per se. I’m just one of the billions of people living on this beautiful planet, trying to contribute what I can to goodness and peace. I think you would get that in real life and online.

I think the only difference that I can perceive is that online, I can take my time to explain something. I can go back to a subject and write about it as often as I feel I need to. That has been good for me. So I guess it is rather self-indulgent. In real life, I can’t do that to people. Sometimes they don’t have time for a deep conversation, sometimes I worry that I might depress the person I am talking to, sometimes I can’t make sense of my own thoughts. It is one of the reasons why I started writing about personal matters on this blog.

It has been a huge release for pent up emotions that I didn’t seem to be able to deal with effectively before.


Gratitude Question

Are you grateful?

Yes. Mainly for everything that our Creator has done, is doing and will do. I love creation so much. What a home we have! What amazing creatures we share this planet with. Skies. I have been gazing at skies quite a bit recently with Jack. Skies are just incredible.

I am extremely grateful for and to my family, wonderful friends, Goldfinch and my lovely Jack.

I am grateful for my small but pretty little nest, with affordable rent. I am grateful for a comfortable bed and good food. I am grateful for all of these things, yet it is so so sad that when I climb into bed there are millions and millions who will go to bed with very little comfort. They may be lacking clean water, or food. They may live in fear of crime, diseases, warfare, or a family member who abuses them.

I am so grateful to know that our Creator will not allow this to go on much longer. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s not going to last much longer! Soon this world will be governed by love – true love!

I googled songs about a happy life…and this came up. It’s just piano music, but as I was reading the words on the screen, it made me feel such enormous happiness. I am living for the day when every human and every creature on this planet is thriving!

He Is So Sweet!

200360047-002I am seeing sides to “Jack” that I didn’t see before. Well, I don’t think he particularly exhibited them to me before now. He can be so sweet and thoughtful…at times. (The rest of the time he is a bundle of unpredictable energy, that I have to be on constant alert for!)

Yes…him being sweet has included flowers. But this post is not actually about flowers. I have some personal items in storage nearby to where he was working recently. He nipped into Elstree and managed to find a box I had mentioned to him, which is full of framed photographs that I have not seen for over four years. So now…because “Jack” was willing to blag his way into a dark warehouse, he has brought me some items I treasured, framed photographs of my beautiful parents and siblings and their marriage mates.

picsI was pleased as punch with him! But he also had the idea of printing one of the photos of he and I that he has taken in recent weeks, it’s a lovely photo, and he bought a frame, and now I have that sitting in the row of family photos.

I hardly knew what to say to Jack. I was kind of overwhelmed by it. So, I didn’t say anything. I just wrapped my arms around him and snuggled up to him, and hoped he would be able to sense my feelings.

In the past, I have just presumed Jack was thoughtless, wreckless, wrapped up in himself, completely unaware of the damage he was causing. Maybe he was a little. But right now, he is making up for it big time. I could keep you entertained for the whole of 2020 with posts about the lovely things he has said and the sweet things he has done in these past couple of months.

Sadje Has Nominated Me For The Liebster Award

Lovely Sadje, the creator of Keep it alive, has nominated me for THE LIEBSTER AWARD as you can see from her post below:

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2019/10/26/liebster-award-7/

libster.png

Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you – THANK YOU SADJE!
2. Share 11 facts about yourself
3. Answer the questions the blogger asked you
4. Nominate 11 other bloggers
5. Ask your nominees 11 questions

…so here we go!

Facts About Me

This always throws me. What can I tell you that you do not already know?

  • sign languageI began learning British Sign Language when I was sixteen and acted as an interpreter for friends and clients who were deaf for ten years.
  • I don’t want a smartphone ever again. My basic phone is perfectly adequate for texting and calling.
  • I love making cheesecakes, but I am not good with dairy, so I make them as a dessert to take to a friend’s dinner party.
  • I love cleaning and ironing – absolutely love all aspects of housework. I don’t understand people who need to hire a cleaner to do what they should be doing (unless they are physically unable to). The only plus is that I am paid ¬£15 per hour (I have a stupid client who pays me ¬£20 per hour) to do something tremendously satisfying and completely unstressful. Love it!
  • I love picnics – one of my favourite memories with Goldfinch is picnicking with him. So lovely! I am looking forward to spring and summer with Jack – lots of picnics ahead!
  • My hair needs a trim!
  • I love karaoke.
  • future.pngI still hope to learn how to play the guitar properly and the piano. I found music lessons discouraging at school to be honest. I was given a tenor horn (not my choice) to learn to play. It was a nightmare to transport it on the school bus, so I gave up.
  • My sisters and I were competitive swimmers. I think we lost interest because we weren’t particularly competitive. Winning is so overrated.
  • I have a very bad head ache right now. I always have head pain in the morning, but since I had that wooden roof fall on my nose, my headaches have been lasting all day. I absolutely love falling asleep at night because that is the only time the pain is not making everything a challenge (yes, I went to hospital and had a CT scan a few days after it happened).
  • sailingI intend to travel the whole earth, as slowly as possible. I hope that will be in a boat, that I have made. Only I don’t really want to do it alone. I would like the man I am in love with to have built the boat with me, and to be sailing with me. It makes me feel so excited to think of all the members of my human family that I have never met yet. I would love to meet them and for them to share their “corner” of the globe with me. Their cuisine, their music and dance, their culture, and the natural beauty of their home, the local wildlife. I am looking forward to the adventure of¬† lifetime! I would like to live and work everywhere on the planet.

Questions From Sadje

Are you a serious blogger or just having fun here?

satisfyingWhat is a serious blogger? Is it a blogger who really knows what they are doing? Someone who has been able to create a beautiful website and perhaps uses it professionally? Perhaps they produce helpful articles, substantiated with extensive references? Perhaps they also have links to other online resources, affiliate links or other recommendations? Perhaps they have mometirsed their blog or use it to promote their business? Is that a serious blogger?

If so no, I am not. But I do have an organized approach to writing posts. But I am an organized kind of person. I am having fun. I would say it’s much more fun than serious for me.

What was the reason that made you start a blog?

love letterStuart, from Croydon, was the one who made me take the plunge.  He and I used to be in touch a lot, mainly via e-mail. He was kind and said he looked forward to coming home from work and catching up with my long e-mails. (I have been writing letter and e-mails to family and friends since I was a child.)

Stuart said: ‚ÄúYOU SHOULD START A BLOG‚ÄĚ.¬† I thought that was like mum telling me to go and try out for some television singing competition and stand in front of Simon Cowell. In addition, I did not really know what a blog was. I had not seen them for myself.¬† I thought it was a glorified version of Instagram.¬† I had never used Facebook or Twitter or all the social media networks.

I also thought it a bit odd to write something strangers would read.  All my letters and e-mails have been to friends and family I know and love. So it was easy to know what to talk about, what they will be interested in, what they will find amusing or meaningful.  How on earth do you know what to write to complete strangers?

I was afraid that anything I wrote and published would be ignored or criticised.  I enjoyed writing, I didn’t particularly want to invite a dish load of negative feedback.  That was the last thing I needed.

relazSo…to say the least I did not have very high expectations of blogging! But, a friend who used WordPress set up an account for me and picked some of the short stories I had and posted them all on the same day. Nothing happened. Hardly any feedback. But then I started participating in writing prompts and things got more interesting. It brought me into contact with some great bloggers.

I don’t have any particular ambition for my blog. I have to be realistic about what I can and can’t do. But it is much more enjoyable and satisfying that I ever imagined.

Take a while to think and let us know: what object that is in your reach right now, influences you? ( e g a tv)

Erm…my Nespresso machine?

It’s very helpful when it comes to my morning routine especially.

First thing in the morning, it takes a while for my head to settle. I always wake up with head pain. (I have for the past four years, since I received major head injuries.) So I have a coffee, a slice of toasted dark sourdough with goats butter and perhaps some avocado or hummus and some ibuprofen…and I wait. I wait for my head pain to ease and for my brain to feel a bit more awake.

How do you relax?

curled upLots of ways. I like variety.

I find it relaxing to go for a long walk. My legs don’t find that relaxing, but my mind sure does! If I realize I need to be alone, I usually put my hiking boots and head off and just let myself work out anything that is a bit unsettling.

But I find it more relaxing to be with people I love. I love being with friends for a meal, chatting and laughing. I love being with Jack. I think I relax more with company than without. But I know at times I need to be on my own for a bit.

I like writing letters and e-mails to friends and family, or writing a post for CRUSHED CARAMEL. I like baking. I like reading. I love swimming! I love being in the water.

Are you superstitious?

Nope. I have a couple of friends who are. They do some pretty odd things, and as far as I can see they have no more or worse a lot than anyone else. They just look odd, when they take pains to avoid something they think will bring a curse, or keep trying to find something wooden to knock on.

Loyalty to the one you love, or one who is right?

loyal.jpegWhat kind of loyalty? Nobody is perfect. We all do and say things that are off the mark. So we all need loyal love, underserved kindness, graciousness form others. I would maintain loyal friendship and support to someone who might injure me or do something wrong. That might mean forgiving them or overlooking what they have done.

But if I became aware that someone I loved had done something seriously wrong and reprehensible, I wouldn’t remain silent. I would not consider it loving to cover over something terrible. It would not be in their best interests. I would be as supportive as I could, but I would appeal to them that they cannot hide the wrong they had done.

How can we improve the environment of our planet? Do you take any practical steps towards it?

I’ve been involved in tidy-up projects, in areas were people have illegally dumped rubbish. After seeing media coverage of the smaller things that individuals can do to cut down on single use plastic.

20180310_214048I have not bought any bottled water (I used to buy it for work) for a couple of years. I just use my reusable water bottle. I also have a reusable coffee cup (two actually) that I take around with me. I use canvass shopping bags (which so far have lasted me for several years) instead of plastic carrier bags.

I wash at 30 unless it’s dirty. I use public transport or walk (I have not driven since I received head injuries, but I am often a passenger in someone else’s car). I shop in charity shops for clothes (I buy underwear and work shoes new though.) In other words, I try to do what has been suggested will help to make a difference. I just happen to have been vegetarian (nearly vegan) since I was six years old. Some reports say that is good for the planet.

Plastic waste floating in a canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

But I still see how much packaging there is on products I might buy in the supermarket or when I order something online. I see scenes of the kind of damage that has already been done on a large scale, often due to industrial enterprises. I think all of us find it very disturbing to realize how much has just been dumped into our oceans (or on land, but has made it’s way into the oceans).

My belief is that the entire economic system which is so much based around consumerism has to change. While money is the driving factor in what “makes the world go round”, the entire economic system is not going to change. But our Creator has promised to change that.

What is one habit you have that you or your family think is childish?

I can only think of one. It’s a life-long habit that I have often been scolded about. Leaving the house with wet hair (even in the winter). Everyone has been telling me I will catch a cold one day or end up with arthritis.

cooling.jpgWhen we were little girls we used to swim with a local club, at least three times a week after school (for several hours). We loved swimming. We were always in the pool until closing time, trying to pretend we didn’t hear the calls from the lifeguards and our parents that it was closing time. So when we climbed out of the pool, we didn’t have time to dry our hair properly because they wanted to lock the doors! We would run out into the cold hair with dripping hair and run as fast as we could to the car (sometimes we would run to the chip shop begging out parents to buy us a bag of chips to share in the car).

Eleven Questions For My Nominees

  1. Do you have a favourite musical artist or band you love listening to?
  2. When you were a child where you assigned chores to help out at home?
  3. Do you enjoy going to parties, or do they make you nervous?
  4. Have you ever been baffled or scared when someone expresses their political opinions?
  5. Have you had any issues with self-confidence?
  6. What kind of holidays/vacations do you enjoy? (I am thinking of travel rather than religious celebrations.)
  7. Where do you feel most like “yourself”?
  8. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from your own mistakes?
  9. Is there any advice you received from others that has made a difference to you?
  10. Do you have any physical scars from injuries (or surgery) that have an interesting story behind them?
  11. Have you ever had a big disappointment which took you some time to recover from?

My Nominees