Do Not Squander Time

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

A stitch in time saves nine

Any adage about how to make the best use of the time makes me think of a famous saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin. TIME – the stuff life is made of!!!

SInce I was sixteen, I have learnt that one of the most precious resources I had was TIME. We all have twenty-four hours in a day, but how we use those hours is revealing. Some people pack an incredible amount in. Some waste time, or lose time because they did not foresee how A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE.

shower.jpgI rarely use this expression verbally. But I think it is an adage that I live by. Consider my shower for example. Here in London we have “hard water”. Limescale! It causes a lot of damage.

When I first moved to London, I received training from my housekeeper in how to look after the accommodation I was given and how to make her life easier. Every time we showered, we would spray a very mild sanitiser, squeegee the glass and tiles and then wipe down the smears with a cloth. I have lived in London for almost ten years, and everytime I have a shower I do the same thing. That means that when I come to clean my shower thoroughly once a week, there is no need for scrubbing or strong chemical cleaners, it is very easy to clean and make the whole shower cubicle look sparkly.

Sometimes when I visit the homes of friends and colleagues in London, I notice their shower is caked with white chalky limescale. I am so tempted to recommend to them that they wipe down their shower after each use. Those I have mentioned it seem to think it would take too much time. But it takes two minutes, if that. How long would it take to scrub the limescale when your clean your bathroom? If you let it build up and up, no matter how much you try to scrub it away, it is a nightmare to get rid of.

clsaI am definitely one of those people who cleans as I go. I don’t let my household chores pile up. I keep on top of things. Neglect can cause big problems later down the line, which often means losing time and money.

Oh and it’s not only cleaning. I cook meals and freeze portions, so that on days I do not have time to cook, there is something waiting for me.

I alphabetize everything not nailed to the floor when I am at work, so it will be easy to find when I am in a hurry. I make sure that everyday I send some sort of message or email to friends or family, rather than procrastinating keeping in touch with my loved ones. Time spent on caring for your loved ones is never ever a waste!

I can think of more and more ways that the value of the adage Fandango has chosen for today has been proven to pay off  in my own life. A host of STITCHES IN TIME that paid off later, have allowed me to devote over 20,000 hours to volunteering with charities! I am so glad that my parents trained me to make the most of time!

___________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #17

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

My Rip Roaring Resume!

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Jack of all trades, master of none

resI realized some years ago that this adage describes my CV/resume. I have worked in so many different fields. I am going to try and give you an idea of all the different work I have been involved in for the past twenty years:

  • legal secretary
  • receptionist
  • data entry clerk
  • purchase ledger/accounts payable assistant
  • credit control assistant
  • sign language interpreter
  • painter/decorator
  • cook
  • cleaner/housekeeper
  • ironing and laundry
  • gardener
  • dog walker
  • customer services in retail
  • medical receptionist
  • care assistant in palliative care / dementia / mental health
  • proofreader/editor
  • admin assistant
  • dry cleaning counter assistant
  • market research
  • steward at large events (indoor arenas and sports stadiums)
  • security guard
  • first aider
  • roof tiler
  • insulation/plaster boarding
  • labourer
  • entertainer
  • pharmacy assistant
  • medical administrator
  • chauffeur
  • model
  • tour guide
  • waitress
  • kitchen assistant
  • childminder
  • animal care (including horses, ponies, chickens, sheep, cows, cats, dogs, rabbits and stick insects)
  • swimming pool maintenance
  • carpet laying
  • demolition
  • party/events planner
  • catering
  • scaffolding installation
  • stage installation
  • trucking and installation at festivals and events
  • purchasing (for charity projects)
  • health and safety trainer / administrator
  • menswear buying assistant
  • sourcing administrator
  • …and a whole load of one off roles on construction sites and at large events up and down the country!

nusDo I qualify as a JACK OF ALL TRADES??? I would not particularly call myself a master at any of these trades. Within health care and pharmacy I have had to train staff and compile training manuals, patient care records, and write reports on anything my boss asked me to. That is probably the area where I have the most training and qualifications.

I have a lot of experience in accounts. It comes very easy to me. But I managed to duck out of accounting courses, so I only have on the job experience of ten years.

I have had a lot of customer service roles, and that seems to be my strength. I must admit it is nice that I receive comments from so many customers and patients thanking me. When I arrived at work today, the first customer I served started shaking her head at me. She said “I cannot remember the last time I received customer service like that”. She told me I had done everything perfectly, and gone above and beyond in serving her. She said made her feel valued. That made me feel better, especially as I am so tired at the moment.

woaI LOVE VARIETY! I love all the different types of work I have been involved in. I love the friends I have made along the way. I have managed to avoid supervisor roles and manager roles for years, because I insisted on only part-time hours. My work for charities has always been more important to me. Paid work was only about earning my bread and butter.

I have been willing to try out anything new, and had so much fun. My favourite day of work was when we had to chase the sheep around a field, herd them into a pen and then one by one, turn them upside down onto their backs to trim their hooves.

wirMy current job is fine. It is a fifteen minute walk from home. I love my colleagues. At the start of the year they asked if I might be able to help out extra while they recruited someone to replace a colleague that had left. I understood that would be for two or three weeks. So instead of working the 17 hours I am contracted for, for the past six weeks I have worked around 4o hours a week (on top of 20+ unpaid hours of work I do each week). I am tired now!

I am getting to the stage, where I am coming home too tired to go out to dinner with friends, too tired to cook, too tired to clean or do my ironing, too tired to do anything creative, too tired to answer my phone. I have had several occasions at work when I want to burst into tears and walk out. But after a conversation about the situation today, I fear they want me to work full-time and train to fill the role they are trying to recruit for. No way on earth do I want that! No way! Soooooooo….I have started to apply for other jobs. It feels great. There is a job advertised as two days a week, 8am-6pm for a business on the high street. I have done similar work. It would be a four minute walk from home!

Hr Process, Hr, Selection, InterviewThe thing about applying for jobs is….you have to just keep applying and not get your hopes up. You never know who else might be applying for a job and whether they have more experience than you etc. By applying to all sorts of random job advertisements with the part-time hours I was looking for, I have been able to enjoy a varied and fascinating work life.

What does interest me is that some jobs required me to sit at a desk and stare at a computer for eight or nine hour days. Whereas many other jobs required me to stand or be on my feet for twelve hour shifts. When you think about the kind of job you have and whether it requires you to be sedentary or active for long periods, no wonder people end up with different fitness and stamina levels. Some jobs require you to work with people for many hours. I have been in jobs that were very emotionally demanding.

Anyway….I am changing the subject. I love being a JACK OF ALL TRADES, and I am pretty glad I am a MASTER OF NONE. I have been able to keep paid work in its place, a means to an end, a way of earning my bread and butter…and I have had a great time doing so!

_________________

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Fandango’s February Expressions #14

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

It Takes Two

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Let bygones be bygones

forgiWell…I could hardly ignore this adage, could I! If ever there was proof of the miraculous changes that can happen when two people agree to LET BYGONES BE BYGONES, surely Jack and I can supply it aplenty!

A lot happened in the past. When he made contact with me last September, and then again a couple of days later, we talked about the past. When we met up for the first time in over four years, there was so much in my heart. Four years of hurt!

I will add at this point that some of my friends were aware of the situation pronounced judgement on Jack. I didn’t approve of their verdict. They recommended I cut Jack off, they labelled him as a narcissist or as someone toxic. I am so so so glad that I rejected their well-meaning advice!

2020 togetherWhen we finally got together, it was apparent that Jack and I both wanted peace. The only way that was possible was us to agree to let go of the past. I think that brought us both relief. It also removed a certain barrier or wall that had gone up between us. When that wall came tumbling down, our remarks towards each other became more and more tender and expressed a fondness.

The rest is history! Perhaps one day, the story of Jack and I will inspire a novel! Maybe we should entitle it “LET BYGONES BE BYGONES”! That was the clincher in recovering our friendship, and a precursor to us ending up in each other’s arms. How romantic hey!

Peace is a wonderful thing, not to be underestimated. As far as it depends on you, seek peace with others, including those who may have let you down. I know there may be some extreme situations that perhaps do not warrant forgiveness, but most grievances are between two parties who have to make a choice to let go of the hurt and build a brighter future together. I can only recommend letting go of the past. It’s wonderful!

__________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #9

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

Watching And Waiting

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

A watched pot never boils

potThis has taken on new meaning for me during the past 28 hours or so. Yesterday a friend helped me to publish my first novel on Amazon. Amazon said it would take up to 72 hours for the Kindle and Paperback editions to be available.

It seemed less than an hour before the Kindle was live. So quick! I was busy doing other things and not watching the pot! However, I realized that the formatting was wrong. I was on the phone to my friend and trying to work out what the problem was. Well…eventually we did figure it out. So, now we have an updated Kindle version up there on Amazon.

We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves: Part Of The "Learners At Love" Series by [Finch, Melody]The problem now is waiting for the slower process of the paperback being published. I already realized the paperback had the wrong manuscript. But I can’t tweak it until it is live. So, instead I loaded a completely new edition with the correct manuscript. It looks so much better. That will be published within 72 hours.

I am waiting and waiting for Amazon Kindle Publishing to let me amend the original edition that is incorrectly formatted. I keep checking every few minutes and the edit bar is still not available. Ay ay ay!

I am going to try to keep busy so that the time passes more quickly. Because if I keep checking it, this pot is never going to boil!

Whenever Amazon lets me, I will be right here waiting to remove the wrong paperback so the lovely perfect one is the only one up there on Amazon!

Aaaaah sigh! Waiting makes me think of a song…a song that makes me think of Jack who is in the Middle East, and Goldfinch who is in Australia.

__________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #8

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

But Jack Keeps Burning Pancakes

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

A woman’s place is in the home

jasWell, I don’t agree that all women should be consigned to the kitchen and their own role in life should be serving a purely domestic function to care for their family. But, I am kind of chilled on this subject to be honest. I happen to be a woman who loves working at home. I also love working outside of the home. It would make me go loopy to be stuck indoors all the time.

I happen to have a gorgeous boyfriend who likes to try cooking. He has attempted numerous times to make me pancakes for breakfast. I don’t want to discourage him, but he won’t be applying for Masterchef any time soon. Jack does not make me think that he would view it as my role to feed him every day. I wouldn’t object if he did. However, cleaning and laundry have never been his strong points.

The only negative experience I have ever had about male and female roles, was when one of my colleagues refused to perform cleaning duties (we were all assigned a day on the rota) because he said “it is not a man’s job to clean”. Can you imagine how that went down at work!

pads.jpgI was born in the eighties. This was a decade famous for shoulder pads, electro-pop and feminism amongst other things.

I have seen women wanting to break through the glass ceiling, and want equal pay, rights and respect to men. I don’t consider myself a feminist as such. But I do enjoy the relative freedoms I have here in the west, compared to the limitations imposed on women in some other lands. My father, the men in my family, my male friends and volunteer colleagues have never made me feel inferior because I am a female. Neither have they had an old-fashioned mentality about what is a women’s role in life.

But throughout my life I have seen various faces of feminism and sexism. It’s clear that some people have their own thoughts on roles and rights etc. I have managed to avoid that for most of my life. Apart from one boss who was outrageously inappropriate in the way he treated me (he thought it was ok to make personal comments about my appearance and dress, to touch my thighs, arms, face, try to kiss me, and expose himself), I have managed to avoid a lot of strange antiquated outlooks.

peaceI like to see men and women of all cultures dignified and respected. I have seen both men and women behave well and display beautiful qualities, I have seen both men and women exhibit the worst of human behavior. I do not feel either men or women can claim a monopoly on treating others appropriately all the time. Individuals should take responsibility for their own attitudes, speech and behaviour.

There has been a shift in expectations for women during my lifetime. Sometimes, I have not quite known what my role is, what opportunities might be open to me, how to gain the most satisfaction and fulfillment. I must admit, as roles have changed, perhaps people forgot to send me the memo on what on earth I was supposed to aim for. I am not sure what my expectations should be anymore.

ideal.jpgI grew up thinking that one day I would end up married and my role would involve a lot of housework as well as other work outside the home.. I just thought it would happen almost effortlessly. In my mind, I thought he would be a farmer, and I would be a farmer’s wife. I still don’t get why the world doesn’t work that way anymore.

Now, as I grew older, I realize that just being married is not necessarily a good thing. You could be miserable. It means a lot to me, that as a woman in the western world I have choice over who I wed. I have turned down two  marriage proposals for good reasons. I also ended a courtship with a fine young man (my best friend and I courted for years, but I ended it when I was around twenty-four/five) because I realized that I was miserable with him.

ideals.jpgHowever, I am in no way against marriage. Quite the opposite. I have no objection to the traditional stereotypes – I have been a housekeeper for many clients, why wouldn’t I do all those tasks for the man I love?

In fact, when I was in Australia, I said to my gorgeous friend that if he ever decided to settle down with someone, he should make sure she knows how to look after his beautiful house properly. He looked baffled when I said that. He basically said he wouldn’t expect any woman to do that, but he would hire a cleaner.

That baffled me. Is it because I grew up expected to perform household chores throughout my childhood, that I see it as part of the responsibility of life that you clean and tidy your own home? Unless you are physically unable to? I would take delight in making his home a haven for him. I don’t get prickly the subject domestic tasks, probably because I enjoy them so much and find them satisfying.

Well, the fact that people hire a cleaner rather than doing their own housework has kept me with an easy way to earn my bread and butter. Did you know I earn a minimum of £15 per hour housekeeping in London? One client pays me £20 per hour. I can earn much more gardening or painting/decorating.

ideals1.pngI know there are a lot of men out there who I would run a million miles away from! I would never choose them as my head. But I have no problem with taking on the larger part of domestic tasks if I was married. I guess everyone is different. 

We have many happy marriages and thriving families within our family. Mostly they work together to look after their homes, but it is not unusual for the women in our family to be doing most of the cooking and cleaning and laundry. That does not mean their husbands are lazing about on the sofa watching sport! Far from it! The men in our family are usually out working – most of them perform practical work in farming, construction or as cleaners. Loving and supportive couples who make marriage look awesome.

chilsAnyway…to me…work should be satisfying. I enjoy cooking, cleaning and ironing. I really do. Hey, the afternoons I spend cooking and filling up my freezer with meals to eat when I am too busy to cook, I put my favourite music on and have a glass of wine. They are afternoons I look forward to. I enjoy housework much more than being being shouted at by angry patients. But everyone is different. Every couple is different. They can arrange between them who is best suited to looking after domestic tasks and earning money to cover household expenses. At the end of the day, they are a team.

Housework needs to be done. Better to enjoy it than begrudge it. I am aware of feminism. I am aware of sexism. I am aware of mosongony and harassment. I am aware of all sorts of mistreatment. I do realize others have suffered a lot. I have managed to avoid idiots and I am glad of it. But for many others…it has been a very hard life.

____________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #6

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

The Views And Voices Of Children

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Children should be seen and not heard

Girl, Child, Female, Talking, SingingWell, this adage seems very dated, doesn’t it! I am glad I did not grow up in that kind of environment. My parents encouraged us to engage in conversations with other adults and to express ourselves. I remember Dad prompting his customers to ask me questions, I would feel so shy about answering. But it was good for me.

However there was a balance. My parents also trained us to be polite, and to listen respectfully to others. They cultivated in us remarkable graciousness of speech, that has served me well in every job I have had. Many people have commented about the tact and diplomacy I employ with even the most absurd of characters. That’s all because my folks nurtured within me an inner security that comes with peace of mind and good heart,, and extraordinary empathy for those who seem to lack control of what comes out of their mouths.

litlsI have never had any of my own children. (I lost my little apricot of course at eleven weeks.) I admire my parents enormously for the way they trained us and the example they set.

Currently, there are a lot of little ones in our family, who so far seem delightful. I love that they have their own personalities. Recently I saw how they are individually developing beautiful qualities and using their own initiative to show kindness to others. They are flourishing, and I am sure that is due to their parents teaching them about the joy that comes with giving. Our whole family mindset is to praise and encourage kindness, sharing and giving. It’s lovely that that mentality is being passed to the younger generation and they are turning out to be so gorgeous!

narcAlthough I have never had children of my own, I have observed children. Some children seem shy and quiet. It can take great effort to encourage them to express themselves. Whereas other children walk around with such swagger, bossing their parents around, even calling their parents stupid.

Although I would not like to see any child being a nervous wreck, scared to speak up, neither is it healthy to see children who behave like mini-narcissists, trying to call all the shots and demanding attention from everyone. There is a balance. Children and adults should be allowed to speak up, but should also develop the ability to respectfully listen to others and accord them dignity.

scarAlthough, I have never been a parent, I have observed other parents. Some of whom have frankly terrified me, screaming abusively at their children in public, shaking them, making threats of what they would do once they reached home. I dread to imagine what might go on at home. Really scary stuff.

The way one woman handled her child upset me so much, I asked if her daughter might be willing to join our team of volunteers. She replied that her daughter was a very badly behaved girl, she called her daughter wicked. Well, that afternoon, while mother sat watching, the little girl worked with our team, helping visitors by fetching drinks and biscuits, cleaning up spills, handing out napkins, collecting rubbish. She was a delight. She loved being helpful and rushed round hugging everyone thanking us for letting her help the team.

A couple of us sat down and chatted with her mum about what was going on. Something was not right. We were careful because we did not know the full story of their family relationships, but the woman was amazed at how her daughter had thrived when being busy with a role that made her feel good about herself.

kisaA year later, I saw that same mother and daughter. The little girl was thrilled to see us. There was a tiny baby boy with them too. The mother told us more this time about the atmosphere at home. Since we last saw them, her husband had been sent to prison after an act of domestic violence. She looked like a different woman. Her little girl had been of great support. She took pride in washing dishes and helping out with all sorts of housework. Both of them looked so very different from the way they did a year before. They looked much happier and healthier.

Ultimately parents have the responsibility to teach their children. Schools may supply all sorts of information to children, but there is a whole host of training that schools will not provide. Before we ever started school, my parents were training us to engage in conversations with others, to think about questions and answer them in our own words, to express our feelings and to listen as others told us their views.

momesAs children we were seen by others and heard by others. We certainly did have our moments. I am sure at times, we must have tested our parents’ patience. However, overall I think they were delighted with the way we followed through on the training they had given us.

As children, we sometimes had a black and white view of the world. I remember every time we saw someone smoking, we would run up to them and start coughing wildly and pretending we were choking! My parents did not teach us that! I must admit, sometimes I still make a point of doing that as an adult! Naughty Caramel! Well, I still see smoking as the willful poisoning of one’s body.

Global Warming, Pollution, EnvironmentBut there were other areas in which we realized it was much harder to see black and white. We began to encounter the shades of right and wrong. Often children do feel passionately about subjects such as pollution, immigration, taxes and military conflicts.

If you ask most children (unless their parents have told them what to think instead of how to think) they would probably think radical and immediate changes to curb pollution are urgently needed, that the world should be one big happy family without borders and walls, that rich people should give up more of their money to help the poorer, and that human violence is wrong. And you know what, they are right.

We have seen children shout up and ask “Why is this happening?” Why are we spewing out carbon? Why are we burning up fossil fuels? Why is there so much non-recyclable packaging? Why are we telling people who are desperate that they cannot come and live and work here? Why are rich people growing richer and still, in this day and age, almost a billion people go to bed hungry every single day because they cannot scrape enough to make sure they and their families are well-nourished? Why are weapons of mass destruction in existence?

Hands, Man, Stage, Presentation, KeepSometimes adults criticise children who demand answers to these questions. Could it be that those adults who do so, no longer know how to think outside the box? Have they become boxed-in puppets of a global commercial system that always wants more, and wants to protect what it has and not share it with others? Is it possible that they cannot see a way to address important issues without having to give up some of their material comforts?

They bury their heads in the sand because the problems of pollution, immigration, economic extremes and threats to security are so huge, they don’t have real answers. Ask a child, the answers they come up with may surprise you! They may seem pretty black and white, pretty radical, but perhaps that’s because the truth is: this world needs a drastic clean sweep!

May our human family, adults and children alike, be seen and be heard and be sure they are valuable. May all enjoy life on earth. May all of us breathe in clean air and drink clean water. May all have a safe place to live and be able to obtain enough nutrition to keep us healthy. May we live without fear of violence and crime or diseases.

________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #5

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

Counting The Pennies

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

A fool and his money are soon parted

hosptMost people are interested in money to some extent. We all need some money. We need some money to afford shelter, food, clothing and perhaps medical costs etc. But people have widely different thoughts on how much money they need to cover the cost of those basic needs.

It is a good thing to have a little extra money so that you can show hospitality to others. That is a wonderful aspect of life. Generosity and hospitality are very desirable qualities and often help forge strong friendships with others. In addition to needs, people have wants, and for some their list of wants is a great deal longer than for others.

hwMy parents have taught me to cultivate qualities such as contentment, modesty, a simple lifestyle, recycling, repairing my belongings etc. That has helped me to live on a very small budget ever since I left home. I find it attractive in others when they live a modest lifestyle. I would recommend judicious use of material things and thoughtful care of one’s possessions.

However, all around us, we see people spending a lot of money on flashy, luxury items. If you could see the area I live in, well the houses, the cars, the pricey boutiques, the fine restaurants…people here seem to have a lot of spare cash! A big name in the music industry moved in to a house just round the corner. The papers said they spent over £15,000,000 on their new pad! Ay karumba! Apparently they have numerous properties all over the world, so they spent £15,000,000 on a spare house!

cousntWhat about the rest of us normal folk who have to check the price of things before we buy them? Well…many of us have had times when we have to watch the pennies carefully and times when we can be a bit more relaxed and have a bit of extra cash to enjoy.

There are three areas that I think can catch “a fool” out. They are:

  • advertising / peer pressure
  • credit / debt
  • get-quick rich schemes / gambling

Friends, colleagues or advertisers may bombard us with subtle or blatant claims that we need a certain product or even a whole way of life. Electronic devices, cars, kitchen cabinets, sportswear, holidays or all sorts of other items. Think of how many times you see or hear commercial adverts, or how many times someone tells you about something they have just spent their money on and recommends the same product to you.

yelwosEven television shows have great power. There was a television drama broadcast here in the UK within the last couple of years. The lead actress was seen in a bright yellow waterproof in the show. Sales of bright yellow waterproofs went through the roof here!

Celebrity endorsements are huge in advertising. Perhaps it is the fool who wants to wear a certain colour because their favourite pop star, sports player or actor is seen wearing it! (Sorry I am still laughing about all the celebrities running around in Sainsburys uniforms!)

codThen there are coffee shops as we know them today. The younger generation might not realize it, but before the television series “Friends”, we did not have coffee shops here in the UK. We had cafes. But after “Friends” became a hit show, Starbucks and all sorts of other coffee chains, with comfy seats and free wifi, sprang up on every high street.

Now, I am not complaining about coffee shops. But the influence from friends, advertisers and entertainment is enormous. A fool may try to keep up with the Jones, the Kardashians and every extra tweak Apple can think of. The fool might not realize that we all have to develop some resistance to the influences around us to spend, spend, spend!

American Express, Cards, CreditWhen I was in my late teens, I began to receive junk mail. Back then some companies would post a credit card out to me with a letter to say that if I wanted it, I just needed to start using the card. I had never asked for or applied for a credit card, they just sent it to me! I understand that financial companies have had to become more responsible in who they offer or extend credit to. Many people have ended up in serious trouble because they have taken on too much debt and have not been able to manage it.

One of my favourite and perhaps one of the wisest nuggets of advice on money ever penned is this one:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

– Wilkins Micawber (from Charles Dicken’s “David Copperfield“)

hasThis system loves to say “BUY NOW, PAY LATER”…when what they actually should say is, “BUY NOW, PAY MORE LATER”. Often that is what credit involves. Paying extra charges and interest. Your money will go further if you save and then spend, rather than spending and then having to pay extra in interest.

On the subject of debt. People might look as if they are doing well, but appearances can be deceptive. One of our neighbours was in the newspapers recently after being declared bankrupt. The media said our neighbour had £60,000,000 worth of debt and that banks had refused to extend any further credit.

pysaPyramid schemes, timeshares, get rich quick schemes – there have been so many scams! Often the fool falls for them because they get so excited about the idea of huge profits from a relatively small investment. Whereas, the wiser are aware that “IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT USUALLY IS!” What makes people fall for the bait? Could it be a touch of greed? It sometimes seems as if there are bloggers on WordPress who seem to think that blogging is a “get rich quick” scheme. Well, I can’t say anything on that subject, I have never made a penny from blogging.

That brings me to gambling. What is it that attracts people to the notion of suddenly possessing a fortune without having to do any work for it? Could that involve some greed too?

saveMoney is a necessary tool. It is satisfying to go out and work with our own mental or physical abilities and to earn a fair wage. We know that we put time and effort in to earn that money. So we ought to use it wisely. After we have covered our basic needs, we should think about how we can use spare money to show hospitality to others and forge strong friendships. After that, we may find we have wants that will help us to enjoy life.

But don’t be a fool! Let money remain a tool. Do not become a slave to advertising, a slave to debt, or a slave to greed! Be wise! Be practical! Be content and be modest! Love life, love nature and love people. Don’t let money get in the way! The very best things in life are not those that can be bought with money.

_________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #4

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

The Fixers And The Fixated

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

bnaSo…first I am going to say this…if it is broken, fix it carefully. I am thinking of broken bones, broken hearts, broken bonds. They need to be realigned properly, otherwise more damage can be done.

My thoughts when I learnt this was today’s adage drifted back to a time when I suffered, and my colleagues suffered, because we had a new supervisor who seemed fixated with overhauling every aspect of our department! The memory of that stressful period is still something I hate to think about. It was one of the most miserable times in all the years I have worked. I wrote about it in this post: On My Way To Burnout.

Boy oh boy, have you ever faced a new manager or new supervisor who rushes in like a bull in a china shop with his (or her) own ideas about the way everything should be done and upsets everyone? Nightmare! I have a fear of newly promoted peeps. They seem to want glory for revolutionising the system. Is it due to some insane perfectionist tendency that people go about tearing down what others have faithfully done, and declaring some mega masterplan?

Aircraft, Double Decker, OldtimerI am not ignorant of the risks that come with parochialism.  I do believe everyone should be willing to make adjustments to the way they work (or in other areas) that would have better results. However, a pedantic tyrant, fixated with achieving their goal, is scary! They seem to lack appreciation for the hard work and loyalty that others have consistently displayed. I’ve seen some ugly situations develop, where those in authority had the attitude of “if you don’t like the changes I’m bringing in, then leave”! Trying to force through lots of changes all at the same time is like trying to disassemble and rebuild an aeroplane while it is in mid-flight. It is frankly terrifying!

But…I have a very long week of work ahead, and I am going to distract myself from work for a moment. My other thought on this adage is relationships. One of the factors that I believe can cause challenges in relationships is EXPECTATIONS! Am I right?

us2I know I have done it myself. My beloved and I might be getting on swimmingly, and then some random thought pops into my head that somehow we are not where we should be on the relationship scale. I become fixated with the fine details. I try to complicate matters, discuss terms and agreements, and I even use the C-word (that’s “commitment”, in case you were wondering!)

Sometimes it hasn’t been appropriate. I am sure I frightened the life out of Goldfinch by using the L-word (that’s “love”, in case you were wondering) within the first month of meeting him. In all honesty, I would have been happy to discuss marriage and possible babies right from the word go. Although there is a strong romantic streak in me, I have a business head when it comes to relationships. I think they should be contracted in writing from word go and have regular reviews and appraisals. (Ok…maybe not!)

I guess there is a balance. I don’t want to display an insane perfectionist tendency that demands conformity to some elevated ideal. I am old enough now that I am not going to allow a man to take me for granted. Nor would I put up with the slightest abuse. But I have to accept that my expectations may differ from his.

crackers1I have had to remind myself that my beloved might just want to take things at a more leisurely, less formal pace, and not feel pushed to make any pledges or promises before he is inclined. I have had to adjust my thinking and accept that I should make the most of what I have and look after it. I shouldn’t perceive ways in which a relationship that is absolutely delightful needs “fixing”.

In fact one of the adages a very sage aunt taught me has helped me in many relationships. Perhaps it’s one that Fandango himself might soon feature. The adage that has helped me to accept and enjoy what I have is:

EXPECT NOTHING, APPRECIATE EVERYTHING!

There is a song from John Anderson, called “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”…but I have chosen a song that helps me think of how I came to view the relationship I had with Goldfinch. I think he got to know me and understood my loopy way of thinking at times. That’s probably why he went back to Australia!

_______________________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS:

Fandango’s February Expressions #3

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

Only Fools Rush In

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Barefoot, Rocks, Careful, Feet, LegsI read a little on the origin of this expression and it’s intended meaning on Wikipedia. It is ascribed to as coming from Alexander Pope back at the start of the eighteenth century. I guess the driving force behind is that the inexperienced often rush into situations that those who are wiser and more experienced are cautious over. Often the result would be harmful.

I have another post in my drafts folder, which was my original response to seeing Fandango’s adage today. In that other post, I extol the wisdom of exercising prudence and caution. Holding back to allow time to reveal a more rounded out picture, rather than diving in to a situation before we understand it.

However…I have been working on some posts for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog Music Festival, and I came across one that reminded me that I hastily rushed into a relationship with Goldfinch and ended up with more happiness and wonderful than I could ever have anticipated.

Now I preface this by pointing out that there are a lot of scary people out there. So although, generally I will agree, it is better to take your time like a wise person, rather than rushing like a fool…I confess that I have no regrets about my foolishness when it came to Goldfinch! I did not hesitate for a moment when I met him! I rushed into his arms and found something very precious there.

That other post of mine, it is an excellent post, full of logic and wisdom. But the memory of staying over in Goldfinch’s man-cave for the first time, laying in his arms while he played this song, has made me change my mind completely.

After the night I was attacked, I was scared of everything for a while. But meeting Goldfinch became a turning point for me. I abandoned fear and caution. I rushed towards the happiness. He did not let me down. I know it could have turned out very differently, but I am relieved to say, Goldfinch ended up the best of all my impulsive foolish decisions!

My only regret…he happens to be from the opposite side of the planet. Still…I am glad I did not waste a moment!

_______________________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS

Fandango’s February Expressions #2

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7

All’s Well That Ends Well To End Up With You

Fandango has given us an assignment:

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, will be to post a story, a poem, an image, an interpretation of what the expression means to you, or to do whatever it is that you want to do based upon the daily adage. Today’s adage is:

All’s well that ends well

wellsWell…at first I was not sure what to do with today’s adage. I have been out all day and I am not feeling very creative this evening. I just want to crawl to bed and rest my painful head. Major headache raging all day!

However…I want to waffle for a little bit about what I think this adage means to me. I guess when I hear this expression, or use it, I define it as being willing to put up with a lot so long as the end result is good.

In fact, along the journey there can be bumps and scrapes and hardships. But when you reach the wonderful destination you have been journeying towards, well, the memory of the difficulties seem to melt away.

wellI have felt that way with Jack in recent months. It’s been a very rocky ride, there was a lot of pain and sadness along the way. However now…what a complete reverse in our situation! All the trouble seems to have faded into insignificance. All that matters now is the wonderful ending.

Do I think that everything that happened along the way was necessary to get us to where we are today? Nope! But nonetheless, now that we have reached an ending that we both longed for and worried might never happen, the challenges we faced are less provoking. We are at peace with what happened along the awful journey to get here.

One of the lines I picked up on in a popular song from last year, was “all’s well that ends well to end up with you“. It really struck a chord with me. I never imagined that things would work out so wonderfully well. I don’t mind too much what happens in the future. A weight has been lifted from my heart. Despite the hardships, it has all ended up well!

_____________________

This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS

Fandango’s February Expressions #1

6785E27C-5A43-43F6-8667-122B84D057D7