Monthly Archives: January 2018

Music and memories

Driving back to Yorkshire today and singing along to music made me have a think about this very blog post. Partly prompted by listening to Ariana Grande which always makes me think of Manchester and makes me sad. Music has always meant a lot to me. Perhaps more than I was aware of until today.

Music isn’t just about music, it is tied to memories. Some sad but most happy.

Michael Bolton reminds me of my husband. Our first dance was “When A Man Loves A Woman”.

“Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations was a song that became my theme song at university. Made all the better singing in a taxi on the way home.

Michael Jackson “You Rocked My World” and Alicia Keys “Falling” is tied to my flatmate at university who lived opposite.

“One and Only” by Chesney Hawkes – theme tune during college time. For the first year at university I would be woken up by friends calling my voicemail and on answering would hear the lovely tones of Chesney, with the slightly less tuneful tones of my friends screaming down the phone.

“Call me Al” by Paul Simon – reminds me of a very lovely and special friend who would laugh hysterically at my attempt at the “do do do do” in tune.

“Just the way I’m feeling” Feeder -reminds me of the times spent during university at the campus pub, desperately trying to avoid doing any form of work with one of my friends.

“Jump Around” House of Pain – reminds me of countless fun nights out with another friend.

“Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Ritchie – reminds me of a last night out with a friend before she headed off to the Big Smoke.

There are sad times too. “As long as you love me” by Backstreet Boys reminds me of a friend’s funeral on my 16th birthday.

There are countless more songs and memories. Many more to make.

Feeling blue on a Monday?

Thanks firstly to @Ms_Wire for suggesting this topic due to my need to write but not knowing what to write about!

Yesterday was Blue Monday, also known as ‘The Most Depressing Day of the Year’. According to a tabloid newspaper I wouldn’t want to promote intentionally but which seemed to have the best summary “It is calculated using a series of factors in a (not particularly scientific) mathematical formula. The factors are: the weather, debt level (specifically, the difference between debt and our ability to pay), the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation”.

Blue Monday causes me to have mixed feelings. On a positive note, I believe it is important to raise awareness of mental health and an attempt to cause people to think and be more conscious of people who do have issues with mental health.

However on the other hand, does allocating a day to be the most depressing day send a message that it’s okay to be depressed on that one day but not any other day of the year? What happens if a person with depression actually feels pretty okay on Blue Monday but then Tuesday is their Blue Tuesday? Will the day make them feel even more alone?

Amplification of a topic as massive and important as mental health is good. Bringing people together and making them feel not alone is not good. Naming a day and identifying a day when it is okay to be depressed on that one particular day? I’m not sure.

I remember going to an event where someone said to the group ‘why do we call homeless people homeless? We identify the one thing that they don’t have and attach it to them’? Why do we attach Blue Monday to people with depression?

If people take away from Blue Monday experiences and thoughts from people with mental health issues which help to educate and raise awareness….then I think it is positive. If people think about Blue Monday for one day a year and then assume that people don’t have good days/not so good days…then I think Blue Monday may well be a day that I’ll choose to forget.

To be honest I didn’t take much notice of Blue Monday other than some social media posts. I did like the fact Samaritans hijacked it slightly and turned it into Brew Monday. I think everyday could be Brew Monday. Except for me because I don’t drink tea. Or coffee. Can you brew hot chocolate?

Post January musings

So, we are already halfway through January. Time seems to fly by so quickly recently and it emphasises the need to truly embrace decisions and changes however difficult that is to do.

For me January meant a change of job. New career, new people, new location. I’m still in training mode at the moment so things may change but I have some initial thoughts.

Normally, I would describe myself as pretty outgoing, someone who talks to anybody. However in a job with new people, it does take me a bit of time to work out my place in the team. By that, I don’t mean whereabouts I am in the management hierarchy. Instead I mean identifying at what point can I be myself. Sometimes it takes longer to gel with some people than others. I have quite a sarcastic (or dry!) sense of humour which some can take the wrong way. I felt very strange during the first few days of my new job, a bit out of place and desperately missing my old work colleagues who I had developed friendships with over the past five years.

Roll on 2 weeks and I still miss my old work friends. I’m still determined to keep in touch but I’ve realised something. I want to stay in touch not because they were my work friends. I want to stay in touch because I like them. They made me laugh. They hugged me when I cried (or made me laugh to stop me crying). I could be myself with them.

There are a few new work people already where I can see friendships forming. We all seem to be quite chilled out and friendly and I’m eager to see where my new job takes me both personally and professionally. But I know I’ll have a base of people I’ve collected over the years who will be there for me no matter what. I can add to that base hopefully.