Thursday, 30 June 2016

Shoes - Word of the Week!

Lots of things have happened this week but the strangest thing has to be Star's shoe.
The kids didn't go to school on Monday as it was an inset day. On Tuesday morning we couldn't find one Star's shoes. To prevent them from being too late for school we had to send her in her trainers. She has about 4 pairs of black shoes but there was something wrong with every pair, too tight, strap broken, heel too worn on one side (it's the way she walks.)
We spent the whole day looking for her other shoe, including going through the bins. When they came home from school on Friday last week, the last time both shoes were seen, we were in the middle of cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs and threw away a big bag of unused shoes. So we thought maybe her shoe had got mixed up in those, but no, it was a waste of time.

When we hadn't found the shoe by the time they came home from school I decided to buy her a new pair. We have continued looking for her shoe, but it hasn't shown up...very strange!

By the way, here are her new shoes, just 3 days old and she's managed to scuff them badly!


I know they were only cheap shoes, but aaarrrggh!

Anyway, apart from the shoe incident we have had quite an exciting week.

 Star spent the day at her new secondary school and she loved it. She will also spend 3 days there in the summer holidays so the transition in September should be fairly easy. She had a free school meal in the canteen and she said she loved it and there was loads to choose from...at last, no more sandwiches!

Then we had Eldest Daughter's birthday. We all went out to a nice restaurant for a meal. We had a lovely time and filled our tummies with some lovely food like this....


Today the kids are having a pirates and aliens day at school and have had to dress up. Star and the Little Man usually refuse to dress up for anything but today they have. I can't wait to see them do their special assembly later.


The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Rejection.


"I sat in my room feeling lost and lonely and a million miles from home. In fact I was only two hours away from home and my family had only been gone for half an hour after dropping me off, but I hadn't been alone like this before. I wished I had a friend to meet up with to share this experience, I wished there was someone there that I knew already. I consoled myself by thinking that I wouldn't be the only one feeling so lonely and I'd soon make friends. I had two hours until the Introductory Meeting, what was I going to do with myself until then?  

Then I noticed voices coming from next door which was the communal kitchen area. Suddenly I fancied a nice cup of tea, what a better way of making friends that joining them in the kitchen for a cuppa and a chat. I started to shake I was so nervous, how could I walk into a room of strangers and speak to them, it just wasn't something that I was used to doing. 

So I sat there with my mug in my hand arguing with myself. "Did I want to spend this week all alone not speaking to anyone?" Eventually I plucked up the courage to go and make a drink and hopefully some new friends. The muffled voices from next door sounded cheerful and friendly, this was not going to be as bad as I imagined. I could do this.

 I clutched my mug, painted on a smile and breezed into the kitchen. I don't remember exactly what I said but I knew it had been friendly and I said it from my heart. I was met with barely a couple of glances as the group of women carried on chatting, ignoring me. I stood there for a while then walked over to the kettle where another woman was already making a drink. She offered me one of her tea bags and we made tea together in silence while the others carried on their happy conversations. I went back to my room, feeling so rejected and even more alone and drank my tea blocking out the chatter from next door.

 Later, when I emerged from my room to go to the meeting I was met in the corridor by the other lonely tea lady.  "Shall we walk across together?" She asked."


This was more than twenty years ago, but as you can see the story is ingrained in my mind. It wasn't the first time I experienced rejection and it certainly wasn't the last but it was something that shaped me and taught me to fear rejection.

More recently I was at a large convention, again alone. I looked around and saw a table of ladies that I recognised. I didn't know them well, but I'd seen and spoken to them before. I was sure they wouldn't mind me sitting with them. They barely spoke to me, I was not included in their conversation despite my trying. At one point the woman sitting next to me actually turned her chair so she had her back to me. Ok, she was having quite an intense conversation with the woman next to her, but still I felt that rejection sharply.

My instinct now is to avoid rejection and just convince myself that I'm ok to be alone. In fact I probably ooze that 'don't talk to me, I'm not interested' type of non-charisma. In my head I'm telling myself over and over it's better this way and I don't care that other people either ignore me, or feel sorry for me but don't want to approach me. My confidence has taken a bashing and I'm filled with a false sense of security. This is much better than rejection, right?

No, it's not right. It's never too late to change, from now on I will not take any form of rejection personally, I will not allow it to stop me from talking to people, from trying to make a connection. I really wish I'd learnt this sooner, by now I might have been totally over this hang up. I guess you do get wiser as you get older. I certainly don't want to be stuck in my old ways. I know I'll never be popular, or ooze real charisma, that's just not me. But I can take the bullet and not be scared of rejection. It won't be my loss!

Everyone needs to feel loved and accepted, that 's why rejection feels so harsh, but if you fear the rejection then it will stop you from finding out how different things could be if you were accepted. I don't have many friends, the ones I do have are the ones that have made the effort to be friends with me. I've never actually initiated friendship myself. I consider myself to be a kind and friendly person, but it's that initial step that I find difficult.

There are two important lessons here I need to learn (And anyone else needs to learn if they too fear rejection.)

  • Don't take rejection personally, it's not necessarily your fault
  • Learn how to handle rejection effectively so it doesn't create such a negative impact on your life.




Tuesday, 28 June 2016

What's in your box this week?

Welcome to this weeks linky where you can link up your box posts each week and we can all have a nosey at what you've got ;) Of course there are some boxes that are best not shared as Sarah was telling me on twitter about her parcel!
A much cuter box was received by another Sarah from Life in a Breakdown. You really can't beat a box of gifts put together to make you smile and the Little Box of Happy from Alice in Shabbyland doesn't fail to provide. Thanks for linking up Sarah.

This week has been a little manic so I've not researched enough boxes for you to try out this week, but I'm sure I'll be back on form soon and I have some more reviews to share with you too.





I've decided to set up this linky so that subscription box lovers can link up and find out what everyone else is getting.

It might give you some ideas of the best ones to sign up too!

In the future I hope to feature some of the best posts that have linked up, so please do join in. I'll also tweet your posts and share them on my Facebook page. I'll also comment on all submissions.


Now for the Rules, don't worry they are easy.


  • link up your subscription box post or video, it can be any kind of box
  • take a look and comment on a couple of other posts in the linky, it's only fair and you may find something exciting to subscribe to.
  • include my badge so that others may find the linky and join in.
There you have it, simple!

I'll put the linky up every Tuesday and you can add to it until he following Monday. Do tell your friends, this is a new linky and we'd love everyone to join in.

I really can't wait to see what you've had in your boxes!

Here's my badge, the copy code is underneath.



blogbadge photo badge_zpsf0b88074.jpg





Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Single Story





The single story is when only one story is known about a person or place and because of that one story everyone is judged by it. It's a stereotype, a critical misunderstanding, an incomplete picture.

We can all be guilty of believing the single story. It's something that's often portrayed in the media and when we hear the same thing over and over then we believe it to be real. 

Take those on benefits for instance. The media makes them out to be lazy, never looking for work, just taking the money and smoking or drinking it away, or spending it on scratch cards in the hope they can get more money for doing nothing. This is how they are seen in TV documentaries and dramas or in newspapers or magazines. People believe this, people stereotype all benefit claimants as lazy scroungers. The truth is, benefit claimers come in all forms. Yes, there may be some lazy ones that have never done a days work, there are also pensioners who have worked all their lives and have to rely on a state pension to survive after retirement. There are also the families where Dad may work 40 hours per week and still not earn enough to pay the rent and put food on the table so he gets benefits to top up his wages. There are also disabled people who are too sick to work, or find it difficult to find a job that they are physically able to do. There are also single mums who's partners have run off and left them to look after their child alone, they can only work part time because they can't afford childcare and need a top up of benefits just to survive. Basically, there are many stories, not just a single one, but why are people so ready to believe just one? Should we not stop judging all by one story and just imagine what other stories there may be?

Stories are important, we all have our own stories to tell, we all have different lives, one story does not fit all. We need to share our stories and add diversity to the mix. Let people know that we are not all the same, we are not stereotypes. 

As a parent of autistic children I've seen first hand how people judge. They may know that my child is autistic and then comment on why she doesn't flap her arms, isn't that what autistic children do? No, that's just one story, my daughter doesn't flap but she's still autistic. My son was once reprimanded in the street because he touched someone's car that had parked on the pavement. I was told to keep him away. That man thought my son was trying to damage his car because it had been scratched before by some wayward teenager. That was one story, my son's story was different, he is autistic, he has to touch cars if they are on the pavement, it's something he does, he can't help it. He gets very stressed if he doesn't, he has never damaged a car in his life.

Always look deeper, it's too easy to judge people when you only know a small part of their story. Don't assume, don't stereotype, just think about why a person is like that, why they do the things they do. There is always another story that may not be as obvious. Read between the lines. Don't assume that because some media has made you believe one story that that is the only story. It very rarely is, there is always more to find out. 

The single story can be about a single person or an entire city, or even a nation. The stories come to us in newspapers, tv programs and novels. To get a full picture you need to read many stories, not just one. 

My post today was inspired by a TED talk by Chimamanda Adichies who talks about the dangers of the single story. It's an incredibly enlightening talk by a charming lady. If you have time do take a look.





I am fast becoming an addict of TED talks, you can find talks on all kinds of subjects that are enlightening, empowering, motivating, inspiring and educational. It's a fantastic resource.
Do let me know if you have already used TED talks or if you decide to do so.



This post contains links but I have not been paid for this post or asked to write about TED talks.


My Sunday Photo - 26 June 2016



Sometimes you don't need an explanation. Sometimes just  a photo will do.
This is a sunset I took on my phone, no filters, no editing. Just the end to a lovely day.


Photalife

Sunday Snap
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