Monday, 8 February 2021

be my Valentine...

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I started pondering... see, the thing is, I’m 46 years old and I think I have actually “celebrated” the day with a paramour only 3 times in my life. With my first ever boyfriend, when I was 16. He was adorable, he was in love with me but I was long before in love with another boy... so, it only lasted a couple of weeks, I broke his heart because I did not want to pretend, he deserved better. Then, when I was at uni, with my then boyfriend who surprised me with a single red rose he brought me saying “I know we are not a conventional couple but let me be conventional just for tonight”... endearing... he broke my heart as it turned out... And then, if I’m not mistaken, only once really in almost 11 years with my ex partner when he surprised me with a bouquet of red roses... he hated the day, like most holidays, he hated giving any gift that was only meant for the other person and he would not enjoy it too... I loved him and endured... stupidly... and I don’t miss that at all!

So, yeah, I don’t know how I feel about the whole thing... let’s see... yes, every holiday is “manufactured” and “serves commercial purposes” (as if everything else doesn’t) and yes, “if you are in love you should show it everyday not once a year” and blah blah blah... but honestly, I see nothing wrong in getting a card (preferably a funny one...) for the one you love or a bunch of flowers... c’mon... it’s just a gesture, it’s sweet, you don’t need to splurge, as is the case with any occasion, it’s the thought that counts! Make your special one feel special, show them you care... nothing wrong with that! Or just take the opportunity to tell the one you like that you like them! It’s ok! We are never too old for that! A couple of years ago, I got a ❤️ texted to me on Valentine’s Day and it put a smile on my face for the whole day! Ok, later it turned out I was not special at all and the guy had sent it to everyone he knew... that kinda hurt... retroactively... but still, I think that to let someone you like know you like them on 14.02 is not a lame move, it’s cute! And we don’t have nearly enough cute things in our lives! I’m all for cute! It keeps us young! 

Yeah... so, is Valentine’s Day “better than shoes”?... mmmm... can be. Not as such, but it can be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong if you get no card, no flowers, nobody tells you they like you or you have nobody to kiss on February 14th. It’s all ok! Really! It says nothing of your real worth and it certainly is no reason to be depressed and/or go nuts about it on social media! Girl, please! I mean, it’s only a day... it can be special but if it’s not, it only lasts 24 hours like any other day and then it’s over... I guess, in the end, that’s the thing: it’s a day that can be special so you should hold on to it for as long as you like but if it’s not, just let it go and move on... Simple, no? Phewwww! I guess it’s clear to me now!

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

two minutes of bliss...

Right... as it happens, I’m up in the middle of the night because of my stupid sciatica! Or should I say my stupid age... although technically my age is not stupid, it’s just old! Ok, old-er, I’m certainly not a WWII veteran... not even a Vietnam veteran! Anyhoo, so, my lower back hurts, my leg hurts and I’m up having a tea at this ungodly hour, Luci on the other side of the table is quietly digesting his “breakfast” and I’m thinking that I need to focus on something good! Pronto! 

Did not take long to spot it... Good things to focus on are always available, either literally in front of us or in our memory palace, but the bad things have this silly effect on us, they blur our vision and we can’t look anywhere else... it takes a bit of training to be able to focus on the good while the bad is happening but, hey, if I can do it, anyone can! I’m not special! 

So, here’s what I focused on: Yesterday, after I finished my work, I had lunch (or whatever you call it at 4pm...) and a cup of tea and then I curled up on the sofa under my blanket, ready for a well deserved nap. I had just paused “Modern Family” and dozed off when I heard a sweet meow, in sotto voce really, and the next moment Lucifer jumped on the sofa next to me. He licked my nose and made himself comfortable, laying down by my side while his little head rested on my pillow next to mine and his aquamarine blue eyes looked at me half closed... he put his paw on my cheek and fell asleep. I was... in heaven! The sweetness of the moment was almost unbearable, the beauty of this little creature expressing his love and trust in me, his surrender next to me and his...  mirroring me (laying on the sofa like me with his head on the pillow like me...) was just so heartwarming I got misty eyed... ehhh... sometimes I’m such an emotional blob!

Of course... it only lasted two minutes. Luci is exactly like me, cuddles are awesome but not when we go to sleep. Then, we both need our space to breath, to move. Holding hands to the limit, but that’s it, neither of us likes to be smothered. With another meow, slightly irritated this time, he jumped out of the sofa and on to the ottoman, which he’s declared his property, to continue his sleep unimpeded. Oh well, it was “better than shoes” while it lasted... and, no kidding, thinking about now, it has even made my sciatica calm down! Well, what do you know! I may even go back to sleep! Hurray! 

Monday, 25 January 2021

keeping it simple...

I was watching a series. Yeah, yeah, no surprises there... nowadays, except for my long walks, my whole life basically happens within the limits of my home and a big part of it on the sofa in front of the TV... lockdown is in effect with a curfew even... but ok, my life was not much different before, I always loved getting lost in the stories told by films and series and living imaginary lives! It relaxes me more than a book (most of my work is reading and usually it’s the last thing I want to do in my free time... unless I’m on holidays, then I devour books!).

Anyway, I was watching this series where the following happened: man met woman, a few witty interactions took place, a few warm smiles were exchanged and then the man asked the woman to go out to dinner, saying “I like you. You are a beautiful woman and I would love to get to know you.” Just like that. No muss, no fuss. Simple. And honest. What we see in someone, their appearance, is what attracts us initially and when it is accompanied by some witty comments and a good smile, that’s usually what it takes to like someone enough to want to get to know them. Evidently, it may or may not develop to something more but the beginning does not need to be more complicated than that! I thought it was an irresistible line and if I were approached this way by someone, I would certainly give it go!

Surely, such an approach can, and should, be followed by a woman too! No reason why not! I can see my self saying something like that. Maybe not 10-15 years ago but certainly today! The point is not who says it. The point is that it is said, when it is felt, simply, honestly, without any games and hidden agendas and manipulation techniques. No. “I like you. I would like to get to know you. And see where that takes us”. I think, when it comes to personal relationships, things should be kept simple. After all, what more is a “relationship“ than two people, going towards the same direction and deciding to walk together, hand in hand, because the journey will be much more pleasant in good company! When it’s in its first stages, you just want to know which way the other person is going and that’s why you want to get to know them. And who knows what happens afterwards. But, yeah, keeping it simple like that in the beginning I think is incredibly attractive, for sure “better than shoes”!

Ps. The series may or may not have been “The Mentalist” and the line may or may not have been delivered by Pedro Pascal... comments making fun of me and my celebrity crushes will not be sensored 😉 

Sunday, 17 January 2021

be a giver, not a taker

I heard this somewhere, recently, I don’t remember where... I’ve reached an age that my brain is very selective with the information it retains and lots of it always has to do with shoes so, the rest is limited.

It got me thinking... yes, of course... be a giver, not a taker! Ok, we are all givers and takers at some point, I guess, but what it means is, be a person who enjoys offering to their fellow human being, offering support, assistance, love, care, compassion, advise and even material help, instead of being someone who just sticks around people, like a vulture, to take whatever they have to give (even when it’s not for giving it away... you know... things can be taken by force...). What it means is, learn to share, be generous, not stingy... with stuff, but most importantly with emotions, with gestures... 

For starters, when you enjoy giving more than you enjoy taking, you depend only on yourself for your joy! You can feel it every time you give without having to wait, like a taker has, until someone comes around to take from! Takers need givers, I would think, whereas givers don’t need anyone! If nobody’s around, you can give to yourself! That’s right! You can say a good word and smile to yourself looking in a mirror! You are self sufficient, not a parasite... nobody likes parasites, only parasites themselves and even that’s debatable. So, points for independence! 

Also, when you enjoy giving you can feel joy more often because, in the world we live in, there are so many people who actually need help and reaching out to give to them will always keep your heart filled with the warm, fuzzy feeling of happiness! Plus, you know what they say... “when you can’t take it anymore, start giving!”. Yeah... One of the few things that are guaranteed in life, is that there will be moments when you feel you can’t take it anymore... that you have become the punching bag of the universe and life itself sucks and nothing is good... in those moments, when you are at your lowest, choose to help someone else in need... I can promise you, it will feel like opening a window and letting the light come back in your dark room! And when you feel depleted, like you have nothing else to give, precisely because you are the person you are, you will recharge your batteries easily, you are indeed the one to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and rise again with a smile on your face!

So, yes...  be a giver, not a taker, it’s “better than shoes”. But... make sure you know your limits. Because takers have none at all...

Ps. I hope the above makes sense... I’m writing it at 5 in the morning... Luci got hungry really early today and I’ve been watching “The Mentalist” until very late last night while he was sleeping next to me... 🥴

Saturday, 9 January 2021

a good day!

Yesterday, I had a good day! No, seriously, it is possible even during a lockdown due to a global pandemic, to have a good day! Kid you not!

We woke up around 5:15, as per our habit, Luci and I. We walked side by side down the corridor to the kitchen/living/dining room, an image that always makes me think of the Mandalorian walking next to Baby Yoda, and we had our breakfast: canned chicken breast in broth for Luci, half a brownie and an earl grey tea for me. Then, I went back to bed and my little furry guardian angel followed me a while later for our “morning love”... it’s when he lies next to me in bed and I caress him and kiss his head and he purrs happily and then he caresses me (yes, he actually caresses me with his paw!) and licks my nose until we both go back to sleep! Ahhhh... best part of my day!

Then, when I woke up (again) around 10am, as it was the last day of my, admittedly prolonged, end-of-the-year holiday, I decided to go for a walk. The sun had began to shine, it looked cold but I never mind that and the app reassured me it was not going to rain. So, I did. It was a lovely long walk! It cleared my head, as always, and allowed me to get lost in my happy thoughts, breathing the fresh air and giving my body a chance to stretch and move... perfect! I ended my walk making a detour and passing by the organic products’ supermarket to get some coriander hummus and baba ganoush and headed home, exhausted but full of joy!

Took a shower and had my lunch, next to Luci having his, enjoying a big bowl of shiitake and oyster mushroom soup, cooked with lots of thyme and served with a drizzle of truffle oil. Mmmm, delicious! And then I had a cup of ginger, lemon and honey tea and took my afternoon nap on the sofa, while watching “The Mentalist”, that I decided to watch again from the beginning because I had stopped it years ago and I wanted to see it through. Good series. It was Luci who woke me up about an hour later, jumping on the sofa next to me and meowing cheekily, asking for some more petting... I obliged of course! And the rest of the afternoon and evening passed in the same relaxed mode, watching quizzes on the BBC, browsing the web for new shoes, sipping more tea, texting with my friends.

A good day? Absolutely! Was it “better than shoes”? Yes! I decide, don’t I? Times are hard, my friends, life is complicated, weird s**t that we could never imaging are happening, so, yes, under the circumstances, a good day is better than shoes and may we all have many of those this year! 

Monday, 4 January 2021

it’s the simple things...

I got peckish... I had my famously delicious broccoli soup for lunch (no, not bragging... stating facts...) and I also had a big piece of amazing vasilópita (traditional New Year’s Day cake) made by my darling S and brought over for our New Year’s Day lunch (yes... a food orgy took place...) with my tea around 5 o’clock but... it’s after 11pm and although I was already in bed, I got up to make myself a cup of hot chocolate, spiked of course with a bit of Kahlua... Luci got very interested in this night venture, surprised to see me in the kitchen at this hour. And as I left with my cup of hot delight at hand, he followed me to the bedroom.

Soooo... here I am, organic hot chocolate made with lactose-free milk at hand (I choose organic and I’m lactose intolerant... there... I share everything with you), laying in bed, watching “Friends” on Netflix as per my habit while Monica and Chandler are getting married, all warm and cosy and comfy, with a fluffy white(ish) British shorthair kitten by my side who’s purring blissfully as I’m caressing his little head! I mean, it’s just perfect! He turns and looks at me with those huge eyes, normally silvery blue but almost black now in the dark, full of love and gratitude (ok, the gratitude bit may have something to do with half a tin of chicken meat I fed him a while ago) and I’m thinking “this is happiness”!

No, seriously, could this moment be any better? I don’t know... maybe... I guess if Luci was curled between Pedro Pascal and me and both were looking at me lovingly... (yeah... I have a crush on him and watching 16 episodes of “the Mandalorian” only to see his face three times did not sit well with me... just sayin’...) but... really... what I just lived cannot be improved too much... and I don’t even care about how it could be improved because, as it was, it was better than shoes! I have learnt in my life never to resent what I have for what I could be having... never suffered from fomo... and that is by choice. So, instead of thinking about how my moment could be improved, I choose to let my heart be filled with joy about what it was! 

Lucifer is now fast asleep on the nightstand, looking like a little angel... and I’m smiling from ear to ear while I’m writing this...