That’s Right!


New-Job-Financial-Checklist

I may have been missing the freedom I had working for myself in Madrid, but now I feel a sense of relief wash over me at least.

Yes, I have a new job!

Even though I currently work from home, the majority of the time, I didn’t feel clinical research and policy was really adding the sugar to my spice! Plus of course regardless whether I am working from home, I still had to deal with ‘The Fools’.

Now though I merely smile and think I’ll be gone soon! All because I’ve been offered a job I just couldn’t refuse, which now enables me to say adios to ‘The Fools’; hoping I don’t encounter more fools in my new destination. Yes, I get to move onwards and upwards once more!!

“I’m so happy…..come along if you feel happiness is for you……I’m so happy!”

 

 

A Little Bit Tipsy, OK Then, I’m Drunk!


It is pretty early in the day to be drunk (I was this way from about 16:00), but that’s what happens in Madrid when you a meet a friend you haven’t seen for four months for lunch!

So, to continue and prolong my drunken haze and celebration, basically, I feel happy regardless of what tomorrow brings 🙂 Here is a lovely video to ensure you all have a rocking good time along with me!

Mötley CrĂŒe, gotta love ’em!

Quick Stop


This is going to be a quick post, as I’m using my iPad, and it tends to get a little crazy whenever I need to make edits!

I just wanted to stop by my blog, catch up and let everyone know I’m still here, well, not in Madrid, but in the UK.

Yes, I have returned to the UK so I can  do some volunteer work with a political party!!

This isn’t my first stint with a political party. Many moons ago I did something similar, and being given another opportunity to get involved with this type of work once again has made me happy!

If you didn’t know…………….I LOVE politics.

So, if I am a little quiet and don’t get to peruse WordPress as much I would usually, you’ll understand why.

I hope you lot out there are well and being as productive as always?!

Hasta luego and muchos besos!

 

A New Year, A New Rant


How was New Years Eve?? Did you have fun and celebrate in style?? Then, when the clock struck 12:00 you beat yourself up for allowing you, and your life, to be such a failure during the past year?? Did you then vow to stick to your new year resolutions, the resolutions that would ensure that in 2014 you become a better person???

Oh dear.

I know New Years Eve can be a strange time. It can often spark melancholy, regret, reflecting on all kinds of good and bad experiences and emotions. We all reconsider what the past year brought us, and how we lived our lives. Can this reflection help us in the new year to come though??? Can regret ever be healthy?

I am not going to tell you to make resolutions or not make them. I’m not going say that 2014 will be your year, that you have the power to transform and achieve. Personally I don’t get all that. I see all of that as negative life assassination, and unnecessary pressure. It is assuming that with the new year we will suddenly all transform and morph into wonder women or men. In 2014 we will definitely be destined to become another person, a wonderful person, in fact a person you were probably never actually meant to be.

Resolutions are very like false promises.

Why is it we always allow ourselves to perceive that the previous year was a failure, a let down, we didn’t perform and weren’t good enough? Isn’t that really what the notion of resolutions allude to – we are all failures, and therefore are required to modify and rectify that at all cost? Why can’t we just be us, and not need to change a thing?

Isn’t the notion of changing, of morphing, of transforming just a little bit delusional?? Just because it is a new year doesn’t mean anything has fundamentally changed. We are still, by virtue of our genetics, who we were upon birth; we haven’t grown extra limbs or suddenly become impervious to disease. We can’t shrug off the past; we all have our individual life experiences, thoughts, ideas, desires and so on.

Why is it with a new year we then become washed clean??

Or, more importantly, why do we want to be??

Isn’t life, from one year to the next, merely about the experiences we have and share, the learning curve, the path we travel, the thoughts and desires, hopes and dreams we harbour?

Isn’t life about those things??

To say we can be transformed, and washed clean assumes that we can all be famous artists, discover the cure for cancer, travel into space, be elected to Government, be an Olympian or whatever else! We are, most of us, normal folk with normal lives – average wages, children, mortgages and wrinkles. No amount of new years will ever change that either!!! We will never really transform.

So, why torture ourselves with pie in the sky -‘this year will be different’ – NO IT WON’T BE!!!!

Sorry, I get that positive thinking and hope are a great combination to have on your side in life, and I do adopt their principles as much as I can. However, I am also a realist and a little sceptical. I wonder how much we can actually change, transform, morph, and wonder if we really want to? If we don’t achieve, create, progress, succeed, dominate and control (or whatever!!!!) why is it seen so negatively? Why is it we can’t be just satisfied with being us?

This year I’m not going to become a millionaire, a success or even a glamour model who adorns the covers of popular magazines. I know that isn’t going to be what 2014 has in store for me.

I know it’ll be more of the same; living day to day, trying to survive, building relationships, trying to maintain motivation, good health and keeping some faith in me and what I want; basically boring stuff, not very inspiring or exciting!!! So, doesn’t matter how much I wish for miracles, money, fame and whatever else, it doesn’t mean it will come to fruition!!

I can make a million resolutions, but it doesn’t mean I can or will fundamentally change!

I’m just trying to say; be real, be kind to yourself and stop applying the pressure to be what you’re not. ALSO, stop viewing you and your life as a failure thus far, see your life as experience and a journey (which won’t be over, until it is over, and your six foot under). Stop stalling with resolutions and waiting for another new year to come and go; live without military precision, live and have fun amassing experiences to reflect on, not to feel negative and guilty about!

Live your life now, while it is here, and see what it brings you! All the ups and downs are welcome, it is life and you can’t just pick and choose the best bits and edit the rest, it isn’t a script after all!

Let 2014 be what it will be – life as we know it!

A Very Spanish Christmas and New Year


This Christmas, my boyfriend and I chose to remain in Madrid. We had considered returning to the UK but the prospect of confronting; the packing of many suitcases, the crazy airports and masses of people, delayed flights, bad weather, the hustle and bustle of the usual Christmas shopping frenzy (in ALL stores, but especially supermarkets, where food hoarders fight over the last Turkey!), the lack of personal transport and general malaise of UK Christmas cheer – in short, this bedlam really didn’t hold its usual appeal! So, we decided, sensibly, to stay put and experience a Spanish Christmas.

I admit, I was pleased and relieved to be staying in Madrid for Christmas, so too was my boyfriend. It saved us a lot of angst and hassle, plus, it has been great just having time to ourselves. We don’t seem to have enough quality ‘us’ time, and being here meant not having the usual obligations to please anyone, but ourselves!!! Selfish, it might be, but true!

In all, Christmas here hasn’t been such a culture shock. We have managed to buy the food we needed without hassle, without pushing and shoving and fighting in the aisles for the Brussel Sprouts or pigs in blankets! I did feel slightly peeved; I couldn’t buy any Mince Pies, Cranberry Sauce or my beloved Bread Sauce (the Spanish don’t know quite what they are missing out on!), and my home made gravy lacked its usual pizazz due to me forgetting to buy in extra stock cubes. Yet, regardless of this and the fact Spanish Christmas cakes and sweets just aren’t all that, we managed to survive!!!

We listened to Christmas songs and carols from King’s College Cambridge (the best Christmas carol choir service). We opened our presents, even though the Spanish wait until the Three Kings (6th January). We didn’t have a tree or any decorations, but then I knew we wouldn’t be buying those this year. We celebrated Boxing Day (26th December) by going out for a fabulous dinner and indulging in some lovely cocktails, although the Spanish don’t celebrate Boxing Day.

So, we didn’t miss out on anything really. However, I did think that it would be a quiet Christmas, as it was going to be just the two of us, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Nearly every night we have been out and about, far more actually than we would have been in the UK. On our doorstep are cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants. It has been easier to have fun and celebrate the holidays just because we are in the heart of the city. We can, on a whim, just go where we want, when we want and don’t need to rely on anyone else or fit into anyone else’s schedule. It has been great!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends to bits!! I also enjoy spending time with them, and miss them dearly!!! Yet, Christmas in the UK can sometimes become, well, a little bit claustrophobic. Let me explain; I think people get stuck in a Christmas rut, a routine whereby every Christmas ends up becoming the same, without any real changes. Most importantly, the fun factor is often left out of the equation for one reason or another. This Christmas though, hasn’t been in anyway ‘rutified’ (Definition: to be put into the mould of a rut – I know it isn’t a genuine word!).

This Christmas has been a change of scene, it has been something different, we have come and gone as we pleased and we’ve had fun. This is why for me, in many ways, this Christmas has been one of the best. I always wanted to go away for Christmas, but hadn’t felt I could before, because of not wanting to upset my family and make them think I didn’t want to be with them. It is considered to be somewhat selfish, doing your own thing at Christmas; it is after all fundamentally about being with family and friends.

Yet, by living in Madrid we had a legitimate reason for not being there with them at Christmas time, even though for the previous two Christmases we returned to the UK to be with them. This time, we wanted a change though, we wanted to make the most being in Madrid. We haven’t got that long a time remaining here, this time next year we will in fact have already moved back to the UK. So, understandably we wanted to maximise every opportunity that being here affords us, which includes, a Spanish Christmas.

Hopefully then, we haven’t been deemed too selfish, as I do know our family and friends have enjoyed their Christmases too (even without us there with them)!

So, now Christmas time is over (very nearly over), I have, as most people do, been remembering all that has happened in 2013. More specifically, the life I have lived here in Madrid during this time. Although being out here for these few years hasn’t been all plain sailing, I feel that this year has been a year for positive changes. I feel quite good about things. I am also feeling quite saddened by the prospect of not being here in Madrid for next Christmas. It does seem as though this chapter of my life will soon enough come to an abrupt close, and without any fanfare I will be back where I was, as though these few years in Madrid never happened. How weird!

So, for my boyfriend and I it is even more important than ever before to enjoy the time we have left living in Spain!!! This Christmas sort of encapsulates that momentum we feel, the fact that we want to have fun and experience life to the fullest without feeling bad about about doing so!!

Anyway, before I become maudlin, and I don’t even have New Years Eve as an excuse, let me say I have thoroughly enjoyed the ups and downs of my time in Madrid (and hopefully will enjoy the year to come)! When the time comes and we depart for the UK, I can take back with me a whole new perspective and life experiences. As someone, at sometime once said; “nothing good can last forever”; maybe not, but I can of course treasure the memories forever!

So, here’s to a fabulous New Year – for me, you and everyone out there in the world!!!

I shall be celebrating my New Years Eve in Puerta del Sol, drinking some alcohol and some eating grapes (not as strange as it might sound – it is a Spanish tradition to eat grapes as the clock strikes to signal the new year).

Where-ever YOU are and what-ever YOU do, have fun and enjoy every last minute of 2013!!!!!!

Jealousy Is The Biggest Compliment


I have been thinking recently about those people, I am sure we are all aquatinted with, who enjoy making little sly remarks, boasting about themselves, feel they have something more to say, enjoy gloating and generally revelling in making those around them feel bad about themselves.

They play a game, a very specific, but a harmful game. A game called jealousy.

Jealousy is destructive, obsessive, consuming and dangerous, but, it is also the biggest compliment anyone can pay you.

For someone to be jealous of you, they must deem you to be a threat, highly important and a person who makes them (the jealous people) feel inferior or appear inferior.

Is this your fault? No, this is their problem and not yours, but they want to aim their problem at you, to make you feel as badly about yourself and your life as they do about themselves and their lives.

If you play their game you will lose. To become embroiled in their inner turmoil you give them what they want, a reaction and ammunition to continue pulling your strings with. This game gives them and their lives some temporary meaning – harsh, but very true.

Many people feel intimidated by those who display jealousy, they often feel they cannot retaliate or they don’t even realise the person who is aggravating, upsetting and being nasty to them, are actually jealous of them.

Yet, 99% of the time, people who suffer bullying, nastiness, bitchiness, lies, back-stabbing and so on, are the victims of jealousy. Jealous causes most of the problems between people, jealousy drives people to do strange things to one another.

I have experienced people trying to hurt me because they have been jealous, and people can and will be jealous of anything! Of course I have also at times played the game of these jealous people, and sorely regretted it. Through this experience I see clearly what the outcome of such things will be, and I avoid those I see that jealousy resides within like the plague! It is difficult though, because sometimes regardless of how impartial, diplomatic, genuine or nice you are, you attract jealousy. Once these jealous people have you in their sights, they point blank refuse to let you go; well, not until they have attempted to wreak as much damage upon you as is possible.

I have experienced their damage too, and believe me, on some occasions the pure maliciousness of the jealousy aimed in my direction caused me great turmoil.

I am however a great believer in karma. What goes around does indeed come around. I have though been lucky enough to see the malignant and jealous individual fall, and was able to inform them I knew their game, jealousy.

Regardless of how much hate they muster, how much spite they spit, how much damage they claim to cause, these jealous people can never escape what they wish they could, themselves. They will always be stuck with them, long after you have been freed from their jealous radar, they will still be the vile creature they always have been. Again, this may seem harsh, but it is very, very true.

I have no qualms in feeling as I do about jealous people. I have no mercy for those who are jealous, because they have no mercy for anyone else. In fact, they take great delight in attempting to destroy people. They therefore deserve nothing more than pity, but not sympathy.

Jealousy I feel is useless though. It destroys, but not only the victim of the jealousy, but the perpetrator too. If only these people could understand that fact, and employ as much effort into changing what they feel bad about, instead of ploughing their energies into jealousy, things would be different.

When all is said and done though, it is only us who tolerate jealousy. In reality, jealousy needn’t have a place in our lives, just don’t tolerate it; call them out, name and shame, publicly humiliate them! Remember too that you are far better than those who seethe with jealousy, and also, karma is always a bitch!

Life


Life is made up of many threads, if you don’t make those threads to begin with then how can you possibly create a life?

Life won’t just knock upon your door and ask if you are free to come out and play! It is you who has to go and knock upon life’s door first and ask it that question.

So, what are you waiting for?!

Experiences are the most important threads of life. Experiences enrich life!

Life has to be embraced. In fact, embracing life is living it, well, this is what I believe anyway.

Harbouring a fear of life is no good. Fear of what life will bring, is a wasted effort. Every new second brings the future to us, moves our lives forward, so the only thing fear can do is cripple our lives.

Experiences take us onto a path, they move us ever forward. Refuse to live life and have experiences, and there can be no path. If you won’t take a path to begin the journey with, how can you begin to live a life?

Standing still will not get anyone anywhere. You have to just take a path, any path, walk along it and see where the experiences will lead you.

Who knows what might be around that next corner!

Threads = opportunities = life

Everyone should want more threads in their lives, as these in turn bring new opportunities to enrich your life.

If you want a life you definitely have to weave one, and you can’t be afraid of getting your hand trapped in the loom!

More positivity = more happiness = more life!

Positivity is the building block to base your life upon, to build a firm foundation, to help you say ‘yes’ to life!

Basically, this is stuff you already know, but never really think about or even believe. It has taken me a long while to actually put it all into perspective, and truly believe it all! Better late than never I suppose!

Two Steps Forward


Two steps forward, and hopefully, this time there will be NO steps back!!!!!!!!!!!

Why, well I have made POSITIVE progress!!! YEH for me (happy face included)!!!!!

I am now a volunteer for a NGO here in Madrid, and I am feeling mightily proud of myself!!!!!! Today was my first day, and I have been busy completing some research for them; which is a task I love doing.

At the moment I am not ready to relate all the gory details of what I am exactly doing, not yet anyway. It is after all early days. Needless to say I have begun positively, and hope to remain that way too; fingers and toes crossed please!!

Since discovering the volunteer options available here in Madrid, I have noticed there has been a subtle change within myself. This little new spark of, positivity perhaps, has made everything seem a little ‘rosier’. OK, the change isn’t so dramatic that I could take on the world, and conquer it single handedly; BUT, I feel I am moving forwards instead of stagnating in that rotten rut. I have, I think and HOPE, taken a sledge hammer to that rut and demolished it!!! Hehe!!

For the next few days though, I will be away. We have booked a short holiday to Valencia, which we are looking forward to!!!

Upon my return, I look forward to recommencing my progress through this exciting new chapter of possibilities in my life!! I also have ‘Madrid Meet Up’ groups to attend, which should be interesting!!!!!!!! Who knows what new wonders will await 🙂

ONE LAST THING – I just want to THANK everyone who has been so kind in providing me with support during my ‘ranting and raving’ and negative moments. I have appreciated each and everyone of your kind wishes, advice and comments left as response to my posts. You are all truly wonderful, and kind people, who I feel privileged to have bumped into within the WordPress blogshere!!!

THANKS TO YOU ALL, and have a wonderful weekend!!!

Volunteering To Progress


I am feeling quietly pleased with myself today.

It has taken some time, but I’ve managed to discover some volunteering programmes with opportunities available here in Madrid!!

On first inspection, volunteering options here did seem quite limited; signposting for such things on the internet was not great! Yet, with ample research done, there are a few good groups with lots of links to lots of projects.  I have begun the ball rolling, and am quite excited about hopefully becoming involved with as much of this good work as possible!!!

I had a determined streak in me today – a little ‘this will work’ voice; perhaps it is because it is my Birthday tomorrow?? Surely the rule has to be that there has to be some good luck attached to that, right????

Anyway, I have had a prompt reply from one volunteer group who wanted to meet me ASAP!!! Also, a chance of an interview for teaching English (although, this is where the luck falters – the interviews, and eventual job offers are no where near Madrid, and that is no good for me).

More news, yes there is more!!! I have also joined some social groups – Madrid meet up groups. I was reluctant to do this initially, as I am not the type of person who likes organised social groups (reminds me of Girl Guides – and I was NEVER a Girl Guide)!!!

Yet, if I am honest, and I feel I ought to be honest; I also have noticed I am feeling a tad fearful of meeting people in group situations. This makes me shout, WHAT THE HELL; this would never have been the case back in the UK. For me it is a clear sign that my confidence must have taken a dint somewhere along the line. Anyway, I feel I need to try to make more of an effort to meet new people here in Madrid – to be out of my comfort zone if I have to too.

All I hope is that when the time arrives to meet with these new groups, I don’t make a lame excuse not to go. It is important for me to at least try and cast my networking net further afield!! I suppose I just wait and see how it goes; if it goes anywhere at all!!!!

I think my main hurdle now is keeping positive. I have tried applying for things here in Madrid previously, and joining in new social groups too, yet, regardless of my best effort, nothing has come to fruition. SO, I am hoping THIS TIME, it will be MY TIME TO SHINE.

Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Return To The UK


Today I catch my flight back to the UK, and I am not sure how long I will be staying there this time.

I am worried as usual, I hate flying; all the messing about of waiting in queues, and baggage handling and security, and blah, blah, blah! I also hate the turbulence, and of late feel as though I could be sick during landing (which is never a good thing to feel, but especially on a plane)!

I am also worried, afraid even, that more bad things will happen – this ‘Mercury in Retrograde’ has me a little freaked out. I feel more paranoid than usual, sorry to Gwen at  gwendolynndedanaan.wordpress.com. Though, Gwen has given reason to the bad things that have occurred of late, it explains why all hell has broken out. I feel I sorely NEED to learn to master these ‘other worldly’ things that can control my life for the worst! I don’t want to have to face even more of them, well, not now anyway!!!

I mean – how long does Mercury in Retrograde last?? Has anyone else felt or undergone some horrible things, particularly horrible things lately??? It can’t be just me being kicked about by the universe; I’d like some company please!

Anyway, I need to maintain positivity, as worse things do happen everyday. I have to think of things calmly, which would be normally a little easier with a good nights sleep!!! Keeping everything in perspective is difficult when I am not sleeping so well, I therefore tend to feel less cheerful.

Things will get better (smile and breathe)!

Once I am in the UK I will try as often as is physically and mentally possible to get to a computer to update posts, and answer questions, or comments or whatever else! Yet, bear with me as I might not be my usual super-speedy self, as WordPress updates won’t be part of my daily routine (lacking internet connection will no doubt hinder me at some point too).

Also, I am returning to the UK to attend to other issues (which are plenty enough to contend with). Once again my computer time will be limited when I am in the UK, as I know I’m going to be crazy and mad busy, and completely preoccupied with everything else.

So, though I will have less of a presence on WordPress than usual – I will endeavour to try to keep everyone (my readers), updated and reply to you as I can.

I wish you all well, and please take care!!

Speak soon,

Bex 🙂