Lonely That Christmas

Christmas 2008 was not a good one for me. It was the loneliest Christmas I have spent. This had almost nothing to do with the fact that the economic crash had started to shake my life along with everyone else in the country and almost everything to do with how lacking in control of my life I felt at the time. I was single, and very unhappily so, I wasn’t sure about the job I had started six months previously and I had no plans whatsoever for new year’s eve.

I tried focusing on the positive things in my life, like the fact I had a family to celebrate with, I had friends to met up with over the festive season, I had my health, I had a lovely home…..

It didn’t work. I was lonely, and it is not a good place to be. No amount of focusing on the good stuff was a consolation when I knew I was lonely and I couldn’t do much about it. Christmas can be a very emotional and fraught time of year anyway, and I think it concentrated my feelings in a way that just doesn’t happen during other times of the year.

Life is immeasurably better in many ways now. I’m not lonely very often. But I always remember that Christmas. And I think about all the lonely people, whose lives haven’t improved the way mine has. And I hope life gets less lonely for them.

Feeling lonely sucks.

Lonely That Christmas

Zero Waste, Low Cost Haircare.

My no shampoo experiment ended with the purchase of a shampoo  bar from Lush, which I purchased in April. I bought a replacement last week, so my grand total spend on haircare this year was under €20, excluding the couple of haircuts I got in a local salon. I’ve been pretty happy with the shampoo bar approach. It isn’t perfect but for now it’s a an easy and relatively low cost zero waste solution.

In an attempt to free up some time and money, himself bought this hair clipper set some months ago. I’ve been honing my barbering skills and so far my one customer is pretty happy, plus he’s not wasting time on a Saturday waiting in line when we could be drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. The set came with a scissors and I agreed to let him have a go cutting my hair. So far, so good and I’ve been trimming my fringe myself whenever it gets long enough to annoy me.

I know we’re not saving vast amounts of money and time, but it’s been nice to learn some new skills and work as a team. A weird level of trust develops when you’re willing to let an intimate partner do your hair. It’s not perfect, but its Good Enough and that’s fine by me.

Zero Waste, Low Cost Haircare.


…isn’t something I do because I’m not American but this week I’m feeling thankful that:

  1. I’ve made some plans.
  2. I finally used a lovely notebook I’ve left blank for too long to write down said plans.
  3. I have a secure job that I don’t hate.
  4. I have a wonderful husband who makes me feel most like me.
  5. I organised nice lunches for myself for the week because I’ll be desk bound every evening.
  6. I made it to the gym two days in a row and plan to do the same tomorrow.
  7. I let go of the need to shop this Christmas.
  8. I have a beautiful home which I love more and more every day.
  9. I’m not afraid of as many things as I used to be.
  10. People on the internet are funny.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

New wooden decorations from a company recommended to my by a zero waste fan. I want almost everything on MindfulandMaking.

Finishing library books and remembering how much I loved my twice weekly visits to the same library when I was a child.

An advent calendar stashed away for opening on 1 December.

Plans for every weekend from next week until Christmas. Plans in general make me feel better, as I realised in yesterday’s post.

Finding that tomorrow really is another day, and being very thankful that things have picked up somewhat since Thursday.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

A week off work without anything urgent to do or places to go.

Sunshine in autumn and all the colours I love.

Opinion polls showing people are compassionate when they have the facts.

Halloween being over. It isn’t my favourite time of year, but I make the effort.

Following the above, cracking open my well loved Christmas CDs in the car.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

This Time Nine Months Ago

I could not:

  • Do a 40 minute spin class
  • Do a 20 minute kettlebell class
  • Do a 30 minute weight class

The main resolution I made at the end of last year was that this year I would put some sort of exercise regime in place. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had ups and downs, some days where I couldn’t face going, a sore back that put me out of action for a few weeks and a spin class that took me two weeks to get over.

It has all been worth it. I haven’t lost a lot of weight or dramatically changed my shape. I see it more as an investment in myself and my health. It’s a pretty nice feeling knowing what your body can be capable of when you work at it.

This Time Nine Months Ago