Tag Archives: love

Mid-week joy: Magic. It’s a thing.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! The sun is out, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud to spoil the view but the forecast is for rain the rest of the week so I plan to enjoy it while I can. The sun, not the rain.

Yep, I started talking about the weather again. You can take the girl out of England…

Now, where was I? Oh yes. Magic! And miracles! And the law of attraction! Whatever you choose to call it, and however you choose to work with the Universe, it’s pretty damn special when it works.

Over on my Pinterest, I’ve got an Affirmation Dream Board. The idea is (based on some Danielle LaPorte thinking) that you pin images and write underneath them an affirmation (an ‘I am’ type, present tense statement of what you want to attract into your life).

I’ll admit, I hadn’t updated it for a while. And by a while I mean not for months and months. Then today I was looking through it and some of my other boards for a secret project about which all will be revealed very soon.

And I found this:

Best Beloved pin

I pinned this long before my Best Beloved and I started the tentative movements towards each other. Way before I started calling him my Best Beloved. But there it is. I’m working on the second part- but definitely getting there.

I guess what I’m trying to say, for today’s mid-week joy, is that these things can and do work. You can and will bring more good things into your life. If I can do it, anyone can.

Tired-but-happy Tuesday

Sorry folks but you’ll have to wait until next week for the Suit of Pentacles. I was at a convention all weekend, including running two games, and I am still wiped out. It was a resounding success (well done to my dear friend Anna), something I suspected when my one-card pull for the weekend was the Three of Staves/Wands- successful cumulation of enterprises.

Anyway, so tired. So I’ll keep this short and sweet and grateful:

Things I’m thankful for right now: the Best Beloved (who took very good care of me this weekend) tea, a warm bed, early nights, newbies having a good time in my games, laughing with friends, enthusiasm, healing, moving forward, the borrowing of a deliciously warm and snuggly fleece-lined cloak from my best beloved, shenanigans with my friends, meeting new people, Pin Up Girl’s Erin dress, snuggling, shoulder/neck/head rubs, spontaneous Bohemian Rhapsody, loom band bracelets, the Parlour, SARK, recharged Kindle with new Francesca Lia Block goodness, friendly bus drivers, the Post-Punk Kitchen, having limbo music stuck in my head, big strong men cringing away from me because I had an open tub of glitter, knitting, taking a round off to set up for a game and more importantly nap, paneer makhani at the end of a long weekend, getting portrait photos with my man, seeing people play roles I’d written and it being just how I’d imagined, and delicious sleeeeeeep. 

And finally, a snapshot of what one of my flatmates is like:

*Flatmate W runs up behind me.*

“Ellen! Ellen! Ellen!”

*I turn around from where I have been walking with the Best Beloved.*

“Yes?”

“[Best Beloved] was looking for you.” *grins*

“You, sir, are a helper!”

Unhappy hipsters are unhappy for a reason

I talk to my friend Anna pretty much every day via text. Today she told me she’s breaking up the day by getting out at lunchtime (terrible weather be damned, good for her!) and going to Starbucks. This gave rise to a conversation about whether that made her a hipster.

Here’s the thing I don’t get, and don’t really like, about the hipster phenomenon- it’s the idea of ‘liking things ironically’. I just don’t get it. Do you just not like it? Or do you like it, but are embarrassed to say that you like it?

Neither of these, to me, lead to a healthy outlook or pursuit of happiness.

If you actually don’t like something- don’t like going to that kitschy cafe, don’t like wearing that retro t-shirt, don’t like drinking that drink…then why are you doing it? Why would you choose to do something you don’t enjoy, just because you want to appear ‘ironic’.

And if you DO like it, why should you be afraid of owning that? Maybe you love eating at the kitschy cafe because you actually really enjoy the crazy umbrella drinks. Maybe those milkshakes with a big fluffy pile of whipped cream on top give you a sugary buzz and feel super-indulgent. Maybe you’re wearing your retro t-shirt because you remember that show or band and you loved it and had all their albums or watched every episode religiously when it came on TV. Maybe you love 70s cuisine classics because they’re what you grew up eating at parties, and to you they’re just darn tasty.  All of those things are fine- actually, they’re great.

It’s what you love, don’t let others tell you it’s not OK to like it, or that you have to be ‘ironic’ about liking it. If you say you like it ‘ironically’, the message it gives is that it’s not really cool. Well personally I don’t give a monkey’s about cool.

Love what you love, whether it’s My Little Pony, or cheesy fondue…(excuse me, I’ll just go ahead and wipe the drool off the keyboard)… or cheesy country music, or romance novels, whatever it is- if you love it, work it, and don’t be ashamed of it. It’s part of what makes you you, and what makes you happy. Who cares what others think of it? It comes down to not being ashamed of who you are. Being loud and proud about the things you love is part of that. Life’s too short to do things for the sake of irony.

So go on, what things are you unironically smitten with? What things give you a big burst of pleasure? Enquiring minds want to know! (Well, I do, anyway).

Things I think about Thursday: Long distance love

 A kiss countdown I made for my Best Beloved

I’m madly in love with a wonderful man. He is caring, thoughtful, romantic, has the same outlook and attitudes as me, and gives great snuggles.

And he lives in a city 10 hours away by car (I don’t drive)  or 1 hour on the plane.

We decided that it was worth putting in the effort, as anyone does when they get into- or stay in- a relationship whether the person lives next door or on the other side of the world.

But it’s definitely not the same when you’re not in the same place, and can’t just pop round on a whim or when you need cuddles. Here are the five most important things Ive learned about long distance relationships.

They’re not for everyone

Being apart, especially in the early stages of being a couple, is hard. My Best Beloved and I had to wait 5 weeks for our first kiss. There are plenty of times when you just want to be able to do ordinary couple things, like walk around holding hands or cuddle on the sofa, and you can’t because the other person isn’t there. Missing the other person can wear you down, and not being able to express your feelings physically (even a touch of the hand can express love) can leave you feeling drained, and envious of other couples who can. So you have to find other ways to express your feelings.

Keeping in touch is everything

Texts, IM, Skype. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but talking as often as you can is really important. The weeks I’ve missed my partner the most are the weeks where he’s been on a late shift and I’ve not been able to talk to him online. It helps that my best friend is on the other side of the world, and that we’ve lived on different continents to each other for the past 12 years. I’m used to a person I care about being words on a screen.

It’s also an opportunity- especially if, like me, you’re working on being shy about talking about relationship things. Talking via IM lets you compose, think about what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it. It helps me be more authentic because I can take a bit of time to express myself how I want to. And when all you can do together is talk, it’s a really good chance to learn a lot about each other. I recently got myself a book of discussion questions for people in a long distance relationship, and plan to start working through some of them with the Best Beloved. We had some awesome deep and meaningfuls over the long weekend that left me feeling more in love and loved than ever. Talking and sharing things about ourselves brings us closer, even though we’re far apart.

You have to have a life outside the relationship

That’s true, of course, of any relationship but it’s especially important in long-distance. Your lover doesn’t want to think of you moping at home when you should be out enjoying things. They want you to be happy, and part of that is doing your thing and having a blast. If I’ve had a great night out, it gives me something fun to tell my Best Beloved all about. There is, however, a big BUT…

Independent is NOT like being single.

One of the things my Best Beloved did which meant the absolute world to me was not go to an event, because he said he wouldn’t feel right going without me. While we both get out and do plenty of fun things, go to parties, movies, and generally get up to hijinks, there are some things that we say no to if we can’t go as a couple. He’s the first man I’ve had a relationship with who’s understood this idea, but it does matter.  To me, it’s a way of letting him know (and a way of him letting me know) that I value and respect our relationship, and that he’s loved and important to me.

It’s a great excuse to be soppy- and craft!

Now, I may be a little biased on this one, because I love, love, LOVE getting things in the mail. And I also love sending things. There’s something very special about holding something in your hands that your lover has touched, or is going to touch.  Postcards, love letters, silly cards, photos, little gifts- a long distance relationship means a good reason for all of them (if you needed a good reason- I’m pretty sappy so even a small excuse is excuse enough).  One of my favourite things I’ve made to send was a Kiss Countdown (see the photo above)- doodle frames (well my own version of them), with the dates leading up to his next visit, and a kiss for each day- as you can see from the photo at the top of this post.

In short, long-distance does involve extra effort, but I think that that can be a really good thing. You have to get into the habit of choosing each other. You have to value your relationship. You have to be creative about how you express your love and let the other person know they’re special to you. And you get the excitement and loved-up-ness of time together when you visit each other, which is made even better because for those precious days, the focus is totally on enjoying every moment of being together. It’s something I plan to keep making time for, even when I make the move up to Auckland and we can be together more often. Because I don’t ever want to forget how special it is that we’re a couple, and time together just enjoying that is one of the things that feeds your soul in a relationship. And those moments when we get to Arrivals, see each other and both break into big goofy grins? They’re totally worth the wait.

Links of Joy

We made it to Wednesday! Halfway through the week seems like the perfect time for some of the things that have been making me smile and inspiring me this week.

ListeningNo Prejudice by Pollaponk

First up is Pollapönk, Iceland’s entrants into the Eurovision Song Contest, with their song ‘No Prejudice’. My first thought when I saw them was ‘they’re the Icelandic Bearded Wiggles’- and it turns out I was right! The name, from what I can gather, means ‘boy-punk’. Not only are the two founders of the band both pre-school teachers, they describe the intent of their music as being able to be enjoyed by children and their families. Their first album (says Wikipedia) was actually their final-year project for their teaching degrees. And the guy with the epic beard wearing purple who’s singing backup? He’s a member of the Icelandic Parliament! “We got to get together on this, cross this problem off our list” seems especially resonant given the post I made yesterday.

(If you haven’t caught Conchita Wurst, the Eurovision winner, and her song ‘Rise like a Phoenix’, go look it up and watch that too. I’m including Pollaponk here because they deserve some love too.)

Reading: Riding the Wild Donkeys

This e-book by Leonie Dawson is gold. It’s also free, and quick to read. It’s about something I’ve often struggled with- getting things finished and out into the world.

Part of it is to do with letting go of the perfect vision you have in your mind. I’m not saying that for some projects, striving for perfection (ripping back that inch of knitting that went wrong, unpicking the seam that didn’t work out right, or just plain undoing the whole thing and starting over) isn’t a good thing. I love getting a beautiful finish on projects. BUT for creative ideas, often the best approach is to grab them and ride them until they’re done- maybe they’re not how you originally envisioned them- and lets face it, how many creative projects ever are?- but they’re done, they’re set free, and you can move on.

Some other links that have made me grin:

Is this the most beautiful, crazy wedding ever? Quite probably. And I totally want to have a bad bridesmaid dress party.

I fully want to use these mystical fire crystals next time I’m at a Scout camp for the weekend and there’s a fire pit.

Cornify. So magical. So cheesy. So many unicorns and rainbows. It is to love! It is also like being back in the 90s. Oh, the sparkly sparkly gifs.

Monsterful Monday: Unlike other Robin Hoods, I speak with an English accent…

Time with my Best Beloved

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Auckland. Being in a long-distance relationship, time with the Best Beloved is always top of my gratitude list. This time it involved him very patiently accompanying me and his flatmate to Dress Smart, takeout and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe in a game of Cards Against Humanity. There were also many many snuggles and movies, in particular ‘Spaceballs’ and ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’- we have a shared love of Mel Brooks, but it’s been ages since I saw either movie. There were lots of bits I’d forgotten which made me laugh all over again. A benefit of coming back to cold Wellington is that whenever I say goodbye, I come back here freshly motivated to keep decluttering and downsizing my stuff for the planned Big Move.

Reconnecting with my little brother

I’ve had actual e-mail conversations with my brother this week. It’s a big deal. In the past we haven’t been close, but I feel like now that could change. He also got me a birthday present, which was very kind of him- I sent him a list of patterns on my wishlist from Colette, not in order of preference, and he picked the two I wanted most on the list! I’m excited to get sewing on one of them this coming weekend- a long weekend means extra sewing time, always a good thing. Watch this space for a Mad Tea Party Ceylon dress…

Learning new things

I had a mild bout of startitis this week, which led to me casting on the Grey Gardens turban. It’s a turban! It’s inspired by Little Edie! What’s not to like? I grabbed a ball of rainbow coloured wool last time I was in Auckland and when I saw this pattern I knew it was meant to be. I’ve never tried entrelac before, and I know a lot of people approach new skills with trepidation. But, as always, it’s much less scary to just dive in and give it a try. The great thing about entrelac is that you don’t need to know anything that’s not covered in a basic knitting book to do it. And it looks so pretty! I love the way the colour repeats lend themselves to the little entrelac squares:

Entrelac knitting example

And yes, those are leopard-print knitting needles. Why? Why not! I’ve had them for a while after winning them in a writing contest, and they add a little bit of fabulousness to the knitting process. Like so many things with knitting (I do NOT include lace in this), it looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Lace is my Great White Whale, but I’m determined to land it.

SARK

Also known as Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. I’ve been reading any of her books I can get my hands on (and expecting some more in the post any day now), and I love them. Easy to read, inspiring, uplifting and positive. I especially like the Nap Book, and have actually started having little naps when I’m sleepy (usually on a Saturday afternoon). One of the big things I’ve got from the books so far is the idea of having permission to take care of myself and give my body what it needs. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on ‘Transformation Soup: Healing for the Splendidly Imperfect’ as part of the ongoing process of healing the past and moving on to the future.

 

Special mentions:

Hot cups of tea, flannelette sheets, sushi from the friendly sushi place, Silk Naturals Black Label Lip Treatment (GORGEOUS), friends who ask “what are you doing tonight? Sewing or decluttering?” (it’s like they KNOW me), meditation, buying crazy ornaments in the Typo outlet, awesome friends who give you a lift not just into town from the airport, but all the way home, cinema trips in the offing (Godzilla and Maleficent, oh yes indeed) sewing excitement and the prospect of a glorious long weekend with no fixed plans.

What about you? What are you happy about and grateful for this week?