Objects with Meaning #17 – Christmas Chocolate

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. I’m sure these don’t exist any more, I ate these shortly after this photo was taken! Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #16 – Wicca Heart

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #15 – Onesie

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This is a part of a series (including typos!) of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.
 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Things to do when you are busy not having a baby

One of the things that my partner and I discussed early on in the process of having fertility treatment was how not to let the ‘trying to have a baby’ stuff consume all the energy we may have to do the ‘make life fun’ stuff. This sounds great in principle but isn’t  particularly easy in practice. A lot of the advice early on is to carry on ‘life as usual’. It is also to lose weight, do moderate exercise, but not too much, eat more of fruit and vegetables, less cake, and restrict your alcohol intake. And dont forget to ‘just relax’. So if your ‘usual’ doesn’t involve many of these things, ‘carry on as usual’ could translate to ‘undergo a radical lifestyle change’, which isn’t a very relaxing thing to think about.

While my partner and I did pretty well on the exercise and veggies, the beginnings of our relationship did involve the ‘British method’ of dating. For the uninitiated, I’m afraid to say that this involves some (by which I mean lots) public drunkenness, and other socialising involving at least a drink or two. So there was lifestyle change of a sort needed, which has been more successful at some times than others. Not drinking has been one of the things I have been doing while busy not quite having a baby, which really means less socialising too. In the UK there is an absurd cultural pressure to drink when socialising, and it’s kind of wierd to have to explain to people that you’re not drinking because you aren’t pregnant. It’s not like not drinking because you got knocked up (hurrah! Hopefully). It tends to prompt conversations about how you should have a drink and ‘just relax’, as if you just aren’t quite doing sex right. Which isn’t relaxing at all.

So not socialising becomes one of the things you do when you are busy not having a baby. Personally I feel better for not spending as much time socialising. I want to spend my spare time swimming and doing arty things. I think my introverted parts have become more dominant as I’ve got older and I don’t have the energy for it any more. But I can see how this in itself could be very isolating for someone more extroverted. I have noticed may self that my social circle has narrowed somewhat, and now includes several ladies who are also busy avoiding conversations that unintentionally suggest that they don’t quite know how sex works. While it’s kind of nice to hang out in that boat with them, all extraordinary individuals, the conversations can be sad. For several of us, things are not working. Counterintuitively, my social circle has expanded to include several friends who have just had babies (I can hang out with babies and not really get too sad – I think I am lucky here), so they can’t drink much, and don’t want to talk much about how sex works just right now, thanks. They also had some success at actually getting pregnant, and who knows, that magic could be catching.

So far it feels like what one does when busy trying to have a baby is actively try not to do things. Which is kind of hard on the mental health, and opens the door to an unhealthy level of guilt about ‘not doing things right’. Am I drinking too much coffee? Am I breathing too much polluted London air? One of my lovely, clever friends, Julia, who has had two gorgeous babies now, gave me some kind advice recently. She said that if I just make it as inconvenient as possible to have a baby right now, it will happen. Book that expensive wine tour in central France. Plan to train for a marathon. Go for that tricky promotion. So next weekend I’ll be swimming a 5K race in the lake district, and today will be spent working on my film and checking out an open air swimming pool I’ve not been to before. Go after the juicy difficult rewarding other things in life, she said. And I shall.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #14 – Knit your own perfect boyfriend

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #13 – The jumper my Mum knitted for my Dad

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #12 – Wire and Wire Strippers

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.
 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #11 – Tardis number 2

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There must be a Tardis number one floating about somewhere in my clutter. This is a part of a series of photos of objects (complete with spelling errors!) that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #10 – Jasmine Tea

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This is a part of a series (complete with typos!) of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Quote Challenge – day 3

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Day 3 of the quote challenge. I was nominated by the fab Laurie from the great blog Meditations in Motion, where she writes very thoughtful on a range of subjects. When I started this challenge I wasn’t sure that I would mange it, but I think I have done ok. I think this was one of those instances where it has been good to try something new.

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three bloggers each day to do the same

Todays nominations are:

  1. Blue Velvet Jacket – this is a thoughtful blog that covers a range of interesting things.  She recently wrote this lovely post about a pair of pearl earrings as her ‘objects with meaning’, which I liked very much – get over there to have a read.
  2. LA of the blog Waking up the Wrong Side of 50 – I really like the witty posts on this blog, which are combined with some thoughtful posts on gratitude. A great read.
  3. Suzanne of the blog Being in Nature – I discovered this blog relatively recently and have really been enjoying her thoughts on ‘being in nature’.

Today I wanted to quote from the book Empathy: a handbook for the revolution by Roman Krznaric (which I think is now available under the far more boring title Empathy: why it matters and how to get it – I think I liked the other title better but there we are). It’s a long one, so bare with me…

‘The idea of collective empathy is especially relevant today because it counterbalances the highly individualistic focus of modern self help culture, which tends to view the search for happiness or wellbeing as a personal pursuit concerning our own ambitions and desires, rather than one that involved working with others towards common goals. Yet thinkers going back to Aristotle have recognised that we are social animals, and that joy and meaning in life grow, in good part, from being immersed in something larger than ourselves. Human beings thrive on ‘we’ as much as ‘me’.’

So I really liked this section in this book as it spoke very clearly to thoughts I have been having about the social mess our highly sophisticated society appears to have got itself into. While being quite introverted, and craving solitude on a frequent basis, I also believe that the work we put into building rich relationships with people close to us is an important foundation to wellbeing. In my day job I work in mental health research, and while I don’t want to get into reviewing the science here, there does seem to be a growing consensus that social isolation and loneliness are harmful to us. The job we have then, collectively, is to build a society that supports connection more that it supports commerce. I don’t think it is shopping that will set us free.