Our Impact on Others

It’s funny how we make decisions and offers without ever looking at the impact on other people. There’s so much negativity around at the minute that I thought I’d concentrate on the positive ways we can do this.
For example a few months ago I had the opportunity for a long weekend away at a discount price. I looked at my friends and whipped off an email asking if one of them would like to go. I based this simply on the fact that like me she liked Disney.
What I didn’t know is this friend has never been abroad and rather than just a fun few days away from home, it’s a much bigger deal – her first holiday in another country, buying a passport and all the excitement that first time brings. No wonder she responded in seconds!
I have without thinking offered her an amazing opportunity.
In my day job I work with people on state benefits. They have to attend appointments on the same day every fortnight. On this occasion my customer asked if he could come in a day late. Why? So he could get married and spend two days at a hotel nearby. He was prepared to rush back if I said no. There’s a whole other article that could be written on the idea and fear that someone wouldn’t be granted this but it’s a positive blog. Anyway, of course I arranged for him to come in a day later. It’s no big deal for me just like the email about a holiday was no big deal.
But if course it was for them. They were getting married! They had their two days away and when he came in to see me I was given a little gift of bath salts with a lovely proverb on and message. Absolutely lovely present but on both occasions I don’t think I did anything special.
So I guess the message is to think before you act. These were positive actions and if I’d never asked my friend about a  trip she may not have been any the wiser but so easily a throw away comment or declining a request can have devastating impacts while you go on your merry way. If we all gave thought to how our actions impact on others we may be quite surprised by the results
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Life without TV

I’ve had various satellite TV packages for the last 25 years. TV, films, sports and son on. I daren’t even add up how much I have spent financially on this never mind the hours given up to sit in front of the goggle-box.
A few months ago I got it into my head to re-watch all my Supernatural box sets. That’s 10 series I personally have each with 22 episodes. A lot of DVDs! I watched  maybe 2 a day and a couple more each weekend and as you can imagine it took a few months to work my way through them. While I did that I had left my Sky+ to tape all my programmes. Emerging from my DVD cocoon I found I’d used up around 55% of the Sky+ box on taped programmes. As some programmes use up maybe 0.4% per hour that was maybe 100 hours and more of TV to follow up on.
The funny thing was I didn’t miss hardly any of these programmes.
Looking at it all I deleted 15% straight away. Over the last 2 months I watched maybe a handful of what was left, every so often deleting entire series because it just seemed like too much hard work. What I found was that I didn’t want to watch anything, I had no more binge watching of DVDs to occupy that time instead. I wanted to DO things – read, write, study (and I rarely say that), go outside and get some fresh air. I don’t even think I was a TV addict in the first place – but I do think I and many others watch it because it’s there. Because we are spending £30-50 and more each month so we need to get our monies worth.
I’ve realised this year that I don’t need to have it. I don’t need or want to have it. I can’t justify the cost. And I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I can’t join in the water cooler conversation of what was on last night. So this week the contract is going. I’m not totally giving up TV – I have one or two must see programmes that I  can’t bare to live without. But I can get these online through Netflix, Now TV, some other alternatives at a mere fraction of the cost. I can get double what I have now for £6 a month. And right now I’m paying £33. That £324 per year saving is a weeks holiday (for me anyway)
It’s amazing what we think we can’t live without but when we stop and think about it we probably can

Addictive Behaviours

One of my friends has recently battled alcohol addictions and while successful for a while is currently going through a hard time. It’s made me stop and think about how I cope and my own triggers.
While I’ve known and worked with people with drink and drug addictions (apart from some youthly binge drinking) it’s not been an issue for me. However I deal with my stresses by eating and spending. And I struggle to stop. I’m overweight and in debt.
I have a debt management plan. I’ve taken a budgeting course but I still can’t seem to stop spending and on absolute rubbish. But it links in to my food issues.
On Monday I had a job interview. I saw my manager afterwards who said as I had 2 and a half hours left before I was expected back at work to take myself off for a long lunch and a wander around the shops. I was expecting to buy lunch so that’s fine. I’d budgeted for that but I then spent another £1 on some cookies to go with my sandwich. So as well as money that’s a lot of extra calories because of course I ate them. But then I still had 90 minutes left so I thought I’d go somewhere else for a cup of tea. But instead of the cheap cuppa at McDonalds I went to Costa and spent £1.70 instead of £0.99. I then added a chocolate slice! To pass the time…even though I had my phone and a book to pass the time. I could have got a drink and sat in the sunshine.
So that 2 hours cost me nearly an extra £5 in cash & I daren’t add up the calories. And this situation isn’t a one off. I do it to myself all the time. I do it when I’m stressed and I suppose this situation was a de-stress after the interview. But I need to find alternative ways. But ways that don’t cost money as that’s one of the problems. Sometimes I’ve brought sandwiches to work and then gone out to buy a better one from some where else. If there’s £5 in my purse I find it difficult to ignore – I start thinking of the ways I can spend it which then often results in that something being food. It’s like a compulsion.
I’ve been good today. I’ve brought my sandwiches (& will eat them!) and will be walking the first part of my journey home. I only have enough money in my purse to pay for a drink at book club tonight. (I’ve stopped buying the books and use the library so I have managed some changes and there’s another blog posted today about saving money on TV)
If people can work to beat their drink and drugs issues however many hurdles that journey may bring I can stop spending and learn to binge eat fruit not chocolate. I’m learning to be a hypnotherapist so I am planning to record a few scripts and give myself some therapy – see what difference that makes.
But I’m starting today and that’s the key thing. I need to change, this has been my life for 25 years and I need to make some positive changes and move them forward.
I can do this J