5 Pillars of Happiness: How many do you have?

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As I’ve mentioned before, I had a bit of a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I’m 25. I know it’s not old by any means, I just wished that I had my life a bit more together. After almost two months of it though, I’ve come to accept it, even embrace where I am right now.

Of course things could probably be better. Let’s just agree that life, in general, could always be better! But overall, I know things could be much worse too. I remember an episode of Will & Grace where they take a quiz called ‘The Five Pillars of Happiness’ to determine just how content and fulfilled their lives are. Even though it is difficult to summarize our existent into 5 categories, it’s a good place to start!

Health

eating

Oh dear… Just going right into it aren’t we? In all honesty, I think health is one of the pillars that needs some reinforcement. I’m not obese, and I don’t suffer from any conditions that I’m aware of, but I know this is an area for improvement. I recently found out my blood pressure is higher than I expected, and I think I’m a little bit overweight at the moment, but it all comes down to my sedentary lifestyle. I work in an office, drive everywhere and partake in very little physical exercise. This is something I’ve started working on, so I’m not going to stress too much about it. That’ll just make my blood pressure worse!

Family

Ohana

Phew, an easy one! Luckily for me, I have been blessed with a wonderful family. We’ve always been very close, but with my father passing away six years ago, we’ve really come together and learnt to appreciate one another and not take anyone for granted. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.

Love

love

Another one that I feel content with. Love and marriage has definitely changed me! As important as it is to take care of yourself and your own heart, it means a lot when someone trusts you to take care of theirs.

Friendships

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Another area that I could probably dedicate a bit more time to. I have one or two very close friends, and I hang out a lot with my husband and my sister, but in general I could probably make more of an effort to see my friends and spend time with them. With most of my friends we can just pick up where we left off, which makes it easier. Also, I am still relatively new to the blogging world, so I’m still getting to know everyone, although I’ve already met some lovely people.

Work 

worker

This was always the one that I had the hardest time with. Not because I’ve had terrible jobs or anything, just because I’ve always felt like I should be on some kind of career ladder. Going from promotion to promotion, pay rise to pay rise. However, it’s simply not been the case. Now that I’ve accepted this, I feel much better about my career path. I’m working hard, pushing myself and getting recognized for it. And this is already opening doors of opportunity for me, more so than before when I was worried about the money or the title.

Result?

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3/4 out of 5 pillars. Not bad… If they are only metaphorical pillars that are not necessary to hold anything up!

The point is, we are always going to have something to work towards. It’s hard to build up all of these aspects of life at the same time without the occasional crack. The important thing for me is to have a strong foundation if it starts to crumble. Whereas before I wanted to see how high my pillars could reach, now I’m more focused on how much they can withstand.

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Lazy Sunday…

After the week I’ve had, I want nothing more than to continue to lay in bed, watching time go by. At least for a little bit longer.

cinderella

This week, I’ve been on a training course for work, which was both fantastic and exhausting. Living in suburbia and having to trek to south east London has been like Frodo taking the ring to Mordor! But it was all for a good cause and actually made me look at my job as more of a career than just a place where I get paid every month.

I work for a fantastic company and I just feel like I could benefit from being in a different sector. I don’t know if I’m quite ready for it or if my bosses will think I’m ready right now, but it’s definitely a possibility and a challenge, which makes me optimistic.

However exciting that may be, I don’t want to think about it now though. I am very content next to my sleeping husband on this cold Sunday morning, and don’t want my mind to be anywhere else!

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I find that when it gets started its a one-stop train to crazy town, imagining all the best and worst possible outcomes and overthinking every little action. It’s hard to get a grip at times, so the best thing is not to wind it up.

I suppose all of us are a little bit like that. When we achieve one thing we are looking for the next. Which is good, overall. But we should just take the time to enjoy what we have, and appreciate the little moments too. Or even the non-moments, like the one I’m experiencing right now. I know tomorrow will come eventually, but I’m in no rush for it to arrive.

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Dear 16 Year Old Me: A letter about friendships

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As I lay in bed this morning, ignoring my alarm and browsing Facebook to avoid the inevitable, I found myself feeling a little melancholic (not only because I had to get up for work!). I was looking through my news feed and saw a lot of people who I used to go to school with. Some who were my close friends, some who were acquaintances, and some who I barely spoke to in the 6-7 years that I studied at the same school.

I had my group of close friends and I’m sure we all thought the world revolved around us. But now, more than 7 years after finishing secondary/high school, I hardly have any contact with my school friends. Nothing bad happened, we just drifted apart. We moved on from school, got jobs, went to uni, moved away, and eventually made new friendships. It’s sad but it’s a part of life.

What I feel a little melancholic about is the fact that there were a lot of people I never made an effort to get to know. Somehow I’ve ended up Facebook friends with some of them, and I will see them post something funny, or comment on a subject that I like, or even share a life event that I can relate to, and I think to myself ‘Why were we never close?’.

If I could go back in time and do it all again, I think that’s one of the things I would try to do. Be a little more outgoing and talk to different people. I can be a little bit shy in the beginning, but I think I’m quite outgoing nowadays! It’s been much easier since leaving school. I think because I was still trying to come to terms with my sexuality (everyone around me knew I was gay before I did!), I just wanted to blend in and be a part of the background. I didn’t want people questioning me about my sexuality when I didn’t even know the answer, so I just stuck with the people who I felt most comfortable with.

I don’t want to sit here and think about all the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s of my teenage life, otherwise I’m sure this would just be the tip of the iceberg, so I thought it would be better to write my 16 year old self a little letter instead:

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I wish I could explain to sixteen year old Matt just how important it is to be kind and true to who you are, but in all honesty I think that’s a lifelong lesson that has to be learnt the hard way…

5 Must Watch New TV Shows!

TV Shows 1

The American fall TV season is about to start and I couldn’t be more excited! Apart from returning hits from last year (Empire, How to Get Away With Murder, Jane The Virgin etc.), there are a few new shows that have already started generating buzz and interest, so I thought it would be good to round-up the 5 I’m most looking forward to!

1 Supergirl

Supergirl

I’ve been excited about this show since it was announced, not only because I am a huuuge Superman fan (and genuinely enjoyed the ill-received 80’s Supergirl film), but because it was developed by the man behind Arrow and The Flash, Greg Berlanti. I think I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but I’ve already seen the pilot for Supergirl, when it leaked online a few months ago, and I have to say it has a lot of potential! Melissa Benoist is so captivating and lovable that she is a perfect fit for the role of Kara, and the plot seeds that have been planted in the pilot could possibly developed into great television. I think it might struggle to find a balance between appealing to both male and female audiences, but I’m interested to see how they attempt it.

2 Scream Queens

Scream Queens

Since Ryan Murphy first announced the idea/concept behind it, I’ve been obsessed with Scream Queens. It’s been described as a horror-comedy hybrid, and the first season revolves around a series of sorority house murders. With every casting announcement my anticipation increased, with the likes of Emma Roberts, Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas all set to star in the anthology series. I’m a big fan of all things Ryan Murphy puts his finger on, and this is practically guaranteed to be my campy fun guilty pleasure! Scream Queens premiered last night, so when I get home from work later today I will be catching up!

3 The Real O’Neals

The real Oneals

Unfortunately this show doesn’t have a premiere date yet, which isn’t good news! But after watching the teaser trailer I became really interested in watching this. Similar to some of ABC’s hit family sitcoms like Modern Family and The Middle, The Real O’Neals focuses on a conventional Catholic family whose world is turned upside down by the revelation that one of the sons is gay. Like the straw that broke the camel’s back, this secret causes repercussions for the whole family, and truths long hidden finally start revealing themselves. The first trailer looks like a lot of fun and the cast is really strong, it’d be a shame if this show sat in limbo for too long!

4 Heroes Reborn

Heroes Reborn

This one is cheating a little, because I don’t know if I’d classify it as a new show, but it’s 2015 and Heroes is back on my screen so I have to make a point of it! 5 years ago, The original Heroes series was cancelled after a steady decline in ratings and quality. Luckily for us, Heroes was resurrected! Heroes Reborn has been teased for what feels like forever, so I can’t wait to see what has been going on in this show’s universe for the last five years! Although it features a (mostly) all-new cast, some of the originals do return, and I’m optimistic that it is coming back to redeem itself!

5 Blindspot

Blindspot

I have to admit I don’t know too much about Blindspot, other than the fact that it started this week and I need to catch up! What I do know is that the main plot involves a woman being found naked in the middle of Time Square, with no memories and her body covered in tattoos. The tattoos offer clues for unsolved crimes and this Jane Doe is somehow connected. I love a good mystery show and the tattoo clues remind me a little bit of Prison Break, so I’m hopeful that I can get into it.

eating popcorn

These are just some of the fifty-odd shows that will be premiering within the new television season! Some will go on to be successful, some will be taken out back and shot in the head. That’s just the name of the game! But for now, let’s focus on giving these newbies a chance! Sit back, relax and just enjoy getting hooked on these exciting new stories.

Yes! 

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I have always been the kind of person to play it safe. Apart from a wild first year of university, I’ve always preferred a night in with a good box set to a night of going out out. Which is fine, it’s just the way I am, and for the most part I’m completely fine with that!

Spongebob tv

However, I feel like if I try branching out and trying new things and taking people up on offers I would normally say no to, I may have more to say and more adventures to look back on. So, I’ve become a Yes Man! Just like the cringey Jim Carrey film, I’ve started saying yes when my first instinct is to say no. I won’t do anything illegal or too dangerous, but it’s good to get out of my comfort zone!

Last night my best friend Ollie invited me and Roni out to a bar where he knows the bartender. He guaranteed me a night of free drinks (which is very hard to resist!), but I was still a bit reluctant. I’d worked a full day and Roni has work early this morning, so I was very hesitant. But then I remembered that I’m a Yes Man now,  so we went for it!

lindsay yesWe ended up having a really good time! Drinks were indeed free all night (my glass was always full), the music was on point (they even played some Britney Spears!), and I was in great company with my husband and my best friend!

I know that for some people this may not seem like such a big achievement, but I can often find a million and one reasons to avoid leaving the house even if I know I’ll end up enjoying myself. I’m just really chilled out and like to be at home (my life goal is to be a househusband!). I’m glad that I reconsidered, and saying yes actually felt fantastic!

yes loop

Going out last night was my thing that I needed to say yes to. Yours may be different. Maybe it’s a new relationship, or a new job. Maybe it’s forgiveness that you need to embrace. Maybe you need to accept help if you are in a difficult situation. Whatever you are saying no to, perhaps you should reconsider! I know I won’t be like Jim Carrey, and there will be things I do say no to, but a few more yeses in life can be a good thing!

If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

I’ve been having a really busy week with work, and unfortunately my blog has suffered because of it. Although this is something that was started as a hobby, I am very devoted to it and like to set apart some time to write. I make a point of it, actually. Even though I am still very busy, today I sat down to write, and it’s been a bit of a struggle! I have a few blog post ideas but the creativity for piecing it together just isn’t there right now.

While searching for some motivation, I googled ‘Inspirational Quotes’. Just goes to show you how desperate I was because I’ve never used Google as a life guru! Somewhere in the middle of the sappy, cliché and overused quotes, this one popped out for me:

Wallpaper-if-it-doesnt-challenge-you-it-doesnt-change-you-brushstrokes-blue

It may not catch your attention, but today I think it’s what I needed to see. It’s so easy to give up on what we want when we are faced with our first hurdle. I’ve never really tried to pursue writing or put it out there for people to see because I was scared of a moment like this. A moment when I feel like I’ve used up all my creativity and I need to go back to my day job and forget about my passion.

When I started writing again after so many years of frustrated, creative build up, I broke a cycle. I challenged myself and I changed. I don’t want to give up on something that I enjoy doing and is actually a huge accomplishment for me. It’s changing me for the better!

Whatever your hurdle is, no matter how hard it may seem to overcome, the thing is to just power through and not lose steam! You might fall over on the first one, lose your balance on the second, or even flat out land on your face on the third, but who knows, maybe by the fourth you’ll have found your footing.

hurdle

Sunshine Blogger Award

Two awards in less than a week? Who am I, Taylor Swift?

sunshine-awardTwo awards in less than a week? Who am I, Taylor Swift? taylor kristenThanks Vinnieh for nominating me for this award and for coming up with some unique questions! Make sure you check out Vinnieh’s blog, where he writes some great reviews and observations.

  1. What do you prefer, a kiss or a hug? A hug… I like to be held.
  2. In your opinion, what is the sexiest part of your body? I think my lips are sexy 😛
  3. Do you read horoscopes? I believe in star signs, but don’t think horoscopes are very accurate. Having said that, I occasionally indulge!
  4. If you were a gangster, what would your name be? haha this is my favourite question! How about Lil Pepe? (my middle name is Pironi).
  5. Are you political at all? I love to watch Scandal and The Good Wife… Does that count?
  6. If you could change something in the world, what would it be? Cheesy beauty pageant answer, but I think equality needs to be a thing. Everyone should be able to make a living and have a roof over their head and live comfortably.
  7. Have you ever been caught doing something naughty by your parents? Once, I was caught playing with a lighter. My dad found out when I accidentally burned the neighbour’s shed down!
  8. Is there a specific language you’d love to learn? I’d love to be fluent in Spanish because I love Telanovelas. I understand a little, but I’d like to speak really fast and dramatically.
  9. Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in spirits, not necessarily ghosts.
  10. What was the first thing you remember doing this morning? I can’t say because it was very naughty! (My husband made me late for work…)
  11. What is your favourite movie in a foreign language? I don’t watch a lot of foreign language films, but I liked REC (Spanish zombie horror film).

I recently received an award so not sure who to nominate, but I will leave a few questions here and if you’d like to answer them in the comments I’d love to hear from you!

  1. If you could live in any TV universe, what television show would it be? Why?
  2. What would your porn star name be?
  3. Who do you prefer, Batman or Superman?
  4. If you could interview anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
  5. Describe your ideal partner in 5 words.
  6. Who would play you in a biopic?
  7. Is the glass half empty or half full?
  8. What is your favourite guilty pleasure film?