Organise

Organisation is life.

I like everything to be just-so. For context, I was THAT kid in school. You know, the one who wouldn’t let anyone borrow their stuff. The one who liked the first page of every notebook to be immaculate. The one who would stress out if their pen ran out and they had to switch to a different colour of ink part way through the page of notes. Don’t laugh. Yes, that was actually very stressful for me. I lived in constant fear of my favourite scented gel pens being lost, damaged or never returned.

Today my life is dominated by series of lists and calendar appointments, coupled with a strict household cleaning regime. I like to be prepared. And I truly believe that an organised mind starts with an orderly home. Yup, I guess I’m still a little uptight.

So when it comes to organising for Christmas, I like to be that smug idiot who has finished their Christmas shopping before December has even started. The checklist of gift recipients is conceived in October, with gift ideas developing and evolving over the next couple of weeks. Dutifully, I tick off each gift purchased with a contented click of the screen.

However, there’s still one area of Christmas prep I’ve not quite managed to get my head around…. juggling the multitude of Christmas social events. There’s the work night out, the office Christmas lunch, the kid’s Christmas carol concert, the ‘get together’ with those old school friends (who you now only make the effort to see once a year), the sports team booze-athons, and of course the mince pie and mulled wine soiree at Betty’s over the road. Invariably, these all seem to fall on the same evening… and therein lies the task of organising and prioritising the Christmas social calendar.

As I see it, there are 5 key tactics when it comes scheduling your Christmas fun;

  1. The “double book” – trying to have the best of both worlds by leaving one event early and then arriving late to the next. It means you can accept many more invites, but spend the night clock watching instead of having fun.
  2. The “manners your mother taught you” – you only ever accept the first invitation. It doesn’t matter if the invite to the party of the year has just been sent out, you’ve already accepted the invitation to Betty’s bash, and that decision is final.
  3. The “BFF code” – prioritise events based upon your relationship with the organiser. Friends trump work colleagues, family trumps friends. It saves a multitude of arguments in the long run, though you might miss out on the latest office goss.
  4. The “party starter” – prioritise events based upon the perceived level of fun. The wilder the party, the higher you push it up the list. Guaranteed to manifest in multiple hangovers, but bucketfuls of fun.
  5. If all else fails, and you just can’t take anymore partying, simply fake an illness and don’t leave the house!

I’ve just got to go work out which strategy to use now… Any suggestions?

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Goals

Life goals, squad goals, insta goals.

That’s a whole lotta goals to contend with!

Portraying our best life to the wider world can be exhausting. It’s keeping up with the Joneses on a monumental scale. If, like me, you enjoy posting pretty pictures from time to time, but you’re not sure that you can aspire to being a perfect version of yourself all the time, then the contented middle-ground is for you!

In the middle ground, we can take comfort in knowing that the most public and flashy goals are often materialistic; precisely staged images of opulent lunches out, perfect walks in the countryside, and carefully curated outfits. We middle-grounders like and appreciate these things from time to time. But we know our limits. Whilst it’s natural to want to feel a sense of pride in our achievements and enjoy sharing them with others, there’s a fine line between celebrating our successes, and simply showing off (at least in our eyes).

Our personal or private goals tend to be the ones which really matter to us. Will I get that promotion at work? – you know, the one which I submitted the application for in secret. That way, if I don’t get it, I won’t have to suffer the shame of telling the rest of my team about my failure. Or, will you manage to get your toddler to sleep through the night for the first time in over 7 months? – saving your sanity… and potentially your relationship. Invariably, it is these basic-but-all-consuming life hurdles which provide us middle-grounders with the most joy.

When we achieve big, it takes us by surprise. We’re unsure how to react and either gloss over the success or over-praise someone or something else for their small part in our triumph. The success seems too good to be true… perhaps if we say it out loud then we’ll discover that it isn’t really as great an accomplishment as we had first thought? For this very reason I tend not to share my most satisfying achievements on public forums. These are the ones that have taken blood, sweat and probably a substantial amount of tears behind the scenes in order to attain. My little self-esteem bubble would struggle to take the hit if I discovered my efforts hadn’t really been worth it after all. Instead, I’ll take silent comfort in knowing that i’m slowly moving forward and doing the things I hope to accomplish. One step at a time.

I didn’t set any personal goals for this year. However, looking back, there have been both highs and lows – as is to be expected. One positive was that I started this blog. Something which I had had been planning to do for over 2 years, but never quite mustered the courage. Here, 5 months in, I’m still sticking with it, trying to put down my thoughts into type each week or so. Whether or not anyone but myself reads it doesn’t bother me too much. I’ll just continue to be me.

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