Digital Dating – The Profile Pic

2014-07-15-TCdating
Standard

For anyone who’s ever tried to find dates online, one of the things you need to have is a decent profile picture.  This could be some fun candid shot of yourself while out with friends, or could be something more posed.. or could even be the much lauded ‘selfie’ that pretty much everyone is taking these days.

A good profile picture is important because it’s your ‘calling card’ and it’s what is going to get people initially interested in visiting your profile to find out more about you.  Or at least that’s the hope.

Of course it all depends on what you’re looking for.. some guys out there are only looking for a bit of fun so they’ll put a shirtless pic of themselves, or try to push the boundaries of the nudity rules and post something a bit racier.

Unfortunately for some people they just don’t seem to get the idea behind a good profile pic…

25 Unexplainable Profile Pictures

Here are a few thoughts on picking out a good profile pic.. now if only I could find the right pic for my own profile. ;-)

Post more than 1 pic of yourself

How does posting just one pic of yourself, or several similar pics in the same pose/look, help you garner interest of the guys looking through the profiles?  Let’s be honest – it doesn’t really.  The whole point is to give your prospective date (or whatever) more of an idea of what you look like, and perhaps give them more of an insight into your personality (depending on what you’re doing in the pictures, of course).

Obviously put your best face forward for your main profile pic, and then select a couple others that help show who you are as a person, be them just facial pics or full (clothed) body pics.

And smile, damn it!  LOL  You’re not going to get guys messaging you to find out more if you’re looking grumpy or sad in all your pictures.

Selfie or no Selfie?

selfieLet’s be honest, everyone these days has at least one picture of themselves taken while standing in front of a mirror.  It’s become the standard thing when taking pics of yourself.  But is this what you should use for your main dating site profile pic?

It’s never an easy thing to take a decent picture of yourself, be it in the mirror or holding your mobile/camera towards you and hoping you get a good shot.  What you could do is use pictures taken of you by others while out and about, or if you’re willing to shell out the cash, use a professional photographer.. But be careful of that – you don’t want guys to think you’re vain or  self-centered.

No group pics

Let’s be honest – your profile is about you, not about your group of friends.  And the last thing you want to do is to explain which one is you in the picture.  Sure, a group shot can tell a perspective suitor a bit about you and how you interact with your mates, but the guy should ultimately want to date you, not your friends.

Of course this is different if you’re a couple doing a profile together.. but that’s a whole different type of profile.  ;-)

Use a current picture

Come on guys.. How hard is it to have something that is a bit up to date?  Sure, you may like that picture of you from 10 years ago, but is that what you actually look like now?  Unless you’re somehow been able to freeze time for when you looked your hottest at 25, it really is better to show how you look now.

There’s nothing worse than chatting to some amazing, sexy guy online, and when you meet in person they look nothing like the pic anymore.  That may seem shallow, but if what initially interested him in you was your beautiful smile and you show up with some disfiguring scar that makes you look like Quasimoto, that prospective date is going to end pretty quickly.

Have a proper face pic

There’s nothing worse than clicking on a profile to see what a guy looks like, and only being able to barely make out their face.  How hard is it these days with smart phones and webcams to get a decent pic of yourself that isn’t fuzzy, blurry, or so far away you can barely tell what colour your hair is or if you have any hair at all.

Naughty or nice?

sexy hairy chestWhether you want your profile pic to be naughty or not is dependent on what you’re really online looking for.  But should a full body nudie shot be what the guys looking at your profile be the first thing you see?  Most websites or dating apps won’t allow you to post anything naughty in your profile pic, so anything more adult in nature would need to be put into a private pics section, and you’d have to unlock them for whomever you’re talking to.

Best rule of thumb could be to have your main pics fun and sexy without them being full-on porn shots.. and save those more salacious pictures for once you’ve gotten to know them a bit more than just ‘Hi’.

Show your face

We’ve all encountered numerous online profiles where there’s either no pic at all, there’s a pic of some beautiful meadow, or some headless torso.  It’s 2014.. are there really still that many people out there who are more interested in guarding their privacy or hiding inside the closet?

And let’s be honest, if you’re looking to find someone to date (as compared to finding a shag), shouldn’t a face pic be the first thing they see of you?

couple2_bottom

Value of Friendship

friendship
Standard

It never stops to amaze me how some people just don’t know how to be a friend, or how to properly treat their friends.  Our friends are like our families, and it’s important to cultivate these relationships to ensure they thrive and grow over the years.

This is especially important in the gay community, as there are a lot of us out there whose friends ARE their families for one reason or another.  And without that network of dear friends to support and guide us through life, a lot of us wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today, wherever that is in each of our individual lives.

For myself, I’ve never been super close to my family even before I came out of the closet.  So over the years I’ve had to rely on dear sweet friends to become my family and support network.  It wasn’t because my family and I didn’t get along, because that’s not the case.  It was more because we’ve just never been that close and I didn’t feel like I could go to them with the issues I was going through.

And that’s too bad.  I would have loved to have had a closer relationship with them (it’s surprisingly a little better these days compared to when I still lived in the same country as them hahaha), but sometimes it’s best to move past what you can’t change and make sure you have people there for you when you need them.  And vice versa obviously.

Best_FriendsAdmittedly there has been times over the years when I didn’t have many friends to lean on, as some people tend to fade away when things aren’t going well.  And that’s okay, because it shows you who your true friends are.

For me, I’d do anything for my friends.  They’re always there for me, so of course I’d always return the favour when they’re feeling down or going through a rough time.  That’s the whole point of being friends, right?

Unfortunately there are too many out there who would take advantage of someone’s generous nature or their trust, all in the name of friendship.  They are only there for their own selfishness, be it intentional or not, and can’t seem to see how their actions can affect their ‘friends’.

The thing is when you’re on the receiving end of this behaviour, you can only take it for so long before you can’t do anything else but walk away for your own sanity.  Friends need to be there to support each other, not for one to act the ‘parent’ so the other (child) can continue to do what they want, safe in the knowledge their ‘parent’ is there to clean things up for them.

why-friends-are-important1That is not a healthy relationship.

We are all adults, whether we want to be or not, so we need to grow up and take responsibility for our own lives.  That doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun, but instead means you have to be aware of your own actions.  And accept the consequences of them.

And if you’re not happy with your behaviour, then you need to do something to change it and soon.  Because if you don’t or if you wait too long, those loving friends may not be there any more.

Understanding Depression Better

timthumb.php
Standard

Living in a state of depression is never a fun or easy thing to have to deal with.  It’s something that can truly take over your life and leave you feeling like an empty husk inside.

As many who’ve visited here before know, I’ve dealt with my own bouts of depression over the years, and have wrote about it several times in the past.

Although I’m not particularly feeling depressed these days, the shadow of it enveloping me once again is always on the edge of my consciousness, and is something I battle to prevent happening on almost a daily basis.

Too many are afraid to talk about what their going through, and many others are loath to be there to listen as if it was contagious.  Talking about it more will help de-stigmatise how others perceive those with depression, and will encourage those dealing with it to be more willing to open up about it or to seek treatment.

Here are some key facts about depression (ref – World Health Organisation):

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective treatments for depression.

Here are a few things to help all of us understand depression better, from the point of view of things someone with depression will understand.

‘Snap out of it!’

snap fingers

This is probably the most useless and unsupportive thing you could say to someone with depression.  It’s not as if you could just wake up one morning and decide to not be depressed anymore.

Depression is not just emotional, but can also be physical, and saying something like this just shows a person’s lack of understanding of what depression actually is.

Sadness does NOT equal depression

Feeling down or sad is not the same as living in a state of depression, though some people do misconstrue one for the other.  Depression is a clinical term, and is caused by underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities that cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate.  Depression goes beyond just being sad or upset, and we need to stop confusing the two.

understanding-depression-5Little victories are really big ones

When you’re suffering from depression, sometimes something as simple and little as getting out of bed in the morning can be a huge victory.

Most tasks and activities become an ordeal, and just getting through a few of them can make someone with depression feel like they’ve conquered something.  Like they’ve accomplished something substantial, even if it’s something more people take for granted on a daily basis.

Beyond lack of motivation

Most of us feel that 3pm slump when you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of the work day.  For someone who’s depressed, it’s like that pretty much all of the time.  Depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles doesn’t work anymore, and it’s difficult to maintain the focus we all need to get through the day.

There’s physical symptoms as well

Most people think depression as just an emotional or mental problem, but to help dispel this misconception, you also need to understand the physical symptoms.  And these physical symptoms can sometimes lead people to misunderstand what is going wrong with their body, and pre-existing issues could be made worse.  Other physical symptoms can include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue to name a few.

Life just isn’t fun anymore

shutterstock_94195759Depression can make your life dramatically different, as you can lose interest in those activities you’ve always enjoyed – hanging with friends, reading your favourite book, enjoying a night out, or even romantic activities all seem less exciting.

This lack of interest can be a major red-flag when identifying the condition, and it something to look out for in yourself and others.  Be supportive and approach them with an open mind.

It’s hard to put into words

Some people think that those with depression can talk about how their feeling until the cows come home, but in reality it’s much different.  For a lot of people dealing with depression, it can be agony to describe to someone else how their feeling – especially when there’s a stigma around your illness.  When you’re looking at life through dark-coloured glasses, it can be hard to put that into words and believe that someone else can understand what you’re going through.

It’s different for everyone

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ experience or approach when it comes to depression.  Everyone’s experiences and ordeals are unique to them, and there’s no one method to help fight the illness.  That’s what makes depression so difficult to deal with because everyone’s journey is different.

Understanding-Depression-666x372Everyone needs to take their own path to healing and getting past the depression in order to continue on with life.  The important thing is to make sure you’re getting the help you need if you’re depressed, and you’re being supportive of those suffering from it.

Be open.  Be understanding.  Be there for each other.

This post was inspired by ‘9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand‘ over on The Huffington Post.

Where’s My Motivation Gone?

unmotivated
Standard

Sometimes we go through periods of feeling completely unmotivated, and just floating through life.  Day after day, it feels like we’re not accomplishing anything and the longer we let things lay to the wayside, the harder it is to pick it up again.  And to stick to it.

That’s the way I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks, like I have no motivation to do anything.  Or at least anything productive.

And that’s not a bad thing either.  Most of us have fairly busy lives and don’t take the time to relax or unwind.  Sometimes when life gets super busy, we just need a break from everything to relax and enjoy a bit of time doing absolutely nothing.

And trust me, I’m an expert at doing absolutely nothing.  ;-)

The thing is though, after awhile it can become mind-numbingly boring and you end up feeling listless.  You float through your days, doing as little as possible, and in the end you can sometimes feel like you’ve wasted your time doing nothing.

no-motivationAt least that’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  I’ve barely been writing at all, I haven’t been to the gym in well over a month, and despite a bit of activity on the social side, I still tend to spend my days off with my butt fully entrenched on the sofa.

Obviously I’ve needed the break, but it isn’t really any different than how I usually spend my weekends when I’m busy.  It’s scary how easily I can spend a full weekend without leaving the house (other than sitting in the back garden), and having the days fly by while surfing the net or watching movies/tv.

And barely talking to anyone.

Funnily when I am busy and out of the house a lot, all I can think of is having some time to myself, alone at home so I can read or relax on the sofa (think there’s a permanent butt print taking shape..).

And when I have one of those weekends where I don’t leave the house or talk to anyone, I get desperately lonely for some company.  Not just someone to chat to, but someone to cuddle up with while sinking further into that comfy sofa.  But that’s a totally different issue to feeling unmotivated..

I suppose the point of all this is I need to get back to motivating myself to do things I enjoy, be them at home or out and about.  Alone or with a few mates, it doesn’t matter, as long as I’m getting somewhere.

CarrotAnd I suppose some of this feeling of floating through life comes from this feeling I’ve had for many years of not having a direction to push towards.  Of not having an end goal in sight.  Of feeling like I’m just marking time until something happens, instead of making things happen.

And that’s the key right there – I need to make things happen in my life for me and not because I think it’s what I should be doing.  I need to find something to strive towards, and not spend so much time moaning or bitching about what I don’t have in my life.

But how to decide on a course of action or what path to take?  What do I truly want to accomplish in life, or at least over the next couple of years?  What self-imposed barrier have I erected to stop myself from taking that leap of faith and going for what I truly want?  Why haven’t I finished that novel, that online course I started ages ago, or that series of erotic short stories?

Why am I so afraid I might fail?

I suppose it all boils down to a lack of self-confidence in my own abilities or feelings of worth.  And that anything I put out there would truly be worthy of others wanting to actually pay money for.  That since there’s not a huge amount of traffic on this site, that others wouldn’t want to buy something I put out there when they could come here to read for free..

I just need to take a leap of faith and go for it at some point.  Otherwise I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing I’d taken a chance or wondering if it would have been worth it.

Besides, isn’t it better to regret trying and failing, than never trying in the first place?

Words-of-Encouragement

Itching to Fly Away

sitges-calipolis-sitges02
Standard

*Sigh*

I so need a f&*%ing holiday!!

I’ve so missed travelling the past couple years.  The feeling of excitement when you arrive at the airport and check in.  The anxiousness to arrive at your destination as the plane takes off.  The annoyance of the passenger beside you snoring into your shoulder.

(seriously?? it’s only an hour’s flight!!)

And of course the dread as you realise your holiday is over as you head back to the airport.  And that within 24 hours you’ll be back at work, chained to your desk until the next time you can get away.

*Sigh*  I miss it all, the good and the bad.la-nina-hotel

The past couple of years hasn’t allowed much opportunity for me to go travelling around Europe at all.  I love nothing better than to explore a new country/city, soak in the culture, admire the architecture, and just get away from the daily grind of life in London.

The last actual holiday (read: going to another country) I had was when I spent NYE with my friend in Luxembourg back in December 2012.. almost 2 years ago!!  That just seems so long ago!

The only ‘trip’ I’ve done in the past couple years was an extended weekend with my Scottish best mate back in June when we went to Brighton for the weekend for the bear weekend.  Yeah it was an amazing weekend and was good to get away from London, but it’s not the same as flying away to some new and interesting city (preferably along the Mediterranean, with a kickass beach lol).

Of course the main reason for the lack of travelling or holidays has been money.  I was unemployed for the better part of a year, and then took jobs at companies (including my current one) that were paying a lot less than I was used to before I was unemployed.

I’m not moaning about it.. much.  I know the situation didn’t exactly allow me the funds or opportunity to go gallivanting around Europe like I might have liked.  Sometimes life makes you prioritise what’s truly important, and sometimes that’s just keeping your head above water on a daily basis.

hot naked bear beachI suppose I’ve started thinking about it lately because I’m seeing all sorts of people going away on holidays as the summer comes to a close.  Squeezing in that last bit of fun in the sun while they can, before the usual grey Autumn and Winter sneaks in over the next couple months.

Many guys I know have all travelled to Sitges this weekend for their annual bear week.  A week in the sun and sand, with tons of hot bears, cubs, chasers, and all sorts around.  And spending the days relaxing on the nude beach.

*Sigh*  Maybe next year.

My Scottish mate was supposed to come down this month so we could do another weekend in Brighton before the weather got too cold, but his work has gotten crazy busy and can’t get any time off.  He’s said he probably won’t be able to make it back down here until just before Christmas time now.

Boooooooooo

(though we have talked about me going up there for the BearScots event in October.. but we’ll see)

I do know that I probably won’t be able to take any time off between Christmas and New Years as our office remains open, and it’s apparently quite busy. Which is fine, since I don’t really do much for Christmas and can’t afford to travel back to Canada for the holidays to see my family.

joe-manganiello-beachSo this leaves me thinking of maybe planning some extended weekend away, probably by myself, somewhere warm and sunny.  Sure, I still can’t really afford it but I think it might do me some good, especially if I can find something relatively cheap but nice.

As much as I’d love to have someone to go on holiday with me, I don’t mind travelling by myself.  At least that way I can do what I want, when I want to, and not have to worry about the other person.  It allows me to wander around a city with no agenda or any pressing need to get somewhere in particular.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.  Maybe I’ll just take a few days off and spend them at home sleeping.  LOL

Overcoming Insecurity in Relationships

am-i-good-enough
Standard

For anyone who knows me fairly well or for those who’ve been following my blog for some time now, you probably already know that I’m not the most confident person in the world.  In fact, I’m probably a lot more insecure than I really should be.

I can’t help but feel insecure about myself, regardless of the situation I’m in.  This insecurity has always been there and has affected every part of my life, and usually ends up with me unintentionally getting down on myself because I can’t perceive why others would want to interact with me.

It’s admittedly sad, but true.  And sometimes I can’t help myself.  It rears it’s ugly head when I least expect it, usually when I’m feeling particularly happy or content in my life, and I end up back on a downward spiral to usual semi-depressed self.

It’s something I definitely need to work on.  And hopefully the below pointers, courtesy of the original article on Marc and Angel Hack Life (link at bottom of page), will help me move past this insecurity.

At some point.

You can’t read their minds

thinkingLet’s be honest, we all do it.  We take what people say or do and try to interpret what they actually mean, guessing what that other person is thinking or feeling.  When you do this, you open yourself up to misreading what they mean and opening up that can of insecurity, which can eventually lead to stress or depression if not hampered.

Ultimately you should just mean what you say, and say what you mean.  And at the same time, just take what people say at face value until they prove you otherwise through their later actions.  If someone says they really care for you but then goes off with someone else for a bit of ‘fun’, only then should you start to question how they truly feel about you.

But don’t overthink it, cause then you’ll just end up in the same place if you’d misinterpreted what they’ve said.

Nobody’s perfect

We’re all flawed human beings, and it’s those flaws that make us interesting and who we are as people.  But unfortunately, too many of us spend our lives looking for that ‘perfect’ person to complete us, and that’s just hopeless as it doesn’t exist.  If you carry on like this for too long, it could eventually drive you mad and make you feel even more insecure than you already were because you’ve spent all your time questioning why you can’t find that ‘perfect’ person.

Ultimately you want to find someone who will balance out your own flaws, or perhaps compliment them.  Someone who gets you for being you, and doesn’t expect you to be something you’re not.

Leave the past in the past

thinking_of_you_by_eyeramfosTo be fair, we’ve all gained baggage of some sort as we’ve moved through life, but if you continue to let those past experiences colour your current relationship or friendship, then it is doomed to fail.  You’ll continue to allow yourself to be pulled into the same negative relationships or behaviours that caused your previous relationship to fail.

When you meet someone new, enjoy them for who they are, not for who your ex was or how your ex behaved.  Don’t let yourself be pulled into a never ending circuit causing your relationship to fail because you respond defensively to anyone who gets close to you, and you could possibly be causing them to act in the way you expect them to act based on that past relationship.

Break the cycle and move towards something new.

Some problems only exist in your head

Too often insecure people will make themselves unnecessarily anxious by inventing problems in their head, and lead themselves down the road to self-sabotage, be it intentionally or unintentionally.  We will overthink situations and deceive ourselves with negative thoughts, which can only lead you to ignoring what’s right in front of you – the truth.

This is never a good thing, as it will cause your relationships to suffer.  By overthinking things and not realising your own self-worth, you could be unintentionally pushing away those who actually care for you, and potentially missing out on some amazing friendships or relationships.

Don’t freak out, and don’t let it overrun you.  Just relax, take a moment to breath and honestly contemplate the situation.  In the end you’ll be able to honestly understand that the problem only exists in your head, and isn’t actually happening in life.

Stop being a negative-Nancy

Regardless of how things are going at any particular time, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of always focusing on the negatives or on the things you don’t like about your relationship.  If you do, you’ll constantly be missing out on the great things that occur and on the opportunity to be genuinely happy with your life.

Thinking_about_life___by_mc_cool

No relationship is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect it to be.  There will always be ups and downs, and when it’s down you can’t allow yourself to colour the entire thing with your negativity.

You have to appreciate the people around you for who they are, and celebrate their good qualities, those that make you realise how amazing they are.  That appreciation can only lead you to somewhere good and fulfilling.

Click here to read the original article –> 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Insecure in Your Relationships.

Knowing When You Can Trust Someone With Your Heart

brasil-gay-beach
Standard

Falling in love and opening yourself up to someone you care about can be a scary and beautiful thing.  It’s about allowing yourself to let this other person into your heart (and life, obviously).

But when should you take that not-so-little step of saying those three magical words – I. Love. You.

Of course, I’m no expert on love as I’ve never been in an actual relationship or gotten to the point with a guy where I could truly open up my heart to him.  In fact, the few times in the past when I’ve started to open up a little bit has gotten my heart crushed because they weren’t in the same place as me.  Or they were just looking for a casual sex buddy, not a boyfriend or a relationship.

And in case anyone is wondering, no I’m not in love or think I’m falling in love. If only. ;-)

Mostly I think we’ve all forgotten how to fall in love, and what to look for before we allow ourselves to open up to someone else.

But as with anything in life, it’s all relative depending on who you are and who you are with.  If there were actual rules and steps for falling in love, I think there’d be a lot more happy couples out there.

Getting to know each other

All too often these days, people aren’t taking the time to actually get to know each other before moving on to the relationship part.  They’re jumping past the dating and courting stages to go right to living together or sometimes even getting married.

If you don’t take the time to truly get to know each other, then how can you truly know if this is someone you can/want to spend the rest of your life with?  Make sure you know who you’re getting into bed with.  Pun intended of course.  ;-)

Building trust

trust

Trust is an extremely important thing in any relationship, be it a friendship, a casual lover, or a lifelong partner.  And trust is not something that can be given or found immediately, or easily rebuilt once it’s been lost.  And the last thing you want is a relationship built on a pack of lies.

Once you’re able to totally trust this person with yourself and your secrets (if any), then you can allow yourself to open up your heart to loving them and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  You need to be sure you can rely on them and count on them to catch you when you fall.

They’re there for you

Too often we have to chase after people to be part of our lives, especially with how busy everyone seems to be with their own lives these days.  An important thing to be aware of before you open up your heart to someone is whether they’re there for you without you having to really go looking for them, that they actually enjoy being with you.

Of course the reverse is true as well – if they’re always available and want to spend every waking moment with you, then that can become stifling.  There needs to be a good balance between being there for each other and being there for yourself.

They make you feel safe

When someone says to you ‘I’m not going anywhere’, it helps you feel safe with them and chip away at the barriers you’ve erected around your heart.  And when you believe they actually mean it, it’s definitely a step down the road towards creating a life together and opening yourself up to them.

Respect is important

The last thing you want in a partner is someone who doesn’t respect you as a person or who treats you like you’re their ‘property’.  Respect is a fickle thing, and can sometimes take years to build.  And even longer to rebuild once it’s lost.  If they treat you poorly, then they’re not the person you should be with.

They keep their promises

cake promiseFinding someone who’s going to be there for you, through the thick and thin, isn’t always an easy thing.  But like true friendships, a partner who is there for you, who doesn’t leave you stranded, and doesn’t give up on you is someone you should love.

Unfortunately there are too many out there who will talk a good game and make all sorts of promises, but are ultimately nowhere to be found when you truly need them.  You want someone in your life you can rely on, who isn’t just all talk and no action.

They’re willing to sacrifice

Obviously you don’t want a totally selfless partner who’s constantly putting your needs in front of their own, but at the same time you do want someone who’s willing to go out of their comfort zones to do things or go places because you want to from time to time.  And the reverse is true as well, as you can’t be totally rigid in your own comfort zones.

Are you ready for this?

Most importantly, after looking at all the possible reasons why you should open yourself up to your partner, you need to ask yourself if you’re actually ready to allow this person into your heart.  To completely open yourself to this other person.

We all tend to overlook and overthink this part, or worry about those we’re falling for to think of our own readiness.  Regardless if your partner is already to take the relationship to the next level.

Click the link to read the original article –> 9 Signs You Know You Can Trust Someone With Your Heart

Ice Bucket Challenge

ice bucket challenge
Standard

For those who haven’t been living under a rock the past month or so, you’ve probably been inundated with video after video of all sorts of people pouring buckets of ice over their heads, all in the name of charity.

The Ice Bucket Challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

The charity in question does vary somewhat depending on where in the world you’re living. Most notably in the US, the challenge is being done to raise awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  In the United Kingdom, people also participate in the challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association or for Macmillan Cancer Support.

And wouldn’t you know it, a dear friend of mine nominated me through Facebook to complete the Macmillan Ice Bucket Challenge.. but I didn’t do it.  I wimped out.

Instead of doing the actual challenge and posting yet another video of someone pouring water over their head, I sent a donation to the charity and posted on Facebook asking for others to complete the challenge on my behalf.

Ice bucket donationAnd surprise surprise, I totally got the piss taken out of me by a couple friends for not doing the challenge, although they did commend me for still sending a donation.

I could come up with all sorts of excuses why I didn’t do it – I’ve had a bit of a sore throat past couple of days, it was too chilly outside, I didn’t have anyone to film it for me, and so forth.

But to be honest, I just didn’t want to do it.  To stand out in my garden and pour a bucket of ice water over my head while filming it for others to laugh at.  It just seemed a lot of silliness to add another video to the already massive number on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole premise behind the challenge (regardless of which charity it’s being done for) is terrific and a fun way to raise awareness for these diseases, and to further educate those who are unaware of what they are.

But for me, I felt I could do more than just pour ice water over my head.  Like write a blog post about it all to help promote the different charities, and to ask those who can to give to either of them.  As well as the donation I did send in myself.

Doing the challenge is great and all, but I think some of the videos out there are just people following along with this summer’s ‘trend’.  I’ve seen many videos online where people don’t even mention the charity, why they’re doing it, or whether they’ve made a donation themselves. And that’s not helping the charities at all, but instead just giving people a funny video to laugh at.

Of course, it’s the end result that matters most – increasing each charity’s funds so they can do more research and work towards prevention of the diseases.  And by talking about it to get more information out there we can help even more than just pouring water over our heads.

And in the end, isn’t that the most important thing?

Click the links below to find out more about each of the charities, the work they’re doing and the challenges themselves.  Please give if you can.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html

Macmillan Ice Bucket Challenge (UK) – http://www.macmillan.org.uk/ice-nominate.html

As well watch the below video to see what sufferers of ALS go through.  It’s an emotional and beautifully made video once you get past the super funny part at the beginning.

It’s the only ALS Ice Bucket video you really need to watch.

Soooooo Tired…

tired man
Standard

*YAWN*

I’ve been so tired lately, and am barely staying awake as I write this… though today’s tiredness is probably a lot more to do with not getting home until well after 3am last night after going dancing in Vauxhall with a mate.  ;-)

I’m not sure if my tiredness is a result of a lack of sleep or of my new job keeping me super busy all day.. or a combination of the two.  Most days when I come home from work, all I want to do is curl up on the sofa and read on my Kindle.

Which would explain, for those who visit here regularly, why I’ve only been posting about once a week lately.  I just don’t seem to have the energy in the evenings.  Hell, in the past couple weeks I think I’ve turned my laptop on maybe 3 or 4 times?  In fact, my previous post was done from my iPad, cause that way I could get comfy instead of sitting at the desk with the laptop.

On top of it, I haven’t been to the gym since I started my new job.  It’s no longer on my way home from work, so would take me well out of my way to get there then head home… In fact, in half the time it would take me to get to the gym from work, I could be home relaxing on the sofa.

lazy-monday-8Yep… I’m being lazy.  I know it, I admit it, and I’m enjoying it.  LOL

And what are my plans to change this laziness?  How am I going to perk myself up a bit to rid myself of the regular tiredness?  To be honest, I haven’t thought about it at all.

Lately I’ve just been enjoying life as it happens and not thinking too far ahead.  See where each day takes me without worrying if it’s where I should be.

In the past week, I’ve been out a couple times – last night dancing in Vauxhall as mentioned, and Wednesday night to the monthly bear bowling night in Elephant & Castle – and I spent last weekend with my new Kurdish ‘friend’ in Guildford.

In fact, I think I’ve been out at least once a week/weekend for the past month or so.  When did I become so social?  LOL

A mate of mine said to me a couple times recently how happy I look these days.  I don’t know if I feel particularly happy lately, but I don’t feel UN-happy, which is a very nice change for me. I suppose if I had to label how I’ve been feel lately (besides tired lol), I would call it content –  I’ve got an interesting and demanding job that keeps me on my toes, and I’ve been getting out of the house a bit.

My life isn’t perfect.  I’m still single.  I don’t have my dream job.  I’m not being waited on by a gorgeous hunky man while lounging on a sandy beach… oh oops.  Wrong dream.  ;-)

Guess what I’m saying is I am happy with where my life is at the moment, regardless of where I would like it to be.  I’m enjoying it right now, and I’m going to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Now.. think it’s time to curl up on that comfy sofa of mine to read.. or maybe take a nap.  :D

Young man relaxing on sofa with book

Looking on the Bright Side of Life

IMG_0246-2.JPG
Standard

There are loads of people out there who consistently and constantly are able to look at life in a positive light, even when something negative happens in their life.  They remain upbeat and cheerful regardless of what’s going on around them.

Most of the time I can’t help but wonder how the hell they do it, especially when I’m going through dark period after dark period and wishing something good would happen in my life.

Luckily things have actually been going really good lately and I’ve shockingly been feeling something I haven’t in a long time – contentment bordering on actually feeling happy!

It’s not like I’ve found the perfect job or met the perfect man (though that one is still up in the air lol). It’s more that I don’t really have a reason to NOT feel happy at the moment.

I don’t LOVE my new job, but it’ll do for the foreseeable future and I think it’s something I could be good at.. as long as I don’t get sucked into the existing staff’s negativity. It’s shocking how much bitching and moaning about the place I overhear in the smoking area.

Although I might get sick of the 8am starts each morning at some point.. But on the bright side, I get to finish at 5:30 and am home just after 6pm because it’s so close. So that’s a bonus at the moment. :-)

As for my dating life, it amazes me how quickly that can change. Over the past while I’d started to feel like the troll under the bridge due to the lack of attention.

Then that coin flip happened, and things seemed to change.

Not only have I continued seeing the sexy Kurdish guy (I’m travelling to Guildford today to spend the night..), but I also had a date with a kinda cute Italian guy last Friday who wants to meet up again .. Although I don’t think I’m interested since he wasn’t that good of a kisser. Lol

As for sexy Kurd, do I think it’s love? Do I think this is me finally meeting my perfect match? Who knows and frankly, who cares. All I know is I enjoy his company, he makes me laugh and smile, and I still think he’s sexy when he’s being goofy or in a grumpy mood.

Are there warning signs with him that should be telling me to walk away from him? Sure there is, but then again nobody’s perfect. Obviously I’m not thrilled that he’s already partnered (long-distance, and rarely see each other) or that he doesn’t live in London and is moving further south.

But at the moment I’m not going to worry about any of that and am just going to continue to enjoy his company. I’m not thinking about the future or any ‘what ifs’, but instead am concentrating on the here and now.

Basically I’m trying to just enjoy life as it comes along… For once in my life.

Fingers crossed it lasts for awhile. :-)

IMG_0245.JPG