Where’d My Drive Go?

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Back when I first moved to London, I seemed to always be on the go.  Checking out new areas, looking to meet new people, and just generally enjoying getting out there and exploring what my new city had to offer.

After reading an article a mate posted on Facebook this morning, it’s made me wonder where that person went.  Where that inquisitive and adventurous person disappeared to.

When did I become so complacent in my day to day life?

Basically, I’ve settled in and become a fixture on my own sofa.  I’ve lost that innate desire to explore the city and to try new things that I had when I first moved here.  I’ve lost my drive to make my life interesting and exciting.

But is that a bad thing?  We all get into routines from time to time,and sometimes life gets so busy that you just need that quiet time recharging on the sofa.  And boy, do I love my downtime!

airplane windowOr perhaps this is my subconscious telling me I need to try somewhere new to get those adventurous juices flowing again.  Maybe I just need to take a trip (preferably abroad, and somewhere sunny) to jump-start that desire within myself while living in London.

Or maybe it’s time to think about leaving London…

As my bestie P keeps asking me what’s really keeping me in London?  It’s not like I’ve some fantastic social life here, or tons of friends to spend time with, or some fantastic lover who’s career keeps them in town.  And it’s not like I myself have some amazing job that I can’t get anywhere else…

So what is it that’s preventing me from making such a big change?

Probably more than anything it’s nerves and being scared of the unknown.. which is a lame excuse considering the HUGE change I made when I first moved to London 6 1/2 years ago. All by myself.  I really can’t excuse being scared of such a change, when it pales in comparison to that.

Is it finances?  Yeah, that’s possibly part of it as well.  It costs money to move to a new city, and if you don’t already have a job lined up then you need enough to live on until you find something.

Before I moved to London I saved my pennies for most of a year, allowing me to move here with a nice little nest-egg that afforded me a month or two without working.  Luckily I found a job and a place to live within my first month here, so it all worked out.

However based on my current financial status, I’m barely scraping by each month.  So that doesn’t leave much breathing space to start saving for some big move.

Not that I have any clue where I’d want to move to …

A couple of years ago when I was first made redundant, I did consider moving south to Brighton.  I was doing alright financially at the time, and could afford the move itself.

I was so adamant that it was going to happen that I spent a bunch of time down there looking at flats and rooms to rent, but never really found anything I truly liked.  So I stopped trying.. and ended up staying in London, living through a year of unemployment and depression.

where nextI’m under no allusions that my life would have been better if I’d gone ahead with the move south.  Or even that I’d have found a job right away, let alone an actual social life.  But it does make me wonder what could have been…

Anyway… no point looking back on that when it’s time to look to the future.

Now just to figure out where the hell that future will take place.  😉

Where Does the Future Lead?

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Sometimes I can’t help but wonder (and worry) about what the future has in store for me and where my life is going.  It worries me because I don’t feel like I have a plan or a goal to work towards, or have any real set destination in mind for my life going forward.

A lot of the time I just feel like I’m floating through life, letting the world around me flow by.  Or when I’m feeling a bit down, like I’m paddling against the currents trying to get somewhere unreachable.

But why is that?  Why do I constantly feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle just to have the life (I think) I want?  Why does it feel like I’m watching the world pass me by as I see others enjoy and (sometimes) squander what I would truly like to have?

Interestingly I know if I put a plan in place, I can carry it out successfully.  Hell, just look at what I went through planning and preparing when I first moved to London over six years ago.  I had a goal in mind, and I created a plan to get me here.. and I did it (albeit 2 months later than planned lol).

Hopes and DreamsSo I know I can do what I need to when I want to get somewhere in life, but why am I not doing it any more?  What is it that is holding me back?  Am I that afraid of failing?

Or is it more that I’m afraid of actually succeeding, so I don’t even try?  Or that I don’t think myself worthy enough to succeed?  Why won’t I take that leap of faith and just go for it?

But I suppose the real question here is what is it that I truly want out of life?

And the answer is  – I honestly don’t know anymore.  Sure, I can easily say I’d love to have an amazing relationship, a fulfilling career, a healthier more fulfilling life, or a dozen other vague and ambiguous ‘goals’.

Realistically I need to decide what exactly each of those things mean for me and how I can work to building what I want in life.  Sure, a relationship isn’t exactly something I can make happen as it’s dependant on another person, but career and lifestyle changes are solely within my own hands to make happen.

I’ve said many times before how I’d love to write full time, to be a published author or perhaps write a regular column for a magazine.  But why am I not doing it?  Why am I holding myself back from actually taking a chance in life?

Holding-Self-Back_HeaderPure and simple it all comes down to confidence, in myself and my abilities.  To be confident that people would actually pay money to read something I’ve written, be it a novel or something else.  To believe in myself enough to take that step and put my words out there .. although I kind of already do that here, to an extent.

I’m still not sure what the future holds for me, but I hope it’s full of success, happiness and love.. and that it would show up already.  LOL

* * * * *

On a side note – please see my new ‘Contact Me‘ page if you’d like to drop me a line but aren’t comfortable leaving a comment on a post.  Spammers need not apply. 😀

How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn

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Layout 1When most people think of someone losing their ‘mojo’, they generally think of that scene from Austin Powers when he’s lost his sex drive.

More generally, losing your mojo means you’ve lost your self-confidence and belief in your own abilities, and not just when it comes to sex.  That you’ve lost your ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude.

Like when you’ve lost a job and you’re left feeling adrift or with no idea of what to do next.

Yep, that’s been me for most of the past 2 years.  The longer my unemployment went on, the less confident I was in my own abilities.  And I couldn’t stop the negative thoughts creeping into my head – that maybe I wasn’t that good at my job, or that maybe my past successes were just a fluke.

And despite friends trying to bolster my confidence by reminding me of all the great things I’d done, all I could muster was something non-committal.  Because in my head, all I could think was ‘I suck’.  Even though I didn’t.

Basically when you’re in this situation and your mojo seems to be playing the most annoying game of hide-and-seek ever, you need to take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time for a change.  That maybe you need to go in a different direction, and soften your usual rushed go-go-go approach to life.

Here are a few helpful tips gleaned from an article on LinkedIn a friend posted on Facebook (click the link at the bottom for the full article).

Write it out

As evident by this very blog, I like to write out what I’m feeling and thinking instead of letting it bounce around my poor head.  By journalling your thoughts, it allows you to look deeper into yourself, find ideas your conscious mind might not have normally thought of, and allows you to guide your own reinvention.

Change it up a bit

If-you-do-not-change-directionSometimes you just need a break from what you’ve been doing or trying to do and take things in a different direction.  A lot of people tend to get a survivor job while looking for more gainful employment, and this allows them to do something completely different. It can help you stay focused mentally, as well as keep an income coming in.

In fact some people continue to work a second, part-time job once or twice a week just as a way to shift their attention.

Get Out of Your Head

This is advice I need to take – stop trying to ‘solve’ everything like a logic puzzle, because you’re not a puzzle.  Instead you need to look at this as a time for reinvention, like the physical transformation when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

So the best advice for this is to do something fun and possibly artistic (like working on that damn novel I started a few months ago).  Go dancing.  Enjoy the sunshine.  The more you care and respect your body by letting your brain have downtime from the normal job hunt, the faster your mojo could return.

You’ve come a long way, baby!

We’ve all gone through rough times and came out of them flying like the wind.  You need to remember where you’ve been and how you’ve gotten to where you are, as it’ll paint a picture of your path and remind you of how far you’ve come.

Whenever I start to think life is crap, I try remembering how I got here in the first place.  And by here, I mean London.  I was living in Montreal, bored with life, and I decided one day to do something about it.. and spent the next year planning, organising and saving to move to London.  It wasn’t easy, but I put all the naysayers behind me and achieved something I never thought was possible before.

It reminds me that anything is possible if I want it hard enough and actively move towards it.

impossible1Move your booty

Get off your ass and step away from the computer!!  Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’ve spent untold hours every day sitting at the laptop looking through job ads.  So I’ve been making myself leave the house and going for a walk, or forcing myself to go to the gym (I’ve been quite lazy about that lately..).

You can’t force your mojo back by sheer brain power itself, so you need to let your body take over and take care of you.

Helping others

A great way to boost your own mojo is to help someone else in need, be it through volunteer work, listening to your mate’s boyfriend troubles, or helping a fellow job seeker with some advice.  By helping someone else, you’re boosting your own sense of self as you’ll realise you have more wisdom and knowledge than you ever thought before.

Be aware of what’s around you.

When looking to reinvent yourself, you need to remember it doesn’t happen in a linear process.  Instead you need to keep an eye and ear out for the little messages around you.  It could be something overheard on the bus, something you notice sitting in the coffee shop, or even something that pops up in a dream.  Whatever it is, it could lead you to your next adventure, so listen up and enjoy the ride.

Un-define yourself from your past

I felt lost and confused when I first went through my redundancy, as I’d defined so much of my life based on my job.  Those feeling caused me to become unsure about myself and who I was as a person.  What I needed was to remember that a job is just a job, and it isn’t the whole of my existence.  And it most definitely didn’t define me as a person.

You need to remember that bigger adventures are always on the horizon, and that you are fine and amazing.  You need to give up on that perceived fixed identity and be ready for the possibilities.  You don’t need some high-paying, powerful job with a fancy business card to be amazing, because you’re already there.

Be yourself and let life take you where it’s supposed to.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy the ride all the better.  You just need to give it time for your mojo to come back to you.

dilbert_cartoon_powerlessnessClick here to read the original article – How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn.

Anniversaries, Apocalypses, and the Holidays

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Anniversary

Well well.. who’d have thunk it.  About a week ago, ‘Ramblings of a Supposed Disease Free Mind’ turned 4 years old.

That’s right, it’s my blog’s anniversary. 🙂

When I initially started this blog, it was to give myself a creative outlet for my writing and to help keep those back home in touch with what’s going on in my life after I moved to London back in September 2008.

happy_anniversaryLike most things, my blog has gone through a many ups and downs over the years, including several breaks where I wasn’t posting as often and one time when something I posted on here almost got me fired.  It has showcased happy times, periods of depression, losing jobs and even the loss of ‘friends’.

I’m not sure what the upcoming year will bring for my blog – or even for my personal life – but the hope is to get back to writing more often.

The Apocalypse

Well today is December 21st, 2012 .. and the supposed day of the Mayan predicted Apocalypse.  People around the world were all freaked out that the world was going to end.. with some of them looking forward to it for whatever reasons.

two-planets.jpg1325593265It obviously hasn’t happened.

According to this article here, which debunks 5 Mayan Apocalypse Myths, today wraps up a 400-year cycle called a b’ak’tun, the day of the winter solstice.  Over the years, the Mayan Calendar has been misinterpreted by Westerners to predict the end of the world, when it was just a benchmark of the end of a full creationist cycle.

For anyone scratching their head wondering what any of that means, I haven’t a clue either.

Guess we just need to wait and see what the next cycle brings us .. and most likely, just get on with living our day to day lives.

The Holidays

That’s right, it’s that time of year again where most everyone goes a little bit crazy to create the perfect holiday season and spent way too much money.  This time of year means different things to different people, regardless of their cultural upbringing.

302946children-playing-in-the-snow-posters1For me, I find it’s a quite lonely time of year, as I tend to spend most of this season alone.  I don’t have many close friends here in London, and the few I would love to spend this time with generally go home to spend it with their families.

I got a chance to go home for the holidays last year, spending the time around Christmas with my family back in Canada and New Years in Montreal.  I definitely enjoyed it and wish I could see my family more often (last time I’d seen them had been 3 1/2 years prior when I moved to London).

It’s always great to spend the time with family, but it isn’t always possible financially.  Especially this year since I haven’t been working since the end of August, and have spent most of the past couple months studying towards a certification in Project Management.

So instead of spending it with family or dear friends, I’m spending Christmas Day itself with the older couple I live with and their friends.. only because I had no other offers.  It’s not exactly what I would have liked to be doing, but at least I’m not spending the day physically alone.

I know a lot of it is my own fault, as I haven’t exactly been a social butterfly the past few months while being off work .. especially since I’m doing my best to not spend much money so I can ensure I can pay the bills (I’m not broke, but I am being careful).

fireworksBut at the same time, and I’ve found this before when I wasn’t working, I have found that some so-called friends stop wanting to hang out when things aren’t going that well.  It’s like they only want to be around when things are good and happy.. which would mean they truly aren’t that good of a friend.

However don’t think I’m being all depressive, cause I’m not.. well not completely.

I’ve got New Years to look forward to, as I’m going to spend it with a dear friend (possibly more than a friend?) in Luxembourg.  And I’m definitely looking forward to that time away from London and my flat.. and to distract me from job hunting and studying.

Fingers crossed things improve for me in 2013.

Celebrating Fathers Around the World

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Phew.. it’s definitely been one heck of a week… and this is the first I’ve logged into my blog since last Sunday!  Not good…

It’s not that I’ve been out super late, or even been having much of a life (though have hung out with my friend ‘C’ a couple times this weekend).  I’ve just been working late a few time this past week, so by the time I get home I’m shattered and can’t think of anything to write about.

Yeah I know.. excuses excuses. LOL

But anyway.. today is special, because it’s all about Father’s Day: a celebration honoring Fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society (Wikipedia).  This day is of course to compliment Mother’s Day, and is mostly held on the same date around the world – third Sunday in June.

Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day celebrations around the world have been made to fit other local celebrations, religious or otherwise, and occasionally had the date changed.

However the origins of Father’s Day are specifically American, and was initially thought of once Mother’s Day took off.  Unfortunately, this ‘holiday’ took several decades to take hold, and wasn’t until 1966 that ‘President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.[14] Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972‘ (Wikipedia).

That’s about 60 years after Mother’s Day was made official.

Anyway, back in Canada, there was never a lot of hype around Father’s Day.. at least not in my family anyway.  Sure, there was the usual Father’s Day sales for traditionally ‘masculine’ stuff, like ties, pipes (really?), golf clubs, power tools (dangerous!), electronics, and so on.

Basically, the usual stuff one’s father probably doesn’t really want, but then again it’s all about the sentiment I suppose.  Or the hyper-masculinity of it all.

Obviously it isn’t easy for me to do something special for my dad on this day with him being back in Canada and me in the UK.  I always try my best to at least give him a call to chat and see how he is, which I now think he enjoys more than getting the cheesy gifts he got when we were kids.

And I admit, I enjoy it too these days as we’d never had the best relationship while I was growing up and didn’t speak for about 7 years after I came out.  I honestly think it was more that he wasn’t sure how to talk or connect to me any more.

Of course that got better over time, especially when I decided to move to London back in 2008 and he helped me so much with everything from applying for passports, to looking for a flight to London, to telling me about what areas to avoid (based on when he lived here back in the 50’s & 60’s.. ).

It helped us to get to know each other better.. and I found when I went home to visit this past Christmas, I ended up spending more time with Dad than almost anyone else.  And surprisingly, he started telling my younger sister and I stories of when he was a young man living in London, getting his first wife’s father to trust him, and about them moving to Canada to join the rest of his family.

Stories he’s never told us before, possibly to not hurt mum’s feelings by talking about his first wife.. or maybe it was because he never thought there was a connection before, but there is now that I live here.

Or maybe he’s just enjoying reminiscing as he gets older.  Who knows.

Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to the chat today.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. 🙂

My So-Called Love Life

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Well, I’d call it a love life if it actually existed somewhere other than in my mind.  Or on my iPhone.  Or my computer.

I’ve talked several times about the troubles I’ve had in my dating (or sex) life and lack of any sort of relationship happening.  Ever.

I’d seriously thought that all this would change when I moved to London.  That my silly man-child romantic dream of finding Prince Charming living in a quaint little flat near the Thames would actually come true.

HA!  Oh man, what the fuck was I smoking back then?

On a side note, it is interesting to realise that since moving to London I’ve rarely dated/shagged anyone British.  Funny that..

Anyway, after a recent acceptance that Prince Charming doesn’t exist, and that perhaps I’m just one of those people who’s destined to be alone their entire lives, I’ve literally given up on finding anything.  Including shags.

Again.

I guess I’m just at the point that, if there’s never going to be any great love (or any love for that matter) in my life, then why should I even bother to keep trying?  What’s the point in being online or going out and being sociable all in the hopes to meet someone interesting?

Of course the advent of all those new and shiny mobile apps that allow you to see what guys are online in your area haven’t helped any either.  To me that’s just instant rejection, and allows you to cut out the part where you head to the pub to get snubbed or ignored.

Sure.. I should just be enjoying my time hanging out with friends and having a few laughs.  And I would, if any of them ever bothered to come hang out with me.  Or lived in the same city as me.  Or even bothered to return my messages.

(Of course the best are those people who say ‘You should have called me to hang out’ but you know from Facebook and stuff they would have just been too busy with their actual social life to sit and listen to you moan about your lack of one.. and god forbid they actually try to include you in their plans.)

That’s right.. I’m that lonely guy leaning at the end of the bar looking around wishing someone would talk to them.  Or I’m sitting on the couches, bored and playing on my mobile.  I’m shy, so I have a really hard time making a first move.

Lord knows I’ve met so many people over the years who always ask the same question: ‘What’s a nice guy like you doing single?’… Of course underneath it all you just know they’re really wondering ‘What’s wrong with you?’

And maybe there truly is something broken inside of me, some part of me that’s holding me back from truly getting out there and enjoying life, regardless of who’s around me.  I just wish I knew what it was so I could fix it.

Cause in the end, I need this solitude to change.  It’s bad enough I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night, but what’s even worse is it’s Jubilee weekend (4 day weekend) and I have zero plans with anyone..

Not that that’s anything new.. I never get invited places really.  It’s my usual weekend thing – spend it alone, and mostly in front of my computer cause at least that doesn’t ignore me.

Le sigh…

Understanding Eurovision.. Maybe

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So… being from Canada, I was totally oblivious as to what the ‘Eurovision Song Contest‘ was.

I’d kind of heard of it over the years, but I hadn’t really bothered to find out what it was all about.  It wasn’t something that was ever shown in Canada so what was the point.

Of course it’s different now that I’ve been in London for close to 4 years now… not that I really have a clue of what it’s all about still, but at least it can be fun to watch.  For the finals this past Saturday, I was perched at the bar in a Brighton bear pub after spending the day roasting in the glorious sunshine.  🙂

Mostly from my experience and from people I’ve talked to about it, it’s just a fun night of music.  Everyone knows it’s going to be cheesy… and some can be downright creepy.  Check out the pic of twins Jedward creating a heart with their hands. (They’ve now represented Ireland 2 years in a row..)

It’s meant to solely be entertainment.. but the more you read about it, the more you come across theories about how the voting is all political and so forth.  Umm.. ok, it’s a song contest people.

So… for those back home or outside Europe – What is Eurovision and what is the point of the contest itself?

Ummm.. no clue.  I checked their website (Eurovision.tv), but I didn’t really find much as the the ‘why’ the contest exists to begin with.

So I turned to good old Wikipedia for some information .. and the contest was set up by the European Broadcasting Union as a way of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a “light entertainment programme” as Europe was rebuilding after the war.

I’m not going to go through the 50-some odd years of history of this program .. Most of it is kind of boring, like when they changed the rules form this to that.  Or when they introduced the phone voting or the semi-final voting.

Or even that currently each year there are 6 countries that get an automatic pass into the live finals – the host country (previous year’s winner) and the ‘Big 5’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).  After a bit of reading on Wikipedia and the official website, I eventually found out this was because those 5 country’s broadcasters (BBC for the UK) are the biggest financial contributors to the contest and broadcast itself, and that it couldn’t be shown without their financial backing.

There’s a whole bunch of other information about the contest that I read through.. but to be honest, it’s not much more exciting .. and I got completely lost as to why countries like Iceland, Israel, Morocco, Russia, and such were able to participate in the contest when they’re not even part of Europe or the EU (there was a bunch of latitude and longitude numbers thrown around to explain the area..).

If you really want to know more about it, check out the Wikipedia page, or the Eurovision website itself.

I’m sure I could probably wrap my head around it all, but it’s late and I’ve got to be up for work in the morning. 😉

I’ve decided to just try and enjoy the music… even if most of it is cheesy (check out the Russian entry from this year .. and they came 2nd!).  And I’m not even going to discuss the UK’s entry.

Here’s the 2012 winning entry from Sweden.. It’s totally catchy, dancey.. and gotta love the lighting/camera work done for her performance.

Loreen performing ‘Euphoria’

‘Bear’ly Realisations – Finding your Gay Stereotype

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It never amazes me how much as a community we stereotype and sub-categorize ourselves even further than just being ‘Gay‘.

Ok… this isn’t so much a new thought for me (or anyone really), but I felt like talking about it and how I became aware of the different sub-sects over the years.

Up until several years ago, the only sub-sect of gay men I knew about were ‘twinks‘ as the most of my friends were either just regular guys or were twinks themselves, and we generally hung around with other regular guys.  The gay bar we went to in our neighboring town was a mixture of all types, so stereotypes weren’t as easily distinguished.. at least not to my naive mind.

Just eat a cheeseburger already!!

It wasn’t until I moved to Montreal back in 2000 that I started to realise there were different sub-sects to the scene.. mostly because they all had their own bars, saunas, hangouts and so forth.  But even then for the first few years I can see now that I kind of had blinders on.. and the attitude of my ‘friends’ that anyone bigger than a size 28 or 30 waist were just gross and unattractive didn’t help at all.

Of course, that included me, as I’ve never been skinny or thin and didn’t really diet or exercise.. I was just myself.  And it also resulted in my not getting laid that often.. which has probable lead to my willingness to jump at any sexual interest cause I’m scared it’ll be the last one… we’ll have to talk about that another time.

Now of course I wasn’t so naive or narrow-minded that I didn’t realise that I didn’t really fit into the scene my friends loved so much.  I’d never found the effeminate, limp-wristed, super-skinny guys they liked attractive at all, and being a bigger guy with body hair, I most definitely didn’t fit into the stereotype.  I did my best to try to have fun while out, but man was it ever depressing always going home alone..

Montreal at night

So eventually I went off exploring the other options in Montreal by myself…

I’d never lived anywhere where there was a selection of bars to go to before, so this was fascinating for me and I was interested in exploring.  Since I didn’t have anyone to go to these places with, it was almost like my own dirty little secret, and anytime someone asked me where I’d been that night I actually felt ashamed saying the name of the bar.

Eventually it got to the point where I completely stopped going out with my friends to their bars.. because they would never come out to the bars I wanted to go to.  Why was I the one who always had to suck it up and go where I wasn’t comfortable?  I’d spent years being tired of being dragged to the same places over and over again, watching the same people make the same stupid choices, all the while wishing I was somewhere else.

No.. I’m not into leather… and that’s not me lol

So I stopped inviting people out with me, and I went out alone very regularly.. and the invites to hang out with them stopped as well. I became more aware of the sub-sects around me, as much as one could in a city like Montreal, and eventually realised I fit the stereotype of a ‘bear‘… the exact type of guys my old friends used to think were unattractive and gross.

But.. it was when I moved to London that I truly realised that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there were loads of guys out there who were totally into bigger, hairy, bald guys with facial hair (last couple of years in Montreal I’d started shaving my head as I was losing my hair anyway, and had tried out a beard…).

And some of these guys were down right sexy!  And some actually looked like the fit guys my old friends would have drooled over.

Funny how things turn out, huh?

~M~

Note: Of course I don’t always necessarily feel a part of the ‘bear’ community either, as I don’t label myself as such… it’s just easier to try and be part of that community than it was the other one.  😉

Happy (Canadian) Mother’s Day

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I just wanted to take a few moments to wish my Mom, my sisters, and all other mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day.

Of course, I had to look up when Mother’s Day was back in Canada.. as here in the UK, it was back on March 18th.. Which is apparently the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Oh ok.. wait, but when’s Lent? lol

I never knew until I moved to London that Mother’s Day was celebrated on different days around the world.  Reading through Wikipedia about it, I realised it wasn’t just the UK that was on a different day, but the entire world celebrates it at different times.

For instance, in Spain, Portugal and Hungary, Mother’s Day was last Sunday.. whereas in Norway it’s always the second Sunday in February.

Hell, Indonesia and Panama don’t celebrate the day until December, and it’s not even called Mother’s Day!  (Panama celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, for instance..)

Again, according to Wikipedia:

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood occur throughout the world. Many of these trace back to ancient festivals, like the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. However, the modern holiday is an American invention and not directly descended from these celebrations.[1][2][3] Despite this, in some countries Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.[4]

Julia Ward Howe was the first to proclaim Mother’s Day in 1870. Her Mother’s Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in America. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and it’s now celebrated all over the world.

Now, as this ‘holiday’ was adopted around the world, the date in each country was changed to fit any already existing celebrations of motherhood, some of them religious celebrations.

In fact looking at the UK and Ireland, originally the fourth Sunday after Lent was called Mothering Sunday, which is ‘a Christian festival celebrated throughout Europe that falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent‘.  In the UK and Ireland, it eventually became synonymous with Mother’s Day as celebrated in other countries.

Basically what I found was that most countries, regions and religions already had some kind of celebration surround motherhood before the modern commercialized Mother’s Day was adopted around the world.  The day means different things to different countries, and some even have different traditions and different ways of marking the day.

Regardless of the country, customs, or traditions you follow, let’s all remember to be thankful to our mothers, whether they’re near or far, for everything they’ve done for us over our lifetimes.

We couldn’t be who we are without them.

~M~

Hello again..

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It’s been way too long since I’ve written anything on this blog, other than posting a video here and there.  I think I’m well overdue for sure.

I originally set this blog up to explore my writing, and give myself a creative outlet.  It also gave me an opportunity to let people know about the things going on in my life, whether they lived here in London, or back home in Canada.  And for whomever else around the world who found my ramblings interesting.

The thing is, when I first started this blog, I was still trying to find my way around and set a life for myself in London.  And that has happened.

Just yesterday I realized I’ve been living in London for a whole year now, and it amazes me how things have changed in a year.  Hell, it amazes me how things have changed in the past few months!  The past year has just flown by…

Since moving to the new flat in Vauxhall back in March, life has definitely gotten more interesting.  I find myself getting out there more and more to meet new people, and mainly thanks to joining the London Raiders (a gay/lesbian softball group), I have managed to find an amazing group of friends.

But on top of that, I’ve also changed jobs, not by choice unfortunately.  The company I was working for, an outsourcing call centre in Chiswick/Gunnersbury, had moved me to a temporary campaign a few months ago for a banking group, which was a welcome change form the usual broadband I had been doing for ages.  The problem was, once the call volumes went down and they started looking at cutting people from the campaign, there was nowhere else to move me to in the company.

Now because I was still on a temporary contract after 9 some odd months, they only had to give me a week’s notice that they were letting me out of my contract.  And with the current economic downturn in the UK, I was not looking forward to job hunting .. luckily, I was technically only unemployed for a whole 3 days until I was hired at my new job, at another outsourcing company.  At least it pays the bills…

008Around the same time, I was headed to Copenhagen with the Raiders to participate in the 2nd World OutGames, an event that originated in Montreal while I was living there.  We originally were going to be competing in both men’s and women’s softball, but there weren’t enough teams for a men’s tournament, so instead it was a mixed team tournament .. with 3 teams, and 2 of them from our group.

056Luckily, and this was mostly because our guys complained about the lack of an actual tournament, we were allowed to join a second sport and not have to pay a second registration fee.  So, since I’ve been doing it since I was 9 years old, I signed up for the Bowling competition, and am I ever glad I did – I won the GOLD MEDAL for Singles bowling, and a SILVER MEDAL for Double (Social division)!!!  And on top of that, the softball team I was on won a SILVER MEDAL as well!

That’s right.  I came home a triple medal winner!  Talk about completely unexpected..

On top of the successes of Copenhagen, my social and love lives have been positively in overdrive. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overexageration, but it does seem like I’ve been going out more and more lately.  It could partly be due to the summer winding down, and everyone trying to get those last BBQ’s in before it gets too chilly.  Whatever the reason, it’s been lots of fun, and I really don’t want it to stop…

As for my love/sex life, well … I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say something has changed over the past couple months.  All of a sudden, I’m getting a lot more attention from guys, and not the usual mingers I usually get hitting on me.  I’ve met and had some fun with some really REALLY good looking guys lately, and more seem to be coming out of the woodwork.  Like, these are guys who probably wouldn’t have even looked at me twice a year ago.  But because I’m probably much more comfortable about myself these days, even if I look exactly the same I did a year ago, I’m drawing these guys in.

Whatever the reason for the added attention, I’ve definitely been enjoying myself.  But the interesting thing is, last weekend I met this handsome, sexy older man (he’s 52!!) for drinks and I can honestly see something coming out of it.  We spent most of the weekend together (and no, it wasn’t all in bed!!), and have been chatting all week since.  I don’t know where it’s going, or even if it is going somewhere, but I’m sure going to go with it for now and see if it leads somewhere.

Of course, I do have my reservations regarding him, mostly due to him having 4 children from his first marriage (to a woman), his impending divorce from his husband (marriage number two..), and his being 16 years older than me, but I’m willing to see.  For now.

Other than all that, life is life – dull, routine, mundane.  Just like everyone else’s life, I suppose.

May have to change that.  😉

~M