the interview….

Interviews are never easy. We turn up looking smart and hope to give the best impression. They do, after all, make their mind up in the first 90 seconds, if we will cut the mustard….

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Ever been to an interview….. Remember how it felt. Nervous tension, butterflies in your tummy and sweaty palms perhaps. It’s daunting. But, you know you can do the job as laid out in the job description. You have the skills. They know what they are looking for in a person to fulfill the position, and they will scrutinise your resume and do some fault finding, before deciding whether or not you ‘have the job’

Did you ever take the job and then after a while, realise that it wasn’t actually for you. That you didn’t really feel welcomed by other members of staff or that you just didn’t like the way that they did things. Perhaps it just grated on you and wore you down. That it didn’t seem how it first appeared in your mind as to how it would be? The demands were more than you believed they would be and the sacrifice was ultimately too much, so you left.

We are lucky if we can do that, just hand in our notice and leave. Is it luck or is it that we are free? We are free to leave.

Remember as a child doing what your parents asked you to do. Eating what was put in front of you. Dressing in the clothes that your mother bought for you and conforming to all the rules of the house, until you became a teenager and perhaps rebelled a bit.

Did you always agree with your parents? I doubt it, I know I didn’t. Did you feel that you could have your say, particularly when you were now an adult child, and be heard, listened to and valued? Did your parents always welcome with open arms your friends or partners of choice? Or were there times that you felt let down by them so you perhaps agreed to disagree. You are after all, now an adult.

Did you have the freedom to leave home though, and be with your partner of choice, because you loved them and wanted to be with them, share a life with them and make decisions with them about your life together. Aren’t we lucky if we can answer yes?

I love the T.V series The Crown. I watched every episode and I had a great new found respect for the Queen and what she had to endure, sacrifice and do in order to be ‘The Queen’ . I felt sorry for her and for other members of the Royal family for the sacrifices they have had to make in order to be a Royal.

I know some of it is fiction, but you can see the constraints, the privilege, turning of a blind eye, the bullying and dismissing of peoples rights and feelings. I felt that so much when I watched it.

‘The Crown must come first’, is what the Queen would say. But at what cost? ‘The crown’ costs lives. Lived ‘freely’ lives. I pity those born into that life for their choices are not really of their own making. If they are, somehow they will be punished because of them.

Charles finally got to marry the woman he always wanted to marry, but couldn’t, was not allowed to, because she wasn’t deemed suitable. She had a past. She wasn’t royal enough. So he married Diana instead and ruined his own and her life. He did however, get his fairy tale ending. He got the bride he wanted, but he did pay dearly for it. The crown must come first.

I wonder the impact on their two boys growing up in such a loveless marriage. Fueled with anger and resentment. It would absolutely have made an impact on them and perhaps made them realise that love is worth more than ‘The Crown’.

We saw it with Edward and Mrs Simpson. He abdicated for love. He sacrificed a lot for love.

I still really respect the Queen, she has a very tough job and is dictated to by rules and must conform to the rules, even though it may hurt her and/or her family.

I watched ‘The Interview’ last night and my opinion is that I saw two people who love each other. Want a life together, free from scrutiny or control and raise their children. Sounds like most of us?

I see so much hate on social media and in the media, particularly directed at Meghan. I am shocked by this. I had never heard of her, before she met Harry. I had never watched Suits. I was however, happy for him that he met someone to share his life with.

He had a tough time dealing with the death of his mother, as did William. They have endured so much as the children of Charles and Diana. They have heard so many stories, good bad and indifferent all their lives, by people in the media and otherwise, and that cannot have be easy or without negative impact.

In my humble opinion, I think Harry did right to stand by his wife, and try to take a bit more of a back seat in his Royal duties. Taking a back seat wasn’t allowed, so now they are standing on their own two feet. They, I feel, have the right to say how they feel or felt.

I don’t think they were awfully disparaging or disrespectful. Only they know how they feel or felt. We cannot tell them how they feel. We cannot tell them how they should live, what they should or shouldn’t say. We can’t tell the Queen or any of the Royal family for that matter, how they should feel either.

Meghan may have gone in with her eyes (naively) open, thinking she had the skills:- maturity, willing to learn, strength, good work ethic, conforming to new rules, being told what to do and when to do it, for example, but then realised, that actually, no she didn’t have those skills after all, that it was too much, that she was at breaking point. She now also had a child to think about. This was a far cry from the life she was used to or from the one she thought she was getting into, but she tried and did so with dignity.

Also, Harry must have anticipated, on some level, that Meghan, entering the Royal family would not be a ‘walk in the park’ and he must have considered what he would do, should she not be able for ‘the job’. They were not teenagers getting married, they were grown up 30 somethings….

Also, Harry, having seen what ‘that life’ did to his mother, took action and tried to stand by and support his wife, like a loving and loyal husband should do. Is that bad?

People are always going to be divided but at the end of the day, people don’t have to live his life, or Meghans, or the Queens or any of the Royal familiy. I think though, the level of vitriol targeted at them, especially Meghan, is actually disgusting.

People saying she deserves an oscar, she’s acting, she had this plan all along….. How do they know that? I believe her intentions were good and she hoped she would be able for the life she thought she would be entering when she joined the Royal family. Like any ‘job’ it shouldn’t have to define you or hold you to ransom. You should be able to walk away.

I think Harry, walking away from his family to live a ‘more free’ life will be easier for him to endure, if they remain somewhat estranged, than it would have been for Meghan to stay within the confines of the restrictive rules of the Royal family, and feel suffocated, unsupported and undervalued.

I say good luck to them and good luck to the Queen. Their lives are not easy and I am just thankful, that I am a ‘nobody’, making my own life choices, speaking freely my own mind and living on my own terms.

For those people that think they have a right to add negatively to Harry and Meghan’s mental health, I say think again and be careful with your words. I am sure you would have something to say if they told you how you should live, how you should do things etc.

It is none of our business, at the end of the day, so on that note, I wish them all well and hope they all find peace and heal the rifts between them, in time.

January…..A month to stay in

So the new year is here, full of new years restrictions, a vaccine and hopefully, with hope….

image – authors own

The tinsel is wrapped and put away

The tree gone to the shredder

The Christmas lights once so bright

Have dimmed now all together

A new year’s day, a new year dawns

And we hope we can progress

It is with caution and foreboding

That I am fearful, I confess

The numbers they are growing

And infecting many lives

Invisible like a thief in the night

It will entice you and beguile

As it lures you in, into its grasp

When it sees you are complacent

The virus travels at quick speed

And does not victimise against us

So January it seems, is the month,

that we must pledge to stay in

To slow the spread of this disease

While letting others win

The people with the cancer

The mental health and needs

So great they need attention

But they just have to yield

And so it’s devastating

Whichever way we go

But stay in, we must in January

Cos they have told us so

And as we crash together

And crumble to our knees

Despairing as to whether

We succumb to our needs

For mankind needs a purpose

To go and do some work

It gives us direction and focus

And helps to prove our worth

So now we must all hibernate

And hope we will come through it

Unscathed and well and feeling whole

And hope we haven’t blown it

Essential workers don’t get to rest

Or hide behind closed doors

Their terror and their worry

Will stay with them some more

In order to protect us

 to treat us, and to cure

They go with trepidation

This virus, they abhor

So we all must do the best we can

To keep this ‘thing’ at bay

And hope we can come together

And have our ‘normal’ back some day

Time

The best thing to learn is everything takes time, it’s a matter of knowing how to use it

images taken at St. Helen’s Bay, Co Wexford

None of us know how long or short our time will be on this planet. Some go way too young and others stay beyond a century. I hope to be in the latter. One thing I do know, is that the planet we live on is a place of wonder and beauty. It is ever changing but continually provides a beautiful landscape. Sometimes it rages and causes havoc. Is it angry or simply shifting its focus? Other times it is calm, serene and magical. In moments of time we are the same as this planet. Like a spectrum we can gravitate from one end of the scale to another, depending on our circumstances, our thoughts, opinions, influences and other environmental factors. It is a continuum, time is not static. It does not stand still, even after we leave, time continues and the sun rises and falls and night follows day. Again and again it goes on, in spite of the storms and in spite of the droughts. So it is, that we must do the same. We must carry on in spite of the chaos, in spite of the hurt, in spite of the disappointments, the successes and the failures. Life throws us curve balls and it is up to us what we do with them. We cannot avoid them totally and they will have an impact, but we can work around them, and continue to move forward.

Time is a precious thing in that it never runs out and we can make choices and decisions, and if we screw up and cause havoc like the storms, we know it can be cleaned up, renewed and a new day will dawn and brighter days will follow.

We are heading into a new year and this year we are dealing with and bringing Corona Virus with us. It will not disappear at midnight. There is no fairy godmother that can banish it away or give it wings to fly itself away. We will still wake up in our lock downs with our restrictions and precautions and for that we will feel sad, disappointed and angry, but we know that it will not last forever. We know and have to believe we will get it under control, it is just a matter of time and we must be patient, vigilant and not complacent.

During this time we may have found lots of things to be positive about, thankful for and appreciative of, and so going into the new year, we must remain positive and hang on to those positive thoughts. Trust that a new day is dawning and in time, we can obliterate this virus and in the meantime count our blessings of what we have and who we have in our lives and lets also enjoy the beauty of our planet and nature.

Autumn

Autumn

And the leaves fall down
They are crisp under foot
Exposing the landscape
The colours are changing
Bright beautiful hues
gnarly branches this way and that
a bird in clear sight
the shroud has gone
uncovering the sound of its lamenting sweet song
the dogwood is flaming
showcasing red twigs
spectacular specimen without its coat
but oh, the beech impressively noble
draped in copper, draped in gold
what a sight it is to behold
autumn or fall, a season of beauty
wool knit jumpers and welly boots
pounding in puddles
and dancing with leaves
long country walks
drink in the fresh air
sighs of long deep released breaths
of beauty and loss
of life and death
a stage of renewal
new aspect and time
preparation, perception
yours, theirs and mine

Rhythm…

different not less….. aren’t we all?
lets dance to our own tunes and embrace our uniqueness

photo authors own….. unknown artist for artwork but love the letters U.R.O.K……….you are ok and I am ok, we are ok!

Nothing and no one can be the same

Yet struggle we do and feel the pain

The looks and the sighs when we do it wrong

Not dancing in tune to the same old song

Unique individual, a ‘one off’ for sure

So why do the looks of disdain make me sore

Can you accept I am different from you?

Show me some patience and courtesy too

I may be slower to understand

But do I deserve this reprimand?

I wonder if you could change places with me

Walk in my shoes then you will see

I may not talk or speak as you do

I communicate differently, I thought you knew

A person with autism is different not less

I find you should know better, I must confess

If ‘speaking’ is the be and the end all, of how we should be

Then ought you to know that you misjudge me

Yet I understand that differences mean

We respect what can and cannot be seen

I know how to read but not how to write

I know how to spell, without paper in sight

I know how to cry, to eat and to sleep

I know how frustration looks and feels

So patience and kindness are what I ask of you

To see beyond my behaviour or dance to your tune

For the rhythm in me is different to yours

Just watch and observe me, you’ll ‘find’ me for sure

I am not so different from everyone else

I have thoughts and feelings, but am left by myself

No friend, no companion to join in with me

So please can you try to adjust what you ‘see’

Open your mind and let it wander

Dance to my tune and embrace its wonder

What you will see is truly unique

enlightening and magic and  full of mystique…

Self Promotion

Don’t be afraid to keep reinventing yourself, believing in yourself or promoting yourself…. You can be anything you want to be

nature and innovation

I love the look of this tree in the photograph. I know it’s not the best photograph, but in its natural glory the picture still tells a story. It’s the story of how we live and co-exist with the environment. The tree began life as a seed and along the way grew up, grew strong and formed attachments, or attachments were made. Other plant life grew around the tree and the tree branched out in different directions, and balanced itself to keep itself rooted, where it was planted.

You’ll notice a street light to the left of the photo. That is innovation and before the invention of electricity or light bulbs, people relied on candles or tilly lamps or the moon and stars. Whatever they relied on, people kept searching to progress and improve their surroundings and ultimately their lives. We are a very long way from the cave men!

These days we have social media and the internet. This has really allowed us to expand our horizons, connect more and it makes the world seem a much smaller place, in that everything is within our reach at the click of a button.

We have tick tockers, influencers, bloggers, facebookers, instagramers and much much more and these platforms allow us to promote ourselves, our products, our lives, our views, our everything really.

So here I am promoting myself and my new product – Caroline’s Card Creations (found on Facebook) or @taylormadecardcreations on instagram. I think that there is nothing wrong in promoting ourselves, in coming up with new ideas, in trying something new, in taking a first step to trying to improve ourselves, our lives and our connections.

Like the lovely tree in this photo with the ivy creeping up it and its branches, extending, twisting and turning it shows us that it has come along way from the little seed it once once and yet, we know there is still more for this tree. It is not over. It provides for nature around it, for birds nesting, oxygen for us and maybe one day will be used to make something. Its purpose is endless.

Like the tree, we are not one dimentional. We cannot exist on our own. We co-exist with others, with nature and the environment. Some people wish they could do something, but are afraid, afraid to branch out, afraid to take the risk. Afraid of failure or afraid of ridicule. By not brancing out or reaching out, we will stay stuck, wondering, regretting, hoping or despairing of what we ‘wish’ we could have tried, should have tried.

So I say, no matter what it is, whether it’s making a new friend, changing a career, inventing something new, moving from one place to another, or creating something, do it, take the first step and be proud that you tried and go promote yourself and all that you are and can be.

Below is an example of one of my cards….. Go Sorcha!

http://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/irishnamecards

Just because….

Misty morning on the slaney
Distorted view… St. Sennans…

When your mind is boggled and all confused and thoughts are racing round your head, it doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way, it’s just because…. You said

When walking paths get well worn and the view is just the same, it may be time to turn around, and head another way.

And just because the road is winding, or the crossroads has no sign, just take the first step blindly, and pure wonder may be thine.

The excitement of discovery, columbas would understand, the staying in the groundhog day, just leads to no-man’s land.

And just because you feel you should, or ought to just stay put, the road that will lead to is the road of the rut.

So the view may be distorted but the fog will surely clear and just because your fearful, doesn’t mean you should stay here.

Go take the step and open your eyes, seek the wondrous sights unseen, just because you are uncertain, shouldn’t stop you, from being….

Hyper or Creative?

In order to be successful, do we need to be static, rigid and keep going in the same direction, or can we deviate, over and over and enjoy the success of it all?

work in progress – authors own….

When I was a girl in school my art teacher told me that I was rubbish at paining. I had no reason to doubt her. I certainly was no picasso! I did like art class though. I’m not sure if it was because there was no real academia involved and it was more like a place to express rather than to ‘retain information’.

I actually really enjoyed school (until I was 15) which I know, is unusual for most. I wasn’t the most academic, I was middle of the road, average, but I enjoyed learning and seeing my friends.

Art and P.E were my favourite subjects. I quite liked English too because of the story telling more then the command and structure of the English language. I was a bit of a day dreamer when it came to other topics, like history, Geography or Maths. I did enough to get by and pass exams, but my interest in them was minimal.

There was a certain freedom in sports, art and English. A freedom to explore and do. It was practical, and allowed me to construct things in my own way. Everything we do, I guess, is down to effort, but also motivation.

Fast forward 40 0dd years and I find I still like to express myself or lose myself through art and writing. The only Physical exercise I do now is walking, but I love to do that, especially down at my local beach.

When I paint, I can get lost for hours just trying out new things. My art teacher would probably still tell me I am rubbish, but it is all subjective really. I am still no picasso, but I bet I get about as much enjoyment out of it as he did.

When we start out in our working lives, we are supposed to have a career in mind of what we would like to do/be. I certainly have had many jobs since leaving school. From bar maid to office worker. From paralegal to Beauty therapist and from volunteer to Social Care Worker. I changed ‘career’ many times.

The success of it all for me, was more about the getting there, rather than staying there. My personality is that I get bored easily. I have always enjoyed learning and I have always enjoyed ‘doing’. It is the ‘staying’ that I find hard to do.

The only thing I have ever stayed at long term is being a parent. It’s the hardest job in the world, but I have been a mother to 16 children over the last 32 years (not all of them were my biological children – I am also a foster carer)!

I am a flitter. I flit from this to that and I like it. I think it makes life interesting. So for the last couple of years I started to paint. I have done a few things that I even surprised myself, in that they were actually quite good. Good enough to hang on walls.

I have now moved onto painting furniture too and I am loving it, out in my workshop I paint. As I wait for a layer of paint to dry on a piece of furniture, I take a canvas and I paint a layer of paint of that and see what transpires. I flit between the two until I am happy that they are ‘ready’.

My friend jokes and tells me I am hyper. She is a mental health professional….. I laugh and tell her I am creative. It makes me wonder though, about how we view people. There are the great artists in the world, but can they keep house, boil an egg and hands on raise a family….. In order for them to be so brilliant it takes time and talent. Just look at Michelangelo, sculpter, painter, poet and architect. He had to dedicate all his time and efforts into those crafts to be so magnificent. He certainly was a genius with a talent.

The joe bloggs such as me, has neither the genius nor the talent or even the dedication to pursue a ‘career’ as an artist, but I do have the motivation to be creative in my own little way for as long as the joy of it allows, before the boredom sets in. I, nor God only knows how long it will last.

I also have another new creation which I am embarking on. I have married my photographs with names (Irish/gaelic) and made beautiful cards. You can find them at @taylormadecardcreations. I will post an example below.

Again, this is me being creative and going off in another direction. Am I hyper? I don’t think so, I think I am just not static. When I have ideas, I like to try them out. Whether they are good, bad or indifferent. Whether they are objective or subjective, the point is, I give it a go and while I am enjoying the journey of it, I keep going.

I say, it is OK to take a career and do it all of your life, if you enjoy it and it fulfills and satisfies your needs. I also say it is OK to deviate, move away, branch out, try something new, so long as you enjoy it and it satisfies and fulfills your needs….. and is legal!

I have met so many creative people who didn’t think they were creative or good enough. I am at the top of the queue, but then I realised, it is not about being good enough for other people to enjoy your work, it is about being good enough for you to enjoy your work first and if others like it, then that is a bonus.

So whether you are hyper or creative….. keep going and keep ‘doing’.

Pretty things….

volunteering in a charity shop feeds my addiction, but on the cheap. I’m a shopaholic….. apparently!

birds of a feather, flock together……

Photo – authors own…

Apparently I have an addiction. It is not really harming anyone. I don’t get violent or abusive. I don’t fall about the place, forget my name or sell my soul to the devil. I haven’t wanted to feed my addiction that badly……..yet!

I am a shopaholic, there, I have said it out loud. Well, I have merely repeated what my husband has said I am. Thankfully, he supports me in this addiction of mine, and often times, he joins me.

If anything, I am helping instead of harming. It all started with the little things, but predominantly, the pretty things.

I am a volunteer in my local Oxfam in Wexford town and proud of that. I have been there over 5 years now, sorting out the books and what a great book selection we have there – just saying, if you fancy popping in and picking up your next read!

At first, it started with the books, some for me, some for my children and others for my grandchildren. Fiction, non fiction, autobiographies, you name it i’ve bought it. Lots of them look great on my book cases. Lots of them I have not read yet, but will, one day, I promise.

At the end of my shift I then browse in the shop, or when I am taking photo’s for our instagram page (check it out @oxfamwexford). It is then that my addiction really kicks in and I can buy anything from a hair brooch, to a high end hand bag. Pottery to a pretty painting or a special vase to a sleek sari. You name it, if its pretty, I will most likely buy it. I am one of our best customers and no, I don’t get nor want a discount. It is for charity, after all!

It is not just in Oxfam that my addiction takes place, it is any shop at all. If I see something pretty I will get a ‘figary’ and buy it, whether I need it or not. I tell myself, it will look nice there, or I can use it for this or I can give it to so and so for a gift or I can paint this and use it as that.

I do it all, I buy it, use it, put it in a cupboard, give it away, upcycle it, sell it, replace it, donate it and so the cycle continues.

Everything in life is not black and white and thank god, but those colours are cetainly not ‘pretty’. They have their uses, of course they do, like a blackboard and a whiteboard are very useful, but they don’t have the word (board/bored) in there for no reason! I am not opposed to them at all, but sometimes a splash of colour, a shimmery sparkle, a sleek and soft texture, a hand painted or hand crafted piece of art, pottery or otherwise, is just something lovely to look at, admire or use. It can lift your spirits the same as a lovely colourful bouquet of flowers, freshly cut or shop bought, it doesn’t matter.

The point is, if something lifts your spirits, and no one comes to any harm in the process and in fact you are also helping a cause, can that really be a bad thing? I don’t think so.

The only time it becomes a bad thing is when I run out of places to store my stash because my other problem is hoarding stuff, not being able to let go easily, and I know I am not alone in this one. Most of my friends and family are the same. So in that case, isn’t hoarding like an addiction too?

Why do we get so emotionally attached to things? Its a strange cycle because we think, oh I can’t give that away, or, so and so gave it to me, or I wore it on our first date or it was a gift (but I hate it) so I must keep it. Like it is some sort of security blanket. Yet when we let go and give it away, clear it out, donate it, declutter, we feel better, not worse. I have some clothes in my wardrobe that are over 30 years old. I have college books and papers that are over 20 years old too, why do I keep them!

I am starting to get a little better at being ruthless and getting rid of, giving away or donating things and I always feel great when I do. But watch this space, because it won’t be empty for long, before I fill it up again.

Back to work tomorrow…. Oxfam, brace yourself!