Why The Word ‘Commit’ Makes Me Yawn

When people talk of commitment they’re usually referring to an attachment to a person, goal or foodstuff. All well and good but incredibly predictable. So what you can commit to your job, guess what? The rest of the employed world already does that. If not, they’re committed to finding a better job or they’re on the streets. You’re committed to your partner? I should darn well hope so! Get my point? When you say you’re committed to the obvious you get an obvious reaction.

On the flipside I often feel the word “commit” can also come off as a bit strong, for me it casts images of stone handcuffs imprisoning you forever to an assertion. So you say you’re committed to a food brand? Uh huh, lets see what happens when I double its price and half that of its rival. I even chuck in a tube of Pringles for good measure. What if I told you your country had banned that foodstuff from sale? Would your whole world implode and you’d never recover? I’m quite sure you’d get over it.

Take this hypothetical example…

Me: “I want to eat a banana.”

Internal Devil Voice: “NO! You must eat chocolate. You said you’re committed to it!”

Me: “But that was one time when was single and having a binge day.”

Devil: “You can’t just drop a commitment because it suits you. You said it then, deal with the consequences of your actions.”

Me: “But…but…”

Devil: “No buts, now eat fatty, eat!”

And this is why I can only eat chocolate. Damn you Devil voice, you and your forcing me to eat unhealthily and skip fitness classes! *shakes fist in the air*

In short I’m not a big fan of dropping the term commitment into everyday vocabulary. You shouldn’t need to tell me you’re committed to something, if it’s that special and important to you I should know it, feel it, without having you having to shove it down my throat constantly.

However to clear things up and prove that I’m not some kind of free spirited hippie that can’t bind herself to anything more than breathing, here is a list of things I can at least half-commit to (without lying or making you want to throw up into your Lucky Charms).

These things are:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Spilling both on frequent occasion
  • Vintage-style dresses
  • The memory of Heath Ledger in Ten Things I Hate About You
  • Mika’s first album
  • Chocolate (see above conversation)
  • New pillows
  • Phil Collins…just Phil Collins
  • The 2016/17 TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale (thou shalt not talk about the 1990 film)
  • My writing

There you go, all the things I can reasonably commit to and make me happy. You now know a lot more about compared to a post writing a soppy love story about how committed I am to my family. I bet as a reader you preferred it too. Please feel free to send me any combination of these things to my door, although FYI chocolate covered Phil Collins is a definite no. Lets get that idea nipped in the bud.

 

Oddly enough this post was written in response to the word prompt of the day Commit

Mess With My Garden, Mess With Me. 

It’s a gloriously sunny day in the fair town of Swindon, Britain. The temperatures are scorching, children are playing about on the lush green communal lawns and there are men walking around topless who really shouldn’t be. So why do I find myself ripping my hands to shreds as I tug away at weeds and vines in my garden?

Crawling under my front hedge to pick up pieces of rogue rubbish, putting together an outdoor table and realising at the finish line I’d screwed one part upside down and thereby having to start all over again. When I bought a house they did no tell me this is how I would spend my finite time on Earth. My government sold me a lie! Damn you Teresa May!

As I look at my patio garden, now with correctly assembled three piece dining set, I acknowledge that to some the small outdoor space would hardly pass as acceptable. The fact that despite the owner’s hard efforts, vine and weed sprouts are already starting to poke through the wicker fence would be inexcusable. There is no water feature or decorative sculpture, no plants and excluding the weeds there isn’t a speck of green. Not a single blade of grass can compete with the paving stones which stretch from the back door to the boarder of my territory. In fact it could be said that the only characteristic feature of the plot is the clothes horse proudly plonked in the centre to catch as much light as possible. As I type my floral duvet in ruffling ever so slightly in the near still breeze. Foliage will make an appearance eventually, as soon as I have the money to buy pots, soil and greenery which requires zero attention to look fabulous. (As I reread that I realise that basically I’m asking to plant a tub of weeds…)

And yet do I care? Pfft, of course not! Because although it’s not perfect and it’s not a 20 acre meadow, it’s mine. Who wants perfect? Who wants to battle a wild meadow on their weekends just to use it as a five minute conversation piece at dinner parties? Not me. You can keep all that, I’ll take my perfectly small, perfectly improve-able garden. It’s not ugly but a work in progress.

It may not be full of colour, bees and landscaped features but it’s mine and that makes it more attractive than any one blossom in your garden. You mess with my garden, you mess with me and my poorly constructed table.

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Written in response to Daily Prompt Blossom

As Replaceable as the Sky

The rain rolls down the cold, hard, glass of my little bedroom and I find myself pondering on the topic of ‘replacement’, debating in my equally little head what the term actually means.

Grey clouds sit high above in a content fashion. On this drizzly January evening it’s hard to imagine that anything else could possibly occupy these temperate British skies. Only occasionally are the plump objects forced to move on, being replaced by a substance more yellow and warmer in personality. One would expect the ants below to rejoice in this uncommon of events, yet the reaction is ironical. Instead of being celebrated, hailed and praised, the British will complain. We’ll moan that it’s too hot, or complain that our offices are insufferable, some will even complain that it’s bad for our health. I can predict the headlines now “Sun Sizzles Cells!”, “Cats Fainting in Cumbria!” (or words to that effect). But, until that happens we will all sit in the gloom and sniff and cough until a suitable replacement is found. We complain when it’s cold, tut and sigh when it’s hot, that’s just how we are. Just as the sun is characteristically warm, our Island is habitually cool.

My gaze moving now from the window, I look across my room until my eyes fix on a plastic storage unit, my plastic storage unit. Complete with bugling drawers of linen, stationery and books, I smile at the thought that my life can be summed up by the very existence of this cheap short-term, turned long-term, storage solution. My necessity to collect the trivial but essential fuels its existence. However when the time comes to move it will, at best, be relegated to a dark corner or, at worst, disposed of entirely. In short, it will be replaced. It’s years of service will mean nothing. Utilitarian style is after all so 1941. In the history of never has anyone ever shown off a £15 storage cabinet to visitors. It has skills, it has done me no wrong, but it is ugly. Like the grey skies above me, it must be replaced.

The books stacked on top tell the stories of fictional individuals, but they also whisper unwritten tales of the reader who studied each page so very closely. They speak, to pardon the pun, volumes. The reader has laughed, cried and everything in between whilst flicking through the dog-eared pages of these novels, sat on the plastic storage unit. I happen to know her very well. And yet, they have been read now, the stories seen, the lessons learnt, which is why they now stack up in an ever growing pile. There is no space to put them anywhere else. They used to look pretty, create the feeling of an intellectual figure who reads a lot, but now the reader has had enough of these books, she bores of them. Overnight the stack has turned from romantic to repulsive. Yes, new books are needed, but the old ones must be given new homes. They may be of a different breed to the generic storage unit, but then surely one book is as good as another? After all they all have jackets and pages, what are a few differing words? Yes, the old needs definitely needs replacing with the new.

Isn’t it funny how a seemingly harmless word can be, well, so harmful? So insulting and damming. ‘Replacement’ is not a term that fills one with optimism. To replace someone or something is to hope that their successor does an equally good job with an additional quality or characteristic that is more appealing. Failing that, one hopes that the replaceor can do the same job, at the same level, with no complaint. No one ever asks for a ‘lesser replacement’. I want the sun to come out, but yet my lifestyle won’t cease to continue if it remains grey for the next six months. I want a prettier storage unit, but I don’t want it to fall apart on day one. I want a new book but I don’t want it to be full of nursery rhymes.

I have heard people say “anything can be replaced if you look hard enough” and then witness these same people grumbling as they struggle to find a healthy, tasty, alternative for chocolate. If everything was replaceable then wouldn’t all food be the same, all objects identical, all creatures predictable? The uniqueness of life itself is what makes our planet as beautiful as it is and what makes each ‘thing’ unchangeable.

Nothing is truly replaceable.

(Written in response to the Daily Post Replacement)

Gone are the Days

Alarm clock – gone

Night’s sleep – gone

Ten minute lie in – gone

Organised wardrobe – gone

Matching shoes – gone

Planned outfit – gone

Stress free morning – gone

Tidy bedroom – gone

Breakfast – gone

Coat on rack – gone

Car on drive – gone

Silent office – gone

Black screen – gone

Strong coffee – gone

Sluggish demeanour – gone

One email – gone

Two emails – gone

Three emails – on hold

Telephone call – gone

Presentation – gone

Short lunch break – gone

Three emails – gone

Three hundred emails – gone

Meetings – gone

In tray – anything but gone

Car engine – gone

Mechanic – gone

Last bus – gone

Peaceful commute – gone

Warm house – gone

Food – gone

Wine – gone

Takeaway order – gone

Delivery driver – gone

Meatfeast pizza – gone

Decent TV – gone

Cold relief tablets – gone

Ingredient / side effect sheet – gone

Alertness – gone

Energy – gone

Wide eyes – gone

Gone.

Alarm clock – gone

Night’s sleep – gone …

 

 

(Written in response to the WordPress Word Prompt of the day Gone)

The Demonization of 2016

As I sit here by a roaring fire, shovelling fistfuls of chocolate into my mouth with the TV playing endless tributes to George Michael it’s easy to forget what a terrible year 2016 has been. In fact, it feels like society has been constantly reminding me what a terrible year 2016 has been since January 1st. Peruse if you may at this delightful list of awful things to happen

(In No Particular Order) Celebrity Deaths:

David Bowie (music – pop god)

Alan Rickman (actor)

Carrie Fisher (actor)

Prince (music – pop icon)

George Michael (music)

Ronnie Corbett (comedian)

Paul Daniels (magician)

Harper Lee (author)

Terry Wogan (broadcaster)

Rick Parfitt (music – Status Quo)

Andrew Sachs (actor)

Anton Yelchin (actor)

Victoria Wood (comedian)

David Guest (erm, anyone know what David Guest did?)

Maurice White (musician – Earth, Wind and Fire)

& a lot of other notable people

Political Dramas:

Brexit

American Presidential Election

Wars:

Syria

& other ongoing battles

Violent Attacks (Political/Religious/Other):

Far too many the world over to name

Based on that you’d rightly say you were ready to see the back of 2016. That is, you think you would be. I mean, I hate to be really pessimistic about life, but what’s going to happen that will stop 2017 being really rubbish? My predictions for 2017:

Deaths:

Countless national and global treasures (in part due to a larger global and ageing population).

Political Dramas:

Brexit / EU negotiations and squabbles

Trump becoming President

Wars:

Syria and/or another equivalent (or worse)

Violent Attacks (Political/Religious/Other)

Far too many the world over to name

Plus…

Anything unexpected sent to throw us

So really the best we can hope for from 2017 in a media/global/political sense is a year which is a little less bad than 2016. Or the same (because lets be honest we’re now used to a diet of disappointment and tears). Yay!

To put a very much selfish hat on though, 2016 has been an alright for me. Admittedly it was pretty uninspiring for the main part but it did pick up towards the end. Unfortunately I can’t go into too much detail about the main highlights presently (they all waited until November to make an appearance in my life and still ongoing) but for me 2016 has been better than rubbish on the whole. The media tells me one thing but my personal life screams another. So is 2016 a bad year or average one? Do I go with the majority view or the independent, selfish one? This is very much a British moral dilemma.

It is an overused assumption but it is true that Historians will remember 2016 as the year it all started to change. 2017, for all its hope and promises, can only serve at best as the try-hard sibling of it’s radical older. I’m not for a second saying that the UK or the world will enter into a brighter period in 2017, but nor am I going to jump to conclusions and assume that 2017 will be the most dismal year since the Black Death. At any rate I think it is time for you 2016 to take your final bows and exit stage right. Your departure will receive a standing ovation from many thousands of millions of people the world over. However, while many will cheer you for leaving our lives, I myself will cheer (in part) for what you have brought to us.

So long 2016, it’s been a blast (quite literally).

(Written in response to WordPress prompt of the day Ovation)

If I Don’t Post It, No One Else Will

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”

(Before you ask, the question was not “if I have $999,999 and I add $1, how many dollars will I have?”, it was “why do you blog?” Well I was in Swindon’s beautiful town centre on lunch…

swindon

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Truly a centre of chavs beauty paving slabs.

Swindon is a landlocked place, with no sea or lakes anywhere near it. So imagine my surprise when, full of November gloom, I saw a video of fish playing on the said screen pictured above. A video that bore no relevance to Swindon, the time of year or even this country:

Not even the pigeons are interested.

In a spookily empty area I found this video both random and hilarious (as you can probably hear in the audio). Only on a blog can I upload and post random insights such as this.

If I don’t post it, no one else will.

(You’re welcome.)