10 Promises to my future children.

I think like everyone growing up there are things I wish my parents had done differently, taken more notice of and pushed me to do more. I am sure that if they had there would be other things that I resented, because let’s face it we are never going to be completely content with our upbringing. But here I am going to make a list of promises to my future children. That way if they find it when they are older they will know that it was never my intention to ruin their lives, or make their childhood a misery. From the age of 17 I have looked upon parenthood with the intention of success. 

1) I promise to document everything 

As much as I am camera shy, it always saddens me that my family has never been one for photo albums and home movies. It’s not a huge thing, but I hate that I can’t just sit down with some nostalgic music like they do in the movies and reflect on the past in a really sappy and cliché way. So to my kids I swear I will take a photo of everything. Nothing will be missed, no certificate misplaced or Home movie recorded over. 

2) I will make your house a home

Excuse me for sounding like a furniture advertisement. But, I want the place my children grow up in to be somewhere they can relax and feel comfortable. A safe place at the end of a long day. My house is very plain. The walls are white, the mantel place decorated with tasteful tea lights. There are no photos, or clues that this is more than just a show house. It is tastefully decorated and a pleasant place to live. But it will always be a house and not a home. 

3) We will go on family trips.

I am sure these are hell to organize and that when we come to having them I will want to pull my hair out, but I want to be able to have those family stories ‘remember that time when….’ and ‘wasn’t it funny when….’. If it is a trip to the movies, a stroll to the zoo or an extravaganza to the beach, we will go as a family. 

4) I will encourage you to have a talent

I am average at a lot of things. But there is nothing that I am great at. I wish that from a young age my parents had encouraged me to follow one particular activity. I don’t care if you want to swim or dance, play the cello or run marathons. But I want you to have your thing, something to talk about, to turn to in times of stress and bring you happiness. I want it to teach you discipline and respect and I want you to enjoy it, to have it build you as a person. 

5) We will eat as a family

It may not always be possible and there will most defiantly be the odd night where it is a take away on the sofa, but I promise that we will eat together without the television in the corner, we will talk and share things and be comfortable in each other’s company. 

6)  We will have family traditions 

It may be a movie, every first Saturday of the month or Going shopping before your first day back at school, but we will have little traditions that we can continue throughout your life. Because it is the little things like that you remember, how every Saturday you were woken with pancakes or how on Friday night you took it in turns to pick the evening’s movie. They aren’t big things and I am sure we will slip up at times, but they will be worth the effort. I hope 

7) I will take an interest in your school work

I have always been a really independent person and much prefer to get on with things on my own and proceed at my own pace. As much as this works for me, it is a lonely way to be. I sit in my room and work things out for myself. When I don’t understand I go to Google and when I am proud of work I tweet about it, sharing my pride with a faceless crowd. I don’t want my children to have to grow up like that. I am going to be sat at the front of all their plays and recitals and assembly’s. I will help them learn their lines and be supportive when they have a test the next day. I don’t want them to have to go through their educations feeling like they have to do it alone.

8) I will read to you every night

I want you to love reading. This is something my parents did for me and I will forever be grateful for. There are few greater pleasures in life than becoming fully immersed in a good book. To be able to feel what the character is feeling and see what they are seeing. To develop your imagination in this way will help get you through in times of need and hurt. Reading expands your vocabulary and gives you a sense of culture that will serve you well in life. I thank my parents for reading to me and filling my house with books to spark an interest in me from a young age. I don’t want books to be a thing you dread about school, I want them to be something you love about life.

9) I promise to have fun with you

This sounds obvious, but it really isn’t. I want you to be respectful and have manners, I want you to know limits and respond to authority. But I also want you to be able to relax around me, to form a bond that is stronger than arguments about bed times and pocket money. There will be times when we fight and when you feel like you hate me, there will even be times when I shout. But I want us to be able to laugh and giggle together, to have private jokes and play fighting. I don’t want us to fall in the trap of formality that is only to familiar in my life. Family should be close and comfortable around each other. I want us to have that.

10) I Promise not to spoil you

As much as I want you to enjoy life and to look forward to everyday, do not become complacent. Do not expect special treatment or for me to say yes all of the time, because then you will come to resent me when it does not happen. Occasionally I may make your lunch for school, or pick you up unexpectedly when you were going to have to get the bus, but for the most part I want you to be self-reliant and independent. Yes on your birthday and Christmas you will get spoilt, but do not expect to be. Be thankful for what you have and be proud at working hard for what you earn. You will have jobs around the house and occasionally they will be time consuming, but I will not be giving them to you because I am lazy but because I want to teach you responsibly. It will serve you well in life.     

So, they are my ten promises and I will do my best to keep them. I don’t really know why I feel those ten particular things are so important, but they just are.

 

I feel the need to get some commenting going on here, so if you have a spare 5 minutes post your ten promises. 

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I like you, I like you not.

I have ‘liked’ the same guy for longer than I care to admit. I’m not obsessive or stalkerish or anything, but I will admit I am in a better mood when our paths cross.

When my interest first developed, he was good looking and mature for our age and I felt at ease having a conversation with him because we had a lot in common. But now conversations with him panic me, on the rare occasion that he pops up in my facebook chats, my cheast tightens under the pressure of finding something to say. I find myself googling bands he references and pretending I like them by quoting odd facts from their Wikipedia page. I see his reply and wait a few minutes before replying so he doesn’t think I’m desperate. And for some reason with the pressure to be witty I turn into a rude and heartless bitch as if I think that is what is desirable.

But is it worth it? I was so bestoted before but when I think about it now I feel that maybe I just like him out of habit. We are far too similar. We both think we are more intelligent then we actually are (well I think it, he actually is). We are both a tad pretentious. I consider us both to be slightly more mature than the average of our age group. But we are both incredibly opinionated, stubborn and blunt. Not really the makings of the worlds best couple.

But despite all of this, I still make that little extra effort when I think we’ll see each other. I glance back slightly too often when I pass him on the street and as I write this I find myself what would happen if he were to read this (not that he ever would). I still find myself thinking what if…

There is the slight issue that he has never expessed the slightest bit of interest in me and I have no reason to think he ever would, but these are mere technicalities.

Honesty Hour

I don’t know if this is just emotional ranting or if I am about to say something truly profound (although it mostly likely will not be the latter) But I feel the need to get some stuff off my chest.

I find life so extremely difficult. I know this is true for most people and many are of the opinion that if life were easy then it would be boring, but I find it boring anyway. I find it difficult to show enthusiasm, interest or sincerity in my everyday life and am nearly of the attitude of just not caring. Everybody feels this way at times and the sexist among you will be diagnosing me with extreme PMS. But this isn’t a once in a while occurrence; I feel this way constantly; everyday of my life, every hour every minute to the point where I cannot breathe, my emptiness suffocates me.

It is true to say that these feelings are less severe when I feel close to a person and feel a connection I can trust, but it pains me to admit that this is not a frequent occurrence in my life. I have recently found myself in a new group of friends and it is the happiest and relaxed I have felt for a long time, but I am still missing that one person.

I don’t trust people. I don’t talk to people. I don’t confide, or get close to or bond with people. I keep a distance, I will not show weakness or let my guard down. I know this all sounds terribly cliché but I just can’t allow myself to do it. The thought of it now makes me lose my breath and my heart pound. To show vulnerability, to share a problem and expect others to deal with it, it just isn’t something I can do. I don’t speak of personal or crude or uncomfortable topics, I just co-exist.
I really didn’t think this would be so hard to write, but I have to finish now, I have to say it all.

From the beginning  of time stories has told of great couples, romantic or otherwise Adam & Eve, Clark Kent & Louis Lane, Will & Grace. All I want is that person. I feel so alone and incomplete. I just think that if I had that one person to talk to and confide in then life would not feel this overwhelming. But then I can’t put all of that on one person. ‘Hi lets go see a movie and be best friends, after that I am going to weigh down your already stressful life with all my problems and then you have to make it all better.’ Doesn’t sound like a winning lonely-hearts ad to me.

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But as much as I long for that kind of relationship I will never let myself have one. I am private and conservative and for good reason. When you allow yourself to trust you open yourself up to being hurt and let down and when it happens you will have no one to blame but yourself because human nature is to let one another down. Regardless how hard we try to fight that, life is ultimately an individualist sport.

 

This emptiness is consuming me. Taking over .I am neither coming nor going.

I fear if it continues I will simply cease to exist.


Bus Behaviour

We have all done it; spoken that little but louder on the bus when some one hot is sat near us. Whether in a group or on the phone, our conversation will become that little bit more opinionated and just a tad pretentious. So much about our natural instincts tells us to shrink in to the background, walk with our heads down and avoid eye content. But there is something about public transport that brings out the attention seeker in us all. My behaviour on buses puzzles me, in some ways I feel the most confident I ever do, but then I also think I am at my most concious of people judgeing me. I won’t deny that in the past on my way home from school I have carried my most intelligent book in my arms not in my bag, I have made sure I am listening to good music in case you can hear it through my ear phones and I have looked through photos on my phone to make ot appear like I have people to text. I think I feel so obliged to keep up appearanceson the bus because I know how much I judge people on the bus. Normally it is harmless, I get bored so I sit and make up soap opera like back stories for those sat around me, but I will admit that occasionally my analysis is less than complimentary. Is it my own actions that have made me so self concious? Am I the creator of my own insecurities? Am I the reason I put on this pretentious persona? Why do I make things so difficult for myself?

What is in a name?

I have never met…

A Laura I didn’t like,

A James who couldn’t make me laugh,

A Sophie who wasn’t Beautiful,

A Peter that couldn’t hold a conversation,

A Georgia without strong self-confidence, 

A Tom who wasn’t sweet and kind hearted. 

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Is our fate decided the second our birth certificates are signed? Is in not nature vs. nurture but in fact nature vs. naming? Am I look for truth where in fact coincidence lies (probably, but that would be a very dull and short post so we will ignore that one for now). 

Sure there are exceptions to these rules, some where there is a shy girl called Georgia sat next to a serial killer called Tom who are thinking to themselves what a twat I am. But for the most part I think a name can say a lot about a person, which is foolish really because for most of us we have no say at all as to what we will be called in life. 

Judgements based on appearance and intelligence are one thing, but is it fair to base opinions of a person on something they had nothing to do with. Think about getting married . You meet the guy/girl/animal (I’m not judging …. well…. ) of your dreams, they are perfect. But their name is Barnical Whimply (I don’t even know, it was the first thing that popped in to my head). Are you going to end up together, will you grow old and have little Whimplys together? Or from the moment they introduced themselves did you not think ‘How the hell do I get away from this nutter?!?’ 

I think naming is one of the biggest responsibilities a parent has. Choosing the right name for a person you don’t really even know yet. There are such things as power names, or names of status. So is it right to think that by naming your child ‘correctly’ you could potentially be setting them up for life.

I read freakanomics over the summer and it pointed out that although names do go in and out of fashion, there is a also a name cycle which can be used to predict which will be power names of the future. Names such as Victoria and Edward were very common among the upper classes and so the most successful people of that generation were named accordingly, this was followed by families of the lower classes naming their children in this fashion to try are give them the power position, thus Victoria became a lower class name and new upper class names were introduced on to the social spectrum. Yet still the cycle continues. 

By  this logic, one could argue that it is not the name that determines the characteristics but coincidental that people of the same class and upbringing tend to name their children similar things, hence many smart Emmas and Sporty Joshuas. 

I wonder what people think when I introduce myself, what snap judgments are made by seeing only my name?

 

Caitriona Clare O’Connor

 

Who knows? 

Catty x

The Act of Judging

To Judge

Definition; verb

To form an opinion or a conclusion. The act of estimating ones worth or quality. 

It is in our basic instinct to judge, to look at a person and form an opinion of their character and social standings. In a way it takes us back to the very core of our being, to the days when ones outside appearance was a direct reflection to their inner beauty (or lack of as the case may be).

Personally, I feel we do it as a means of protection in life, a way to make ourselves feel secure among the unknown. Take a second to reflect on your day, maybe you went to school or mooched around town,you may have seen a
friend or slaved for hours at the office. Think of  the people you saw. Reflect upon your own inner monologue, now imagine one of these for every person whose path you crossed today. It is a scary thought.

It is a turn of phrase to say that a person’s world revolves around them, but in truth it is a statement of fact. We form judgements of people because the act of hearing everybody’s internal monologue is just to great a task. Judging people is just a coping mechanism, to help us deal with the pure varsity of the world.

Judging in itself is not a negative act. I will be the first and certainly not the last to say that I judge people and in turn expect people to form judgements of me. People will judge on my hair, clothes, vocabulary, conversations on buses, my facebook page and to try to avoid this is just stupid, because I myself do the same, openly.

However, it is when we let these judgements prevent us from forming fact based opinions of people and experiences that we had committed an injustice onto ourselves. In order to fully experience life a man must embrace it fully and head on. Maybe it is fear that holds us back or the humility of having to admit to misjudgeing someone, but in doing so we all stop ourselves from stepping out of the comfort zone of our heads and seeing what life has to offer.

I will not judge you for judging, but I will think less of you for acting purely upon those judgements.

I think that is the reason I have started this blog. To write not only of my observations and judgements made (a way of logging my inner monologue) but also admitting where my judgements were wrong. Here I will record my thoughts, comments and experiences in what I hope will me a semi comedic and insightful manner, although this I have little faith in.

So if you read this thank you. I will not ask you not to judge me, but will ask that you are kind in your judgements.

Catty