Wrapping up the week…

I thought I would do an overview of my first couple of weeks as a blogger.

One of my New Years resolutions was to attempt to write a daily blog…and I did not realise at that time just how hard it would be!  To commit to writing a daily blog demands a focus and determination and imagination that perhaps I just do not have.

Don’t get me wrong but I don’t think I did to bad, but did not manage to blog everyday and  it is one of my resolutions that I now formally amend to:  I will write a blog frequently!

Now in my blog on the 4th January I told you about our  lovely German Shepherd Mara, who had been very ill. After trying to force feed her, medicate her and mop up after her, I decided that what she deserved more than ever was a weekend where she was not forced to do anything, and during which we would shower her with as much love and affection as possible. This we did and to my amazement she actually ate food on the Friday and Saturday night. Our hopes were lifted momentarily but unfortunately on Sunday she deteriorated quickly and was euthanised on Monday evening. We were all heartbroken but knew it was for the best as she had been obviously suffering.

The subject of my My Get real peeps blog still divides the nation. Honestly, I do not have a problem with the Eastenders cot death storyline as I see it as just that. I know that some of my family and friends do have stronger issues with it and some perceive the problem being more to do with the subject matter than the actual portrayal of such. Others see the subject matter as a valid one that needs to be publicized but then have a problem with the way it was portrayed.  One thing I know for sure though is it is something that will trundle on and be discussed at work, in get togethers, on forums and in blogs…that is until the next big storyline comes along to upset a minority somewhere.

My next blog did something that I have never done before, and still feel a creeping anxiety for doing so… Chimera was a poem that I wrote a couple of years ago, but is the first time I have shared my poetry in such a public domain. Will I choose to share more…maybe!

Blogging does make you think about what you are writing and is not as easy as you might think it is. My blog about how Twitter  can hone your writing skills tried to demonstrate how wrtiting on such social networks can help you to attain better writing skills. One of my resolutions should have been “I will update my Twitter status at least daily”… it may have proved possibly a little more achievable!

The serious condition associated with anorexia and other eating disorders was one that I touched upon. I was truly horrified to discover the existence of pro-ana sites. Reading some of the posts written by pro-ana followers is disturbing to say the least but I am unsure as to what can be done if anything apart from ensuring that young people are educated about such disorders and are given positive body image reinforcement no matter what size or shape they may be.

Finally, A rose by any other name took a sneak look into the world of choosing baby names.

In a speech, Pope Benedict XVI urged parents to name their offspring in the Christian tradition, and bequeath “an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit will allow the person to blossom in the bosom of the Church”. In doing so, he has also  tapped into a growing public backlash against celebrities burdening their children with names such as Brooklyn, Peaches, Heavenly Hiraani and Princess Tiaamii. Parents must choose wisely and sensibly, as the resulting name can have far reaching and long lasting consequences for their child.

I finish this round up by offering 10 tips on this subject…

1. Whatever name you choose, it should have a positive connotation for you and its definition should be meaningful. A name is a strong first impression.

2. The first name’s rhythm should complement the last name. Remember to think about a middle name in the same way. Say the first, middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together, too.

3. The initials should not spell anything undesirable. This goes for the two main initials, as well as all three initials. Winston Churchill (say no more!)

4. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the name. If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will need to continually correct it. If the spelling is unusual, your child will have to correct that as well.

5. Be conscious of nicknames and variations. You may want to choose a name that can have nicknames and variations. This will enable the child to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger on into adulthood and be embarrassing.

6. Think about what the name might be shortened to or what it might rhyme with.  A name that is easy to rhyme can make your child the target of playground jokes and ridicule. Bartholomew, for instance, one that the Pope may like. Very difficult to rhyme with anything but shorten it to Bart and … !

7. Practice the name and see how it sounds and feels. Try out the full name on family and friends. Check it out to make sure there is no history attached.

8.  The middle name provides an opportunity to use a family member’s name when it is not desirable as a first name but the same rules apply.

9. If you already have other children, think about all names as a collective.  Having a child called Thomas and then naming a second child Trixiebelle may be perceived as a bit odd.

10. Finally, don’t fall into the trap of calling your children little versions of yourself. Little David Jnr not only sounds very dated but also displays a complete lack of imagination.

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Setting yourself up to #fail?

I made my new years resolutions which I have already spoken about in previous blogs but today began thinking about why we do it… and are we just setting ourselves up to fail?

The thoughts of a new year, new start, a chance to put an end to anything that we didn’t like about the previous year away and start afresh…surely the perfect time to sit and reflect on what we might want to do to make a change. Some small token to display to all that we can achieve whatever we might set our minds to…or not.

The problem as I see it is that we put to much pressure on ourselves to achieve it all, straight away, all together and all in one go. My new years resolutions were to get fitter, to lose weight, to save money, to be more organised and to write a daily blog. Have I managed all five as yet, no. I have managed to write a daily blog…woohoo to me…I have however not managed to lose any weight, to do any exercise, to be more organised or to save money = #fail.

Yes, it is early days and is only 5th January but there I believe is the crux of the matter. Perhaps a far more plausible and realistic approach would be to set one resolution each month as a main focus, or one every two months. Something totally achievable in a specific time frame. Where the intense pressure to suceed is not so ferocious and is far more covert.

So, my new years resolution for January is to maintain a daily blog. For February…not decided as yet but whatever it is, I am not going to stress over it.