The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Month: February 2016

My Email To #CosmoUk About Why I Cancelled My Subscription

Hi Cosmo,

Thank you for your email and for asking for feedback as to why I have decided after 10 long years to cancel my subscription with Cosmopolitan Uk.

I have always loved reading my monthly issues of Cosmo. Unlike other magazines I found true journalistic and female empowerment pieces, less fashion (because I would buy Vogue if I was a fashionista) and less airhead bimbo celebs. Ultimately you were that little bit less shallow while still providing a good escape from the mundane every day.

You were a bit more down to earth and I liked that I could relate on a different, more intellectual and less superficial level.

You also made me feel good about being who I was; instead of focusing on physical attributes of women you celebrated accomplishments.

Alas it was not to last.

Your latest two issues featured ‘celebrities’ (firstly Millie Macintosh and then Kim Kartrashian) which are the exact opposite of what I consider to be female empowerment. I always thought of Cosmo to be above these self-obsessed types who contribute nothing to society other than their own self-interested agendas and who are famous for nothing but posting 100s of selfies across the internet.

If I want to read about the vacuous airheads that are filling up Instagram with overzealously photoshopped porn-promo pics, I’ll go and read the Daily Mail or Heat magazine thanks.

I do however understand that at the ripe old age of 30 I may come from an era that believes celebrities – those who use their fame to make a difference in the world through charity, who consider posting nonstop narcissistic photos of their behinds unnecessary and who have achieved something worthy of publishing – should have actual class and talent and that this makes me an unprofitable customer.

I can understand why Cosmopolitan is no longer targeting women like me as an audience, but rather those impressionable young girls who have image and narcissism rammed down their throats daily by social media instead, who will through insecurity buy whatever health hazardous beauty product these zelebs are peddling.

I would like to thank Cosmo for 10 wonderful subscription years and wish you all the best in the future.

Kind regards

Dani

Why I Hate Housework. And You Should Too!

I woke up this morning and knew it was time. I felt it in the pit of my stomach as I brushed my teeth, the niggling voices in my head before I’d even finished my wee; I couldn’t ignore them any longer.

It was time to clean the house.

As I pulled out my last pair of pants, I realised the quick wipe around the sink with loo roll after a hot steamy shower, was no longer sufficient (yes I’m THAT girl). Nor could I ignore the lack of clothes in my cupboards, or the dust around the skirting boards (they were always that dark murky colour, weren’t they?)

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I loathe housework. But since I now financially rely solely on my wonderful husband, I decided that I would make sure to ‘earn my keep’ as it were. I would clean, do the food shop, do all the washing and washing up (translation; load the dishwasher), and sometimes cook. If I feel like it I might even hoover! I will not be dusting. I don’t know why, but there is no sense of fulfilment from dusting.

To feel motivated to do anything, I want to feel at least satisfied afterwards! If I cook, I want to eat the meal, when I make the bed, I can get into crisp clean sheets after a shower. The effort somewhat redeems itself right? Not with dusting. So I’ll just leave that to the Mr. It’s not like I’m an actual housewife!

And don’t get me started on ironing! I never iron, ANYTHING, and as far as I am aware no one has ever thought I looked like a crumpled up tissue. I’d appreciate those who have a love for this inane practice (ahem ahem you know who you are) would enlighten me as to the point? One car journey, or even a mere gust of wind, and all your hard work is undone. And those who iron underwear… breathe Dani.

Before I met my better-half, I didn’t own an iron, and I would use my hair straighteners if anything did look a little creased (usually last minute before a night out), or hang up clothes in the bathroom while taking a long hot steaming shower….hang on, there’s a pattern here.

But I have a general gripe with housecleaning anyway. When undertaking a new challenge or even when just completing a small task, I feel I am moving in a direction, be it forwards or sidewards, or even backwards – I’m still moving! When I write a post or an article, it’s an accomplishment and I feel satisfied that I have completed something that will improve my life in some way. Something I am proud of. I’m not sure how many I would write if I had to do the same ones over and over again. It would feel pointless and exasperating!

When I am cleaning, I know in a few weeks time I will be having to do the same thing, in exactly the same way, all, over, again. There is no increased experience or new insight (although learning that Cillit Bang may be used for more than shining up old pennies may be considered a breakthrough).

It might sound haughty, but if hubby and I ever have enough disposable income, a cleaner will be the first thing I will invest in. And I’m in no way ashamed of saying so! In fact I’m going to save this article in the Design Your Life section; that’s how strongly I feel about it.

At the end of the day I have more important things to do…like…um…you know, actually living!

Image courtesy of Varandah at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Feel More Motivated Right Now! – Meditation

One of the hardest things about being self-employed is to feel motivated. In the past few weeks I’ve found it hard to work on my blog because I am keen to get the book done, but through tiredness, headaches and sickness, motivating myself at all feels near impossible at times!

To combat this I do this guided mediation on motivation and thought I’d share it as I found it particularly helpful.

The most important thing to remember is that you should not wait to feel motivated, motivation will come when you take action. Visualise the end result, how it will feel and let that be your driving force.

Have a great day 🙂

Valentine’s Day: Why We SHOULD At The Very Least Acknowledge It

Today is a day to celebrate love with that special someone in our lives. It is a day my husband and I don’t celebrate massively; a card, a kiss, a yummy eggs Benedict (my favourite) cooked by Mr J. It is a day that over the commercialised bears and expensive set menus, the message of why we SHOULD at the very least acknowledge it, can get lost. It is a day Mr J and I appreciate how lucky we are to have found each other while reflecting on what could have been if we had previously settled for other partners, ones that didn’t quite fit.

Sure you shouldn’t NEED a day to celebrate your love, but in the madness of every day life it’s nice to have a moment to recognise that finding a life partner is not a given. Those of us who have ‘it’ are blessed, and remembering why it is we chose this person over every other is important, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other.

Most of us have had our share of unsuccessful relationships. Mine were always intense, always serious and ultimately when they ended it was messy, painful and life changing. But I don’t believe that people are bad or toxic. I just believe in bad fits, and in weaknesses that don’t match strengths. I’ve been cheated on, treated like I wasn’t a priority and had my heart-broken. Am I bitter? Absolutely not!

None of the ‘men’ I was with before were right for me, just as I wasn’t right for them.

Valentine's Day

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How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

I read something today and wanted share it with you all as its something I strongly believe, and this is just THE perfect metaphor!

She Tells Her Grandma That She’s Just Been Cheated On So Grandma Tells Her To Do This

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

I come across many people, bitter people who count other people’s blessings instead of their own and drown in envy. People who blame their circumstances for a crappy life even though these are usually the ones who have their health, family, food and shelter.

I also meet many grateful, happy and positive people. People who have lived through real adversity and hardship. Some who have nothing in comparison to others but are grateful for the love and joy in everyday life.

So which are you?

Your circumstances don’t determine what your life looks like, but how you react to them does.

5 Things They DON’T Tell You To Expect When You’re Expecting

Today has been a day of headaches, dizziness and sickness. I’m not complaining. I feel incredibly lucky to have, what I consider, an easy and straightforward pregnancy so far. If anything the bad days just remind me of the miracle happening inside me and the amazing job my body is doing in growing a human!

I didn’t know about headaches. Certainly not ones that are so strong they wake you up multiple times during the night. But having read countless of other pregnant women’s accounts, I have found that I’m not alone with this. In fact some women have such chronic headaches that they can’t get out of bed for the duration of the pregnancy!

Of course everyone knows about the morning sickness, the stretch marks and the mood swings. These are things we are shown regularly in the media, in movies. But there are a multitude of things they don’t tell you to expect when you’re expecting!

Every pregnancy is different and women rarely experience the same symptoms. But here are some of my more baffling and crazy ones!

  1. Burping becomes an embarrassing every-day occurrence

    You can be sitting there having a nice conversation to your friend or colleague (or god forbid your boss) and out of nowhere this heinous noise comes out of your mouth. There’s now warning, there’s no trying to gulp it down last-minute. It’s out there and you look like a totally uncivilised and vulgar cretin.

  2. Your dreams become a plethora of ecstasy, tragedy and fear

    Apparently due to the hormones, you are especially prone to vivid dreams. These can range from someone chasing you to try to kill you, something horrible happening to you and your unborn child or wild sex scenes which you aren’t even sure would be practical (some involving women – this apparently means your psyche is appreciating the female form as it’s going through these incredible changes. Or it means your having a boy. Or it just means you’re not afraid to be a little kinky in your dreams 😉 ) Last night I even dreamt my husband told me he was leaving me and had got me a room in a friend’s house!

  3. Sex becomes a hazard

    You might feel like an emotional teenager pining over film stars, but as mother nature appears to have a cruel sense of irony, sex can sometimes result in cystitisthrush or for some just be excruciatingly painful. I’ve been lucky with regards to the latter two, but I have suffered severe cystitis – 3 times in one month!

    So you’re horny as hell because of your awesome dreams of having sex with your husband in a public pool on holiday (now that was fun!), but terrified of the consequences of being sat on the loo for another 3 hours feeling like your bladder is on fire (this happened to me 🙁 ) Again this is apparently due to hormones and increase blood flow but it gets to a point where you don’t care why, you just want it to go away!

  4. You cry at everything and to anyone

    I once cried down the phone to a complete stranger at sky because our internet wasn’t working and they told me they couldn’t send anyone out for a week. I cried in the middle of the road in my car because I thought I annoyed the driver next to me…And then all of a sudden you are happy and excited about everything and the magical journey you’re on! And then you want to kill anyone and everyone who tries to tell you all about this magical journey you are on…ah hormones…

  5. Sleepless nights start now!

    They tell you to enjoy the sleep while you can before the new-born bundle of screaming joy comes along, but what they don’t tell you is you’ll be lucky to get a good night’s sleep during your pregnancy. If it’s not the crazy dreams, or needing to pee multiple times during the night, or a horrid headache, you just randomly wake up at 4 or 5 am. On top of that you’re knackered anyway (apparently the tiredness is meant to go away after the 1st trimester but as I and these women have found out, that’s not happened! Maybe at the end of the fourth month when placenta has fully formed?)

So there you have it. Ultimately being pregnant is a glorious, incredible and wonderful time of your life. But it isn’t without it’s surprises! I wonder what the next few weeks bring!

Over to you! What strange and wonderful pregnancy symptoms did you have?

Easy To Judge

It is so easy to judge others on everything from how they look, to their relationships, to the way they bring up their children. To some it seems an actual hobby! However, how often do we recognise that we too once made choices in our lives that were considered by other’s as ‘wrong’ or ‘a mistake’? Whether these decisions were indeed an error in judgement or if they ended up being the greatest risk ever taken, it is neither anyone’s business, nor does it actually matter because without allowing for mistakes, without taking risks, we would never learn anything new. We cannot run before learning to crawl and walk.

don't judge me

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My Week Of Swimming

As part of my general fitness but also to make my pregnancy and labour easier in July, I’ve joined my local pool and intend on swimming 5 days a week, mainly in the mornings software task management.

So how did last week go?

Monday:

I forgot my towel. They didn’t hire them out and my plan of buying one in the local JD Sports failed. But I did officially sign up (and for half price too!) and managed to buy a new swimming costume that didn’t make me look and feel like a Weeble! Result(ish)

Tuesday:

Managed to get my sister 5 free passes so went swimming with her and my adorable niece. I did some minor league swimming but enough for a good start!

Wednesday:

Early morning 8am, half an hour proper swim! Yes! This was awesome. I felt like a new me. A better me. A healthier me. Apart from the BLT. And the cake. Yeh maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the cake as well.

Thursday:

Another day for a family swim. Only I forgot my goggles. And pants…

Friday:

I’m such an eager beaver I forget there’s water polo unit 8.30 and have to wait to go in! But I get my full swim in and am home by 9.30. Crisp sandwich doesn’t count does it?

So there you have it. An eventful week, but I can honestly say I feel fantastic. My diet needs a bit more work, granted, but the cravings and exercise induced hunger are hard to conquer!

I will keep you informed of my progress.

Dani xx

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