Tag Archives: Thoughts

Are Blog Schedules That Important?

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Ever since I started writing on the blog again, I have found it difficult to know whether I should stick to a blog schedule or not, so it’s a topic that I would like to discuss, to see if it resonates with anyone else. 

I used to be really proud of my schedule; I posted every Wednesday and Sunday for months without fail. I felt my content was working for me and I felt motivated. I believe this was more to do with the fact that I wasn’t stuck to one subject; I have a range of topics on the blog so it makes it easier to broaden my horizons. More recently since the beginning of the year, I didn’t mind too much if I didn’t post on my exact days because I would rather write zero content rather than “write for the sake of writing” and I made my peace with that. I believe that made me a better writer, because I only want to write when I feel like I can bring good content.

It got me thinking, “is there a point to having weekly schedule?” I don’t have a big following, certainly not enough where people are patiently waiting for my post to be published but I know that I do have readers. I don’t think anyone would mind if I posted on a Sunday one week than a Thursday the next, then maybe the next Tuesday. What is more important to me is consistency but in a different perspective; while keeping to a schedule is consistent, so is having at least one blog go out a week on any day.

The blogs I read or the YouTube videos I watch, I don’t necessarily look at the dates (However, if someone posts in a group about their new post but you look at the date, and it’s a year old then that’s where I have an issue… it’s not new content) I look at what they’re talking about. It’s really as simple as that. I choose carefully what type of posts I read like we all do really; we’re not going to read blog posts we don’t like, are we? It’s a waste of time.

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As we always hear, quality over quantity and I’ll admit that I used to rush posts to get them out in time to make sure I had a post for a particular day. I was never proud of those posts but I thought because I had my set schedule, I HAD to do it. I never “had to”, no-one was holding me accountable apart from myself. I put too much pressure on myself every week to commit, which I thought would make me a better writer, but it would often burn me out instead. I’ll give you an example; my Sunday Saves that I did for over a year, I was really proud of that series but it started to get tedious. Don’t get me wrong, it was so easy to write because I read quite a few blogs so I always had new content to write about and include, but I got bored of the process. It took me quite a while to move on from it but looking back now, I’m glad I did because if I had have continued that, I would have lost my creativity for the blog in the long-run.

I can certainly see the positives to blog schedules because I often look at it like other every day routines; having a schedule lets you get back on track faster if you “fall off the wagon” and if you have a deadline set, your brain can often get “in the zone” because it knows it has an expiry coming up. I can completely understand it but we all work differently when it comes to trying to get into “your zone” and that’s something I’ve been learning about in one of the books I have been reading recently.

I’m not saying I do have a schedule but I’m not saying I don’t; I’m figuring that out at the minute but I know that my content is much more important that what day of the week it has been posted on, so I know I’m on the right path at least.

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Is a weekly schedule important to you? Does it matter when a post has first gone live or as long as you are consistent, does that matter more? Please let me know your thoughts on this either down below, on Twitter or on Instagram.

My Relationship With Faith and Religion.

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Today’s post is something that I never thought about writing until recently. Religion fascinates me and while it’s something I don’t know a lot about, I feel like it’s important to reflect on religion and your own journey with it in order to learn more about others. 

Last year and the latter part of the year before, I questioned whether I should go back to church. I wasn’t religious at that point but I felt like I needed a purpose in my life and I felt like church would give me that. I don’t know if I was expecting an overwhelming response once I walked through the halls or it would be something that I felt over time. 

I went to Sunday School very young and I stayed there until I finished Primary Seven, and I remained in a church led organisation a few months before my 17th birthday. If you read my “Volunteering with the Girl Guides” post; I write about how I was in the Girls Brigade before moving to the Rainbows then up to the Brownies and Guides. All four organisations were church led and still seem to be, but you don’t need to be a member of the church to go. It seems to be very inclusive. 

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For me, the problem with religion is there are the few that spoil it for the rest. This small majority refuse to let others have their own beliefs, and believe it is their way, and that’s all. I’ll give you an example: One night, Scott and I were sitting in his house when the door went. It was two fairly elderly women who looked like they wouldn’t hurt a fly, and Scott being Scott, stood at the door with them. I would never shut the shut on anyone (unless I felt threatened of course) but after around half an hour, I did wonder why Scott was still engaged with them both. After asking was he open to the Lord, they proceeded about a minute or two later to declare that anyone who wasn’t with the Lord, was going to hell. This was said multiple times and they kept asking him why he wasn’t open to it. I felt like that was a very personal question; something which I wouldn’t mind answering but some people may not feel comfortable with that. Looking at it from an outsides point of view, a conversation like that would put me off considering joining a church. Constantly asking if we are open to it, why we haven’t done it, what would happen to those if they don’t; it’s a very negative space and it comes across forceful. 

Growing up, Christianity was all I knew, no-one had taught me any differently. Towards the end of my time with the Guides, we had to go to a church service once a month and when I was even younger than that, I would go with my Mum and my Granny. Not every week mind you but it was something that I remember doing. We weren’t a heavily influenced family by any means; we weren’t at church very single week and it was something that definitely drifted away once I left Sunday School. 

I believe in something, I simply don’t know what that “something” is. I absolutely love the idea of crystals and tarot, it’s an idea that I want to explore in the future, and while it’s not exactly a faith or religion, it’s still within the spirituality flow. I don’t necessarily believe that there is one good or that there is a heaven and a hell (although, if you haven’t, I encourage you to watch The Good Place and fall in love with it!) Sometimes it’s even hard to tell what is good and what is bad; would it be based on your own perceptions or someone else’s? What you think is bad, might not be that bad, and vice versa.  

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Meditation and mindfulness is often connected with Buddhism and I think that’s why I have connected with it much more in the last year or two. I don’t know a lot about Buddhism but I know for meditation, it’s all about being in the moment just with yourself and I truly believe that is the first step we all need to take before we let something else in. We need to become more focused on ourselves before we let external sources in because how can we let others in if we don’t know who we truly are first? 

A very different post for me today but I think it’s interesting to go outside our comfort zone and really challenge what we believe (or don’t believe) and question why we don’t. If you have any related posts that you think would be of interest, please feel free to send them my way either through the comments below, my Twitter or my Instagram. Have a great day and thank you so much for reading! 

My Issue With The Term #GirlBoss.

The phrase “girl boss” is one that has blown up only over the last few years but it’s something that a lot of women can relate to and have attached themselves to. Being your own boss is what many people strive for, but I have a problem with the phrasing of it so that’s what I’ll be discussing in today’s post. 

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The term #GirlBoss first became popular in 2014 when Sophia Amoruso published her autobiography with the same name, and then in turn, that turned into a Netflix series for one season. Ever since, the term has been used across the globe by women business owners, women entrepreneurs and women who are winning at life. 

As someone who doesn’t own her own business and uses her blog as a hobby rather than making a career from it, I can firmly say that I can’t relate to the #GirlBoss terminology in any shape or form. I kick ass at day-to-day life things but I don’t think I can necessarily call myself a Girl Boss by getting all my workouts done for the week. 

I believe the term itself is becoming over-saturated and you might be thinking who I am to say that considering I can’t identify with it? Well, I simply don’t understand what the difference is between a “girl boss” and a “boss” apart from the fact that there is a gender specific in front of one of the terms. There’s a reason I can’t see a difference, it’s because there is none.  

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Sometimes even I have to think before I speak because I still use the term ”girl” instead of “woman”. It’s so easy to do and I’m getting used to describe a female as a woman now but I find it difficult to see what this is doing for equality. I’m not saying it’s making it worse by any stretch of the imagination but how much is this actually helping our case? 

I can completely understand that women have fought for so much over hundreds of years (we mustn’t forget that men are also fighting for women’s rights of course) and we must acknowledge that women’s inequality has affected us through issues like voting, career movement, our own bodies (Yes, the Abortion Act of 1967 that doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland, I am looking right at you and we are still fighting to get our own bodies recognised as our own to be able to make our own decisions) and quite frankly, that’s only hitting the nail on the head very briefly. We’re seeing more women CEO’s which I think is fantastic and as a woman, I couldn‘t be prouder to be around while this change is happening. It’s becoming even more prevalent with the blogging industry taking off and many able to make money from something that was unheard of ten years ago (and that’s only one industry that has started to flourish, I haven’t even touched on the growing industries like STEM for example) However, why do we need to stick a description of a woman in front of it?   

Being a business owner, an entrepreneur, a manager in a company or starting up something on your own from scratch is something to be proud of, and rightly so. I can imagine that it’s a lot of hard work and graft alongside the achievements that go together with that. (I say imagine because again, I haven’t been through this experience on a business level so I’m solely basing this off stories I have heard from those that have been through it.) In my opinion, I don’t think the term is more empowering than your regular “boss” or “entrepreneur” and that’s why I have trouble giving it the praise it’s currently receiving.

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If you call yourself a girl boss, then all power to you. Absolutely no judgement here but I simply believe that we don’t need to add another phrase to our vocabulary that we already have something so powerful for. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on this post. Do you agree or is it an agree-to-disagree situation? Let me know either in the comments or on my Twitter or Instagram. Thank you for reading today’s post; understandably I know that I’m on balancing on a fine line when it comes to speaking about equality but for me, it was something that I have been thinking about writing for a while. (All photography included in today’s post is by the wonderful Jess Lowe)

The “Not Finishing A Book” Guilt.

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Do you have the guilt? Do you feel guilty for not finishing a book and do you know why exactly that isWell, that’s what I’ll be looking into in today’s post. 

Reading or listening to a book is a funny thing; I know for me, I felt like I had an obligation to finish it, no matter what. I have either spent a certain amount of time on getting through it; the money I have spent buying it or I have the emotional connection that I thought I would absolutely love it and I should give it a chance. Ever since the beginning of the year, I have been able to get through more books, thanks to listening to audio books and I thought by doing that, it would be easier for me but I still came across the same problem I had when reading a book. 

Guilt is a funny thing and it affects everyone in different ways. If you’re like me, you will feel guilty with almost everything you do. It’s a very heavy weight to have on your shoulders at times but acknowledging that is a step in the right direction. Having explained a number of reasons above, I think my biggest problem was knowing that I had paid money for something and if I didn’t finish it, it felt like I had wasted my money. In a sense, I did but I often try to donate books when I can, especially if I have already read them or if I feel like it would be suited to someone else. I’m giving someone else that experience of reading it, is it really wasted money if that is the case? 

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We don’t seem to talk about the peer pressure surrounding books. I’m a child of the Harry Potter generation and everyone was obsessed with these books but for me, one book in and I couldn’t get to grips with it. I’m not sure if it was the language used, whether the story didn’t appeal to me or possibly not being the right time for a certain story (I’ll be exploring this further with another blog post). It’s the same with Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings; two books that have had wild success in both their book and film form but both I don’t have a lot of interest in. I tried to read the first Game of Thrones book but the size of it was enough to put me off. (I even tried the TV show but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea). This type of guilt made me think there was something wrong with me because I didn’t love what everyone else was loving. It’s strange, you know, because you wouldn’t expect everyone to love the same television show or to love the same hot drink so I don’t know why I had this perception with books. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the fact that I still feel like a failure because I felt like I couldn’t connect with the Harry Potter books. I may still give them a shot but because of my feelings towards them in my earlier years, it may be tainted now. 

Another book that I thought would tick all the right boxes for me was “The 12 Rules to Life” by Jordan Peterson. It’s very popular at the minute and amongst the controversial headlines that seem to be popping up, it has been getting very good reviews. I’m an avid reader of self-help and non-fiction books so I thought this would be right up my alley. I bought the audio book version through Audible because I had originally seen the hardback version and the size of it intimidated me, so this was the next best option. With over fifteen hours of listening, I thought that it would be perfect because it was going to keep me engaged but something wasn’t right and I didn’t know what it was. It was frustrating because everyone and their mother was talking about this; I wanted to like it, I wanted to connect with it but I couldn’t. Nothing from it seemed to stick and I again started to have this worry about failure.  

However, a few weeks later I had been listening to one of my favourite podcasts and the host Georgie had been talking about things not being for you right now. It didn’t matter what it was; I believe she was speaking about advice and she always says at the beginning of her Q&A podcasts that if something doesn’t resonate for you right now, that’s completely fine. It was something so simple but it clicked with me that the advice that the book was providing; doesn’t mean it’s bad advice or it’s something that I can’t click with at all, it just doesn’t resonate with me right now. I think when situations happen like this, it’s on you to look at other aspects of your life instead of telling yourself it’s not for you at all. I believe it’s different with fiction so I’m obviously focusing on self-help; what are your external and internal factors that could be affecting you? What is your reason for reading it? Are you looking in the wrong direction for the help that you need or are your factors a sign to tell you that this isn’t for you right now? 

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I certainly believe that you should give (almost) everything a second chance but at the end of the day, don’t punish yourself for not finishing something like a book. There are millions upon millions of books out there and they won’t all be for you. They won’t all be in line with your values and you certainly won’t be able to read them all. You don’t have to finish everything you start but my advice would be don’t push it away without questioning why you are doing it first. 

Have you ever not finished a book and felt bad about it? What book was it? Let me know either in the comments or over on my Instagram and Twitter. Thank you so much for reading today’s post, I hope it resonated with some of you too. (All photographs used in today’s post are from Pexels.com)

I’m done with Monday Syndrome.

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Over the past few months I’ve talked openly about trying to change not only my perspective on my life, but in my attitude too. It’s a very hard road at times, no-one can ever be positive one hundred percent of the time and I would never claim to live up to that impossible standard, but the harder days is when gratitude plays a significant part.

The one thing about trying to have a more optimistic perspective is that you look at every aspect of your life to see where the negative energy tends to stem from and I’m very lucky that my period of therapy so far has had a massive impact of me figuring out the positive and the negative.

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“Remember, Mondays are fine. It’s your life that sucks.” A quote said very simply on Twitter by Ricky Gervais that always seems to have stuck with me. There’s nothing more time consuming that complaining about a Monday, just think about it; the amount of time you complain about it, you could be doing something a lot more productive. You could be looking up a new class to go to, you could be planning a run, you could be writing a blog post or you could be reading a new book for example. The amount of time and quite frankly, energy we put into moaning about it on Twitter, thinking about it in our head or actively talking about it, don’t you think we could use our time more wisely?
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I think the majority of us can admit that we’ve either felt like this or still feel like this on a Monday and it is understandable. Many of us start back to work on a Monday so that means coming back from a chilled work-free weekend so it can be overwhelming to start back for another week. Let’s face it, most of us are in a career for the next forty to fifty years, so I’m sorry to break it to you but Monday’s will keep coming round every week for the next while and there is no way I’m spending the rest of my life complaining about something that I can’t change.
So what can we do about it? Well we can’t avoid Mondays so here’s what I personally do to make the start of my work week on a better note.
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1) Have a morning routine.
For me, having a morning routine is absolutely key to keeping my mind in check and my morning starts at 4am, yes, I did just say 4am! For those wondering why, I’ll be writing a blog post on my routine soon (which will be linked here) but ever since having a morning routine, my day has started off on a better foot. I’m not always running late for work (It does still happen sometimes, I’m not perfect!), I’ve given myself enough time to meditate, head to the gym, have a tasty breakfast and have some cuddles with my kitten before I leave for the day. It’s all about what is important to you and how you want your morning to look, which leads me onto my second tip…
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2) Find your motivation.
This is one of the most important points I’ll make in today’s post. Why? Let’s face it, if you don’t have anything to get up for in the morning apart from work, how will you convince yourself to do it otherwise? For me, I wake up early and go to the gym. What’s my motivation? Well, I like to live a healthy and active lifestyle, I prefer going to the gym in the morning rather than the evening and I see myself constantly progressing when in a gym or workout environment. So whether that’s feeling like my fitness levels have been raised when I’m pushing myself on a cardio machine, hitting another personal best on a weight machine or getting a faster time during a run; that progress is what makes me strive to go to the gym more. Your motivation could be that you want to sit and eat your breakfast in peace instead of only having five minutes to eat it while rushing out the door. Your plan could be to get up twenty minutes earlier and either get ready for work and have that extra time before taking some time for yourself to sit down and eat your breakfast, or why not do it the other way around? Your motivation can be that simple, but if you can’t find a reason to change your morning even by the slightest detail to boost your mood, then you have to ask yourself, do you really want to change?
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3) Plan your week.
I love knowing what I’m going to do for the next week and if you’re like me, you’ll know how satisfying it is choosing what days to go to the gym, when you’re going to meet up with a friend or even have a night to yourself. Whatever plans you like to make, write them down somewhere you’re going to be looking on a regular basis and make sure they’re realistic. Being busy every single night of the week might seem like your productivity is at its highest but if you don’t pencil yourself in for some down time, are you going to have time to enjoy yourself in amongst the busyness of the week?
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4) Having time for myself.
Reflecting on my last point, taking some time for yourself is incredibly important. For the last five months, I’ll admit, this hasn’t been on the top of my list, but I’m going to make it a priority again soon. Every Monday evening after work, I would attend my favourite yoga class about thirty seconds away from my office. Now you might think it’s strange to go to yoga on a Monday night, it sounds more like a weekend or even a Thursday or Friday activity. Surprisingly (when I didn’t have a morning routine), this is what made me just a little more excited for Monday’s. I got to focus on myself and be present for an entire hour without my phone and without worrying about anything. You don’t have to have your “me time” be a yoga class; It can be having a date night once a week with your partner, you can have your best friend round for a tea or coffee, you can go to bed a little earlier with a candle lit and read a good book. You don’t have to be extravagant and book yourself in for a manicure every week (but if you want to do that, and can afford to, then you do you!), it really can be very simple things that will give you a better perspective on the week.
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In no way am I saying that I never complain about going to work or the fact that it’s Monday again, I do sometimes but I don’t want to do that forever. I don’t want to “live for the weekend”, why live for two days out of the week when you can make the most of the seven we already get? Monday’s are always seen as a new week, a new perspective and a fresh start so use that positivity in your favour. You never know what you might achieve by slowly changing your mindset around!

Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol.

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I made the decision not to drink when I was around sixteen. I had half a glass of Peach Schnapps when I was about fourteen and a sip of champagne at my formal when I was sixteen. That’s the height of my drinking, honestly. Ever since I was sixteen, I’ve always been asked why I don’t drink and I really don’t mind being asked; if people are genuinely interested, then I’m happy to answer. I don’t know many other twenty five year olds that don’t drink so I think that’s why when most people see someone not drinking when everyone else is, they can be taken aback.

I always get told “If you control how much you drink, you’ll not lose control” or the best one yet, “You don’t lose control, you know what you’re doing all the time.” Both wrong in my opinion, I believe that once alcohol enters your system, you’re not in control like you were before. Yes, of course there is science behind it all but I still wouldn’t let my boyfriend drive after one drink. Call me overly cautious and yes, he would still be under the limit, but if you’re choosing to drive, don’t drink. That’s why I offer to drive, I really don’t mind it; I actually like driving so it’s never a problem for me.

I don’t know whether this is because of the zero drinking or because of the type of person I am but I would rather come home after a long week of work, stick on the TV and have a big cup of tea rather than go out on a night out. Going out is a lot of effort, and don’t get me wrong, I go out sometimes and it’s nice but I couldn’t do it every week or every fortnight; once a month might even be pushing it. I find when I used to go out (when I was just with friends) I would hit the 11:30pm mark and I wouldn’t be able to have a decent conversation so that was always my cue that it was almost home time. Having someone repeat themselves over and over again or someone just talking absolute nonsense in your ear is something that I personally can’t listen to until the early hours of the morning in a very noisy night club (unless it’s my boyfriend and he’s just adorable when he tells me stories when he’s been drinking).

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Money is also a huge factor. So on an average night out, I used to spend more money on taxis getting home than my drinks. I drink water and pure orange, that’s it! Oh, and let’s be realistic here, if it was even a little sociable acceptable, I would ask for a tea but I think that might be a step too far, don’t you? I don’t drink fizzy drinks or sparkling water, it’s just water and pure orange. So normally the water is free and the dearest I’ve paid for an orange is around £3 (I only bought one that night after that price!). Alcohol is not cheap! So why not go out, still have a good time without the massive cost and buy myself something else that I might be able to get more use out of?

Now I don’t think I’m a perfect person because I don’t drink. The last thing I want to do is come across like someone who thinks “Oh look at me, I don’t drink so I’m automatically better than you” because I really have never thought like that. I’m not any better or any  worse because I choose not to drink it.

I hope this post gave you an insight into someone who doesn’t drink. I have no problem with people who drink by the way! If you drink, cool. If you don’t, cool. I have zero problem with it. What I do have a problem with is when people don’t understand and don’t actually listen. No, I don’t want “one drink”, I’ve said no, what’s so hard about that? Thankfully over the past few years, my teenage years and now in my mid twenties, I haven’t had too many of those experiences. It just seems that it seems to be such a foreign concept to some people and it’s all about understanding at the end of the day.

(Images from pexels.com)