Day 4…. and breathe

It was an easier day …. my stooopid head gave me some more breaks from wondering what everyone in the virtual world was up to … and when I did have a little ponder, I realised it was less of an issue that I didn’t know. I was considerably calmer. Hoofuckingrah!! Though I put this down to being over the halfway mark of my self imposed ‘absence’ …. and I’m now beginning to think how I will manage my time on social media in the future 🤔 …. now that is going to be about self discipline …. something I don’t have a lot of. *Buggerationsandbollocks*…. hey ho … still chuffing learning….

In my real world however, I have kept myself busy…. but not necessarily doing the one thing I intended to focus on, with the time I was saving…. duh 🙄…. but not beating myself up about it…. because I have been catching up on household stuff, and some things I have let slide a bit. But I’m back on track with those now. And it’s made a difference to the few brain gremlins I have lurking. I can look around me and be pleased with my effort… there’s always stuff to do, but what’s left is doable… and I’ve begun to make lists again. It’s downright satisfying to cross things off when they’re done… even if I do add something else on. But that’s life innit? We don’t stop doing until we leave this mortal coil… and none of us will ever complete those lists of things to do anyway! So really there’s bugger all reason to beat ourselves up is there?? But we often do …. hmmm.

So now all the humdrum shite has been done, I’m filling my time with planning (I use the term loosely) a fun weekend. I have one of my oldest friends coming to stay for a couple of nights…. and then entertaining a few more tomorrow. A gathering of people that I love to spend time with. Good conversation will flow…. along with the wine and (hopefully) good food. So it’s been shopping lists, followed by procurement. Menu ( I use that word loosely as well!) … and generally wondering how the fuck I’ll get a dozen people into my little cave if the weather decides to be shit. Another hmmmm. I can just about find everyone a seat…, but where the hell I would put the food, without it becoming a smorgasbord for a thieving beagley … gawd only knows.

So I’m watching the weather forecast with the same intent as watching a soufflé rise! (I decided against making one of those … as I always fail!) Oooer … hope that’s not an omen.

No matter what … the day will be great … probably knackering… but the effort made will be bleddy worth it.

One interesting thing about yesterday was my morning walkies… as usual I met the locals…. and had varied chats. One was extremely pleasant… I was complimented on my appearance, as well as my taste in music and my personal outlook. The gent doesn’t know anything about my rollercoaster past … but in passing conversations, we have hit it off rather well … and I do believe we’ve been flirting! Does wonders for the ego!! Yesterday he made a point about dropping in the age thing…. I thought he was younger, and he is by 7 years .., so being flattered by a youngster, is all the more pleasing….

They say flattery will get you everywhere… though I reckon that I’m at that age where no one would want to bleddy go there!! Who knows?? 😁

But how nice it is to receive a compliment now and again! Time to start handing some out again …. it’s great to make people laugh… I do that regularly … it’s great to help people think about things, I hope I do that too… but it’s even greater to make people feel good about themselves. In fact it’s bleddy priceless. Another lesson relearnt …

All without the aid of social media … now there’s a thing…, the real world can be a very nice place too 😍.. and my real world is awesome …. even with Supersonic Jason having a quick fag in Paradise 😎

Day 3…. distractions

The day was a bit easier …. though my mind strayed to the “wonder what people are doing” area a few times. I did ‘accidentally’ [or subconsciously?] touch the Facebook icon on my phone in the morning … only there confronted by the faceless Rin Tin Tin type icon… which awakened me to the fact I’m not on it….

But I definitely didn’t miss it quite so much, I stopped grinding my bleddy teeth in determination, and my index finger and thumb weren’t so itchy …. but I put it down to the fact of having friends to visit for a few hours, that I hadn’t seen for a very long time.

One of my oldest friends came to see me, with his daughter and son in law. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of years…. mainly down to me, and the struggle I had dealing with my ‘failure’… being homeless, bankrupt and virtually broken in pieces. (Though I wasn’t quite aware of how fecking broken I was until much later). The ‘benefit’ of keep a diary/blog.

Anyway, by the time I began to feel better, I then started to feel sodding guilty that I had neglected some friends.

It was only a year or so earlier to my ‘withdrawal’, that his wife, one of my best friends, had suddenly died. We were all devastated. It was a horrible time, I was tasked with writing and reading her eulogy. Now that was bleddy hard… but he and his two girls had begged me to do it.., you can’t refuse a request like that. They all struggled to deal with it, I was there for them as much as I could be for many months. Then I watched them starting to get on with a new daily life, so stepped back… and then a few months later, I made the epic mistake of getting the pub…. and the rest is fucking history as they say …. a painful history…

I met the family 46 years ago, when we became neighbours… and we have been through everything together… including my two marriages and divorces.. I’ve always been ‘Auntie’ to their children, seen them marry, divorce, remarry, have their children, and watched them all grow up, go through so much crap and come out the other side. Their family was my family and vice versa…. but when my friend died, and my own ‘preoccupation’, the hub of the wheel broke.. we drifted.

And Facebook wasn’t much use, as my friend didn’t hold much store by it, one daughter who used it, had gone blind through traumatic illness very suddenly, and her husband used it sporadically, as he was her full time carer…. and so on.

Because I withdrew from physical contact with people, I made little effort to get in touch … and because I hadn’t heard much from them, I eventually assumed they were pissed off with me …

How wrong assumptions can be! It was nothing of the sort.., it was because they were getting on with doing their stuff. They thought I had been getting my birthday/Christmas cards…. nope…. as we discovered yesterday, when trying to find me… they had the wrong address!! Doh.

The upside is, it was a bleddy wonderful four hours, of catching up and happy memories. My friend is over 80, and an inspiration..,, he now has Parkinson’s… and to quote him “I won’t bleddy die from it”. He is still active, going on numerous breaks with his sister, going to the theatre regularly, still plays pool badly, still does his beloved carpentry… though given up badminton because his knees hurt.., but taken up carpet bowls instead.

His blind daughter is equally an inspiration… she recently won a gold medal and several cups for shooting! (Laser I might add!) … she still relies on the help of others for her general needs…. but she ain’t remotely feeling sorry for herself.

The moral here, is that there’s always someone worse off than yourself… and reassuring you that there is another way to cope in a better way than think you can.

They loved where I live and my paradise. The friendship re-cemented. Onwards and upwards for us all.

So thanks to my morning and afternoon walkies (when the Scillies came a bit nearer and waved at me), and to the friendships that will never be broken, the day was wonderful. All without the aid of social media.

What a fdcking result!! Happy old bear 🐻

Day 2 …. it’s pigging hard!

After 12 years of scrolling through my newsfeed on a very frequent basis every day, it’s bleddy hard work breaking the habit. And this is despite drastically cutting back for a few months before I deactivated myself. My poor index finger and thumb are fecking itching to get back to it. My head is a bit confuddled too….

I have occupied myself with catching up on jobs. I realised I have become a bit of a household chore slut…. doing more of a lick and a promise, than a bleddy good deep clean! My dear old Auntie Annie would have been turning in her grave… my mother however would have just shrugged her shoulders, and carried on sucking her aniseed balls, and watched tv. I take after my mother. Though for me it would be humbugs and laptop or phone…

Anyway, I have scrubbed and scrubbed the Bear Cave… and as it’s very tiny, it didn’t take very long… so I expanded my efforts to the garden, weeding and tidying, in preparation for a small gathering of friends at the weekend.

Now usually this would be a very last minute blitz to make it presentable to sit in… lobbing tables and chairs into some sort of order just before the guests arrive … but I have even done that! All they need is the final wipe down, cushions to put out, and it’s ready to roll… 4 days early! Wtf?

Even the shopping list is done… all the crockery, glasses, cutlery sorted…. it’s like the aliens have been .. this is bleddy unheard of!!

It’s certainly stopped me from being on social media for a lot of the time. But it hasn’t stopped me sodding head from wondering what some of my Facebook pals are up to though…. and I admit to missing a few who keep me amused.

What I haven’t missed is the other shite… especially all the amateur political punditing (there’s a new word for you!)… and being told, quite rudely, that my opinion is totally wrong and stupid…. and being informed by endless copied and pasted articles to back up their ‘informed’ opinions. This is reflected by those who agree with me …. they also copy and paste articles to refute the others. It’s as boring as fuck! And today is Election Day for MEPs… so I’m bleddy glad I’m away from it all….

Then there’s the soapbox stuff…. some is actually interesting… but a lot is at saturation point… because of the need to get the message across. Ok … I chuffing got it! Sometimes little is more. I read occasional articles, to try and be informed… but constantly bombarding my newsfeed with it, actually has a negative reaction from me.

So there’s still more that I don’t miss, than I do. The balance is uneven …. I’d love to be like some people I know, who just simply scroll past the shit, without giving it a second thought. This is where I am aiming to be …. but until I can get my stooopid head to play that game, it’s better I stay away from it.

But now I’ve virtually run out of industrious pursuits to keep myself occupied at home. Fortunately I have friends visiting later, so with general daily stuff that has to done, and my usual glorious walkies in Paradise, today should be taken care of….

….. but it won’t stop my head, index finger and thumb from itching to have a bleddy look at what’s going on in the virtual world…,

Arseandbollocks….

Day 1… confusion abounds

So my first day without social media didn’t go particularly well. Not so much the fact I withdrew, but my methodology… it just didn’t fecking work. My thinking of initially just logging out backfired… as I got asked if I meant for my account to still be ‘live’…. and yes I did know that, it was deliberate, as I wrote on my blog yesterday.

And this is the ironic bit …. it appears that no matter how much you promote something…. and despite people saying that they follow you. They actually don’t. I’m not sure whether I’m being patronised, ignored, or just plain humoured. Or everyone is far too busy with their own lives. If they had taken a few minutes and read it, they would have seen my ‘strategy’ … but hey ho that’s life… my blogs are not necessarily for other people, unless they are interested in the way an old eccentric woman’s mind works, they are really for me. Blog = Diary in my world. I’m sure as fuck not relying on it for an income…. which is just as well ….

Anyway… it was an amusing interlude being logged off. One of the reasons to take that route, was to copy my website blog onto my Facebook [blog] page, for those that do follow me on there. Well that didn’t fucking work… as that page has been suspended!! The social media admins have given me time out…. I can only assume they must have been bleddy offended by one of my blogs, because I criticised their current formats. (In the meantime, bullying, cruelty and misleading click bait is still being permitted)… gawd knows how long the suspension will be for … but it’s irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, for the minute anyway.

So back to the drawing board.. I deactivated my personal page…. and twiddled my thumbs for a bit, then got on with stuff in the real world.

I have to admit that I found it extremely odd not to find notifications on my phone/lappy…. it felt a bit like the chuffing world had stopped. Only that one person messaged me… so no other online interaction occurred for the day. I did miss seeing what friends were up to … but I sure as hell didn’t miss the fricking politics and ‘soapboxes’… so the jury is still very much out.

In the meantime …. I’m going to sit here again today…. chat to a few people, and ‘waste’ my time 😎😎

Can you get ‘virtual’ cold turkey??

So….. due to several things happening to me recently…. I have decided to make a few changes in my life. Nothing major…. but some necessary adjustments. I absolutely bleddy love the life I’ve got now… which will never be perfect (repeat that there’s no such thing as perfection) but it’s [almost] as good as it gets.

Our lives evolve through all sorts of events, many that we have no control over, lots of our own choices and some by the influence of others. One thing I’ve learnt is (repeat) ‘To change things in our lives, we must change things in our lives’ … it’s been a mantra of mine for a decade or so. And I believe it. I can never ‘do’ same old same old. It’s not in my nature. My life is personal to me…. no other bugger walks in my shoes…. or pays my b’stard bills. So it’s up to me. And to quote the cliche… I did it my way. We all do.

We can have similar opinions on things… as well as vehemently opposed ones. We can agree to disagree. We are all unique. Some more fecking ‘unique’ than others 🤣

So the changes I’ve been making are about me of course. One is cutting down on the booze! Shock horror 😳… we know it’s not great to over indulge… but we do. I fucking did recently, and disgraced myself…. at one of my buddy’s celebrated soirées, I drank too much, ate too little and sweltered in the sunshine. Not a great mix. Result? In the end, whilst clearing up, I fell down completely arseholed. Unfortunately, being the hefty old maid I am, my buddy couldn’t get me up. And having back, strength and coordination issues, and basically being completely lashed..I was screwed. It took me fecking ages to get up, scraped my knees, hurt my toe and was in a total mess. The upside was that being so bleddy drunk I didn’t do any other damage. Not how a 69 year old woman should behave. I was fucking mortified and ashamed. And it was very sobering. So I resolved to change. It’s actually not been that bad, yes I’ve had the odd drink…, but the memory of being a total twat is still fresh in my mind…. the great thing is I feel a whole bunch better. And I damn well like that. And it’s cheaper. Down side is, I’ve developed a sweet tooth. Hey ho swings and roundabouts… I’ll deal with that another day.

But the biggest change I’m currently making is withdrawing from social media…. hell fire!! That’s a big deal too. But this is one I’ve been contemplating for some time. It’s been a great help to me in the past, and have made a lot of new friends in my new and improved life. But it’s become a habit. Spending time on it was a big part of my everyday life. But since I came to live in Paradise, I have become increasingly part of the real world. And I love it …. I feel like an individual again. Not one of a huge crowd. (I actually don’t like crowds!) I have learnt I’m happy in my own company. I’m happy to be me. Social media helped with that …. but now (at fucking last) I can stand on my own two feet. And I’ve found (as with my last rant) that the balance between the positives and negatives on social media are changing …. in a way I don’t like. So that’s why I’m taking a break.. how long for I don’t know. Because basically I am a curious person. That’s one way of putting it eh??

I like to see what friends are up to. But I don’t like the negativity, intolerance, bigotry, politics etc., and have spent endless time hiding posts, snoozing people, deleting irrelevant advertisements (money money money for good old Facebook) as well as ‘unfriending’ those who don’t interact, or put up stuff I find offensive. So I asked myself “why are you wasting good time doing all of that?” The answers I gave myself were mixed. But on balance it was a negative result. There was more I disliked than liked! So it was ripe for a change.

But like the booze situation, I can’t stop just like that … I need to ease my way out of it. Same when I gave up smoking … I kept a packet of fags in the drawer …. just in case. And I did have the odd puff over the first few months. Tasted like shit each time. So I gave up! When I lost over three stone in weight … there was always the bag of crisps and chocolate biscuits to resort to in an emergency. I am fortunate to be one of those people that when I make my mind up to do something …. then I’ll bleddy do it! And accept it’s never easy, but if I fail one day, I can start again the next! Life isn’t an easy option… and it never stays the same …. you just have to learn to roll with it.

So to withdraw from social media, I had to build up that resolve. First I used the screen time app, to see just how much time I spent on my phone (and other devices) … that was a fucking shocker… it was almost like a full time job! Admittedly a lot of the time was for blogging and writing … but a shitload more on chuffing Facebook!! So I reduced my time by over a half … using it mainly in the morning and evening, and the random few minutes in the day. This is when I realised that I spent more time getting rid of stuff than enjoying the content I was looking for! WTF?? Stuff I posted up was mostly sodding drivel…. as that’s what I write. Photos of Paradise… widely appreciated…. but repetitive nonetheless. Occasionally commenting on others etc….

So hence I decided to really withdraw … so I let people know… (and was humbled by the nice comments) … so they didn’t think I’d popped my clogs, entered a monastery or completely gone gaga (that could still happen) … so I did some research. I didn’t really want to delete my whole account …. as there’s some stuff ‘attached’ to it …. like photos, blogs and memories… so found I could deactivate it temporarily. Ideal I thought…. then there’s a hechnical titch! I couldn’t post anything to my Facebook blog page …. ffs. I didn’t want to leave my ‘followers’ in the lurch…. as I’ve gained a few now…. and although they are gradually finding my barbarabear.com page .., they’ve not all found and followed it yet.

Then the fucking lightbulb moment. Following another mantra…. keep it simples! …. the solution. Just log out of the bleddy thing. People will still know I’m around … just not saying/doing anything… it’ll give me a breathing space… until I decide whether to deactivate…. (makes me sound like a bleddy Dalek ‘deactivate deactivate’ …. silly me)

Anyway I’m temporarily away from being sucked into to virtual world…. how I’ll cope is a bleddy mystery … but there’s only one fecking way to find out eh??

Here goes bugger all…. I’m off to the real world.

The internet. Hmmm

I’ve not written much lately…. I’ve not felt the need. Now there’s a bleddy thing!! As I’ve always used writing as a way of not only charting my progress through my life’s journey, but also to get the jumbled thoughts (on anything) out of my stooopid head. It takes the pressure off the Head Squirrels, who always seemed to be fighting the evil influences of the Brain Gremlins….

But I reckon they’ve all taken a well deserved holiday! Whooppeefuckingdoo!! It’s taken long enough. They must have been sick and tired of all my shit.

But yesterday the Bear got poked. Thanks to the influences of the chuffing internet. Which was disappointing, as I have reduced my time on it quite drastically. I actually choose to use it, rather than think I should be on it …. you may like to take a second to think about that … or not… the choice is yours!

An increasing amount of people constantly have their phones/laptops/pcs in front of them… like an appendage… an external brain even! Many rely on what they can find on it. We are in a technology age…. a great deal of work is IT based … and sitting there right beside the business bit, is the social media stuff, and information on absolutely anything.

The world before technology is increasingly criticised for being responsible for the shit the world is currently in … I am of the generation that is being held responsible. Hmmm… personally I think technology (and greed) are the culprits!

I am old school. I don’t give a flying fuck if I have an opinion that doesn’t sit well with today’s agendas. I don’t need endless fecking ‘reports’ to prove a differing opinion. I will always listen to a sensible debate … by someone who can form their own opinions, without resorting to finding stuff on the web to back up theirs.

This may seem to contradict my belief that the internet is an easy source of knowledge. But as with everything in life, as throughout history, contradictions always abound.

Life is one huge fecking paradox!

Personally, I am happy and comfortable with myself. I don’t need to ‘peddle’ someone else’s facts, unless I have experienced the same.

Which is why all the people who were born into the computer age, will never understand that we all fucking survived without it. It wasn’t perfect then. It sure as fuck ain’t perfect now. But people our age don’t need to be ‘corrected’ or even patronised that we ‘don’t understand’.

The irony is that I now choose to live a fair bit in the way I did before computers started their takeover. Before consumerism became an ogre. Before knowledge was tampered with. I live as simple as I can … I limit my time ‘believing’ everything I read online.

A simple fact…. from my own real life experience. Up until maybe 15 years ago, I personally knew about a half a dozen people who took their own lives. In the last 15 years, I have lost count of friends and families who have suffered from loved ones who took the only way out that they thought was open to them. I only knew a handful of people who were suffering with anxieties or depression (including my mother, my son and myself) ….. nowadays it’s an epidemic.

I cannot attribute it all to the internet… but … and it’s a BIG BUT! There is a bit of irony that these increases came about at about the same time as social media? Coincidence? (And a good friend of mine always says there is no such thing as coincidence.. )

So forgive me if I hold an opinion that differs from your own… I do not need a verbal slap or correction online. Come and talk to me face to face, without any techie aids, with your own thoughts. I’ll listen, as I love a good, polite and reasoned debate. But not politics…. I’m soooo done with that lol…….

In the meantime …. I’m off to enjoy this in real life…. so much nicer than a screen

I’ve only gone a bleddy done it!! (Well almost)

So yesterday I completed printing off 656 pages of my scribbling.. I decided to do it for the fact I was getting as teasy as a rat trying to edit the sodding stuff on a screen… far too slow a process, to cross reference for repetitions etc., and I was losing the fecking will to live… which led to procrastination… which led to bugger all happening.

So my ‘solution’ was to print the whole shebang off. And nope… I couldn’t pay for it to be done… my shoestring budget involves a very short, broken and frayed bit of sodding shoestring…. but hereby lay another dilemma…. my printer was old… unreliable and the ink expensive. But hey ho … use one cartridge a month for the next zillion years and I’ll get the b’stard job done. Then Lady Luck took pity on my pathetic situation… a very kind friend (unbeknown to my plight) offered me another printer, as he had upgraded…. hallefuckinglujah!! It even came with a whole bunch of replacement cartridges. Manna from heaven…. and then I found out they were cheap as chips to buy anyway. What a bleddy result.

Only downside was that it was slow printing …. but the fact I could actually get the damn job done was something. I soon learnt that it was sensible (sensible me?? Wahaha) to do it in rounds of 25 pages, as my attention span often fucked off to play somewhere else.

What I didn’t learn… until the last final push of 156 remaining pages, is not to over use the domestic printer …. as I ended up with a whole raft of arseholing alien gobbledygook …. I was none too pleased…. though it did cause much amusement amongst so called friends!!

But I was determined to finish getting it all printed …. so allowed some time for said b’stard printer (and myself) to cool down …. and finished getting the whole lot on paper!!

At first I looked at it all, the makings of three books in all…. all to be split and edited. My first reaction was ‘fucking hell’ …. the thought of the task ahead was going to be a time consuming twatting epic waste of time… who the fuck was going to read them anyway? It’ll never be worth publishing anything…. even if I could get ‘someone’ or anybleddyone to be remotely interested … or even afford to self publish…, after all my broken shoestring ain’t gonna stretch that fucking far!!!

So I left the whole shitload of spent rainforest on the table …. and sat down for a well deserved hit of caffeine…. looking at the whole wasted effort. Bollocksandarse…..

But…. and now I’m bleddy impressed with myself…. I practiced what I preach! I looked at the paper mountain in a different way!

Holy Mother of St Piran!! That pile was a tangible result of several years of emotional outpourings…. of memories…. and personal failures and triumphs. It’s my story …. I fucking wrote it!!! I began to look at it with some pride. I fucking did it!! I did what I set out to do…. and not just one book… but the makings of three!! How chuffing epic is that??

Ok, it still has a long way to go to be finished… but I now have the whole thing in my hands…. to work on in comfort, pages to turn, notes to make, as and whenever I want. Touchy feely proof of my efforts in life… I am bleddy proud of how far I have come…. I am achieving a dream.

Most of all… I am believing in myself… I won’t apologise for who or what I am anymore…..

The journey has been worth every single word like I fucking wrote!!

Another milestone has been reached …. dreams can come true.. may not be how I planned.. but plans are bleddy overrated anyway !!