Friday, 13 May 2011

Paint Your Love: The Comfort Edition.

I was supposed to post this yesterday - however Blogspot was out of action for reasons best known to itself, so you're getting it now instead :) sorry!!!

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First of all - an apology for going MIA this past week. I hadn't even really registered that I hadn't posted all week until my friend Adam, who I have re-christened as my Blog Groupie, informed me that 'seven days is taking the piss slightly' (direct quote). So here I am! I'm still alive!!

Probably the most obvious reason I haven't posted for a few days is the dreaded exams...


I'm now halfway through mine - one on Tuesday morning and one on Wednesday morning. The first one was ok-ish...the second was diabolical. Seriously...Shakespeare is spinning in his grave, in was that bad. Fortunately I'm one of those people who can walk out of an exam and never think about it again. I'm the same way with an essay...as much as I stress about it in the build-up or while I'm doing it, once it's in that's that. What's the point in obsessing over something I can't change? Plus, it was Shakespeare. It was always going to be shit.

As well as exams I've also been stressing over my mum. She had her operation on Tuesday for gallstones, and it wasn't until the back end of the weekend that I was actually more worried about it than I'd let myself think I was. I had this horrendous feeling that someone was going to come into my exam to tell me she'd died on the table or something. Obviously I didn't voice all these thoughts to her, but I think she figured it out from my obsessive calling/texting, both before the operation and since she's been home as well. And despite me thinking I was hiding it all quite well, I think a few of my friends cottoned on as well. The words 'chill out, you lunatic, its gallstones' were used more than once. Thankfully she's fine and dandy and is now home in Essex with baby bro, dosed up on pain meds and enjoying being waited on hand and foot. Lucky devil.

As well as neglecting you all for a week, I must also inform you that I haven't been weighed yet either! My Weight Watchers meeting clashed with my exam on Wednesday. Inconsiderate university. I'm hoping I can sort out a lift to the meeting tomorrow evening as its not walking distance, and if not I'll have to wait until I get home next weekend. Seems a long time, especially as I've fallen off the wagon this week as well! I've weighed myself on my scales at home so I know there hasn't been any real damage as such, but I need to get my head back in the game before I end up gaining half a stone in a fortnight.

I'm also a bit of a disappointment on the Paint Your Love front this week as well....I haven't got any pictures! I sat and painted them this evening, after my lovely outing with my future housemates. But, I can't find my camera. Chances are its under my bed or behind the sofa or in my underwear drawer or somewhere equally bizarre. I went for a gold polish this week, and I got a bit arty by using some cute little flower and diamonte transfers as well. I picked them up from Claire's Accessories today while I was out (and then promptly hid them in my bag so the boys wouldn't see them and start up with the blog jokes...I think they're just bitter because I don't mention them enough). Anyway, my nails look awesome, and I will endeavour not to chew them off this week. I was doing so well on the whole not-biting them thing, until the exams rolled around and then I'd knawed most of them off in record time!

Anyway, just because I haven't got a picture for you this week, doesn't mean I'm not joining in! I said last week that I would be following in Moorea's footsteps (and Rosie's, and lots of other people too) and talking about comfort

Everybody has things that they turn to in times of worry or stress or upset that make them feel safe and comfortable - whether it be a childhood snack, a book, or saying a prayer. One of the most difficult things about losing weight for me has been finding a new way to comfort myself. Before Weight Watchers I depended on food to make myself feel better when I was down. I was self-medicating for depression with food and alcohol, and when I started Weight Watchers I couldn't do that anymore. I had the same depression that had been there before, without anything to take the edge off of it. No wonder I went a bit nuts.


I will admit that I still use food for comfort - who doesn't?? The only difference is that now I don't need comfort food every day. And most of the food that I really consider 'comfort food' isn't horrifyingly fattening or unhealthy, although Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream will always be in the top ten best comfort foods. The things I crave most when I'm feeling down are the hearty home-cooked meals that have been a constant presence in my life - spaghetti bolognaise, sausage and mash, Mum's Goulash and braised red cabbage, Nanny Joan's beef stew (or beef stoo, as she calls it) and dumplings, or a Nanny Beryl Roast Dinner. These are my favourite meals - not three weeks ago was I to be found jumping up and down for joy in my mums kitchen because she'd just told me that we were having Goulash that week. I suppose the reason that these dinners are all so comforting to me is because they will forever be associated with my time with my parents and grandparents, and of feeling safe and loved and like I didn't have anything to worry about. I'd like to go back to a time when life was as simple as going round to Nanny's for beef stoo - without having relationships, exams and rent payments weighing on your mind.

As well as food, I've had to find a few other things to comfort and relax myself other the last couple of years - being at uni I can't just go home in a strop and demand that my mother makes spaghetti for me. As much as I'd like to! So here they are -

1) Painting my nails. Even before I started participating in Paint Your Love, I used painting my nails as a time to chill-out and unwind from whatever was stressing me out or upsetting me. It also makes me feel much more confident if my nails are painted. You can always tell when I'm having a confidence crisis because my nails will be absolutely perfect - just my way of making myself feel better.

2) Harry Potter and Twilight. I know, I know, I'm like a twelve year old girl. As I mentioned in my last post, Harry Potter is my fail-safe way of escaping from the troubles of life. Twilight is a close second, although the problem there lies in the inevitable 'well where's my Edward?' reaction!

3) Watching TV. I am a major TV junkie. A few favourites over the years have included Friends, Desperate Housewives, House, Glee, Eastenders, Waking The Dead, Silent Witness, CSI, One Tree Hill, Top Gear, Mock The Week, 8 out of 10 Cats, Glee, Gavin and Stacey and The Inbetweeners, as well as the two newest additions Castle and True Blood (I have a tiny little Alexander Skarsgard obsession).


4. Films. I've seen them all so many times that I could probably quote them word for word, but I think thats what I like about them! The top ten, in no particular order...The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, The Silence of the Lambs, When Harry Met Sally, The Lion King, Stepmom, Twilight, The Sound Of Music, The Notebook and A Beautiful Mind.

5. Wearing make-up. Sometimes I'll have a good few weeks where I'll just wear the bare minimum of make-up - if any at all. Other times, like now, when I'm stressed and upset, I won't leave my room without my face on. Its like a mask that nobody can see me behind, which can be quite reassuring when you're not feeling yourself.

6. Cleaning. Ok, so I know this one is a bit weird. But I always feel so much better when my room/house are clean and tidy. Something to do with getting rid of the clutter in your home helps clear your mind or something? It just helps me think more clearly and see things for how they really are, as opposed to getting things blown out of proportion in the heat of the moment.

7. Spending time with my future roomies - Jack, Jack, Mark and Terry. They keep it simple and they keep me on my toes. There's no subtext with them, what you see is what you get and that's exactly what I like about spending time with them. I feel very comfortable with them. Its nice to spend time with people and just be able to be - most of the time, especially with girls, the time needs to be filled with mindless chatter. Which is fine, but sometimes I just need a break from it all. The boys are there if I need someone to talk to, and I love that they talk to me about stuff as well. I'm very much looking forward to living with them. And Mark, I know you're reading this. Haven't you got anything better to be doing?

8. Going to the gym - I never thought I'd hear myself say that! I used to hate exercise, now I find it refreshing and relaxing. Go figure.

9. Looking through old photos and yearbooks. I love all the memories of times spent with family and friends. It reminds me of all the amazing people I have in my life and how lucky I am to have them. They're always there when I need them and they've never let me down. Being reminded of that after a bad day is extremely comforting.

10. And finally, listening to these songs:

The Beatles - Let It Be.

The Rolling Stones - Angie.

Don McLean - American Pie.

Train - Drops of Jupiter.

John Mayer - Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.

(I tried to post the videos for them, but it wouldn't let me! I'm such a let-down, I know! I'm sorry!)

Thats your lot from me for now folks!! What are some of the things that comfort you when you're feeling down?

Love to you all!!!
Lauren xxx

4 comments:

  1. I am truly honoured at my mention in your blog!

    What gives me comfort when i'm feeling down...

    Unlike most womens brains (you are excluded from this category) which are like a big ball of wire where everything is connected to everything. My brain is separated into neatly packed boxes. A box for the house, a box for the bike, a box for work, even a box for the mother in-law somewhere in the basement. The rule is none of the boxes touch.
    When I'm down I like to go to my favourite box of them all which has absolutely nothing in it. Infact I call it 'The Nothing Box'. Thats why us blokes can do something completely mindless like fishing... or sitting infront of a TV for hours without actually watching anything.
    I'm pretty sure that i'm able to tune my brain into a state where I can think about absolutely nothing, if you connected me up to a life support machine it would actually show me as cynically dead!
    So basically yeh when i'm feeling down I just like to run to my nothing box and go into a coma.
    Other than that I quite like to go for a 10 mile run along the Thames at night while the city is all lit up and just have some me time, listening to some music and praying along the way.
    If I know the cause of what is getting me down then maybe I'll read a certain part of the Bible or turn to Spurgeon or someone for something to uplift me.
    Also I have a little place I like to go to, its this little hill hidden in the woodlands of a park which overlooks Canary Wharf and the city. Its my favourite place to go and think and clear my head because you can sit under the stars see all the lights going on and off in the city buildings and people rushing around in their cars but all you can hear is the calm water of the river and it feels like you can kinda stop time.

    Not quite as glamorous as putting makeup on or painting my nails but hey!

    Thanks for the blog, don't take so long next time it is unacceptable!

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  2. Aaah Lauren I have just recently started watching True Blood (my mum got me series one for my birthday) and now i'm half way through series 2 and loving it <3 some many of ur comforts are mine too :) xxx

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  3. oh my gosh adam i completely have little cupboards in my head too. and i shut them so that none of the stuff mixes. and this is my excuse for why i can make such thick comments sometimes. i also go on power down.

    lauren - LOVE the song choices. i feel we might have similar music taste. oh yeah and guys seem to make everything simpler than girls often. i agree!
    x

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  4. Rosie you are welcome in my nothing box any day!

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I love all your comments, so please let me know what you think!