In a world that positions itself as a lover of depressing colours and bleak outlooks, we always have an inner desire to view the colourful potential of our world. Even the most depressed designers will want to add splashes of rainbow to their creations as some point, or a writer of bleak fiction might want to sneak in a chapter at the end where the characters fortunes finally turn around for the better.
We walk around like we love black, we hold our heads down and bump into each other every so often. These bumps are our minds subconsciously begging for us to all live more colourful lives. We should always be trying to find a way to add even a little more colour into our lives, in order to be happier. To maybe find a way to add pigment into our cheeks and excitement into our adventures. Maybe the reason why we all just feeling like life is passing us by is because maybe we are letting it. We are excepting that the boring things we wear are just what we have to wear, the bleak fiction is what we have to read and the boring buildings on grey streets are just what we have been given to live in. This is the mindset I would name The Boring Grey and black sheep mindset. It’s the mindset most people have found themselves to be in on a rollercoaster of life that never stops, slows down or lets them get off.
There are those who live life to the fullest though. They don’t care what judgments other people give or whether it’s the normal thing to do. From the moment they get up in the morning they make a choice to live a life in colour, rather than in black and white. And happiness is just the start for these people. They live in a mindset that I like to call The Coloured Pebble Mindset. It’s simple really, and it’s something that can be done both mentally and physically if you so possess. You can imagine or to make it a more rewarding and renewing exercise, you can purchase and paint some pebbles in many different colours and put them in a basket or container. Then, you live your life as normal, but when you come to a choice, a junction in life where you would normally just do what everyone else is doing, getting on the never ending rollercoaster. You stop yourself and you just get into that coloured pebble mindset of adding that little bit of colour into your life every time. Then, you can reward yourself by adding a coloured pebble into another basket. Every time you do something that you would consider a deviation from the norm, you can reward yourself for being in the mindset where you can live your life as you have always wanted to. You can see your reward coloured pebble basket fill up day by day and the other basket empty slowly. Like a perfect metaphor for you leaving your boring ordinary life behind. Try it, and tell me all about it.
As we get older, people say that Christmas seems to get less magical. I've always been excited about the 25th of December. Even now as an adult. When I was counting down the days this year i was thinking more about the purpose of the whole event.
I wrote how Christmas for me would be spent doing more happy things that made me feel better about myself. I figured that Christmas 2016 would be less about caring about what other people think you should do for the event, and the things I actually wanted to do.
For the past 2 years I have spent Christmas in a state of being quite sick. I would start to get ill in the days before Christmas and then, like last year, need to take long nap during the day. I felt like this would be a waste for my Christmas but it is something my body wouldn’t let me get away with. It would also make me feel a lot less christmassy. When you are suffering with a serious cold and painful aches, it is understandably hard to get into any kind of spirit. I wouldn’t be happy either which wasn’t good. I rely on being happy even if it’s just a little bit at least for Christmas day.
Yesterday I woke up happy that the day was finally here. I lay for a moment to assess whether I was actually sick this year and to my pure joy I really wasn’t. There was no cough or aching, sickness or headache. It made me feel incomprehensibly happy.
I had a light breakfast and a tasty hot chocolate with whipped cream to boost my morning spirits. I wore a Christmas jumper with pom pom baubles that used to light up but now no longer did. I was ready. My mum was upstairs putting on her make-up for the day (there would be many photos). For gifts, I received many different art supplies, technologies including a virtual reality headset and a make your own robot kit as a novelty present.
Quite convenient as a practical present, I also received a knitted mermaid tail that was immediately put into use to keep me warm. I liked to feel comfortable and warm on Christmas because that reflected what i felt inside. This year may not have been the best but even at this point in the day I knew that this Christmas was the best I had in years.
At about 9pm, my eldest sister came round with a bag full of presents to give other family members and a small, book shaped one for me! My other sister was at her stepmothers house with my two nephews until 12pm. My brother would also be arriving at ours about that time. They were coming to ours for Christmas dinner. Until then, at a time where we would give the majority of presents, we relaxed.
We watched Christmas television like The last dragon slayer, which prepared us for the day ahead by injecting even more of that spirit into us and our environment.
In the kitchen my mum was busy cooking and stressing at different points throughout the morning. She shared the very mum like anxieties of if there would be enough food and if it would be cooked in time. I always gelt such stresses only distracted from what the day is actually supposed to be about but throughout this I kept myself occupied by working on a large scale drawing using some colouring pencils I had received that morning.
The Christmas dinner was a success. As always I ate my dinner with a paper party hat on my head and a focus on eating the meal knowing how much hard work had been put into it. Christmas dinner should never be just a meal. It’s about having family close to you as you eat. It’s never just about food. Who cares if you can’t afford a turkey or don’t have the cooking skills to prepare a 5 course meal for many people.
You don’t need to. It’s about having a decent meal with people you care about and love or people who you know care about you in a way that makes you feel warm inside.
I had gradually become a lot more focused on progressing with my pencil drawing that had now evolved in to an intricate work in progress around an original idea. when I get into something, regardless of what other people consider as important I dedicate myself to it until I can’t anymore. This has become quite frustrating for me when I get fatigued from being ill. I always thing I can do more than is actually possible for me. So it’s upsetting when you realise you can’t finish something you used to be able to.
When everyone had arrived we proceeded to open presents. The day was now mostly for the younger children in our family. It was great to see them open all the presents they had and see their faces light up every time they received another gift. I sat there thinking this is what Christmas was really all about. It's not supposed to be hard or serious. Christmas is happiness.
From my sister I was gifted a sponge bob squarepants themed monopoly. It may sound odd, but I like sponge bob squarepants and I maintain my childlike innocent. There will never be anything wrong with that. That evening I tried out the new game by playing a 2 hour game of monopoly with my mum, she won.
Christmas this year was great. It will always be about family. At least for me it will be anyway. I maintain my view that Christmas doesn't necessarily need to be about celebrating the birth of somebody I think is a fictional character. It's not about religion for a lot of people and that isn't a bad thing. Maybe people just want a celebration, a time for happiness. Relief from the mundane of reality.
I'm looking forward to 2017 now, I hope for a better year.
The house behind me in the picture above is Nostell priory, a large English country house owned and run by the National Trust. Every Christmas, as with tradition, they have several holiday themed events that run in the weeks and days running up to Christmas. I attended with my family on a day where they were serving mulled wine and if you went in the house, there were many things to see and do, especially for children. Old houses always have a nostalgic feel for me, probably because my parents used to take me and my siblings to them all the time when we were growing up.
With my youngest nephews (One is Oliver pictured to the right to me) and my nieces, we made paper chain shaped like gingerbread men and posed for obligatory pictures near to the giant Christmas trees. These activities were designed to draw younger children into the curiosities that these old houses provide. I have always found old English homes like these great places to go for days out because, although on the surface they seem like boring old buildings, there is so much history in them that can be learnt. Beyond the roaring fires and old style vintage Christmas decorations, there were displays containing books with hand drawn and painted sketches in them done by the girl who lived there long ago. A person that will now be long gone. It gives you insight into a life that came and went before you were even born. It gives you perspective in that there was many lives before yours, how can that not be exciting?
I love everything about history, and so physically being able to look at and sometimes touch displays containing artefacts and relics from these periods is a great way to get history to appeal to the masses too. I think in theory history can be quite dull, but if you were to take trips to destinations of particular history signinfacne like i did, then maybe you might have as much passion as I do as an adult about the history of our world.
The day at Nostell Priory was a great, particularly because I could spend time with my family. something I love to do and that I embrace.
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THE STORY OF ODDLANDISH
ODDLANDISH is a place for me to write my own thoughts about life. I would consider myself quite a unique person and someone who has experienced more than their fair share of problems in the short time they have existed. EACH MONTH will be different in theme so don't forget to leave a comment, like and subscribe to get an exclusive first look at written works before they are seen by others. :) Enjoy my magazine of the worlds oddity.