One of the worst parts of my 2013 has been comparing the amount of money that leaves my account with a significantly smaller amount of tangible goods.
I tried an experiment when I took to the stage to give a talk on "failing to relate authentically" at this year's TEDxBristol. After walking on boldly (or as boldly as my nerves would allow), I spent the first minute or so telling the audience about my various accomplishments. Then I stopped. I walked off, re-entered and started again...
I found the fear of making mistakes to be so overwhelming, and I thought that those mistakes were going to affect me for evermore. That was very scary. I found the way to stop it being so overwhelming was to get professional help.
Simplistically speaking, there are three types of people: those who suck the energy from you, those who give you energy, and those who have a neutral effect. Ideally, we choose to be with energy-givers, after all, in our manic, live to work, always-on world, we optimize when and where we can.
Christmas is supposed to be a time for family, or so it is said. But what do you do when you have more than one family who wants your time over the holiday? I'm not talking specifically of children who have to deal with separated parents, - though that is something to be considered - but rather bog standard couples trying to split their time between both sides of the family. How do you keep everyone happy?
"It has reassured me though," I conclude. "There ARE nice men out there, who aren't married, or sleazy, or game-playing. I'm even thinking of inviting him to be guest of honour at my birthday." Lu seems happy with this, if a little perplexed by all the recent developments...
Despite saying I wouldn't again waste my money paying for an online dating service, I found myself signing up for a 3-month period. Its expiry date coincidentally Christmas Eve, 4 years since the first time I signed up to the same site.
At the moment, we are constantly being bombarded with media representations of Christmas that hold at their very core a sense of togetherness, comfort and security. Advertisements are constantly reminding us to get the 'perfect gift' for that 'special someone'.
When I was just eight years old, Christmas Day came to have a different, bittersweet meaning for me, compared to most lucky souls. Because when I was meant to be celebrating my eighth birthday (yes, I was born on 25 December), my Uncle Eddie, who lived next door, and to whom I was extraordinarily close, passed away in the early hours of that morning.
You've been working closely together all year. You definitely fancy each other. It could even be LOVE. And it's the office Christmas party tonight... As you quell the butterflies in your tummy and apply your lippy, contemplate the following ten points before you get hammered and get off with your boss...
Before meeting my other half I spent the best part of five years navigating the peaks and troughs of single life and know all too well the pain and pleasure of flying solo on special occasions. Here are some of my tips on how I enjoyed, made the most of and kept my sanity/perspective in check at Christmas and many other special occasions.
If you're faced with the prospect of a long distance relationship then you're going to hear one of two things from people giving you advice; either the old adage 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' or that you're in for a rough old ride!
Paternity Court is the latest courtroom TV show aired in the States and has already proved to be a huge success. Set in a non-traditional courtroom, (with a studio audience), families can settle paternity disputes by DNA testing once and for all. Presiding as judge is the perfectly coiffured Lauren Lake, a family lawyer and legal analyst.
Often Christmas is a terribly difficult time, not only the expectations, but the rejections and let downs. The trouble - not for all though - is being thrown together with family members, extended family members, or even strangers for several days in a row. And there's little room for escape.
No matter what your relationship status, this is the most wonderful time of year and you should enjoy it! We've compiled our top holiday survival tips for singles, so that you may have your (fruit) cake and eat it, too.
For the last ten years the structure of my day has been dictated by my busy bowels. I've always had a speedy metabolism, but these days my innards conduct themselves like an Olympic bobsleigh team. My daily schedule is controlled by my petulant paunch, and it's become necessary to assess every journey/task and appoint a risk factor.