Sunday, 21 February 2010

Relaxing Tunes?

Well, I have had 10 days off work to de-stress (doctors orders) and as always happens when not at work, I have not had time to do half the things I planned to. I was going to write more blogs, finish those books I have started, watch a few DVDs. Of course I did none of that. But where does the time go, seriously? I know I met a few lovely friends for lunches and drinks and visited my family, but 10 days just gone, like that!

I did try to make a playlist from my iTunes library of relaxing tunes. I advise anyone who has this idea, be careful. Trawling through thousands of tracks can throw out a few surprises and have a bit of an unexpected emotional response. I know I am not "old" in that I am not a pensioner (I am 29), but hearing music from 15-20 years ago and remembering it being released into the charts, made me feel really old. It's not all bad, some tracks have great memories...

For example, this song is filthy and I love it. This is the song that people "pulled to" in the rock clubs I frequented when I was 17/18, if you were going to make a move it was now or never once this song was on. Ah, the memories.

This song is a mixture of feelings for me, it is a beautiful song and rather sad, but also it is on the soundtrack to Tank Girl, which I know loads of people hate because it is such a stupid movie, but I love it. It has Ice T as a mutant kangaroo, reincarnated from a policeman, what is not to love! Seriously do rent it, it is ridiculous I know, but it is funny and has some great lines in it (I hear it is a very good representation of the original comic too). That film makes me feel immature and therefore not so old for a couple of hours. The album, Portishead - Roseland NYC [Live] has the opposite effect, it was one of the albums I listened to lots as a student (the first time when I was 18), I still love it, but that was nearly 12 years ago.

When I was sifting through all of the tunes I came across a few songs which I related to heartache, so I asked on twitter what songs other people associated with break ups. They were very varied (I didn't write them down, nor can I remember them), but it seems that a break up song is not necessarily one which is written about the end of a relationship or loneliness. They are songs which remind people of the moment, this means they can be happy songs, or the classic "our song", how to ruin a perfectly good romantic song, make it "our song" and then split up. I did manage to find the cheesiest heartbreak song ever (I do love it but ssshhh don't tell anyone).

They weren't all sad songs on my little musical adventure (although when trying to find relaxing music a lot of them were a bit depressing). I did find this...

And, bang! I'm a teenager again, when the only TV I watch is MTV, who endlessly play this and this...

They were fun times of teenage angst and bad dress sense, but weren't things simple when you were younger? No? Actually you are right, probably not, there were hormones and stuff around then. At least as you get older the problems are not chemical (well for most of us) but rather everyone else in the world but you.

Anyway, as you can see I was very productive on my time off, taking a well earned trip down memory lane. I do recommend you do the same, but beware, some songs will just creep up on you and make you feel old/sad/tearful/immature... you have been warned.

(The links are all from spotify, if you don't have it, get it or search youtube for the tracks if you want to hear them).

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Breaking my own rules

I have debated for the last couple of days whether to blog or not about this particular subject, and if you are reading this then I obviously did press the 'publish post' button. If you have read previous blog posts you will know that I have certain opinions and self imposed rules (it is for fun, nothing too personal/detailed, keep it light) about social networking sites such as twitter and facebook (and to an extent blogger). These are entirely my own thoughts and I am well aware that many people will disagree, but it works for me. Well, so I thought...

I have had some issues lately at work (don't worry I will not go into detail here either) which have accumulated over the last few weeks, and sadly have changed my personality (hopefully temporarily) a little. I have been gradually more stressed, snapping at people, being more rude, not thinking before I speak, not sleeping, drinking a bit too much wine... you get the idea. (I don't intend to use this blog post as a way of just moaning that things are tough right now, it is going somewhere, trust me).

My rule has always been that I can have a little grumble in a tweet or a status update but nothing major, social networking sites are for fun. To me, (yes you can disagree) posting more details of such things is asking for support and help from people who are not necessarily your 'friends' is inappropriate, I find I would rather turn to real friends (you know what I mean, people you see socially or have known a long time) in such times of crisis, they understand me and support me well. This was what I always believed. Until yesterday.

Yesterday was a very emotional day (again I won't go on about it too much), there were tears, shouting, swearing, these are not good things to be doing when you are at work (none of this to or in front of patients I hasten to admit). But sat alone in my office unable to actually ring a friend due to being such a mess, I broke my rules. I posted the following on twitter,

"Just told my boss I'm signing myself off with stress. He thinks I am bluffing. Am I?"

Followed by

"I am an idiot."

See I instantly felt bad for starting the first tweet, but I didn't delete it, I waited to see what would happen. Who wants to read moaning tweets? However, a couple of lovely tweeters restored my faith in humanity and just by acknowledging the tweet and offering support, succeeded to make me feel a little better. I'm not saying everyone should go on and on about problems on such sites, but it was nice that someone would listen at that moment and allow me the opportunity to rant a little via DMs. Of course when I finally got home I text some friends who then rang and listened at length for a couple of hours, as friends do (I could not have really done that at work). Things are far from sorted so I will remain relatively quiet on twitter for fear of moaning too much and annoying my followers, but I continue to be happily distracted reading everyone's tweets and joining in superficial conversation.

I do now doubt my own rules though. How much should social networking sites be used for such kinds of venting and support? I didn't think a relative stranger saying that they hoped things would get better would do anything, but it did. I do still maintain that social networking sites should be happy fun places in the majority of the time, but is there anything wrong with a bit of support from strangers? Is it just attention seeking? Is it wrong?

I wouldn't be able to post in great details about work stuff anyway, due to the nature of my job. And I don't aim to begin reporting my problems via twitter or facebook, but I honestly would like people's opinions on whether it should be used for a quick shout for help (not in any self harm/suicide type way I mean for support/kind words)?

Please do tweet, comment or email (if you already have my email address). Thanks.