I need some Space!

My head is a mess!

That’s how I feel when I allow clutter to take control of me.

As I’ve been non-stop for almost two weeks, I’ve felt too tired to do anything when I finally get home each evening. Especially tidying up!

The effect is a messy desk, chair and shelves and an even messier mind.

I haven’t got the neat freak trait but at the same time I hate mess!

When tasks become too big I get overwhelmed and have to run for cover. Adding extra layers of clutter I have to tidy up and in turn extra layers of unnecessary stress.

So my August focus of space is needed more than ever.

My aim is:

  • to declutter and get rid of the things I’ve accumulated. I’m a magnet to paper, bags, broken jewellery and unfinished creative projects.
  • not to say ‘Yes’ to every invitation going.

Basically let go of the things that no longer serve me.

Every object or worry I get rid of will hopefully clear space in my bedroom, calendar and head.

I recently read ‘Stuffocation’ a book which explores the clutter crisis that has hit the world.

Through stories and research the author delves into the effect that owning lots of ‘stuff’ can have on people.

There are insights from people who have let go of owning so much ‘stuff’ to become minimalists.

Although I’m not going to go that extreme, I can definitely see the benefits. Plus, I’ve got to a time in my life where I feel less is more and I’d rather invest in worthwhile items.

The throwaway culture also makes me feel bad for the planet. This has definitely intensified since moving to London and seeing items discarded on the street more often.

I know the time is right to downsize as I’m constantly questioning:

  • Do I need these t-shirts, that I don’t even deem good enough to wear in bed, clogging up space in my wardrobe?
  • Will I read the books that I picked up from a charity shop just because I recognised the author and it was 10p?
  • Will I fix the hole in the dress I’m not sure I actually like or will even fit into again?

Straightforward answer = no!

I’m trying to hold on to the past and hold on to old dreams?

All this is doing holding me back.

I’m aiming to keep one evening a week and one weekend day a month free to relax. To do nothing. To give my mind the space it needs. Promising any more time than this and I know I’ll fail.

But the stuff. Yeah – that’s got to go! I have photos that provide me with memories and I have new dreams to conquer.

Writing this blog post has already made me start to feel good. I’ll have more of that please!

I’ve finished reading ‘Stuffocation’ so if anyone (from the UK) would like me to send them the book. Give us a shout. First come first served.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on clutter and any tips you have to see me through the month (which, if I’m honest is going to probably continue into September).

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday

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Dancing my cares away 💃 

Item no.4 of my July Challenges is to ‘Look at myself in mirrors and see the beauty in me’. I’ve been doing this to some extent but half heartedly.  

That all changed today!

‘I just can’t stop loving you’ had been playing in my head all morning. I took that as I sign to blast it out from my speaker.

I put on my black push up bra, which had been shoved to the back of my drawer. Left untouched due to the way it accentuates my curves. 

It leaves me open to be noticed. From people who think it’s their right to look, to judge, to leer, form an opinion. But mainly from me – and the stories I tell myself about how I think others are going to perceive me! As demonstrated above!

I have a habit of becoming the judge [of myself] before others can judge me. A safety net that isn’t actually helpful or safe!

Coupled with my black lace undies, I felt great! I had no plans apart from taking a walk around my local park. But no.10 in my challenges is to ‘Wear my Sunday Best’ so that is what I was gonna do. They’re not really my best. I don’t have any fancy underwear. *note to self – buy some fancy lingerie. And I was not just about to go out into the neighbourhood sans clothes. 

Standing in front of my mirrored wardrobe, 3 large mirrors that stretch almost from ceiling to floor. I started to dance. 

I succumbed to the music. 

Next up Gloria Gaynor – ‘I am what I am‘. A perfect theme tune to loving what is. Only I realised……….I wasn’t!

An audience of one and I was holding in my stomach as I danced. Only approving of myself from certain angles. Awareness stopped me in my tracks and I……

  1. breathed out
  2. Felt horrendous 
  3. Continued to dance

Forcing myself to look at my stomach, which tops my ‘things I don’t like about myself so moan about instead of changing‘ list. 

I was in flow now, dancing my cares away. The solo party continued as I got all ‘lip sync’ karaoke to ‘Earth Song’. 

By the time I reached the ‘What about us….’ ending I was thinking I was a rockstar, wanting to dance in classes, clubs and besides swimming pools – in my undies. I was totally in awe of Michael Jackson. And at peace with myself. My body. My dance moves. 

I was seriously cutting some shapes in my own special way! It totally reawakened my love of dancing – just because! 

I headed out, feeling happy and confident. Instead of comparing myself to the people I passed, I observed and saluted them instead. Not actually a physical salute – although that would have been funny!

I saluted: 

  • the gorgeous girl who had a thigh gap and flat stomach.  And promised myself to stop moaning that I don’t have a body like that! If it’s so important to me, I know what to do. I’m barely even doing it! Exercise…….when will I enjoy you?
  • the couple holding hands and embracing the day. Instead of solemnly longing for what they had, they made me feeling optimistic. I will persevere with dating apps and when I next really like a guy, I’m going to let him know – hello vulnerability!
  • the group of friends all set for a day at a festival. Instead of feeling lonely, I was happy to be on the outside looking in. Knowing that in a couple of weeks I’ll be doing the same with my friends. 

So as I sat typing this post on a park bench. Laughter, birds and music setting the tone. I was awash with gratitude to have left the Comparison Cashier at home. And to have found something else to aid me in my year of vulnerability. 

Long live letting go and dancing in front of my mirror in my best (for now) underwear and learning to love what is! 


Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

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We are on a Break!

I’m

A

Woman

Obsessed!

Infact. I’m starting to actually believe I’m……..possessed.

With Facebook!

It’s taken control of me. My mind. My habitual functions. The slip of my hand mindlessly reaching for my phone. A scroll. A like. A glance. A smile. A sigh.

Feeling like I’ve got the extra oxygen I need. Before I repeat. I repeat. I repeat. Over and over again.

No notifications. Is the phone needing to update? Is the site on a go slow?

Notifications. Beam. Oh, I have no interest in them.
Or
Ooh….. that’s interesting. You have my attention. For a moment…….

Yup! Possessed!

I love Facebook. I love the ways it has improved my life. How it’s easy to connect. To find my tribe. To have a voice. To live another part of me. The part that’s not as introverted.

I’m always found on the defensive side when people try and blame Facebook for what is wrong with the world today. Like a caring big sister who can hate on her sibling but woe betide anyone else who tries to!

Knowing deep inside that my defensiveness comes from agreeing with some of the opinions that are aired. I once downloaded an app which tracked where you were spending most of your time on your phone. After the 2nd day – my defensive reaction was to delete the app! Well of course I’m on it all the time. I need it for work! Ahem……

When I first heard about Facebook I was in a relationship with a guy that thought it was a “load of tripe” or words to that effect. As soon as we broke up I didn’t run into the arms of another guy – ready to rock the rebound. No – I joined Facebook.

I believe that’s one of the things that helped get me through a challenging breakup. Facebook was the distraction I needed during the day whilst my super strong sleeping pills took care of the night. (Which I had to use sparingly as the doctor said that one prescription was my lot).

I connected with old friends and started to live an adventurous life. I was opening my eyes to a world outside of Leeds. I started to see what was possible. The places I could go. The things that I could be. I didn’t just see them. I did them.

Facebook saved me.

So actually admitting I have a problem is tough!

It doesn’t help that I’m a procrastinator. Facebook is like catnip to me. Always wanting that extra hit. To find out what’s going on. It’s not all positive though. I unleash the Comparison Cashier and start passive aggressive arguments in my head at something someone has said. Their views. Their opinions. Pitching up camp in my mind.

Too much Facebook and I’m tired and feel guilty. A tad empty inside. In my previous post Partying with Guilt and Fear! I mentioned that I often feel lazy. To which, the feedback I received from a few friends that know me. “Lazy is the last word I would use to describe you”.

And I get why they said that. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been called ‘busy’ and was even embarrassed with the word at one point. I agree, I don’t appear to be lazy as I’m always ‘doing something’. They don’t see the other side though. The time wasted – doing absolutely nothing but aimlessly scrolling until numb. When I have:

  • people to text back
  • books to read
  • documentaries to watch
  • items to declutter
  • a novel to start
  • a blog post to write

I actually started to write this post yesterday at 11.50pm! I said I would be in bed by 11pm. I always lie to myself when it comes to bed times. I get caught up with something that needs to be done/viewed/researched – immediately! Normally on Facebook.

So after almost 10yrs of using Facebook as a crutch. I’ve admitted that a break is called for. Not a long break but a break nonetheless.

I’d decided this some weeks ago but after finishing ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers on Monday evening, it was the extra push I needed. It’s a dystopian novel about how technology and social media is taking over our lives.


The book itself was a simple read and kept me engaged. Plus, I could actually see how this could be a reality. People, myself included – I’m up near the front of the queue – are continuously doling out sections of their lives for technology/others to control. Maybe:

  • For an easier life
  • To always be entertained
  • To never be lonely

Lonely!! 

And that’s when it struck me!

Although I’ve been single for 10yrs. I ran head first into a different type of relationship. I’d been screwing Facebook!

Longest rebound ever!!

Maybe I thought without Facebook I would be lonely, bored and……..vulnerable?

Not even half way through the book and I knew that I was going to take a break from Facebook. I decided a weekend would be enough. Then increased it to a week and just now I have further increased it to 3 weeks!

To many this isn’t a big deal. But to me – I see my oxygen reserve slipping away. In addition to connecting with friends and stalking. Come on – we all do it! I’ve used Facebook for networking, business and learning. It’s a HUGE part of my life! That statement itself hit a nerve. It’s really quite sad.

A lot can happen in 3 weeks. So I’m excited to see what my creative mind has in store for me. Will letting go of Facebook present a new, tangible love? Will I read more books? Sleep better? Be happier?

It is widely said that it takes 21 days to break/make a habit. So I therefore announce that from 5th-25th June (inclusive) – I will deactivate my Facebook. The messenger will still be on as a way of contact but that is all.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook and social media in general. How attached are you?

I will still be updating my blog – you’ll be able to see new posts via my Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s to me taking control of my life.

Facebook – we are on a break!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday