Something to think about:
My most hated word in the English language? Just.
“Why are you doing it like that? Just do it like this?”
“Just do it”
“Just don’t do it”
“It’s easy. Just…”
“Just. Just. JUST”
Why does such a seemingly inoffensive word rile me so much? It presumes so much. It presumes that the answer to your problem is simple and why haven’t you thought of it? It’s ok, the irony is not lost on me. The word just is in both my blog name and this post’s title. However, it’s the use of the word just when telling someone to do something that specifically gets my goat. Here’s an example:
Some years ago, when I was having terrible problems settling my baby in a cot for the first time, I had a little moan about it at the baby group I regularly attended.
“She won’t settle. She screams. She cries. She doesn’t like the cot at all and was much happier in her moses basket.”
“Ah,” interjected a fellow mum, “just put her in a sleeping bag in the cot”
“I’ve done that. It didn’t make a difference” was my reply
“Just put her in the moses basket in the cot, to get her used to it”
“Yep, tried that too. Also didn’t work”
“Just comfort her whilst she’s in the cot crying, so she knows there’s nothing to be scared of”
“I mean, I’ve definitely done that….”
“Just leave her to cry it out”
“Sure, I’ve done that too, but she seems particularly unhappy…”
“Well, I don’t have any other suggestions. Sorry”
And that was the end of the conversation. The thing was, I wasn’t looking for advice. I merely wanted to have a moan. To get it off one’s chest as it were. And all I wanted in return was a “oh dear, that must be shit. It will be ok though” type response. Instead, I was left feeling even more frustrated than before the conversation.
Here’s the thing, it’s my theory that most of the time when someone is upset about something or having a moan about something, they rarely want or need advice. Chances are if they’re relatively intelligent, they’ve already tried all the obvious solutions. All they need is someone to listen and allow them to vent. We all need this outlet.
In a world where mental health is on the increase and we are encouraged to talk about our problems, we need as much encouragement to ensure people know how to listen and give people space to talk. It’s all very well giving advice and I’m sure people like the mum in my example have good intentions, but we should not underestimate the power of just listening and just letting people talk. Ha. Oh ok, perhaps I don’t dislike the word just all the time.
By the way, my baby got used to the cot. All she needed was a bit of time to get used to it. Nothing else.
Something to be cheerful about:
- 5,000 people queued up in the rain to see if they were able to help save the life of one little 5-year old boy. Oscar Saxelby-Lee has a very rare form of blood cancer and needs a stem cell transplant in the next 3 months. After an appeal for potential donors, almost 5,000 people turned up at Oscar’s school to register for testing to see if they’re a match. This is over double the amount of people that have turned up for any other appeal for donors from the DKMS blood cancer charity- the previous record being 2,200. A further 1,000 people have since registered to be tested to see if they’re a match for Oscar.
- India has opened its first hospital for rescued and abused elephants. The hospital in Uttar Pradesh has already treated 26 elephants. The elephants have mainly been rescued from tourist attractions such as circuses, street-riding and also from private owners. Elephants held in these conditions results in them developing many health conditions and malnutrition. The hospital has plenty of sophisticated equipment such as ultrasound scans, radiology, laboratory testing and a hydrotherapy pool to help nurse the poor elephants back to health. Once they are healthy again, they are sent to elephant sanctuaries to spend their retirement in full health and happiness.
Something to buy:
Louche Jude Pooch Pyjama Shirt, £45, from Joy the Store
Senora Ceramic Vase, £39.99, from Okla
Something to read:
I’ve already talked about my love of food HERE and mentioned Ruby’s newsletter there, but I implore you to read this book by Ruby. It’s one long love song about food and reasons to enjoy it guilt free. Honestly, you won’t be able to read it without salivating. There’s also the odd recipe sewn in between all the chapters about why food matters and why we should enjoy it. It’s all about the pleasure.
Something to watch:
Anybody that follows me on Instagram, will know that I’m currently obsessed with the Netflix reality makeover show Queer Eye. It’s so much more than a makeover show though. There’s more focus on making people feel happier with themselves and their lives. The Fab 5 (Karamo, Jonathan, Antoni, Tan and Bobby) spend a lot time sitting down with their heroes (as the participants are referred to as) talking to them and finding out about their lives and pasts. The show is engineered to be incredibly emotive, but if you’re like me then you’re rather partial to a tearjerker. I’ve become obsessed with the show, binge watching the first two seasons, but for me the best thing about the show is the Fab 5. Their charisma and warmth is infectious. I am desperate for them to be my new best friends. And the good news is that the new season is on Netflix from today. So grab a box of tissues and get watching Queer Eye.
Something to cook:
Okay so boiling an egg in a frying pan of tinned tomatoes, may not sound the most appealing, but trust me this recipe is delicious. It’s a very comforting and warming dish (and looking out of the window right now, we still need that comfort and warmth) plus the ingredients are usually always at hand. It’s traditionally a North African/Middle Eastern breakfast, but I have it for lunch.
Ingredients (serves 1)
I garlic clove
Chilli flakes (as much as you like)
1 egg (or 2 if you’re hungry)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- Fry the garlic in the oil with the chilli flakes for a minute
- Chuck the tin of chopped tomatoes in and get them boiling
- Crack the egg in the middle
- Sprinkle parmesan on top (again, as much as you like)
- Put a plate or lid over the frying pan and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 5 mins
- Serve with a thick slice of buttered bread and more parmesan on top
Tip: you can pad this meal out with sliced peppers and/or onions. Fry them first before you add the tomatoes and egg. You can also add other spices to it that you might enjoy such as cumin and cayenne pepper.
Something to help save the planet with:
Plastic-free dental floss! I use this regularly (do I get a sticker?) and it’s as good as regular floss. It’s made from natural and sustainable silk, PETA certified cruelty free, 100% natural with no chemicals and it comes in a little reusable glass jar. When you finish the floss in this jar, you can buy refills, which in turns helps limit plastic waste. You can buy it in either mint or cardamon flavour. Oh and the floss is compostable. So what are you waiting for? Get flossing! You can get it HERE
Something to enjoy from the Blogosphere:
Please pop over to Angela’s blog and have a read of her candid and (as always) thoughtful post on co-parenting HERE. She always writes so well and this is an exceptional post on the difficulties of having to regularly wave goodbye to your child.
Something to listen to:
Just Another Playlist #2- A weekly mix tape of an eclectic collection of tunes (maybe to listen to while you make the Shakshouka)
Something to laugh at:
Imma just gonna leave this here without comment:
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See you next week for the top The Cure songs and Just Another Monthly will be back in a month’s time!