I can’t believe I turn 40 soon! *help*

Well, it’s only a few weeks now until I turn 40! I had so many things planned to achieve before I was the big 4-0, but life situations and ill health have held a lot of them back. Life (and health) is better now so I am looking forward to achieving many things in my 40’s!

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A thing to remember

Sometimes in life, people like to cause trouble for others. It’s tempting to react, but the adult thing is to rise above it and just continue with your life.

Babies seeing for the first time

I just spotted the below video on YouTube and it made me smile so much! I got my own glasses at the age of 4, so I have no idea how bad my eyesight must have been before I got glasses. These babies are so cute when they react, I would have loved to see my own reaction back in the early 1980’s!

Oh, Debbie Gibson!

After I had put the Best Of 2017 Spotify playlist together I mentioned in my previous post, I tweeted all of the artists to let them know that they had been included, but Twitter decided to “shadowban” me, so now none of my tweets can be seen! I have contacted Twitter Support, so hopefully they should fix it soon.

As I was feeling sorry for myself, I decided to listen to music (which usually cheers me up, and I’m on a diet so I can’t binge eat, like I usually would when something upsets me!), and I found that I had saved Debbie Gibson in my albums list.

When I was 11, Debbie Gibson brought out her album “Electric Youth” and somehow, I ended up with it on cassette. I would dance to that album in the house every chance I got, and I even made up a dance routine to the title track, though I couldn’t remember it now if my life depended on it. I just listened to it and ended up having a little dance, and it really cheered me up. It’s such a great song, so here’s the video for you, just in case you need a little pick-me-up 🙂

Best Of 2017 playlist

Over on the Merryn Spotify account, I create weekly top 20 playlists featuring songs I have picked out from that week’s UK and Ireland releases. As it’s the end of the year, I have created a “Best Of” playlist, and I couldn’t get it any lower than 200 songs! It’s been an incredible year for new music from UK and Ireland artists, so if you like new music, take a listen!

My Christmas Gift Guide is out now!

I was really disappointed when ill-health forced me last year to abandon my Merryn magazines. As I was feeling better, I decided in August this year to put together a Christmas gift guide featuring some of my favourite independent UK and Ireland retailers. They certainly didn’t let me down!

You can find the gift guide here.

After all, it is only 12 weeks until Christmas tomorrow!

How hard is it to sell The Big Issue?

I spotted the below video when the Big Issue Foundation tweeted about it. I have bought the Big Issue magazine before when I have come across vendors and I knew that the vendors bought the magazines to sell on, but how many people think the vendors get them for free? As Eddie, one of the vendors in the video says, “a lot of people get the misconception that we get these for free, whereas we buy them.”

I found the below infographic on the Big Issue website which I found really interesting; there are approximately 2,000 vendors, with 500 of them in London.

The Big Issue is a great magazine and a fantastic way for people who need support to get that support while helping themselves. As the Big Issue say on their Our Objectives webpage, “we seek to ensure that our vendors have the following:”

* somewhere meaningful to call home
* access to a doctor and equality of access to health care opportunities
* the essential support that is needed to overcome addictions
* direct help with business skills to maximize independent earnings
* the crucial personal identification that opens so many doors
* access to additional financial support and secure saving opportunities
* the opportunity to re-connect with family members and loved ones

You can read about the difference the Big Issue has made to vendors by reading their stories here. The Big Issue is such an amazing idea, so if you’ve never bought one before, grab a copy the next time you see a vendor. It’s more than a magazine, you are helping someone to invest in themselves.

Betsy vs Marjorie

Yes, this is yet another post where I claim I’m going to lose weight, be happy, etc, rinse and repeat.

The thing is, my depression has been so debilitating recently that even brushing my hair was too much, going in the shower sounded like an ordeal and just getting through the day was way too much to ask of me, quite frankly.

It is now less than 18 months until I hit 40, and I’m not getting any younger, literally. The thought of getting older paralyses me with anxiety and not a day goes by where I don’t suddenly remember that a) I’m going to die one day, b) I don’t know how and c) I don’t know when. These three facts then cause me to have a panic and I find it hard to focus on what I’m doing at the time.

Now, for someone so angsty about dying, you think I’d be some world expert in being healthy and staying alive as long as possible. You’d be wrong. One of the ‘lovely’ things about having depression is the total apathy you actually get about real things like “I should do more exercise so I’ll stay healthy, but… I can’t be bothered moving from my desk chair for five hours straight”. So I fluctuate between panicking that I’m not healthy enough and should do something to prolong my life, and then across to “meh, who cares?” It’s like having two warring personalities, each fighting for dominance.

Right now, the personality who wants to live as long as possible (we’ll call her Betsy – literally the first name that came to mind that I don’t know) is in control. I was eating pizza earlier and I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be fat anymore.” And that was that; the decision had been made. The depressed personality, lets call her Marjorie, is totally dormant right now.

I really hope I get to stay “Betsy” for as long as possible; she’s the fun part of me, the one who wants to live and enjoy things. Let’s see how long she lasts.

25 years since the release of ‘Take That & Party’

Today, 17th August, marks the 25th anniversary since Take That released their first ever album ‘Take That & Party’ back in 1992. I remember it well, I had been following Take That since their first single ‘Do What U Like’ dropped in July 1991, with its saucy video including jelly covered bodies (which was intriguing to my 12 year old self!).

So, fast forward to August 1992 and ‘Take That & Party’ was released including top 40 hits ‘I Found Heaven’ (UK #15), Tavares cover ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ (UK #7), ‘A Million Love Songs’ (UK #7), ‘Promises’ (UK #38), ‘Why Can’t I Wake Up with You’ (UK #2) and Barry Manilow cover ‘Could It Be Magic’ (UK #3).

To celebrate this 25th anniversary, I have created a #ThrowbackThursday playlist featuring boybands from The Monkees in the 1960s through to Lawson from last year. Enjoy!

Monday Motivation – 24th April 2017

I saw this quote online earlier and it really resonated with me. The past few years have been really hard for me, for lots of different reasons, and one thing people tend to say to me is that I always seem to find a positive out of negative situations. I guess I’ve always been like this.

When I worked in a shop when I was 19, a surly man I worked with hated my positive attitude and once snapped, “I bet you’d find something positive to say about a pile of shit!” I said, “You could put it on roses?” and he walked away. He didn’t challenge my positive attitude after that, he simply avoided talking to me if at all possible. I guess he was just happy being a negative person, and so he found it difficult to talk to me.

I think there are times when you can sink or swim; I think I’m one of life’s swimmers. I know that when life is hard, it’s so easy to just give in and let the despair wash over you like the tide on a beach. I wish I had some magic formula to give you in times of hardship, but I don’t. I guess you have to find whatever works for you 🙂