Friday, January 27, 2017

To be of good cheer


There are some weeks where I have a queue of things I'd like to talk about. This is not one of them ;-)

I had started a post about presenteeism, but.... No, there's no clever gag lined up I'm afraid. It didn't quite work and I'm replacing it with this. A simple note to point out that it can be the little things.

Take for example:

  • Coffee with a (trans) friend and a chat, as we stroll around a nearby park.
  • A chance meet-up with a blog friend at last night's Chams meeting.
  • A guilt-free night out.
  • Being happy with my outfit.
  • The jump between deep, meaningful conversations and outright silliness.
  • An empty work calendar, so I've been working on things that interest me.
  • Not falling down the stairs after a heel malfunction. :-)
  • Finding a fix to the image positioning error on the Chams web site.

Really, things to be cheerful about!

Take care,

Friday, January 20, 2017



I wondered what to write about today. The week, has... been less than ideal. The feelings - nay, personal feelings, of powerlessness. Trump in the White House and May at the helm. Both seemingly decided on their own personal vision, come hell of high water. Oo, time for a dark joke: they may well get high-water if they ignore the climate science. So long, Florida! ;-)

This week gone I've been ignored the news. Just listening to music or comedy podcasts. I did not want to hear yet more blow-hard, empty rhetoric from our Great Leaders.

I had toyed with the idea of not posting anything. Some might say, "so what's new?" :-) Then, posting a picture of a black flag, or even the rainbow flag. But, no. I'm.... I'm too f**king angry. Angry at the leaders who don't listen, who deride evidence. Angry at our excuse for an opposition party and angry at those dumb enough - yes, I'm calling those who fell for populist drivel dumb - to fall for the lies. Evidence, MF! Evidence!!

Remember when your parents said, If something's too good to be true, it probably isn't true? Well, I guess a few folk are about to learn a very harsh lesson. Sad thing is, they may well drag a number of people down with them.


I'm not going to sit here and let them. For what good it will do, I don't know. I will argue. I will debate. I will write. I will deny those who seek to push us back. I will not let bigots and fools take away the rights that we fought for. I will keep my quiet rage and I will not forget nor forgive.  I will accept those who want help or who want to change. I will keep our community alive. I will educate my children that they can be who they want, love who they want and do what they want. Your lies will not shackle. We are one people. One race. One planet. We will not go quietly into the night, nor can we be 'cured' with your quack therapies... Hint: there's nothing wrong with us. Hate is what's wrong, not us.

Good luck everyone.*

[ * UK readers of a certain age may wish to think of Blackadder saying that, after blowing a whistle '-) ]

Friday, January 13, 2017

Little victories


Moods eh? They're funny things. They come and go like the weather. Mostly pleasant, with the occasional shower and rare storm. Well, unless you've been knocking back the caffeine or South American Marching Powder... but then, you've only yourself to blame :-)

So the week swung around to Thursday and it was the first Chameleons' night of the year. Oddly, as I drove home on the Wednesday, I wondered: did I really want to go?

How odd. In other time, the idea of a long gap between meetings has had me using distraction techniques (long walks, watching films with Wee Man, playing computer games or a spot of writing). Yet, perhaps due to the particularly good Christmas break, I was very much in a take it or leave mood. Still, I find it helps to put the best foot forward and give it a spin. After all, you don't always know when your next foray into being fabulous will fall.

George, our latest trans-man visitor joined us for the first time and it was good to see Tanya pop back for her second visit. Sadly, Sandi wasn't well (get well soon, Mrs!) and Val was elsewhere due to work. See, real life gets in the way doesn't it? :-)

Thanks to Diane
for the snap.
With the winter chill very much in effect, I'd decided to go for biker boots and a dress. Question is: which one? Trusty New Look wrap dress or cosy knitted dress? Well, after risking a new make of razor blade this morning, my chest look liked I'd be massaged by Wolverine. :-\ So, something higher necked was in order! :-) Well, I guess I'll be sticking with my usual brand from now on. Lessons learned eh? When testing a new blade, don't do it on the day.

Mind you, I did manage to get my make-up to a state which I was happy with. Plus, I think I may be getting the hang of false eyelashes. I did forget to pack my earrings, which felt a bit odd, as having had the acceptance from the Ever Lovely Mrs J, it's nice to wear something pretty rather than bloke standard studs. Still, better than not having the choice eh?

I caught up with a few folk and Pat's been kind enough to organise a visit from a local clothes shop. Hopefully that'll go down well. Given that I'm working from home today, I've managed to back-up & upgrade the group's website, ring Boots, finish off some of the funding correspondence and updated the LiON (another community registration site).

Well, I'm feeling like I've been quite productive.... although not necessarily for who pays my wages. Still, I'd only be sat in meetings absorbing oxygen and biscuits. Maybe this is better ;-) Must put some more 'good news' notes in the memory jar for next year.

Take care,

Friday, January 06, 2017

Being kind


Well, that's the first week of work in the bag. Well, I say work, it was mostly as case of turning up, replying to a few emails and going to one meeting per day. Still, provided you can find creative ways to pass the time, there are worse ways to make a living. ;-) Plus, in the sales I found a new groovy shirt and a rather pretty spring/summer dress. Yay!

With Christmas now over and the long haul through the winter to the spring, I was reminded of something a friend, W, said to me. She said she found it fairly easy to be there for others, but when it came to her own well-being, she found it very hard to be kind to herself.

Although very much less these days, I'm familiar with that. The usual voice of negativity: you're not good enough, you can't do it, etc; and then the chaser of you're fat, you look like a bloke, proper men don't do thisthat's not for your age, etc. Yeah, that spin of negativity that can, if you let it, plague your thoughts.

A few weeks early, I happened to have the good luck to attend a Mindfulness course. I keep bumping into these and this one was about compassion. Not just for other people, but, perhaps oddly, for ourselves. Given the prevalence of everyone's pet b*stard to put the psychological abusive boot in, it seems worth repeating. Now, I'll say I'm not an expert in any of this by a long way and if you're interested in mindfulness, there are plenty of instructors, exercises and books out there on the subject.

With that brief disclaimer out of the way, here's one for us T folk who may be struggling. 

Close your eyes and think of a friend.
Imagine their feelings and what they mean to them.
What would you say to this dear friend?
Would you hold them?
What comforting words would you use?
Where would you go? A quiet or a busy place? Indoors or outside?
Think on this for a few minutes.
Now, imagine the situation as you comforting another copy of you.
Can you be as kind to this copy as you can your friend?
Imagine telling yourself things will be better.
Know that pain is a feeling and feelings are of the moment:  they are not forever.
Worries are just that, worries, not truths or facts.
There's no fixed story or rules.
Remember: you're doing the best you can.
Take a moment to advise yourself that you're okay.
Don't worry about the future. It's unwritten and unknowable.
Just, keep on trying and be kind. To others and, certainly, to yourself.

Take care,