Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

In this day and age, there are so many pressures on kids to obtain good grades, get into college and university, find a career and make so many life choices but one thing that kids leaving education seem to be lacking in life skills.

Life skills are things like learning to pay bills, money management, how to cook for themselves, shop on a budget, mend clothing, carry out simple repair jobs, car maintenance, iron, use a washing machine, DIY, even things like time management.  These skills are becoming less and less learned and more and more likely to be outsourced to other people to undertake for them.

I was one of the oldest when I was in uni and I watched the students who were younger than me (by around 15 years) struggle to cope with day to day life, from managing money, shopping on a budget to managing time when it came to juggling uni work, part-time jobs and a social life.

It was sad to see in a way.  But is the education system to blame or is it the other adults in those kids lives that should be more hands-on in teaching these skills?  I think it should be the responsibility of both parties.  Parents are under a lot of financial strain and many need to work and may be too tired when they come home to teach these skills so the education system should have a part to play in teaching basics.

I used to have home economics in school (I believe it is now called food technology…) where I was taught how to make pizza, fruit salad and some sort of rice salad but we were never taught how to cost out these meals per portion or how to create a full meal to feed a family, it has taken me a lot of time and effort to get to where I am now.  I was lucky though that my Grandma and Mum would spend time with us kids in the kitchen teaching us how to make lasagne, pasta sauces, roast dinner, and so many other meals.  Other kids are not so lucky.

When I was growing up, my brother and I always had chores to do around the house, from dusting and hoovering to washing up, laundry, making the beds and all sorts of other jobs so we learned a lot that way.  We also helped my Dad when things needed fixing and gained loads of knowledge that way too.

I hope that something changes for the kids of tomorrow as I think that they are being put into a vulnerable position by not having a skill set that includes a certain amount of life skills.

What do you think about the skills that kids today have?  Would they benefit from some kind of life skills classes?  What do you think they should learn?  I’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments.

Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

When did people become so obsessed with being internet famous?

Did it start when the likes of Kim Kardashian and Co shot to fame, or the rise in social media influencers, or even just YouTube being so accessible and easy to use?

I overheard a conversation where a mother was talking to another mother about her daughter’s lack of interest in college work or getting a job, working towards a career as the daughter “really wants to be an influencer on social media and is happy to sit at home posting videos day in day out.”

In some ways I get it, I really do, especially when you read of the money some people have made, and the careers some have carved out for themselves, though, when you look at the work that these people have put in to get where they are, its much more work than I do in my day to day job.

I have been thinking about the conversation I overheard, and if I was young now, being an influencer may seem like a totally legitimate, and easy way to make money while being famous as well, posting pretty pictures on Instagram and running a YouTube channel where I talk about my latest shopping purchases, but is it sustainable?

The internet is full of people trying to make a fast buck and be the next Kim or Khloe, so much so, nearly every other image on Instagram seems to be some kind of promotion to get me to part with cash, affiliate links run wild on blogs that are really not that well written in the first place, it’s such a saturated market that it will be hard to succeed.

I also feel that this kind of “career” is not very sustainable, the money coming in is not steady and you are working from day to day to hit some sort of target in order to bring in enough money to survive.  I know how much I need day to day and having to worry about how I am going to make it is not for me, I like the security that my day job gives me.

You may like to think that you are your own boss, but you are at the mercy of companies letting you promote their goods and to your audience, for them to buy the products using the links you provide.  If you say something that others don’t like these deals could be taken off the table and that’s your career over.

And what happens when the next person comes along who can do everything better? Do you get dropped and forgotten about like a bit of old litter?

I can’t help but think that this obsession with being “Internet Famous” is unhealthy, surely a lot of it is a popularity contest of sorts that could do more harm than good in the long run?

What do you think about being “internet famous”?  Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your views

Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

I’ve had the tv on for a fair amount of time over the past few weeks, partly as background noise and partly to fill my time when I have been unable to do tasks I want to because of my injured shoulder.  In that time I have seen a large number of adverts, which is what I want to talk about today.

Does sexism still exist, especially in advertising?  From all of the adverts I have seen I am pretty sure that the answer is yes.  I’ve seen adverts for weight loss aids, healthy eating plans, skincare in the form of facial treatments to shower gels and moisturisers, haircare, clothing, shoes and accessories, these adverts have predominantly featured women and been aimed at women.

Advertising seems to be one market that, should an alien being watch, they may come to the conclusion that women are obsessed with their looks and not much else.  All of the women I know or have met, at any stage in their life, are a lot less superficial than the adverts will have you believe.  Women have hobbies and interests, some like to go running, camping, to gigs, motorbiking, gardening, others may be the main fixer of things, researcher, reader, gamer, so why do these kinds of advert still exist?

From my general experience, men have skincare concerns and may want to take better care of their skin (shaving aside), men shower and use shampoo, some even use conditioner, men may want to lose weight or eat more healthy, men buy clothes, shoes and accessories so why are we not seeing an equal amount of this kind of advert being targeted at men?

It’s no wonder that women feel under pressure to look a certain way, buy into the latest fashion fads and spend so much time in the bathroom either getting rid of hair or covering up the ones they do have with another colour.  And it is no surprise that so many women have body hangups when we see this kind of advertising day in day out.

Are we ever able to escape this nonsense without having to get rid of our televisions, avoid magazines and cancel our internet subscriptions?

If you have any thoughts on anything raised here, let me know in the comments!  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this!

I wrote a similar post a while ago about targeted advertising which you can read here.

Words On Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

I’ve had bad shoulder pain for the last 3-4 weeks and its been gradually getting worse.  I can’t wash or brush my hair without a pain coursing down my arm and an odd feeling like the kind you get when you need to “pop” your finger joints.  Sleeping has been awkward and I have woken several times in pain as its the same side as I sleep on.  So alongside being in pain I am also tired, and when I’m tired I get grumpy and irritable.

Driving is a nightmare, as there are so many shoulder and neck movements that you perform without really thinking about it, looking out of the mirrors or windows to see what is coming, turning to look out of the rear windows when reversing, steering, changing gear.  I’ve been lucky that I’ve not really needed to drive in the past week and my friend has been able to give me a lift to and from work.

I finally decided it was time to see a doctor, though getting an appointment was a bit of an ordeal.  At my doctors surgery you need to call in the morning (9am onwards) for an appointment that day or for the next day, by 11am they stop taking appointments.  I called them on Monday and all appointment slots had been taken and had to call back Tuesday morning.  At 9am I was on the phone, the phone rang and rang and rang before eventually disconnecting.  This happened a total of 8 times, no one was answering the phone.  Luckily my surgery is one of 2 that work together so I decided to call the other surgery and see if I could make an appointment there even though they only deal with patients from my surgery if we have been referred.  The girl I spoke to was lovely and took my number, called me back and had made me an appointment in my surgery for 11:30am.

I left work and went to the doctors, had to wait around for 40 mins to be seen.  The Dr performed a few tests and I was poked and prodded.  I came out with a prescription for really strong Ibuprofen and a painkilling gel to apply to my shoulder and have been referred for physio.

So what have I done?  I’ve pulled my rotator cuff muscle, specifically the Supraspinatus muscle which runs along the top part of your shoulder.  It can take up to 6 months to fully heal.

The other question I bet you are all thinking is how did I manage that?  I was out in my garden, collecting weeds in a big flexi tub, the kind that has handles.  I decided to empty the contents into my garden waste bin, lifted the tub and managed to drop the whole thing into the bin.  This did not cause my injury, what caused my injury was caused by me trying to reach into the bin and flip the tub over to pull it back out.  Common sense is not always my strong point, what I should have done was to lean the bin over then get the tub out.  Just to give you some dimensions…the wheelie bin is 3.5 foot tall and I am little over 5.5 foot and the bin was empty before I dropped the tub in.  It was the overreaching and stretching that caused the injury.

So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself and hoping that the painkillers will kick in soon and that my shoulder will heal fairly quickly and I can start doing the things I have planned.

Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

On a total flip side to last week’s “Words On Wednesday” where I wrote about how I felt a bit isolated in work, today’s post is all about being included and belonging.

Since I wrote last weeks “Words on Wednesday” post I have had lots of lovely comments from fellow bloggers with suggestions and other helpful ideas and also people sharing their feelings and stories too.  I began to realise, that although I don’t really feel like I fit in at work, I feel like I really belong here.

It struck me that blogging is one of the only places that we don’t get judged on how we look, our appearance, what we are currently wearing, our occupation, whether we are rich or poor, famous or not, whether we got good grades in school or whether we dropped out at the first opportunity, where we are from, our accent or dialect, the colour of our hair or skin, any medical conditions we may have, how we spend our time and all that other stuff that we get judged on in “real life”.  Blogging levels the playing field in so many ways.

And because of that levelling of the playing field, and we only really can judge on what each of us writes, I have found that the blogging community is far more accepting.  Since the first day I started blogging, I have never been made to feel awkward or stupid, I’ve never felt left out or singled out, I have always felt supported and able to ask advice and questions (no matter how silly they may have seemed) and I have always felt like I belong.

And that, that right there, that feeling of belonging, is what makes blogging so great. Each and every one of you have, in some way, helped me to feel like I belong.  And in turn I count each of you as one of my true friends.  And I really am very lucky to have you guys in my blog life!  Thanks so much for supporting me and reading and all the other great things you do!  🙂