Valentine’s Day Is A Scam and Here’s Why

 

Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

I learned to dislike Valentines Day. The reason for this might surprise you as it has nothing to do with love. My father taught me that Valentine’s Day was just another marketing ploy. Why spend money on someone you love one day of the year? Why even make it a thing?

On a personal level, what my father had to pass onto me made a lot of sense. It has shaped the person I have become today in more ways than one. I no longer look at these “special occasions” as anything to celebrate. I don’t begrudge anyone that does. Each to their own. But for me, love should never be about a pricetag or one day of the year.

If Valentine’s day wasn’t a thing, would you even consider buying your loved one flowers? So why is this day any different? I am not saying go out and buy flowers for every person you’re friends with every day. Practice showing the people closest to you that you love them as a daily habit. Isn’t this a much better way to express what you feel?

Picjumbo dot com Roses
Image from Picjumbo via Pexels

I don’t dislike receiving cards and flowers. But I have always been a more practical type when it comes to gifts and, my partner knows this. I am not the “flowers” type of girl. I would much rather enjoy receiving a new part for my PC or something of that nature than flowers. I can’t even eat chocolate! As beautiful as flowers are, not everyone appreciates them the same way, and that’s okay.

My partner told me what one of his workmates received for Valentine’s day. He received a note. And that’s it. But I actually think the value of this gift lies within the words written on the note. I would be happy with this gift. If it was a love poem or even words about love, that is an amazing gift. If you enjoy Valentine’s day, that’s great! But my advice is to remember that it doesn’t have to be about spending money. Nor should it be about making someone feel special one day of the year.

The Gift that is Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman and Timothee Chalamet at the 2020 Oscars
Credit to Tumblr

I’ve been a fan of Taika’s ever since I discovered his talent in the movie “Boy”. If you haven’t yet seen this film, you really should and not just because Taika both wrote and directed this film, but because it’s just wonderful. And strolling through my social media yesterday I noticed a lot of people were talking about Taika because of his fantastic win at the Academy Awards.

I know that there are people who shun the award system in Hollywood. I suppose they have good reasons to feel this way. But every now and then I think the awards do something really special. What hurts me more than anything however, is that when Taika won his Oscar for JoJo Rabbit, he was the first person of Maori ancestry to do so AND the first person of colour to ever be nominated. TO EVER BE nominated.

Those words resonated with me on a personal level. How does this happen? If you watch the video clip of Taika receiving his award, you can tell he is conflicted; joyful because winning an Academy award pretty much tells the entire world that you’ve made it in the film industry. But I sensed a little melancholy underneath his smile. It is 2020 and Taika was the first “person of colour” to even be nominated for that award. Is it that a movie adaptation of a novel could only be successfully created by someone that is not a person of colour? I don’t understand this.

Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman and Timothee Chalanet at the 2020 Oscars
Credit to Tumblr

I don’t like writing about things that hit so close to home but hearing about Taika and what he said when he won his award really annoyed me. He shouldn’t be the first person of colour ever to be nominated for a book adaptation academy award, but he is. And that is a tragedy. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also the first person of Maori descent to win.

Flipping this on its head, are we actually saying that there just hasn’t been any person of colour good enough to win? Or are we saying that “people of colour” just don’t think they could ever excel in a field that is dominated by people who aren’t of colour? Or is it because the system used to judge who should win these awards is inherently flawed?

Taika is special, but not because he is of Maori descent or a person of colour. He’s special because there’s no denying the talent that he has. And it doesn’t matter that he won an award to prove this. His talent shines in the creation of art, something that anyone can create irrespective of the boundaries of race or religion or anything else that people use to define themselves. Art is blind. And thank goodness it is. And thank goodness for Taika. He gives me hope that things can change.

10 Signs You’re Ready For A Career Change

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I’m not a career-advice expert. I’m a person who has come to the end of a long, tedious, annoying road that’s leading nowhere fast. I no longer feel happy at work. I no longer feel challenged at work. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say I actually quite dislike the job I do. The only reason I am still doing it is that I get to work from home for part of the week.

If you are feeling any of these things, firstly, you are not alone and you could be ready to move on. But what if you’re not sure about whether or not you should be looking to greener pastures? That’s a good question. Thankfully, there are tell-tale signs to watch out for so you can easily decide if changing careers is right for you. Those signs are;

  1. You dread going to work.
  2. You spend a lot of your time thinking about things other than your job when you’re at work
  3. You’re too easily distracted when you should be concentrating on your tasks
  4. You’re watching the clock every day, and you’re packing up your desk way before it’s time to go
  5. You find yourself browsing career websites at work, and you don’t care who sees you
  6. You tend to get “Monday-itis” a lot
  7. The work you do is repetitive and doesn’t challenge you
  8. You have other knowledge and skills that are never used
  9. You’re experiencing sleep disruption, mood swings and you feel stressed a lot more often
  10. You’ve faced redundancy, or the threat of redundancy or restructuring is a possibility

While I haven’t experienced all of these symptoms, I have experienced most of them at various stages of my working life. And when the worst happened, do you know what I did? I left the job I was in without even organising another one to go to – it was just that bad. My partner could tell I was suffering, and he said I should leave and take my time finding another job. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but it was the best thing to do for my mental health.

Sometimes you need to step outside yourself. You need to get the opinion and support of other people that are close to you. Take it from me, you do not want to let that feeling of dread overwhelm you. It becomes challenging to manage once you are already at breaking point. Which is why I am writing a lot more about these things as a way of healing and coping. And I’m working hard on following my own path as much as possible and hopefully, helping others as I go.

 

What are the three most powerful habits for self-fulfilment?

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Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash
I read an article about habits for self-fulfilment. I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading things to help me focus. I have turned to online articles about how to improve as a person.
This one article was straight forward and honest. When it comes to self-help, I don’t, or at least I haven’t done a lot of “self-helping”. I’ve always been quite cynical of books like that for some reason. I guess I am a more a “hands-on” practical type that has to see something with my own eyes to believe it can work. I can’t pick up a book and expect to be a different person after reading it. I know some people have experienced this and that’s great, but it’s not for me. So I go into a lot of these types of articles online with a semi-skeptical mind. That makes it a lot harder to break out of thinking it’s not going to work.
I don’t remember being that way as a kid. It has developed as an adult through all my various traumas and negative life experiences. Could reading about self-fulfilment actually help me with my skepticism? I am willing to give it a go.
The three habits outlined in this article are;
  1. Focus on progress, not perfection
  2. Compete with yourself, not others
  3. You are good enough
The first one makes a lot of sense to me. Growth is what you want and need. Perfection is something that is either too far to reach for most or not realistic so how can you ever strive for it? Perfection is a trap.
I try to imagine the worst possible situation as being unable to even get out of bed in the morning. For some people, this is a reality. At that point, it’s a little silly thinking about my own situation, which is in no way, shape or form as bad as that. I begin to feel grateful for what I have, and I can then take the next step.
The second habit is the hardest for me to put into practice. I have always been a competitive person. It’s something that I can actually feel fueling my thoughts and even my focus. I can’t escape this feeling that I am always judged by others and I’m never good enough. And because of that, I push myself harder and harder. I know this isn’t good for me because I’ve had a break down before. I know what it’s like on the other side of failing to get control of this feeling. This is something I struggle with every day.
I have become less competitive and judgmental of myself than I used to be, which is an improvement. But I still have a long way to go. To reach the point where I am no longer blaming myself for failures is going to be hard work. To focus on the positive is going to be hard work.
The final habit is one that ties into the second for me for those reasons mentioned. Am I good enough? You’re not supposed to hesitate with this one. You have off days, everybody does. But when those “off” days become a regular occurrence, it’s a problem. So I know if I work on the second habit it will spill over into the last habit as well.
Do you ever struggle with these things? How do you look at self-fulfilment? Is it as easy as learning three habits and implementing them into your life? Have you ever done anything like this yourself? Please let me know in the comments. I am very keen to learn how it works for you or why it doesn’t. If you have different methods, let me know.
Thank You for reading.