Friday, 31 May 2013

When One Door Closes.......

For years we have had the talent shows on TV, such as Britain's Got Talent, The Voice, X Factor etc. and have watched as hopefuls of all ages, take to the stage in front of a panel of judges and the viewing public, to showcase their talents in the hope of winning a prize, or in fact setting the ball rolling for a complete career change.  Yes, of course we have the deluded ones, who really can't sing for toffee, or who put on a ridiculously cringe-worthy performance of a dance routine etc. but no-one ever did them a favour beforehand and told them so, or diplomatically advised them to take singing lessons etc. before letting them subject themselves to the sometimes harsh words of criticism and rejection they ultimately face!
Maybe if the people around them had any decency, they would have advised that their performance needed much improvement before going public with it, at least then preparing the participant for potential critique and disappointment, instead of letting them have false hope and wasting their time - (however some really do believe that they can sing as well as their favourite pop-singer and weirdly enough, their relatives / friends believe it too!!) 
Some seem to do it for a 'laugh' and don't seem that surprised or bothered to be told 'no'.  However, what bothers me are the really talented ones, who secretly or not, know they are good and have what it takes and for them, what really strikes me, is the pressure and emotional rollercoaster that some of these participants go through.  They pass one audition, with the judges telling them "this audition will change your life forever",  or "this is what we have been waiting for" etc. filling the poor hopeful with overwhelming certainty that they have at last got their break and perhaps can now fulfil their dream to sing / dance / perform etc. and give up a humdrum job, as they now have the prospect of 'making it big'.
As they face the next round(s) of the auditions and maybe get into the finals - with that dream goal well within their grasp, they are rejected, by the judging panel or the voting public in favour of another of the show participants!  Wham-bam!!!
What next then for the poor emotionally-crushed person??  For some, they feel they have no more chances left - they may have tried other shows and been rejected even before the actual audition shows, or they have reached an age where they feel they are simply chasing after a dream and this was their last-ditch attempt to do what they have been working towards and yearning after, for many years!  I hope some of them get some sort of counselling and career advice, as I imagine that the pain of rejection, especially so publicly, must be absolutely soul-destroying. 
I hope for those people, the saying, "as one door closes, another door opens", comes true, as what is someone supposed to do with a great singing voice, if not use it to earn a living and enjoy doing so - if that is their calling, then why not?  It seems so cruel to dangle the dream in front of them and then whip it away in a blink of an eye!  I always think like that, when the participants go to judges houses on the X Factor - they are given a taste of a lifestyle they could have if successful and then some are booted off the show, because that judge didn't pick them for their final mentoring group.
In summary I feel blessed that I am able to do a job I love and for which I trained long and hard for and I really sympathise with those people so publicly rejected and denied their chance to 'live their dream'.  One thing's for sure though, those people really must have guts and determination to stand up in front of so many people and do their 'thing' - hats off to them I say and good luck!!!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

What's the Definition of a Proper Job?

One thing that has really stood out for me since quitting office life, is how other people judge what a 'proper job' is!  It seems unless you're in a 9 to 5 daily commute to an office, anything else is just not proper work!!  Has anyone else found that although you run your own business, the fact that you work from home instead of at a corporate office, you feel judged, or it's even been commented about 'when are you going to go back to do a proper job!?'  The cheek of it!!! 
As if running one's own business is just some silly little game to while away the time!!  There's always something to do, even if for example, I'm not actually out doing training - the accounts, marketing, answering the phone and emails, doing the admin and filing (yes! even a dog trainer has admin and filing!!), researching my subject and keeping abreast of new developments, ordering in stock that I need, following up with recent behaviour case clients! etc.
So when the sun is shining, no I'm not in the garden sunning myself, nor watching daytime TV - I'm actually working as if I were employed in a company - I even give myself a short lunchbreak and then back to the computer I go, or off out to see a client.  I also find that the nature of my job(s) isn't taken too seriously either - dog training is still widely thought of as something that people do as a hobby on a weekday evening - because they like dogs and charge their clients next to nothing. 
Yes I love dogs and helping people train and build a great relationship with their family pet, but I studied long and hard to get myself qualified, so my 'hobby' is actually my 'bread and butter' business that I do on a full-time basis. 
I've even heard a fellow greeting cards business owner say that an acquaintance, referred to hers as a 'silly little cards business'!!  So it seems that there's a bit of snobbishness when it comes to working for yourself and an assumption that if you're about in the day, well you must be unemployed!  I doubt a self-employed neurosurgeon would attract any criticism or judgement-more likely admiration. 
Well all our businesses and jobs count for something-we're all contributing to the grand scheme of things with our goods and services.  At the end of the day, happy people doing what they love doing and earning enough to live, is surely a good thing!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Destructive Force of Dementia

Rather than continue weeping into my coffee, I thought writing stuff down might release some of the pain that I'm feeling right now.  After a progressive worsening of dementia-like symptoms over recent months, my 78-year old Auntie has now slid into rapid descent into the need for 24/7 care and yesterday I finally took her to a residential care home.  Although for the best, in terms of her safety and for her need for help in walking, washing, toileting and dressing, as well as proper meals and ensuring she receives the various medications she now has to take, this has hit me hard.  So too my 86-year old Uncle who made the courageous decision to admit that her needs were now such, that care at home was no longer sufficient and after 50-plus years of marriage, will have to now face life alone.  How empty and quiet their house now is - gone is the vibrant, noisy presence that was my Auntie, although in recent months that person had already started to slip away.  Instead a silence made all the more poignant at the sight of all her crazy clutter still as it was left.  Long gone is that vigorous, energetic, funny, intelligent, capable woman, who organised everything - perhaps always her nature or also from the many years spent as a primary school headteacher.  Now is left a shell of that person, whose physical and mental form has significantly diminished.  This feels like a bereavement, although the person is still alive.  Damn dementia!!  A cruel illness or condition or whatever it is, that twists like a knife into the family members and friends who have to see their loved one spiralling downwards in terms of mental and physical capacity.  I don't feel any better for having written this, I just feel angry and upset at the irony that as my lovely baby niece was being born and I became an Auntie myself, my own Auntie is succumbing to a foggy, wobbly blur.  Life sure does throw some shit don't it!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

If You Go Down to the Woods Today....

You may or may not get a big surprise!  Is that how the rhyme goes?!  Oh gosh taking note of my previous post about the car, I really am having nursery rhymes in my mind already!!  Well - note to self - don't go down to the woods for a late evening walk with the dogs if you're of a nervous disposition!!  It wasn't memories of the 'Blair Witch' film or spooky ghosties this time, it was the fear of meeting the Bogeyman or some real-life unsavoury character!  A couple of times during daytime walks I have noticed one or two lone chaps lurking about and have nevertheless avoided crossing their path on these occasions - so trying to be rational about why this should be unnerving, went along the lines of - he's probably stopped for a breather, or to light a cigarette, to then imagining that maybe something more sinister was the reason for their loitering in the woods.  Waiting to do a drugs deal, or commit an assault of some sort??  Who knows??  What possessed me to go through the woods I have no idea that evening, but I just kept on walking despite being a bit apprehensive to start with.  By the time I was too far in to turn back, I was positively wracked with fear!  I could actually hear male voices around and with the fading light started to hurry the three of us along - when near the road, I got the biggest fright of my life as a passing car's headlights shone through and momentarily lit up a great big bulky object just up ahead!  What I thought it was, is anyone's guess, but I quickly recovered from nearly jumping ten foot in the air, when I realised it was just a huge rotten piece of tree trunk that was lying nearby! :))  We thankfully made it home in one piece, dogs blissfully unaware of the terror I had experienced due to my imagination running wild that night.  They had a drink of water and me.....a stiff alcoholic drink!  Too right!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

New Car - Dogmobile or Babymobile??!!

Well I've had to change my car.  Poor old Octavia the Skoda will move on to pastures new!  In its place I have just acquired a tatty Focus Zetec C-Max.  Nothing flash - that's not my style - just cheaper to tax and to run - now, that's my style!  However this new car has made me feel funny things! I took it on a test drive and felt all mumsy all of a sudden!!  Although a small car, it does have the feel of a people carrier as the seats are quite high and so I feel all high up!!  (Or maybe I need to re-adjust the driver's seat!)  On the test drive, it had the previous owner's child-seat in the back (not the child though!) and it did feel rather strange driving around with this in the back - I felt a bit like a mummy!!  Even though the car will be transporting work equipment and my dogs, it feels like it's in the wrong role and should have children in there instead!  How weird!  I don't feel broody as such, but just like there should be a child in the back and not dogs!!  (by the way I am not wishing that there were children instead of my gorgeous dogs - it's merely an observation!) Hmmm!  After the dogs have been in there a few times it should take on more of a dogwagon feel! - and as long as I don't start singing nursery rhymes, I think it should pass!!  Think it was the child-seat, discarded Fruit Shoot bottles and crisp remnants that threw me - soon it will be dog-hair, mud and smeared dog-snot on the windows to correct this picture!! :))

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bluebells, Boots and BBQ Weather!!

So the sunshine has finally arrived at long last!  If this keeps up, the BBQ will have to put in an appearance pretty soon!  This sudden change to warm weather and blue skies, spurred me on to do a spot of spring cleaning today (at long last!) so I decided to spruce up my kitchen with my sample of Zoflora Bluebell Woods Disinfectant - (please see Reviews page, for my review on this lovely product).  After transforming my kitchen into a gleaming, freshly-scented paradise, I felt compelled to go via the woods, when walking the dogs, to further enjoy the real 'carpet' of bluebells that stretch as far as the eye can see!  So despite the scorching sunshine, I donned my wellies as usual - yes, yes! - bluebells there may be in those woods, but there's also dog-poo lurking in the growing greenery on the woodland floor!  If you've read my earlier posts, you'll know about my dog-poo phobia!  Perish the thought of treading in any 'nasty' stuff and ruining my good mood - however I saw one of my dogs accidentally step in a pile whilst foraging about - aargghh! - don't worry though, I'm not about to get welly boots for my dogs to wear too, they just have to wipe their feet on the grass and job's done! 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Drunken / Thoughtless Litterbug Morons!

Sorry but a rant is nigh!!  Who in their right mind smashes a beer bottle into the grass in a public park, where children and dogs run about?!!  I've lost count of the number of times I've had to stop and pick up pieces of glass bottle, to prevent some poor innocent child or dog from becoming terribly injured from the debris left by some selfish idiot!  While I'm at it, why do people think it's acceptable to leave behind all their drinks bottles and food rubbish after watching a football match on the playing fields?  The pitch is literally marked out by a rectangle-shape trail of litter, post-match - just who do these people think is going to pick up after them?  And leaving chicken bones in the fast food rubbish is very dangerous for dogs that naturally go scavenging through the rubbish left behind after some moron's feast!  Aargh!!!  Well here's a thought - I wonder what their houses are like if they are that averse to picking up their rubbish - yuk!!  Lazy so and so's!!  (hey that's mild for me!!) :o))