It’s an Inside Job….

It’s an Inside Job….

Hi there.
How is your day going?
On a scale of 1 to 10.
10 being ‘marvellous’ 
and 1 being ‘not very marvellous at all’.
(euphemism for shite).
  Mine started out at 10,
dipped to 4,
but we’re back up to 10 again.
Didn’t take long to catch myself, 
 let go of the thought that was winding me up
and get positive again.

Nobody else involved;

Today is art day. 
Making projects for the New Design Clubs.
It’s my favourite thing to do too!
So why the dip? Why the melancholy intermezzo?
I wasn’t listening to sad music.
Wasn’t listening to radio 2,
interspersed with doom and gloom aka news. 
All I could hear was the birds outside.  
Which all just goes to show it is an inside job.
It all goes on in my head; nowhere else. 
I don’t need anybody else to wind me up;
I can do a perfectly good job all by myself.  
Milton put it well…
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” 
― John MiltonParadise Lost
Nothing changes. 
No news – good or bad. Nothing. 
Just me and the cat. 
A few emails to and fro. Just business. A couple of niggles, 
which I am quite good at right-sizing and dismissing nowadays. 

But it takes effort to bat off negativity and stay upbeat. 
I have to be vigilant the whole waking day. 
If I can adopt an attitude of gratitude
this helps put the barrier up against negativity.

Clearly, I let my guard down while engrossed in the artwork, 
and in crept Ivan Axtogrind and his mates. 

My friend Shelagh gave me a most exquisite book recently:

The Red Tree
by Shaun Tan

The artwork is beautiful.

Very, very emotive illustrations. 
It’s all about a little girl who wakes up in a bad headspace.

Her day is dark and it doesn’t get better.

She feels very low and isolated….

is struggling to understand  what it’s all for.

the whole world seems to be against her.

and she doesn’t know who she is supposed to be 
or what she is supposed to do.

She comes home, worn out after a very harrowing day,
only to find that what she was looking for was there the whole time.

It is a fantastic book.
Not many words. Mostly pictures.
But they speak volumes. 
And yes.
it is most definitely 
An Inside Job. 
And gratitude is the key to my happiness.
Love & Gratitude always ,

62 thoughts on “It’s an Inside Job….

  1. That looks like a fabulous book. We can be our own worst enemy sometimes can't we? Hope your day was productive despite the bad thoughts. Xxx

  2. Hi Barbara my day has been up and down not a good time of year for me as will be three years since my beautiful daughter went to heaven have been up and down last couple weeks then last night my eldest Rebecca posted on her FB how she was missing her younger sister and how wonderful her last hug was it was special Sandie called us all by name and wanted a hug it was as if she new that hug would last a life time just hours before she slipped away her hugs were very special so been trying to keep my mind busy as it just goes to pieces love joy xx

    1. Oh Joy I know what you mean about hugs being special and the ones from your daughter sound extra special, you must miss her so much. Sending you a special hug from me, I hope it helps just a little bit . Xxx

  3. Hi Barbara
    I'm glad your day is ending on a 19 despite the dip. I know what you mean, a little blip niggles it's way in and before you know it's a big worry, all out of nothing. It's a beautiful evening here so I'm going to suggest we go for a walk in a minute, hope you and Dave manage to go go one too. What beautiful illustrations in the book , I love books like that. We had one at school that was on a similar line about a bag full of worries. It helped quite a few children along the way. Hope you have a lovely evening.
    Love Diane xxx

    1. Hello lovely blog friends, another warm day here, mustn't complain as no doubt it will be raining again soon! I rushed through the housework so I could finish my cards this afternoon. Might have a play with groovi tonight although I know I will get involved in bake off! Sheila I hope you've had a better day today and lots of rest. Sending hugs to you all xxx

  4. Aye, I'm there with you Barbara. Although for me it often stems from stuff people have sad and/or done to me, or not done. But I could sail through a degree in winding myself up too!!! Asperger's/autism has a lot to answer for!

    I love that quote, that's what I've being trying so hard to do, in my head, make my living hell of a life feel better, couldn't go as far as saying heaven. Can't change the situation I'm in, without the help and support I need. So I have been, most of the time, making a wee sanctuary in my head, that I can be in, feel a bit of peace, in relative terms, and boost up hugely any wee good (to me, mostly nothing to most) thing I can find or think of.

    Aye I know that one totally too, you let your guard down , Ivan sneaks out the hole he's dug under all the walls and fences, jumps up, shouts with fists raised above his head, ready for the fight. And that's the signal for all his mates to pour out the hole!

    That story could be describing autism/Asperger's the feelings and isolation and not fitting in. Just wish the majority of us, and not just the few found what we search our lives for, which mostly we don't even know what that is. Maybe to be accepted, to be included, not to feel so isolated, and different from the norm. To understand the secret code you all communicate in, non verbal as well as verbal. To know the secret rules you all 'just know'.

    Glad you managed to get back up to 10. I would say my day was as close to 10 as I could have within my current situation. Garden day, lovely time with my garden guy, he's kind of like my volunteer, is my volunteer. Loads done in the garden, not everything, but that was never going to happen. Warm sunny a lot, nice enough for long shorts and t-shirt, thought I'd missed out on getting outsidecon one of our summer days this year. Boiler arranged for next Thursday. Nothing from social services but maybe a local councillor now on board if he can help. And now sitting in my bean bag, with Daisy not far away sleeping, windows open, listening to the world go by. We'll miss out what my CFS part, not going to let that take centre stage! So a nothing day, or worse than a nothing day to most, but to me, the nearest to the heaven that I'm allowed. Because I choose to focus on the good instead of the bad, turn bad into good, and build the walls to keep out the gremlins, real and not. Don't always succeed, but doing not bad, considering the life I have had to have

    Love Brenda xx

    1. Hi Brenda,
      Pleased that you've had a good day in your garden today. Your garden guy sounds as though he really cares about you and that's good for you. I hope the local councillor can get something sorted for you. It seems shameful to me that nobody is willing to give you the help and support you need. I bet Daisy is such good company for you, I know Scamp is for me when I'm on my own – she never leaves my side. Love and hugs to you and Daisy, Alison xxx

  5. That book looks lovely, I do like books with beautiful illustrations. Time alone with your thought can be a blessing or a burden depending which inner voice is talking loudest. Luckily at the moment my positive voice is winning. Glad your positivity returned. Xx

  6. Hello Barbara

    I know just what you mean. Been struggling myself these last few days. Only myself to blame. No.2 son broke his leg/ankle on Saturday but was told by a doctor it was only a sprain! I wanted him to go to A&E but, no, the doctor knew better than me. On Sunday, family persuaded him to go to hospital so off we both went. Broken and displaced tibula and broken fibula! Sedation to set the bones then an operation on Monday (four screws and a plate). He came home yesterday. All Sunday night and all day Monday I had to keep reminding myself it was only a broken leg! He wasn't ill and he wasn't going to die. His leg would mend but, oh boy, was I in a bad place. Very silly of me.


    P.s. at least I have Paul's workshops on Saturday to look forward to.

    1. Thank you, all, for your kind words and thoughts. Luckily Luke is not experiencing much pain. It is kept under control with occasional paracetamol. He hasn't needed the codeine issued by the hospital. Just got six weeks of inactivity to look forward to but his work are looking into things he can do from his desk so, fingers crossed, he might be able to go back to work sooner. My son-in-law works at the same place so transport shouldn't be a problem.


  7. Hi Barb,
    I'm really pleased that you managed to turn your day around in the end. Negative thoughts do just to niggle away don't they. The book looks gorgeous , the illustrations are stunning. I'm not surprised that you like it. Looking forward to seeing what you have conjured up for us with the new club goodies. Love and hugs Alison xxx

    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope you're all ok. The weather has been lovely today although I have a feeling I might not get much sleep with the heat! Pottered around in the garden today which was nice- got things deadheaded so it looks tidier and Dave has cut the lawns. Went to see a friend this afternoon who hasn't been well, so that was good too. Morag looking forward to seeing you tomorrow – I'll meet you outside again. Sheila I hope you have felt better today. Love and hugs to you all, Alison xxx

  8. Was it Peter Pan that said 'Think happy thoughts'? They all thought 'happy thoughts', which enabled them to fly! (With a little bit of fairy dust too!!) I do try to go with the 'Pollyanna' philosophy – turn a negative into a positive. Thinking happy thoughts helps that along. Like when Monday comes along, you think oh no not Monday again, got to go to work – just think, you have a whole week before Monday comes round again! What a rambler I am xxx

  9. I know that feeling of looking for something which has suddenly disappeared today. This morning I opened a letter to read it to my son (it was his mail). Eventually this afternoon I got around to opening my post. Where was the letter opener? vanished from the face of the earth! It should have been on the table – hunted high and low – zilch. Now given up as have decided it will turn up when it feels like it!

    On the plus side I have achieved so much today – I WANTED to craft, but guilty conscience took over, and I washed the downstairs nets, cleaned windows and then proceeded to wash ALL the downstairs curtains! and whilst the surf board was out – did the normal ironing too. (Thank goodness for Hochanda, that has kept me company all day!

    I MAY tackle the upstairs curtains tomorrow – or maybe I will craft – let's face it two days of guilt in a row is not good for you! and it will take my mind off fact that car will be in for service and MOT! rofl!

    I also saw a good idea to get rid of your worries – you put them all in a jar (use marbles for worries), and give the jar to somebody to look after. You no longer have the worries on your shoulders, somebody else is looking after them for you.

  10. So pleased the dip didn't last too long Barbara and you ended the day on a relative high. No grandchildren today so I have spent time in my workroom(loft) trying to create tidiness out of chaos, quite pleased with myself. Still more to do but it gets too hot when the sun is shining – excuse to open the doors and enjoy the peace. xx

  11. Evening Barbara!
    My day started off as a 7. I woke up with a bit of a pain in my neck…I've either slept funny or its crafters neck! Or a bit of both! Anyway I wasn't going to let that stop me doing things… Shopping to do to start with!
    Colin and I tackled Asda together then we had an earlyish lunch…the day was getting better…at an 8 by now.
    We then decided to make the most of the good weather and chop the shrubs growing on the fence! I'd started it yesterday but couldn't reach up high enough. And boy did we chop them down!!! Tied them all onto the trellis and its really tidy now! And there is something good about manual work. Makes you feel a whole lot better! So up to a 9. Then I had a shower and re pinked my hair ready for the weekend! And then I've been playing with stamps and inks and pens and the day is now a 10. And the neck….it still feels a bit painful but it will get better….like the day!
    Love and hugs! Xxxx

  12. What a very thoughtful blog. My day has been at 2 for the past week. Worrying a week ahead of a stressful day tomorrow. My mother used to say "Anne you cross your bridges before they are built" I have tried to get worka out of my mind but just not going. Tomorrow is another day and I am praying that it goes well. Its the technology thats bugging me. If I was logical, I would be saying. You can do your bit but you can do nothing about gremlins in the works.
    How pathetic a being, I am at present. Gratitude should be the order of the day – for a wonderful husband, a family and a great many other things, including Barbara, Paul et al. Just reached a 10. Power to the blog!
    Lots of love to all you lovely bloggers out there. Hope your days are mostly 10s
    Anne (Reading)

  13. This is so true Barbara, and the pictures in your book speak volumes. I read a post on FB recently about someone describing negative thoughts as like holding a small glass of water up high, weighs nothing at first but if you held it there all day it would hurt you and be paralyzing. If I get wound up at all I just say to myself, put the glass down, and strangely it works for me xx

  14. My mood today is like the weather, muggy. Excellent quote by the way, makes so much sense. Anyway tomorrow is another day and now to get me thro washing the pots I will catch up on Mondays shows that I missed. I gave my gratitude for the time and effort that goes into making these shows for us xx

  15. This book look wonderful .im going to check it out .
    Another wonderful book that I have just read and it is about finding happiness and peace despite what's going on around you and in your head , It's called : " The untethered soul " . Hope you all will take a look , joy and happiness now .jan

  16. What a lovely book and such beautiful illustrations and the sentiments are oh so true for most of us I'm sure. At least your day started and ended well Barbara. I think mine was much the same for most of the day around a 9. Mind you it could dip a bit as I have to make a card to post tomorrow and I am not feelng inspired as it's a masculine one which is always more difficult. x

  17. Evening Barbara I always look forward to my clarity club diamond envelope if you just think how much pleasure you bring to us all with your inspiration and our clarity goodies you will always be on a 10 xxx

    1. Evening dear blog family of friends thinking of you all sending heartfelt hugs hugs to all on the blog .im late tonight as my depression is here with me i mannaged to stamp today then this afternoon I spoke to a dear crafting friend then watched a tv program then came to bed and slept trying very hard to keep my head in a good place need to put my worries on a tree and walk into beautiful garden goodnight hugs xxx

    2. Dear Sheila – I have just popped in this morning to see how you are! So very sorry to hear that yesterday was such a bad day for you, I know that you will be trying hard today to start a brand new sheet, to keep those very horrid feelings away. I totally understand how you will have felt, and I am sending some heartfelt sunny hugs to you and wishes that today will be a better day for you! By the way I pruned your worry tree and took away the worry branches – so that you can have a sunnier and happier day. Much love, Gilly xxx

    3. Thank you Brenda I did some colouring in bed then slept .hugs for you and daisy xxx
      Dear gilly you brought tears to my eyes with your message this morning bless you for pruning my worry tree I'm at Podiarty at 11.40 then hope to come home to craft keep the mind busy
      Hope today goes well for Neil and you too thinking of you both hugs and cuddles to take with you xxx

  18. A very mixed day here. I had a run in with a real Bosworth on the car park on Sunday which upset me, and actually caused a fair bit of physical pain, but I will not go further along that road. However, as a result when I went for my regular chiropractic treatment, I was really put through the mill to get rid of the knots and twists. That left me with a really bad back this morning. Things started to look up later as my angry muscles began to settle, just in time for my massage tomorrow. Another bit of positivity was sitting here finishing the embossing on my two pieces from the Midland Parchment Exhibition on Sunday. Just need to mount them properly tomorrow. Something positive to look forward to Tomorrow. I would like to have a look at your lovely book. Enjoy reading it again. xxx Maggie

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