Friday, 28 December 2012

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

It's that time of the year again when many take a deep breath trying not to over-analyse the reasons why the past loves, friendships, hopes and dreams didn't make it through to 2013. 

But shouldn't it be a time to be ruthless and honest? Get rid of the barriers that stopped you reaching your goals. Get rid of all those familiar distractions that stifled your dreams and choked your aspirations. Familiarity, has been said to breed contempt. You've gained great insight and experience through it all, so leave all that toxic baggage behind in 2012, bolt the door, run like hell and start the year afresh.    
Make new friends, build on positive relationships. Venture out into new pastures, be realistic with your goals. Don't be envious of those who've achieved what you would have liked, but rather study and learn from them. But most of all, don't hide your true self, keep it real.  

I take this opportunity to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to each and every one of you. I wish you success in all you choose to do... as long as it's legal. I wish you prosperity... providing you don't crush others to get it. And I wish you good health.... exercise is your friend. Keep a firm grasp on hope, because once it slips away, it can be lost forever. 

What a better way to finish this year with one of my favorite ole time tunes - Auld Lang Syne. 

Have your hopes and aspirations changed since this time last year?
What is the biggest lesson that 2012 has taught you?
What are your New Year resolutions for 2013?

I would love to hear your comments, opinions and views.

Friday, 14 December 2012

50th Post - A BIG Thank You

This is my 50th blog post and I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has read, commented, followed and/or subscribed to Rum Punch Drunk.  

I never thought I would have reached this number when I first started my blog in January 2012. Some of you have been gracious enough to award me with several blogger awards. I truly thank you for the nominations I received. 

Oh the agony and ecstasy of blogging! It always starts with the weekly stress levels searching for inspiration and fresh ideas, quickly followed by those agonisng days of nothing coming to mind, except at the last minute. That's how it's been for weeks now. When I eventually find a topic, I can spend hours doing touch-ups to make sure I've got it right until the last, hesitant moment before I click the 'publish' button. The endless nervousness of hoping someone will read, enjoy and comment makes me feel sick on the best of days. Times 50!!! I'm sure some of you might agree.

I have tried to make Rum Punch Drunk a safe space for people of any background to discuss matters openly and respectfully without anyone being personally attacked. Thanks to you, this has been allowed to happen.

I would also like to say thank you to the staff AngieA and TonyB at Blogcatalog for all the great active discussions, for promoting my blog and providing an excellent forum for bloggers to meet and chat. I appreciate all of you, including those who commented anonymously, those without blogs such as Marcus, Shiloh and Navigator not forgetting to mention Alex who was my guest author, and those who are not blogging at present. Every one of you has contributed to Rum Punch Drunk being what it is today.

Below I have listed some of the blogs that have inspired, supported, and entertained me since I've become part of this online community. Of course, it's impossible for me to include absolutely everyone here, so please don't be offended if I miss anyone out. 
AngieA and TonyB at: Blog Catalog 
Amethyst at: My life with it's pros and cons 
Bloggers at: Bloggers 
Bonnie Franks at: A Little Unhinged 
Christina Monica at: Chequered Hat 
Daily Dose of Musings at: Daily Dose of Musings 
Dan at: A Brainless Nod 
Dennis at: The view from fanling 
Donna at: Believe in Yourself 
Frank at: Frank King's Blog 
Helena at: Channelling Hippocrates 
Hotei at: Any More Than A Whisper 
Jade at: Poetry Musings 
Jamiesmiles at: It's a gay life 
Janene at: Moms are from Mars 
JerseyL at: Jerseylils2cents 
John at: Poet at Jaybern 
Jon Whiting at: Speaking My Mind 
June O'hara at: The Neurosis Files 
Karen at: Baking in A tornados 
Kleopatra at: Ideas and Opinions 
Melanie at: The Joy of Mothering 
Melody at: Growing with God in my Garden 
Menopausal Mama at: Menopausal Mama 
Michelle at: Fear no more, A day in the life 
Nothing Profound at: Aphorism of the Day 
Robert at: Mulled Vine 
Untony at: Tony's Blog 
William at: WilQuote 
Yun Yi at: Human Without God

A big THANK-YOU again for your continual support, and I take no shame in humbly asking you all to encourage your family/friends to pop over, have a read, leave a comment or debate whatever's on their minds. They can choose to follow via GFC (Google Friend Connect) subscribe to comments and/or posts. 

Do you find blogging easy or difficult?
Do you have any tips or tricks on how I can improve my blog or make it more accessible to others?

I'd love to hear your views, comments or opinions. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

2 Sides to Christmas

It's that time of the year again. Seasonal happiness for some and madness for others. Shops will be packed with people buying gifts for each other while the retail bosses rub their hands in delight. The sound of ker-ching will be a welcoming sign to bankers as people max-out their credit cards only to have to pay it back with interest. For the next few weeks food and drink will be excessive and so will the waste, work colleagues will be busy arranging the office parties that will provide many with regrets come January. 

There are always 2 sides to Christmas. 

Families will welcome each other with loving kisses and gifts only for hours to pass by when they are at each others throat, reminiscing on the past faults brought to light by the evening's alcohol. New romantic relationships are always formed at this time of the year only to be soured as the season to be jolly comes to an end. At last the homeless will have a place to get out of the cold, eat, drink, get clean clothes, a hair cut and a little medical help. But for them, the season to be jolly is just a temporary fix until they are back on the streets. 

I hope I'm not dampening anyone's spirit here but I'm just trying to point out that there are 2 sides to Christmas and at times throughout my life I've been on both sides of the fence. I have not celebrated Christmas for quite some time now as the true meaning behind it has somewhat changed and so has the people.  For me, it's a time for reflection, a time to think about the future and what the year ahead brings. A time to pull out all the 'weeds' of the past that destroyed my beautiful garden and think about what I'm going to be planting for next year. 

If you are celebrating this year, why not have a sense of community? Invite a neighbour round for a seasonal drink or pop round and bring them a cake, especially if they are elderly, lonely or vulnerable. We have suffered such a hard year of austerity, and just wishing someone a Happy Christmas, seasonal greetings or sending a card may brighten up their day. 

Christmas is a time when we are expected to be happy, but for a lot of people it's the worse time of the year. Be honest with me, do you really enjoy Christmas?
What are your best and worst Christmas memories?
What will you be doing this Christmas, even if you don't celebrate it?

I would love to hear your views, comments and opinions.
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