This year, I started sharing my ‘thoughts’ from the day onto my Instagram stories. And whilst not intending for it to become a ‘thing', I have been positively overwhelmed by the incredible response from you all - so much so that I have chosen to dedicate a blog post to them every week.
Each Thursday, I'll be expanding upon three of my thoughts from the previous week, acting as an extension of the shorter thoughts I share (a 'mid-week musing' of sorts, into how these relate to myself and my poetry). Please feel free to let me know if this is something you enjoy or are interested in, either by commenting below or getting in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my socials.
23.02.20: ‘I love the sea in Winter and need to not overlook it.'
I have lived close to the same, stony beach my whole life, and yet have constantly taken my view of the sea for granted. I don't often go down to the beach. I usually end up using the coastal path as a go-between to get me where I need to go - so even then, I very rarely go down onto the beach itself. The other week, as Storm Dennis was sweeping the nation (*said in a lofty, news-presenter-worthy voice), my Dad and I chose to get out for a little walk, and go down to the sea, in what was otherwise a very rainy weekend. We weren't there for too long (possibly half an hour), but it still felt like such a novelty to be on the beach; I hadn't been down in so long, it felt crazy knowing that this is literally five minutes from my bedroom. Hearing the rhythmic crash of stones, lifting and dropping with the wind-fuelled waves. My Dad and I had to shout in order to hear each other, playing the timeless game of running backwards from the waves before they could catch our feet. It was a luxury to have an empty beach, and to indulge in the simple childish pleasures of games and shell-spotting that are still just as good in adulthood. And whilst I'll always prefer a forest to a beach - and I'll likely take more walks over hills than Seaford's concrete promenade - I'll give the beach more of a chance in future. And I am looking forward to the next blustery day when I can wrap up warm and enjoy the sea.
25.02.20: 'My obsession with spreadsheets needs to calm down.’
I can assure you that whatever the occasion, event or activity, I will have a spreadsheet for it. Or at least a template, ready to edit and use for nearly every possible outcome. The more I use them and the more I work with them, they seem to be the easiest way to relate my thoughts to others, in a way we can all understand, bridging that gap between the frustrated intensity of my brain and the calm and ordered minds of those around me. As the format of a spread sheet is so universal, both those relaxed and uptight can relate to how the information is presented - it's certainly far clearer than a mind-map but more informative than a simple table. And whilst I am over-generalising, and being slightly sarcy, it does just seem to be the easiest way to organise and convey. But I do end up using them at every opportunity. Partly because they are very easy for me to use, but also because my thoughts, plans and ideas cannot be translated in any other way - or at least in any easy way where someone else may be able to understand them. It has become a way of communicating, and it does get to a point of takeover that is unforgiving; you are never done with a spreadsheet. There is always a new category to add, another formula to fit in or another group to colour-code. Like the cells themselves, a spreadsheet's agenda is infinite, the potential to relay my thoughts knows no bounds. Which is marvellous and terrifying. And also another demonstration of me needing to chill out and not think so deeply about something as menial as spreadsheets...
26.02.20: ‘Buying yourself flowers is one of the best (material) things you can buy yourself.’
I don't buy myself flowers too often, which I think lends itself to making this 'self-gifting' all the more special. It's just refreshing to bring some of the outdoors indoors, even if it's 'just green foliage' or 'only £1.79 tulips from Lidl' (I have no shame, at that price you can get two bunches and perfect your new-found artistry for flower-arranging). I chose to go for a longer walk over the Seven Sisters on Wednesday, and having not been 'hill' walking for quite some time (and when I say 'hill', I'm just unfit and very used to the flat), I decided to reward myself with some flowers of my own. After seeing the colours around me, particularly the crocuses and daffodils dotted along the hills, I selfishly wanted some of that for myself. I also used the excuse of Wednesday being the start of Lent, so maybe I will 'take up' the habit of buying myself more flowers, and 'give up' my current not-buying-many-flowers-ness...maybe I can get away with that? Knowing that you have gifted yourself such a such a kind treat is the most smug feeling, walking around with a fresh bouquet that you have given to yourself - even if it's only a walk back from the shop you bought them. The notion that someone has to buy flowers for us is outdated and boring. If you want to treat yourself, and your home in the process, go out and get a bunch of your favourite blooms.
Until next time, H.M.
References and Further Reading:
- All pictures taken by H.M. Reynolds and posted on the @hmrwrites Instagram account between 23.02.20 and 26.02.20.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you want to be featured, have new ideas or want to write for The hmrwrites Blog; I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with. Feel free to drop your own blog/website/socials in the comments.