The A Word: I Would Walk 500 Miles

and I would walk 500 more

It’s been a wonderful week spending time with our family. Our grandchildren give us so much pleasure and laughter and our new grandson is growing so quickly he’s nearly out of his Moses basket.  It was also incredibly hot and now we’re back in Cornwall it’s noticeably cooler but more humid which isn’t great for my hair! 😊. 

I also had my first Rheumatology appointment since before lockdown.  It worked OK by telephone and I’d prepared my notes beforehand.  We agreed that I’d have some investigative MRI scans of the cervical spine and an ultrasound scan of my arms, hands, and fingers due to some new symptoms I’ve experienced.  I guess these will go on a while, so I won’t have any updates in the short term.

We’ve had the most amazing Summer in Cornwall and the walking has been superb.  Since the start of the UK lockdown on 16th March until today, our FitBit shows we have walked over 3,000 kilometres.  To put that into perspective Moscow is 2,500k from London and Cairo 3,500k.  Norway is about the right distance, at 3025k from London!  Not surprising, the soles of our walking shoes have worn away 😊.

We’ve loved living in our cottage right in the middle of a bustling village.  The pavement is opposite our house,  but people still walk on our side of the road and look into the window whilst we’re sitting in the evening.  I can’t complain though as I do it too, especially at Christmas.  I love looking at all the beautiful Christmas trees on display. It’s like those Christmas scenes you see on cards with houses all lit up and families inside and its definitely my favourite time to peer in.  Jamie and I could always close our curtains, but we chose not to as we love to see the activity outside our window.

My blogs are mostly about living the best life you can with chronic pain.  Last week I talked about positive and negative motivation and the difference between the two.  This week I wanted to talk about negativity in general as it really can really hamper our ability to be happy.

Negativity is a tendency to be downbeat, disagreeable, and sceptical. It’s a pessimistic attitude that always expects the worst. It’s important to mention that depression and/or sadness are not the same as having a general negative disposition.  

Negative people tend to moan a lot, convinced that the whole world is against them. They are usually the victim of “something” whether it’s a difficult boss, a bad relationship, bad luck, or their upbringing. They rarely step back to look at other factors – such as hard work.  Apparently, there’s also a neurological explanation as to why some people end up being so negative. It has to do with the part of the brain called the amygdala, which functions as an alarm and is constantly on the lookout for danger, fear and bad news.

For many people, being negative is just a part of life, however, it is something that you can train yourself out of with a little bit of practice.  I love the Ant Middleton books; they are easy to read and focus on embracing positivity and a positive attitude into your everyday life. 

I often see articles suggesting that you remove negative people from your social media or your friendship groups.  I definitely agree and during my career, I’ve found that the most successful people have made it a rule to avoid negative people. This is because negative people can affect your attitude.  For example, when I thought about writing my blog my friends and family were brilliant, encouraging me and being really supportive of my goals.  My husband Jamie continues to complement me on my blogs and encourages me every week. Acquaintances are sometimes different.  Before I started to share my story, I had someone say I’d find it impossible as bloggers were mostly much younger than me!   If I’d chosen to listen to that negative person or believed in what they said, it would have affected my confidence and possibly even stopped me from writing.  My blog has been really successful and I’m in the top 10% of traffic for WordPress blogs which is amazing.

I’ve also experienced negative people during my working career; they’re always the ones who make you doubt yourself.   I’ve noticed that when I’m around positive people who are enthusiastic, they raise my energy levels. Negative people do the opposite; they tend to drain my energy and I just want them to go away.

As I said earlier, whatever life throws at us, we need to try and live “our best life” as we only get one shot.  When you struggle with illness and chronic pain, positive people help and give positive reinforcement when doubts and worries creep in.  Negative people make you believe your doubts.  Negative people generally have a problem for every solution and positive people have a solution for every problem.  Don’t waste you time trying to accommodate them, do what I do and remove them from your life, starting with social media.

Finally, I want to talk about the ice-cream manufacturer Ben and Jerry’s who made headlines this week when the company’s social media team published a Tweet about migrants and refugees directed at the home secretary.   Whilst a lot of people agreed with their position, a large proportion didn’t and personally I don’t think the Corporate world should get involved in politics.  Ben and Jerry’s are part of a massive global conglomerate called Unilever and perhaps if they paid the taxes HMRC thinks they should pay we could spend more money helping the people who need it most. 

Until next time, stay safe #stayalert and remember positive thoughts in the morning can change your whole day xxxxx

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