BLOG BITES – 31st JANUARY 2020 #60


I am writing the self-help book entitled Keith Stewart by Keith Stewart. This time of the year, the shelves and xmas stockings are overflowing with an abundance of self-help mantras. A New Year – a fresh you. Do you only shower once a year too – to keep fresh? For months people can drive down the motorway heading for xmas. Journeying to one day (minus the church service). Not adhering to any speed limit and using up all their gas and coinage. It’s fine because there are only about 350 days to xmas now. Lots of time to pay it all off, work it all off and get presents in for next year. This time of the year the gyms are having their xmas. Overwhelmed with guilt and pressure to look good on the beach in the summer,the gyms are full of those working off the xmas excesses. Signing up, turning up, looking colourful in all that new workout gear (what’s wrong with an old t-shirt), pulling a muscle and by February 14th giving it up. It’s just another broken resolution. Did you cancel the direct debit to the gym? People swearing on their last glass of Prosecco that on Jan 1st they will stop…. And stop…. The new me!
A definition of a New Year’s Resolution – a to-do list for the first week of January.
And yet more articles shouting how to be that new you. Declutter. Wear different colours. Get some new cream made with more ingredients than a fruit salad. Buy the decluttering book and make space for it on your shelf (£8.99). Hire a declutterer to help you put stuff in the bin. Hire a nutritionist to tell you to read the labels on the food container when you buy it. Or to buy a piece of fruit. My doctor told me that dark chocolate is good for depression. Essential advice and a must to follow, if it’s from a doctor 😊.
New body, new job, new me, new boyfriend might be good too.
I see endless quotes from people on social media shouting how to be – how to think – to find your inner something. Endless rooms of lost people searching for another guru and road sign now they’ve driven through xmas. Searching the book shelves, whale music, tablets, teas, coconut water (Rhianna drinks it), retreats and pampering, hot yoga with a glass of wine after, weekend breaks to get over xmas. Fuelling a big industry. And why? In search of the ultimate place of peace. To be rounded, balanced but not grounded. In the most important grounding – YOU. Taking in more and more of what people tell them they should be in order to become who they are not (£8.99 in a bookshop near you).

The problem is not me. It is me taking on board your problems and ideas. Ignoring my deep and enduring wealth of knowledge, experiences, wisdom, creativity, joy and passion. I am enjoying and flourishing by rejecting more and more of what people tell me I should be. I discovered that I am who I am meant to be. I am enough and have a part-time job building on that.
When I did not know the answer to that question all I did was react to other peoples’ waves. Left out there “drowning not waving” (Stevie Smith)

Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It matters not how strait the gate.
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
The captain of my soul.
(William Ernest Henley – 1849-1903)

Keith Stewart – from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. A qualified TEFL teacher, Murder She Wrote and Colombo aficionado. A Spanish music and Motown fan. Happily teaching TEFL from Brazil.
31st JANUARY 2020 – BLOG #60
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