WordPress is still very new to me. BlogSpot has been my hosting site of choice in the past because it seemed the more simple, particularly for beginners who did not want as much flexibility as WordPress seems to give. I wanted to try something new, so ventured over to play with the big boys.
Today I was reviewing my Dashboard and I saw that my Spam filter Asikmet has been getting rid of so many ‘spam’ comments. I was able to view one of these alleged Spam comments and saw that in fact it was a lovely comment from one of my readers. I was immediately filled with horror. How many of these lovely comments have been deemed ‘Spam’ before they had the chance to prove themselves otherwise?
This crisis averted, having edited my spam filter settings (rookie mistake), it got me thinking about whether we could employ spam filters for our everyday lives.
How many hours have you spent listening to vacuous attention-seeking drivel or poisonous gossip and wished that before you commenced that conversation, you were aware of how much of a waste of time it would be. Hindsight is amazing (and virtually impossible unless you are psychic or can predict the future). There are some things that I am trying to do to recognise and reduce the spam in my life however.
SPAM FEELINGS of negativity
These are just some of the uninvited spam that invades our daily lives, impacting on our mental health and general well- being.
In the almost 6 months since I have started at my new job, I cannot say that I have really connected with anyone which is really sad when I say this out loud to myself. I have had several jobs in my 20 something life and never been in this position. One where I feel like no one is interested enough in me to engage in conversations revolving around matters other than work or the ones with whom I have slightly broken ice with on discovering I am in a relationship treat me with the ‘arms length’ judgement. Sure, you are single and want to meet, get drunk with and club with different guys every week and talk about it, whereas, I am very happy and settled and while I like enjoying myself, do not feel like I need to constantly behave in this way to be validated. Still, I feel like I am being judged for having a boyfriend in a promiscuous environment. (too much?) I rarely talk about my relationship to people I do not know so am a little irked by this disingenuous behaviour.
It then clicked. In the past, my friends included work colleagues. The two worlds were barely distinguishable. Work, apart from being just that, was also an environment in which I was able to socialise with like-minded people and so that daily grind became more bearable. As you get older, work and friendships are kept separate as work no longer becomes your life, but a supplementary part of it.
I began pursuing my many interests and hobbies outside of work. Having a life. Taking photographs, reading, writing, fostering happy thought and behaviours, spending time around people who make me laugh, (who ‘get’ me) cooking, spending less time wondering or caring what people think about me or seeking the approval of others.
I have developed a love of ‘gardening’ and flowers.
I live in a one-bedroomed flat on the second floor so I really do not have access to a garden. However, I am determined to bring a bit of the garden into the flat.
I read in a few online and print articles about the benefits of getting green-fingered on your health. Gardening in any sense is shown to be a great release for stress (more spam filtering!) as well as meaning that you will get some exercise and consume the vegetables or whatever you grow. Wellness Mama (http://wellnessmama.com/5437/why-do-gardeners-live-longer/) says,
“Logically, gardeners often grow vegetables, which means that logically, they also probably eat them…”
Makes sense right? I feel so much more relaxed at happy outside or in a garden. But also the presence of flowers and plants in my personal space also breeds the same feelings for me.
I have also been a huge fan of Psychologies magazine (www.psychologies.co.uk) which is a great collection of articles all about well-being in all aspects of your life and the most recent edition from June 2014 had an article on page 45 regarding the positive impact that pets can make on our lives. I don’t think it is any secret that petting a cat, walking a dog or observing a fish going about it’s daily business can be anything short of therapeutic, but it is one more way of avoiding the useless spam that is negativity.
On a brief aside about relationship spam, wouldn’t it be easier if you could spot ‘spam’ from a mile off and avoiding it like the plague, protect your mental health , time and diginity by not indulging in it?
I think that there is a lot to be learnt about spam and negativity and perhaps it makes you appreciate the smaller, worthwhile things in life. At the risk of coming across more bumbling than I already do, I will stop here.
But one more thing…
Harry Potter fans, did you know that a ‘Dumbledore’ is actually a bumble bee and a ‘Muggle’ is a cannabis user? NO? QI hosted by the lovely Stephen Fry informed me thus, making me wonder what JK Rowling was actually thinking about as she wrote the books!
You can also see more discussions about the etymology here: http://old.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3104&start=0&sid=d278c38dc23d7f2410f87e0d1d7219bc
Watch that riveting episode here :
Simple pleasures folks. Let’s not get too het up about spam!
How do you filter out the spam from your life? Being cautious? Putting on a brave face? Avoiding conflict?