Polite Company

Polite Company

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

To start with, I was going to say I disagreed with the statement that it’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know. I had thought I was quite open about what I believed in. But now I am truly thinking about it, more in depth, I realised that I generally choose not to discuss my choices of politics or religion with my colleagues or anyone really!

I was brought up as a Christian. At a young age I was Christened and it was presumed I would go on to be confirmed. But something just didn’t feel right about it with me. I didn’t understand why people went to a stuffy old building to worship a God. Surely any act, no matter how small, can be classed as worship. Why did I have to prove it by being surrounded by a group of people where I felt I was the odd one out? I was younger than everyone there. My parents tried a number of churches but they were either too somber or too happy clappy. No happy medium! I found the hymns boring and the older language didn’t make sense to me. I slowly but surely backed away from regularly attending church. I just knew if I continued going there that I would be put off religion for life.

When I was at college I joined the Christian Union. I wanted to find out if there were any other like minded people there. Turns out it is basically the nerds club. There were like 5 people there out of a large campus of youths who wanted to declare they were Christian and do something about it. I gradually drifted away from these people too. Again, I just didn’t feel I belonged.

After college I went on an Alpha course which was recommended to me by a family friend. I was really starting to doubt that religion was something I wanted to do but wanted to exhaust all the avenues first. I studied hard during the several month long course and met a wide variety of people. There were group days, lots of prayer sessions, various texts you were suggested to read and topics to really think about. I found i just didn’t feel comfortable with any of this. Praying felt awkward. I have a very inquisitive mind and kept questioning everything. I frequently found myself thinking surely I can just live a morally good life without being religious.

When I let my family know that I was going to live without a religion, instantly there were questions. What did we do to make you do this? Did we raise you incorrectly? I saw it as a freedom not a failure. I looked hard, took in the options and made my own choices. I don’t need some old text to tell me what is right or wrong. On Sunday’s I don’t sit in a church feeling cold and bored. Instead I go for a walk and be with nature. I had never judged anyone else for having chosen Christianity as their religion, it isn’t personally for me but each is welcome to their own opinion, so why was I being branded as a Satanist for choosing to follow my own path. I’m not harming anyone and I’m not telling others that their way of life is incorrect or pushing ideas down other people’s throats.

This is when I learned that you never talk about religion or politics to anyone. They are very personal choices. Disputes and even wars can be started by having the opposing opinion in either. It is better to remain on neutral ground and not bring these things up. My family and In-Laws know where my heart lies now and although they possibly don’t respect it they know that I’m happy and my mind is made up. My colleagues probably don’t know I’m an atheist but maybe now a days it is more commonly accepted or presumed that you have no religion until proven otherwise.

Does this mean that my life is now only tiny because there isn’t an afterlife in my view? That when I’m gone that is it? I think this sums it up pretty nicely. All the particles in me were once star stuff and once I’m gone the atoms will be redistributed and be put to good use. Not gone, just redefined.

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Roy G. Biv

Roy G. Biv

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

Each year, for the last 3 years, Caz and I go to the racing circuit in Oulton Park to watch the British Touring Cars Championship (BTCC).
It is our nearest circuit, apart from Trac Mon in Anglesey of course, to see some big names and high octance action!

Unfortunately last year Caz was unwell and unable to go. So I called the next petrolhead who I knew would really appreciate going to see some fast cars – my Dad!

Here are some pics from the day! eBay are the most colourful team in the paddock featuring a lot of the colours of the rainbow!

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Dad by eBay Motors in the paddock

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Collard pulling into the pits at the end of the race

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Dad and his new ‘friends’!

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L-R – Rob Austin, Colin Turkington, Rob Collard

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Rob Collard after being on the podium

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Some racing action

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Me and my Dad

Karma Chameleon

Karma Chameleon

This just in: let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

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I’ve always been aware that I notice even the very small, perhaps insignificant, details around me.
I clock the colour and shape of the clouds and point them out to Caz, my husband, and he says he probably would never have noticed them otherwise.
My mum might think a safe place for a yet to be written birthday card is behind the ornament on the mantel piece. It turns out that is the first thing I look at and she admits she thought I wouldn’t spot it.

A lot of people go around in life glued to their phones or otherwise not taking in their surroundings. Me? I’m looking everywhere, taking everything in. I see a pretty flower a little distance from the path and avoid stepping on a small insect while making my way over. I hear the buzz of the express-way in the background but also pick up on the bird singing in the tree.
Like at this moment my husband is making dinner so I can hear the tap running, a bird singing outside, the creak of my leather sofa, the heat coming through the glass of the window, the coldness of the leather sofa against my legs, looking outside as I’m expecting someone to visit shortly and in doing so I spot a seagull flying really high in the sky that is so high up it is barely a speck.

I often wonder if it would be better for me to be able to switch off whatever part of me that picks up all the minute details. Would I be more intelligent, filling my mind with facts, maths, formulas and such? Instead there are lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in decades. The funny shaped cloud I saw yesterday. The little weeds that grow in the cracks of the pavement. The little critters large and small that pass me during my day.
But isn’t it wonderful that I seemingly never miss a thing. A fly that falls in my drink gets instantly fished out. A bee that haphazardly flies into a spiders web gets gently extracted from the trap and given the taste of freedom once again.

In the past at college I took up a years course in holistic therapies. There I learnt about massage, aromatherapy, Indian head massage and reflexology. I had a tough early start in life with having thwarted cancer twice at a young age and have always felt a sense that I wanted to return some goodness back into the world. To help people or animals in any way I could.
I keeping thinking back to one of my hopes in life which is to volunteer my spare time at an animal rescue centre. My only downfall would I may end up filling my house with all the cute animals wanting a fresh start in life, a warm place to sleep and a little love in return.

I would hope I have nothing to worry about with karma. There is a caring part to my personality. I’ve been through a lot in my years and can offer a good and experienced ear to others despite my age. As a lot of people though, there will be the occasional thought that flitters through my mind of how annoying I believe some people are.
Why are they chewing so loudly.
Couldn’t he have held the door open seeming I’m walking so close behind.
It wouldn’t have hurt her to thank me for letting her in at that junction.
But I think that it is very natural to feel put out by others now and then, especially if you have high standards you set even for yourself!
It might be nice to think that somewhere in these annoying people’s day that maybe they could knock over their drink or just stumble a little over an uneven paving slab.
Karma restored!

Powerful Suggestion

Powerful Suggestion

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

Don’t worry about the past. It has already been written and the time machine hasn’t yet been invented so you can’t go back and change it.

Try not to worry about the future. Maybe your wildest dreams will come true. You never know or can predict what is just around the corner. Isn’t that exciting?!

Do the things that make you smile. Usually these are the little things. Joking around with your friends and being a little childish. You will come to realise it is the little moments that make life big.

Wear clothing that is comfortable or that makes you feel great. It doesn’t matter if it clashes or that it is just from a high street store. If you like it, then that is all that matter.

Spend time with the people you love. That can be family or friends. Sometimes your true family aren’t blood relations. They are just the people that light up your life and make it worth living.

If there are people in your life who suck the joy out of your day, spend less time with them or remove them from your inner circle. Don’t let them have a control over you.

Don’t change who your are or put your life on hold for others. If people can’t accept you for who you are and what you want to do, then that is their problem.

Learn to say no more. If you are already swamped with tasks, or have your own chores to be getting on with, then feel able to say no. You will only burn yourself out.

Learn to say yes more. If you are nervous about going to that drink with workmates just say yes. You will find they are actually fun people and you will enjoy yourself.

Just remember, this is your life and you get to live it the way you want to. Be kind, be grateful and have fun while you make mistakes and gain experiences. Sometimes things go well and other times it will go so badly that you can’t see the light. Keep your chin up and know that it is all worth it in the end. Difficult sometimes but worth it.

Escape at lunch

Everything seems to be getting the better of me today. I was sat at my desk in work feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

I decided to grab my sandwich and go for a walk during my lunch break. If I had just stayed in I would have festered in all the emotions I was experiencing. Better to try and do something to help myself than to let it consume me.
I’m so lucky that I am in such a beautiful area and that these are so close to my workplace!

The light shimmering on the estuary near Conwy was really lovely.
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Spring is definitely in bloom now.image

Conwy Castle and Conwy bridge in the distance.image

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Conwy Castle.image

The meandering pathway through the trees I took.image

Hello…

Hmm…  I’m not sure where to begin.
Perhaps ‘hello’ is as good a place as any to start.

Hello – I’m Nikki Massey.

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Here I am! I’m sat outside my home in Llanfairfechan in this picture. My husband was trying to get the right brightness balance on the camera and setting up the timer function so we could get a picture together. He was making me laugh as usual!

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That’s my husband, Caz! He is truly my soulmate and best friend!
We met way back in college when we were both 16 and got married in 2010.
We have been through so much together and he really is my rock and the one who keeps me (slightly) sane.

In 2008 we bought our first house together! It is only a 2-bed bungalow but it is home.
Then in 2010 I became Mrs Massey! We got married in a magical country manor called Plas Maenan. It was a truly special day!

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Then unfortunately less than a year later I had to have a kidney transplant.
I survived kidney cancer as a baby and had to have my right kidney removed. After going through school, getting good grades at GCSEs and graduating from college I knew that my energy was starting to feel more and more depleted and the time for an intervention was getting closer.
Luckily, I avoided dialysis (a machine that rids your body of toxins in place of your failed kidney) as I had a living donor lined up. My Dad was going to donate his kidney to me.
On the 2nd of March 2011 I had a kidney transplant.

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My Dad is as healthy as can be now and my recovery has gone well too!
Since then Caz and I have since been embarking on a big project – we have decided to build our own house!
It has been a long and, at times, stressful process… We purchased plot of land that is 0.25 of an acre in a lovely rural location that is still close enough to all the amenities we need and love!

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We went to an architect to draw up a design and this was submitted to the planning department. After a lot of back and forth the location, design and house were accepted! Many more moons passed before we were in possession of the building regulations and off we went to pick a contractor to carry out our dream project.
To not bore you I will talk about my house project in a separate post!

Life has its ups and downs. It isn’t all plain sailing. There are swings and roundabouts at every point.
I have my health problems but I also try and make the most of life and create as many happy memories as I can. It can be difficult to not just focus on the negatives in life seeming there are daily reminders with the pills I take and the hospital visits as well as blood tests. But I do my best. I do live with mild depression and occasionally suffer from panic attacks. Caz helps me out so much – he keeps me smiling!

The aim of my blog will be to talk about my life. It will detail the little things that bring me joy. The ways I pick myself up and cope when times are tough. How I live a ‘normal’ life with a kidney transplant. Raising awareness for organ donation as well as removing the stigmas associated with mental issues, no matter how minor. This is my form of therapy, getting everything out of my head and on to paper. If my journey to happy and healthier times interests and helps you too then that’s an added bonus!

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