January’s NaBloPoMo challenge has finally come to an end and today’s, final, prompt is:
Did you feel a lot of pressure with January’s NaBloPoMo?
Yes, I felt pressure. It was more the pressure I put on myself though. Having set myself the challenge of completing NaBloPoMo in November as one of my 101 in 1001 challenge tasks, and failing by a couple of days/posts, I decided that I would try again in January with the thought that if I didn’t succeed then I’d try again in March, April, May… until I succeeded or until I reached my September deadline.
One thing I do like about the daily challenge of NaBloPoMo is that they set the prompts at the end of the previous month and you only have prompts for the weekdays, you can choose what you write about on the weekend. Having the prompts in advance has been a Godsend for me as I have been able to write 3 or 4 posts on a Monday and Thursday (my days for working at home) and schedule them for the rest of the week.
I won’t be taking part in NaBloPoMo in February but may use some of the prompts if I get stuck for ideas. If you’d like to take part in NaBloPoMo in February, the theme is Perspective and the prompts are on BlogHer’s website. You can get a copy of the badge too.
After a very busy blogging month, I’m going to cut back a bit in February especially with the Man being home and the Boy being on half term in a couple of weeks. We’re going to enjoy some family time.
If you could persuade people to do one thing right now, what would it be?
Lydia at Literarylydi wrote about her first experience of donating blood earlier this year and I have also written about the subject for World Blood Donor Day.
My stepdaughter would not be here if not for those who are brave and generous enough to give up their time and blood on a regular basis. I have been a blood donor since I was 19 and have tried to give regularly over the past 23 years. Obviously, I had to have a break when I was pregnant and until my son was a year old. After that, I took him with me and tried to donate at least once a year.
Last year, I got my silver award for 25 donations. I know, it took a while but I travelled to Africa a few times and couldn’t donate for 6 months or something after returning. You also weren’t allowed to donate as frequently as you can now when I started donating. I have been a regular donor, at least 3 times a year, for the past 4 or 5 years so my next award shouldn’t take as long to reach.
How many of us would consent to receiving blood if it would save our lives or the lives of our loved ones? Don’t you think you should give in order to receive? I know that some people are not allowed to donate due to illness, lifestyle, working overseas etc but if the only reason not to donate is because you are scared, please go and try. The Donor Carers at the donor sessions are amazing and will put you at ease. They won’t push you to donate if you don’t feel ready and they will explain everything to you.
Oh, don’t tell anyone, one of the main reasons I go to give blood is for the chocolate biscuit I get when I’m done 🙂
Are you good at influencing other people?
Yes, I can but only if I know that what I am trying to persuade people to do is the right thing or a good idea. If I’m not sure, I’ll put forward my idea as a question rather than a statement.
Which of your responsibilities stress you out the most?
Does responsibility have to result in stress? I’m not sure it does. Don’t get me wrong, I get stressed and feel under pressure most of the time but I’m not sure any one of my responsibilities cause me any more stress than any of the others.
I have a lot of responsibilities:
To my son and my husband
To my employer and the volunteers and children I work with on a daily basis
To my clients
To myself – I need to look after me so that I can meet the demands of looking after everyone else
I try to avoid getting too stressed by being organised and managing my time effectively.
I can’t believe that I’ve made it to the final 5 days of January’s NaBloPoMo.
What puts more pressure on you: time constraints or achieving perfection?
Definitely time constraints, and procrastination. There is no such thing as perfection. You can always do better and there is always room for improvement. Take my husband, for example, he has been a driver trainer for 30 years and has the highest level of driving qualifications he can get in the UK without being a traffic police officer and yet he is still striving to improve his driving and his teaching/coaching methods. He is constantly studying and adding new qualifications to his, already impressive, portfolio. Last year, he was recalling a defensive driving course he was presenting and said that he went and sat down and asked one of the participants to take the session. Why? Well, at the beginning of each class my husband asks everyone to give their driving a score out of 10. Now most people will say 6 or 7, maybe 8, but this person said that his driving was a 10. So my husband said that if the participant’s driving was a 10 then he was better than my husband so he should take the class as my husband admits that his driving isn’t a perfect 10/10 even though on his driving tests (RoSPA and Cardington, an advanced test for driving instructors) he had to drive for, I think 1 hour (or more) and have less than 3 driving faults to get the highest grade.
… and I didn’t tell him until we’d finished the parkrun.
Does that make me a horrible mother? I mean, he didn’t notice that we were running for an extra 30 seconds and I did slow the pace down so that we were running an average of 7:08/km. The last time we ran, 2 weeks ago, the average pace was 7:04/km and that was with a 2:30 run : 1:00 walk. I told him afterwards that he’d been running for 3 minutes and he was very happy with himself, especially since he’d been able to continue talking about Disney and our upcoming trip all the way round.
I’ve told him that next week we’ll be increasing the pace but keeping the intervals the same.
Does pressure ever make you want to rebel and do the exact opposite of what is being asked of you?
Sure it does. I can’t think of anything right now, I’m too tired and have had a long day. I really didn’t want to post today but I’ve set myself the challenge/goal of completing a post for every NaBloPoMo prompt this month on the day that it is set. As there is only a week to go I didn’t want to fail now.
I have, however, let the Zero to Hero prompts/challenges slide for the past couple of days as I have been so busy. I hope to catch up on Sunday/Monday when I’m not at work. Another busy day at work tomorrow. Roll on Sunday.
Do you think it’s possible to control your temper when facing enormous pressure?
The quick, short answer is “yes”. I can control my temper when facing enormous pressure.
The longer answer? Whether or not I lose my temper depends a lot on where I am, who I’m with, what the situation is… Much as I would like to shout and scream at tele-sales people who phone me and start their sales script as soon as I confirm I am who they think they are calling, without asking if it is a good time to talk to me, I usually keep calm. If they won’t listen to me when I say I’m not interested I just hang up. Then shout and scream and swear. If I am at work or in a public place, I’ll walk away from a situation before I lose my temper and come back when I’ve calmed down.
Do you have a bad temper? How often do you lose your temper?
Sure, I have a bad temper. Who doesn’t? You can’t be all sweetness and light all the time.
It used to take a lot to get me riled up. Now? I have quite a short fuse for some things and a really long one for others. If I blow up quickly, I’ll cool down quickly too. If I’ve been simmering for a while, once I blow you’d better stay out of my way.
One thing that really bugs me and can make me lose my temper is phone calls from call centres. Especially when the person calling from the call centre doesn’t actually listen to what I say and are determined to carry on with their script. If I say I’m not interested in saving money, then I’m not interested in saving money. Well, not with your product or help anyway.
One occasion which really wound me up was when I had a phone call from a SEO, marketing company, wanting to sell me a 1 page website to link to my current website to get more customers. I explained that I don’t want any more customers as I work part-time and my business is merely an add-on and I don’t actively promote it, by choice.
The caller then asked if I wouldn’t like to get more customers so I could leave my employment. No, I would not like more customers. I really my job and don’t want to leave it.
We can get you more enquiries, he says. Did you not listen to what I said?
Being a very determined salesman he says something else to try to persuade me to buy the 1 page website to get more business.
Finally, I say, very strongly, that I really don’t have time for this phone call and I’m not actually at the office or at home. To which he replies, and I quote, “Don’t get your knickers in a twist!” What? My knickers aren’t in a twist, you’re just not listening to me because you have some target or other to reach and won’t take my reasonable explanation for an answer!
I’m afraid I also lose my temper with my son sometimes too. There is only so long that I can listen to the same question/topic over and over again, especially when my son communicates using as few words as possible, he’s very lazy about using full sentences. It’s usually one or two words and … fill in the blank and guess what he’s talking about. I can keep my patience, and temper, most of the time but not if I’m driving and trying to concentrate on the traffic rather than him. It’s usually a short “What am I doing? What is out there?” The Boy is very good though once the obvious has been pointed out. He’ll be quiet until I feel comfortable holding a conversation again.
Do you feel pressure to be perfect? How much of it is tied to what you see online?
Perfect? Me? Don’t be daft! I’m not perfect. I never have been and never will be. Actually, scratch that. Of course I’m perfect! I’m the perfect me. I’m the only one so therefore I must be perfect. Perfectly unique!
To answer the question though, no I don’t feel pressure to be perfect. What is perfect?
The perfect body? What’s that? A size 0? No thanks! I’d quite like to be a size 12 though, and I’m getting there, but I don’t feel pressure to get there.
The perfect mum? What’s that? If it is a mum who does everything: cooking, cleaning, washing, baking with the kids, reading, playing… That’s not me either. I keep the house clean. I cook most of our meals from scratch – a conscious decision when my son was small to try to exclude most additives from his diet, he (and we) had enough to contend with without adding the possible side effects of additives. I used to read to my son but that left the bedtime routine a long time ago. I’ll sometimes help my son with cooking/baking, if he wants to make something – it’s an important life skill.