Caring less and the Cup.

Why ‘My cup runneth over’ may be a bad thing…


A friend of mine has suffered from a number of mental health issues for a long time.

The problems would vary over time and their severity would alter too, often resulting in him having several months off work and intensive therapy.

I would often speak with him and try to help as best I could, most of us in our team tried to help him.

It’s the nature of our job that it can get very stressful and this takes its toll over time, grinding you down, but it’s how you manage this stress that is important.

We would deal with jobs in which there had been terrible neglect or abuse. It’s always hard dealing with incidents like this but it was certainly harder when I involved children.

One thing I noticed was how children just got on with life, often living in terrible conditions. It was as if they didn’t know any better so just got on with it.

Sometimes, you walk through life, through town maybe, and you are witness to people breaking down. An elderly person accidentally gets knocked over in a busy shop, someone loses their bag with everything in it, something quite mild and they appear to go into shock, unable to handle the circumstances. Before doing this job, I would look at them and wonder why something so seemingly tame could have such an impact on someone.

It was only over time, through experience, that I thought about why this could be. How could kids take so much abuse and fight on yet other be floored by something so innocuous. Speaking with my mate, I had my idea and floated it to him.

It’s cumulative. Each person has a lifetime capacity for bad experience and the older you get the more likely this capacity is being reduced.

I likened it to everyone having a cup, a container of some kind. Over the course of your life, your negative experiences add to this and positive ones reduce it. You may, at some point experience serious trauma which not only add greatly to the level but permanently affects the capacity of this container as if it was damaged or broken. 

Ultimately, at any one point, your cup has a maximum capacity and once you reach that level you are in the danger zone. You are at the limit.

This is the only thing I could think of  when explaining it to my friend. To explain why I thought it could be that sometimes the smallest thing would tip him over the edge – the straw that broke the camels back.

None of this is new thinking, I am not a doctor or shrink.

I tried to think how I deal with my stress and how I stop things affecting me so deeply it could make me ill.

Managing stress is vital and it seems, these days, needs to be taken more seriously. 

You can drink or overeat but, long term, these will start to impact on you negatively too. I do drink but rarely to excess and I probably eat too much but I also run, a lot, outside. It’s good exercise and helps manage stress though the release of endorphins (apparently) but it also gives me time to think through things in my head, to work things out. Being outside is usually a positive thing. 

The other thing I would push my friend to do was to care less. About as much as possible. So people worry about everything and this can be a massive impact factor too so care less about t things. I am not advocating not caring – that goes against what I believe but there has to be limit.

I would generally say to worry about that something that actually affects you or that you can have an actual affect on – I’m not talking about a protest tweet, actually doing something, getting involved.

You are going to take hits in your life, some bigger than others so unnecessarily worrying about things you have little to no control over will only impact you in a bad way. If someone is talking about you behind your back either tackle them about it or move on, don’t let it fester – things like that will eat you up.

So, care less.

You might just live a longer, happier life.

George the Collie and the missing of naivety.

Missing the quieter times of ignorance…

Do you remember when you younger and things were, or at least felt, easier. I miss that. 

I had a discussion recently with a colleague where I made reference to the ‘dust’ on a moths wings as ‘moon dust’ and was promptly mocked. I found this a little hurtful but I’m pretty thick skinned and moved on 😊.

It got me thinking though, which is probably never a good thing.

I know, and have always known, that the moth wing dust is not actually moon dust but that was what I was told it was called as a kid.

Biscuits are called biscuits and chips are called chips, it doesn’t matter. A deep fried potato piece or triple choc baked item by another name would still taste as good.

I’m getting off track. 

I miss the naivety of when you took things on face value.

We are absolutely aswash with information, criticism and judgement. 

I miss the quieter times. I miss not having all information. I miss ignorance and trust.

George the Collie and the #DogBlog

Keep on posting, keep on writing and keeping the faith.

Over the years, I’ve had a dabble at writing a blog a couple of times but never really got it to stick. It might be motivation that was the issue but the whole ‘dog’ thing is a nice hobby, a good distraction from the downsides of general life.

Third time lucky maybe as I am managing to publish posts with some regularity. 

I know most of it is dog related and this probably helps with the posts as George is a fairly regular source of inspiration for content.

I do a lot of posting on social media and that does alright for contacts and it’s nice having that interaction with so many people. It would be nice to have that level of contact via this blog too.

I know that, for some people, this is their job, their life and they have made a business out of it – I certainly don’t have time for that – but that is not this blog. You see some people tailor their content to suit the current issues of the day and, again, that’s not this blog. 

There will be some ‘current’ stuff being posted but, mainly, its dog related and maybe that’s why blogging is so punishing to the writer. A post on social media can garner a lot of attention and validation for the poster but, on this platform, that’s not how it works.

I am still finding my feet. 

This is sometimes me just emptying my head in the guise of a pooch and now and again I’ll get some feedback which I really appreciate.

It’s just odd sometimes. 

A friend of mine joined Twitter some years back. They were on Facebook and, for some reason, presumed it worked the same. They started following a few friends and celebrities and made a few posts but then complained that he wasn’t getting any interactions with anyone.

His posts were like ‘Wow, big night. BIG head this morning’. Harmless enough but he had no #hashtags and , most importantly, no followers. I explained to him this was the equivalent of sitting at home alone talking to the TV 📺 but I don’t think he understood. 

But, writing these posts, I can help but think if I am doing something similar – almost. As I said, it’s nice getting comments and chatting with viewers but it can be disheartening. 

I will carry on though. If anything, it’s cathartic – almost confessional at times – and good to get things out of my head rather than have them fester.

So, to those that do view my posts, to those that take time to comment and give me feedback, I thank you. 👍🏻

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.4

The importance of meeting…..

It’s important for a dog to have new experiences but chief among them is meeting new people and animals.

George starts his puppy course in 3 weeks so I am trying to have him me as many other folks and pets as possible.

When we first had George, he was nervous of most things and would react defensively to dog, cats and people.

We have walked him a lot, meeting as many folk as we can and encouraging him that all was okay. Taking him into new situations has improved his acceptance of new things and he now actively seeks out new meets.

By having him do this he no longer has any problems with other dogs either, and cats (he is friends with a local Burmese, Bob).

This all bodes well for his course and hopefully he will be less distracted by other dogs and therefore able to focus better.

George the Collie Vs Food Construction 

Food needs a solid foundation….

I don’t eat much restaurant food, I’m more of a kibble kind of guy but I have observed a few odd things.

Food. Some of it ‘looks’ great but watching it being eaten shows it’s far from being great.

Watching a burger 🍔 in a brioche bun disintegrate as it is being eaten doesn’t look like much fun or value for money.

Building food 🥘 should be like building house. Solid foundations. A good soup needs a good base.

You would not build the Empire State Building out of wood and you would not accept a poorly constructed property collapsing around you.

Keep it simple Chef!

A short, behind the scenes interview with a young Border Collie dog about his preference in toys.

Just a short interview with a dog.

George the Collie Vs Dogs in Advertising.

As much as George wants to eat it all, don’t believe the hype.

I’ve noticed recently (I’m only 5 1/2 months) that there is a lot of advertising for dog food.

LOTS of advertising. Nearly as much for pet food as there is for human food.

It’s not that I don’t get to see much of THAT food, it’s the animals in them. It’s like the Border Collie mafia have control of advertising.

I know we are easily trained and have expressive faces but we are everywhere .

Now, Collies are beautiful and there are lots of us so using this breed may give you a good market share but the side track, the sub story to these adverts is the hook.

Farm dog, inferred farm produce = ‘Got to be better’ 

The same as human food. Stick it in a box marked ‘farm’ somewhere and people hoover it up even though it’s probably never been rural since it was slaughtered. I’M more farm than that and left my farm at 10 weeks old!

I just think that, like with human food, people are getting mugged off with an idea that something is more natural than it actually is.

I am not saying don’t buy it, just don’t believe the hype. 👊🏻