Little things make tough times bearable

The title of this blog post comes from a novel I read a while ago. I don’t remember what book it was. It had a lot of other wonderful life lessons and quotes mentioned in it, though they didn’t form the body of the novel. Another quote mentioned in the novel was this famous one by Lao Tzu:

The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.

That was how it was quoted, though direct translations and other versions of the quote exist, with slight variations. The novel didn’t credit Lao Tzu, but the plot had a very Asian background. I’m a little disappointed I cannot remember the title of the novel, nor the author. I read it in high school, which would have been at least six years ago. I did keep a list of books I’d read in my school diary, but I have since thrown my school diaries away. I know I’ll know the book when I see it, or when I happen to read it or pick it up again. I can’t even find it by searching the internet. Chances are Lilian will remember because I think she keeps most of her reading lists. We read a lot of the same books and our goal was to read the whole school library (fiction books anyway) by the time we graduated.

I think we only got to about 65% of the books. Still, it was a bloody solid effort since we both read books from our local libraries, and there were always new books coming in.

Oh! In the middle of writing this post I have just found the book. Yes! The title is Spilled Water by Sally Grindley. Gorgeous book, I recommend it because it’s a quick read and it’s not about anything specific like aliens, boys, spies or murders.

The quote little things make tough times bearable is one that I have reflected upon in the past, but now it hits me again. It’s been tough recently, what with work, deadlines, and university, even though this week has improved. I thought I had run away from university for two months but now I don’t think that’s the case — I have a group meeting tomorrow with the people who will be in my (small) class when semester starts in late July. We’ll all be working on a project together. It’s a bit daunting, but I’m thankful that I already know two people in my class and the rest of them have been rather proactive on our little collaboration space on Basecamp. We’re expected to start planning and get some ideas together before we actually start classes.

Can’t run away now, I guess.

Here is my list of things this week that have put a little smile on my face, made me fist-pump with glee, or just let my heart settle down.

Compliments, being acknowledged, and congratulated.

Cal said he liked my new jumper. It isn’t really a jumper — it’s a nice green batwing-style knit. It stands out since it’s virtually neon. I love it!

The same day, a random bloke in the street stopped me and said I was very pretty. He asked me out on a date, to which I responded that I already had a boyfriend (uh huh, right!). The encounter annoyed me a bit because I was listening to Daft Punk’s new album and I literally had to stop powerwalking (I had two assignments to hand in and I was late to work) and take out my earphones. ie. stop listening to Daft Punk. (Who does that?!)

Additionally, it’s always uplifting when James tells me I look nice. ♥️

Also, people recognising what I do is just lovely. I’ve been tutoring my high school friend Anika in web design and I was flattered that she said she liked how my blog looked, even though I hadn’t directly linked her to it. :) At A Music Blog, Yea?, Alicia recently interviewed Greta Mob, a Sydney band I haven’t heard of, and was contacted by one of their members to review and photograph at one of their upcoming gigs.

It hasn’t been just this week, but recently I’ve had bands thank me for taking photographs or writing good reviews of their music. It’s lovely seeing that they share some of my work with fellow fans too.

On top of that, it’s great when my friends support what I do, and recently Daniel has been a great source of support for the small improvements I’ve been making to my blog. Which brings me to…

Going crazy over schemas, microdata, metadata, and optimising for Internet Explorer 7.

That’s why I mentioned going crazy — I’m beginning to become more tolerant of browser support for extremely old browsers, because it’s something we have to pick up on at work for a lot of government websites. My blog was falling apart in older versions of Internet Explorer (by old I mean older than version 9!) and I fixed that up today. It made me dorkishly proud.

Not to mention I’ve been implementing schemas and marking up my code with appropriate structured data, which gives it glorious results with Google’s structured data testing tool. I can’t get the author/publisher stuff sorted yet because I dislike Google and refuse to get a Google+ profile again (for now), but on par with “OFFICIAL PAGE” appended to the end of my name or a silly blue verified tick on Twitter — it’s not necessary. I know I’m the author of my blog. /bounce

The new refrigerator.

Our fridge died. Something was up with the temperature and things basically didn’t work. I think we noticed when the meat in our freezer was going off. My parents dropped off some of our frozen goods at my mum’s cousin’s place. Our new fridge arrived yesterday night. It was supposed to arrive some time during the afternoon, but we were notified that the fridge that was delivered had a lot of dents in it, so the deliverers had to get a new one.

Our old fridge was taken. We have lived in this house for eighteen years, and it was left for us by the old owners. It was a hilarious task emptying the fridge of all the food we had inside, but a fun task cleaning it up and playing tetris with our new fridge. There are so many more compartments and it looks like there is a lot more room inside.

Temporary tattoos.

I got a pack of temporary tattoos in a showbag when I went to Village Fest with Kim. I came across them today and I got bored so I slapped one on my wrist and one on my ankle. For a while I thought about getting a tattoo, but I couldn’t make up my mind what to get, and I don’t think I could stand anything as permanent as a tattoo. Plus, temporary tattoos are fun.

Heart tattoo
Heart tattoo
Pack of tattoos cut up
Pack of tattoos cut up

Sleeping for nearly 12 hours.

I have not slept for 12 hours in so, so long. In fact, it’s probably been at least eighteen months since that happened last. I woke up in the morning today, only to sleep again. It felt so liberating.

Detonating my Tumblr account.

This was also liberating. That is all.

Seeing something named after you.

Tempted to buy this Georgie Clutch just because it’s named after me.

Vegetarian rice paper rolls.

I don’t usually take a liking to Vietnamese food, and I don’t eat pho anymore because I don’t eat land animal meat. :( However, between the occasional seafood soup and rice cake, rice paper rolls are zë bezt.

Not going to three gigs in a row.

Yeah, I said not going to gigs! There were gigs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and I wanted to go to all of them. I think my mind got the better of me and told me to take what I needed: a great big rest. Sure, I went to a gig last week, and for the past two months I haven’t been to very many, but over time, all the gigs have really added up. I’ve been to sixty in total, which is a lot for some people, and what? only sixty?! for some, but if you think about my first gig being only a couple of years ago, along with having to work and study, it’s a bit nuts.

I’m a bit bummed that I missed seeing Goldsmith, Tin Sparrow, Pear Shape, Castlecomer, OXBLVD and Go Violets again. That’s a ton of bands playing across three nights. But I guess it was for the best, and I’ll totally see them another time.

Having things to look forward to.

Having lunch with James tomorrow. Hey Geronimo playing (for free!) this week. Meeting Thea. Meeting my long-time online friend Zack, who I’ve known since he read my blog way back in high school. Syncing all this glorious new music to my iPhone.

And overall…

Just knowing that everything is going to be just fine.

Cue this ridiculously catchy remix of Barry Manilow. /bounce (Thanks Andrew!)

Comments on this post

You’re right. These sweet little things keep our sanity at desperate times. Glad you have enough of them. ♥

Dude, that is reading a lot of books! Props to both of you for managing all of that! :D It looks like many of your troubles will end soon, and the little nice things are always very appreciated in life.

Out of curiosity, does a large chunk of your following use IE? I noticed that since I probably have zero visitors who use IE, I just don’t bother trying to make things work on it.

Hmm now that you mention it, you do have a point. I don’t think a lot of my visitors use Internet Explorer though I think it is just out of habit that I decide to make my website/s viewable in IE. XD

Georgie! I absolutely loved reading this list of small gifts sprinkled throughout your week. It’s a lovely sense of maturing, isn’t it, when we can actually notice small gifts in life? When did we start growing up? :P

What’s it like going to gigs? Are these bands well-known or local artists? How do you find out about them? Are they expensive? Crowded? Who do you go with? Lol sorry for all the questions! I’m really quite interested, because I am one who has only been to one concert in my entire life!

I hope all your days are found to have small gifts to encourage and uplift you when daily aspirations run bleak! <3

I don’t mind answering questions! Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I don’t usually go to concerts with others, since not many of my friends are keen on live music (it is usually late at night, or too noisy, or they don’t like the environment, which is usually a bar). I sometimes go with my friend Dylan but he joins me for a good night out rather than the music, as he often does not listen to the same music that I listen to.

I like some international artists but most of the bands I see are usually local — so, from in and around Australia. That said, they tend to be pretty cheap and under $25. It costs more to see bands at theatres and entertainment centres rather than bars. That can be popular Australian bands, or international artists. And those generally tend to be more crowded. The ones I enjoy are at bars, and are usually pretty chill.

It sounds like you have some fun things to look forward to! As for the quote, I agree that it is the little things that keep us going. A simple compliment like you received, or just someone doing something nice for you is what helps us to get through the day, and gives us something nice to reflect on when we’re having a tough one.