Tag Archives: gift

Stuck For Words: Supporting A Grieving Friend

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The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things we go through as human beings. You can’t fathom the depth of pain and sadness without experiencing it firsthand. It’s also difficult watching a friend go through a bereavement. It’s natural to feel helpless and to worry about saying the wrong thing. You can’t bring their loved one back, but you can help them through the pain.

Stay In Touch

The important thing is to stay in touch. You may not know what to say, but don’t let that stop you from being present. Your friend is likely to feel hurt if you avoid her. Be honest and explain that you have no words. Tell her that you’re so sorry and that you’re there for her in any way she needs. Take a little token of your friendship, such as flowers or chocolate. This is not to make things better. It’s to show you care.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Tears

Your friend may cry, and that may be painful to watch. But tears are important. They are a way of releasing the painful feelings. Don’t run away and don’t try to make her stop. There are few greater acts of friendship than holding someone else’s pain.

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Practical Things

When someone dies, there are lots of practical things that need to be done. People need to be notified, and funeral preparations need to be made. Often this is overwhelming. Find out if there’s anything you can do to help. It may be little things like making phone calls. Or your friend may need help with sympathy and funeral flowers.

Sometimes asking what the person needs isn’t helpful. They may be inundated with offers and not know what to say. Therefore, suggesting ways in which you could help is an option. Food is always a good place to start. Even at the most difficult times we still need to eat. People will be visiting, and food may need to be provided. Preparing some meals is likely to be welcome.

Avoid Cliches

In difficult situations, it’s easy to reach for cliches. However, where grief is concerned, they are not always well received. If you have just lost someone you care about deeply, you don’t want to hear that they are in a better place. Or, that God only sends you things you can deal with. This is likely to provoke sadness and even anger. Keep it simple. Be honest and truthful. It’s better to acknowledge you don’t know what to say, rather than reaching for a cliche.

Don’t Tell Them What To Do

Everyone grieves differently. There is no right or wrong way of navigating bereavement. Everyone must find their own process. So don’t tell your friend she’s doing it wrong. Don’t tell her the ‘right way’ to do it. Let her experience this for herself and steer her own course.

Like grieving, there’s no right or wrong way to be there for someone. First and foremost, show up. Be honest if you don’t know what to say. Try to be helpful. And then take your cue from your friend. Listen to her and be there, in whatever way she needs you to be.

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8 things to strengthen one’s relationship

Given the last 13 years of somewhat unsuccessful relationship “experience”, I have tried to gather and combine a list of things or tips, which I think would make or help in having a satisfying and working long term relationship.

  1. Honesty; Possibly the most important thing of all. Always be honest and truthful to each other, on all things in your life, be it as a couple or individual. Honesty helps you feel more comfortable and assured on where you stand in your love affair.
  2. Be respectful – Mutual respect is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. The wishes and feelings of each other are valuable even when you disagree. Be genuine and show interest in your partner’s life and hobbies – such things can only bring you closer as a couple.
  3. Trust – This is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling relationship. It take time to build trust and can be lost in a split of a second if one feels betrayed. Examples of being trustworthy are: being reliable and following up on your promises, share what you feel and always say the truth, be a safe place for your partner, be consistent (not only when it is convenient or things are going well).
  4. Be considerate – Keep each other in the loop, ask for holdinghandssunseteach other’s advise in decision making, especially when this will affect your life together as a couple.
  5. Affection – don’t just say that you love your partner; demonstrate it. Kiss each other good morning, be passionate, hold hands in public, take pictures together – make memories… surprise each other with a romantic date or a gift.
  6. Know your Priorities – Although we all lead busy lives, we should always find time for our partners. If you don’t see this as important, perhaps you should spend some time to think about this and why you are hanging onto a relationship which you don’t feel devoted to. If we all invest as much time on our relationship as we do texting, playing games, on social media and watching TV  or films, we might actually have a meaningful relationship.
  7. Security – Show that your partner can count on you to be there in times of need; be it emotionally or physically.
  8. Be a team  – You are stronger together, as a team. Make plans, ensure you have shared goals and same purposes and views long term. Work together.

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Post-college Travel: How Can You Afford It?

Post-college graduation is an excellent time for you to start traveling. You have a great education and the means to make some money. You might not set off on your travels right away, but maybe you’re desperate to start making some trips. The only problem is, you might not be making too much money after college. Plus, many people have mountains of debt they have to overcome. So if you want to travel after college, how can you afford it? Fortunately, you have lots of options to make travel affordable. Try some of these techniques to ensure you can see the world.

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Deal with Your Student Debt

When you first leave college, one of your greatest concerns is probably your student debt. It’s hanging over your head, and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But there’s a lot of it, and you have other expenses to take care of too. How can you travel when you have so much money to repay? The first thing you should do is look into Obama student loan forgiveness. You might be able to have some or all of your debt removed so you no longer have to repay. The next thing to do is consider consolidating your loans or managing them in another way. Create a budget to ensure you’re making timely payment.

Lock Down a Job First

Going traveling straight after graduation sounds great. However, you’re unlikely to have much money. Maybe your parents will be kind enough to loan or gift you some. But once it’s run out, that’s it. Before you set off on your travels, it’s a good idea to find your first post-college job. Here’s the crucial part: you need one with good vacation time. Of course, that shouldn’t be your only criterion. But a steady income coupled with flexible vacation time will allow you to travel more.

Travel Frugally

Traveling doesn’t have to mean 5-star hotel and first class flights. You can see so much more if you’re willing to budget your travels properly. You can save by staying in hostels or even camping. You can find cheap places to eat or perhaps avoid eating out altogether. If you stay in a hostel or maybe a homestay, you can cook for yourself. Book your trips at the right times to get the best deals. Go to the right destinations too, where you can get more for your money.

Combine Work and Travel

Here’s another idea: work as you travel. You can look for work programs in various countries that allow you to experience a new country and earn money. You could work as an au pair or in hospitality. There’s seasonal work and other opportunities. You could also consider volunteering or combining travel with studying. You can get experience in the workforce while also gaining life experience. You might even learn a new language.

Traveling after college is achievable if you go about it in the right way. Consider your dreams carefully to plan them successfully.

Christmas Time… ♫

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“Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see” ♫

 

Yes, it is Christmas time… and yes I do tend to indulge on some extra ̶w̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶  mulled wine at this time of the year… Unfortunately no mistletoe here, as I won’t be spending my Christmas with a special someone; but rather with my family and friends… which is still good none the less.

The plan is to go out at around 10PM for a few drinks and chatter on Christmas Eve  and then off with my mates for the early Christmas Breakfast. For those not in the know, it usually is a continental and English breakfast buffet and this is quite a popular way to start off Christmas day in Malta. Afterwards, it is resting time and then at noon I’m off to lunch with the family. Luckily this time round we are not going to cook ourselves, which means that I will have enough time (!) to charge my batteries after the night out.

Once that is over, I am hoping to make mulled wine and teas at home, and soon after all the family opens gifts from each other. Usually this is quite fun as we leave the presents as a surprise so we have no clue on what we are getting, unless the gift wrapping shape is too obvious, such as when the gift is a bottle of alcohol.

How will you spend Christmas this year?

Wishing all my readers a lovely Christmas with lots of smiles, hugs and beautiful experiences. May you get all you wish for… and more! X