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To understand all is to forgive all. Sunday July 13, 2014

For the last ten days or so there has been the most annoying sound just outside my back door; a "Weeeep, Weeeep, Weeeep, Chirrrrp, Weeeep" sound. It was obviously a bird of some sort but it was high up in the tree next door (yes, that tree that sends it roots into our garden to uplift our patio paving into an interesting and ankle-risking adventure playground) and we couldn't see what it was.

The sound was incessant and really rather irritating. It didn't get to the point where I seriously considered giving my hunting cat (not the couch potato one) a helping hand up that tree (because, while I applaud his sterling efforts in rodent control I do not at all espouse his predatory interest in our feathered garden friends), but it has to be confessed that the thought did cross my mind.

Yesterday we actually saw the bird; it is a male chaffinch. Upon looking it up I discover that the reason he is singing so loudly this late in the season is that he is probably a lonely bachelor who was unsuccessful in finding a mate earlier on.

Some of you reading this may be ornithologists yourselves and will be saying "No – that's not a chaffinch call, she's got that one wrong" and if you do know of a bird that looks exactly like a chaffinch with the above call, then please; I'd love to hear from you.

So my feelings for this bird have now completely changed. So I suspect that my poor chaffinch is the bird equivalent of the somewhat nerdy systems analyst who lists mountaineering, financial investments and canoeing as his hobbies and who would make some lonely female chaffinch an excellent husband if she could just get over that rather unfortunate mating call.

I now feel compassion for him, not annoyance. I've even become rather fond of him and listen out every now and again to see if he's still advertising in the garden equivalent of the lonely hearts column.

I have to admit though, that his song is really unattractive. Now, if I knew some lady chaffinches I would introduce them right away - if only to shut him up and get him out of that flippin' tree!

A Moodscope member.

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Ellen Uma Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:07am

I loved this blog :-) Hope you find the bird a lady friend, and I totally agree we never really know what's going on. And we always seem to make up the less positive story when we don't know - here's for assuming the best not the worst :-)

Theresa NZ Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:09am

LOVE this post Mary!! I do so hope he finds a mate for him and for you :-)

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 7:14am

Try this, Learn to Identify Bird Song:

There's even an Android App! - Good Luck.

Julia Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 8:39am

Yes you are so right Mary. We judge negatively, people we don't know, particularly when something offends us about them. This happens when driving, experiencing negative behaviour towards us in shops etc and seeing obese people on the street and women in head to toe muslin black dress. We don't know the people behind these façades so we create a negative opinion of them immediately. Whenever I see an old person now, I always try to think what they looked like when they were young and what an exciting adventurous life they might have led; basically they still have that spirit in them. We just don't see it.
That bird might be singing to bring on the sunshine. They sing in France despite the rain and I love them for it.

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 8:50am

Mary, you've already improved my day more than you'll ever know.

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 9:05am

Excellent - I am that chaffinch

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 10:36am

Thank you for this. The timing was perfect and changed my attitude (and hence my mood) for the better today!

Elizabeth Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 10:38am

I feel rather terrible today. I had been quite off my balance in tha last months (partly because of my own decissions, but anyway ...), very unsure about what am I doing with my life, and I haven´t been able to learn for my exam (comming on tuesday) properly, nor do I seem to be able to overcome anxiety and obsessive thoughts and concentrate now. Would someone please send me some warm words?

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 10:55am

I'm reminded of a native American proverb, "Great spirit, grant that I may not criticise my neighbour until I have walked a mile in his moccasins"

PWD Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 11:07am

Warm words have a shower go for a walk in the park take a flask and sit on a bench smile and listen to nature look at the lovely flowers and concentrate on your breathing. Good luck

Julia Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 12:02pm

Hello Elizabeth. You have two days to do some intensive revision/learning for your exam on Tuesday. I think you should concentrate on this even if you don't feel like it.You can decide after Tuesday what you want to do with your life. You say you have made some wrong decisions recently but we all make wrong decisions which land us in a difficult place temporarily but we learn from these. It seems you are in a period of reflection right now about which way you want your life to go. This is good!! Your recent "wrong" decisions are making you think in a new liberating way. Anxious and obsessive thoughts are troublesome but they can go away with alot of effort. You need to shoo them away until after your exam. Visualise them as monsters or gremlins who need to be sent far away from you in another direction. Your mind needs to be clear until after your exam. Now, today is not the time to think about your past mistakes, wrong decisions etc. Today, get that revision out, study for your exam and let us know how it goes. Do you have a sample paper on the subject of your exam? It's only 2 days out of your life to concentrate on your exam. We are always here to help you. You have helped us in the past. Now it's your turn to be helped. You will do well in your exam, I know it! love and hugs Julia xxx

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 12:17pm

Everyone needs a Julia in their life! Stonkingly good advice. Elizabeth, I agree...carve out these two days and hold them precious. Nothing to interfere. Plan your study, stop and move after 45 a la Lex's post from a day or two back. On a break, pick up something like green tea (with apple & pear is my favourite) and it will keep you hydrated, it also allows for better sleep as it contains no caffeine. This is your time. You can do this because you are doing it! Much love from the room above the garage xx.

Julia Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 1:04pm

You are sweety pie ratg! But see Elizabeth, it's not just me who thinks you should cram for that exam. Somebody else caring and sensible thinks so too. So get those books out! xx

Elizabeth Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 2:59pm

Thank you very much. I know what I ought to be doing and of course I do my best for the exam. It's only very hard. Not so many people I know can understand anxiety to this extent.
Also I don't regret my decisions, rather they lead to uncertainty, which is hard to deal with.
Well, I am off to quantum theory. Bye!

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 3:06pm

Bird song has played a good deal in my slow recovery from a recent breakdown,trapped in depression for the first 3 months of this year after a dis associative seizure,became psychosis & eventually a change of diagnosis to BPD. Dosed up on a dollop of Quetiapine,walking beneath the trees with my dog,I take time to listen. Their beautiful songs fill my head & open a new window of serenity,reminding me that I can go on,even if I do feel that I'm standing alone.

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:08pm

A comfort for me when I'm uncertain about a decision I made is that I will never find out what would have happened if I had chosen differently. Think about it. The world moves on and things are not the same.

Also I remind myself that whatever decision I made then, I made it with the best knowledge I had then. If in the future I think I should (oh ugly word) have chosen differently then I have to remember that the information I have available then is different and more than when I made the decision. Things are easy in hindsight - right?

Well I had a great great grandmother who used to say: Best as happens. So I listen to that too and think that there is a reason unbeknown to me that made me choose the way I did.

Uncertainty is part of living I believe. I work on trusting that everything will work out for the best. I meditate/pray for that every day.

All my best wishes for your quantum theory exam - it will be great!

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:29pm

Hi Elizabeth, sorry it's a bad one today. We are all so different I guess, but for me, I'd try to off load as much pressure as possible. Whilst in such an anxious state, piling on further pressure could cause you to struggle even more. So, if you feel able to prep for exam, by all means do so but try to make some pleasant times, throughout the day, for yourself too. Whatever gives you freedom in your head for a while.
Failing an exam isn't the end of the world. Putting pressure on an already anxious mind may cause a failure that's not so easy to recover from. Be gentle with you,
kind regards and best wishes for exam,

Anonymous Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:36pm

You are not alone anon 3.06. I wish you the strength to make a full recovery, with your dog by your side. Be kind to yourself if you can.
I have experienced a psychotic depressive breakdown too and have a diagnosis of BPD, I remember having to learn to live again but I did it and so can you. May you walk in beauty. Julie.

Julia Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 6:41pm

I totally agree with what you said Karin.An author I really admire, wrote that hindsight is "bullshit" So sorry for the language but that is what he wrote. I didn't like it at first but actually it is really. Hindsight is not at all helpful.

heather Sun, Jul 13th 2014 @ 9:19pm

What more lovely advice than is on this page could anyone want ?

Anonymous Mon, Jul 14th 2014 @ 11:05am

Dear Elisabeth and Julia, I find I have another idea of hindsight too. More and more often now as I look back at what was, the choices I made, the things that happened I see a kind of pattern. I see that the outcomes of the choices made me me and pushed me ultimately in certain directions. Together all the experiences in my life and my reactions to them have formed me into who I am today.

And then I'm grateful for the choices I made even if other choices could have objectively (is there such a thing?) wiser. I am very happy with who I am today, usually.

I feel that I was guided by something bigger in my life - destiny - to search for answers the way I did and do and I am on the right path in life. For me it needed to be rough for me to get the message. And in future I hope I'll see the messages earlier on so that I don't have to have so hard hints to get it. I'm working on it.


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