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One day, I will be the next person in the world to die.

This is not a reassuring thought.

I feel like one of the dodos in Ice Age, desperately trying to evolve the power of flight before I reach the front of the line and it’s my turn to fall off the cliff.

I’m trying to change myself gradually, one bit at a time, to have a happier, more successful, more rewarding life. Every change is a slight improvement – and I hope that one day I’ll spread my wings and soar across the sky instead of landing with a thud.

This could be my last chance to send my words flying across the internet to immortality, so…

Welcome to the opinionated and slightly peculiar realm of Emily the Dodo!

My mission is to solve all the world’s problems and have a crack at some of my own if I can find the time. I’m here to help you find a better life.

I hope to entertain my readers with witty, imaginative and insightful prose. But I’ll probably end up having a go at harmless strangers who can’t use apostrophes correctly or complaining about the price of cheese.

You have been warned.

 

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Dodo Diary October & November 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #8 & 9

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Dodo Diary | Comments Off on Dodo Diary October & November 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #8 & 9

Dodo Diary October & November 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #8 & 9

Do I look sad enough to get your sympathy? Good. I need it.

No, it’s not due to my credit card bill for Christmas presents. (Well, not entirely!)

I always feel depressed at this time of year. Unfortunately, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, due to the lack of winter sunlight here in sunny England.

Events in my life over the last two months weren’t especially bad, but sometimes I just can’t shake off the gloom and it’s a struggle just to get through the day without biting people. Which is the reason I didn’t start my Dodo to Dynamite year in January.

Our house is an icebox, and I’ve been eating everything that isn’t nailed down, because I’m so cold – who feels like virtuously chomping fresh fruit when it’s apple-crumble-and-custard weather?

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Dodo Diary September 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #7

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Dodo Diary | Comments Off on Dodo Diary September 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #7

Dodo Diary September 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #7

I had a bit of a shock this month.

I was at my sister’s party, and afterwards the photos were all over Facebook.

I saw one of myself, sitting in a chair, with my flab bulging over my waistline, holding a cigarette in one hand and a glass of Diet Coke in the other. Although it’s a party, I’m not mingling and chatting, but sitting with my partner.

“What a perfect ‘Before’ picture,” I thought. “It shows all the things I wanted to change.”

And then it hit me.

This isn’t ‘Before’. This is over HALFWAY THROUGH my Dodo to Dynamite in a Year self-improvement challenge.

Which is why I’m blushing!

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Making time for creativity

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Creativity, Self-Control | Comments Off on Making time for creativity

Making time for creativity

You’re a creative person.

You’re full of exciting ideas – if you could only decide which to start on first.

You’ve got the skills to make something good – maybe even something amazing.

Yet somehow you never seem to have enough time to… well… create anything.

You start projects, but they never get finished.

Those brilliant ideas lose their savour halfway through, so nothing feels good enough.

You go over things in your head so many times that they’re so familiar, you have a feeling they’re not original – that you must have heard them somewhere else.

And life gets in the way, and it seems self-indulgent to waste time on your personal creative projects when there are so many more important calls on your attention.

So you end up with a handful of crumpled dreams.

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Gratitude and gardening: a saw point

Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Relationships | 1 comment

Gratitude and gardening: a saw point

He’s out there again.

Only this time, he’s holding a saw.

And I’m getting more anxious every time I look out of the window.

I don’t know what to do.

The thing is… I really wish my partner would stop doing the gardening.

You see, my idea of gardening is chucking a few flowers into plant pots and mowing the lawn once every spring.

Occasionally I’ll glance out of the window and see my beloved flowers hanging over the side of the pots, doing an impression of parched men crawling across a desert. Then I leap outside to water them. And then the ungrateful things die anyway.

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Dodo Diary August 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #6

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Dodo Diary | 2 comments

Dodo Diary August 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #6

Wow! I’m already halfway through my Dodo to Dynamite in a Year self-improvement challenge.

If you’re wondering why I’m dressed like Scarlett O’Hara this month, it’s because the months have Gone With the Wind and I can’t believe how quickly it all happened.

The trouble with saying, “Oh, well! Tomorrow is another day!” is that you can say the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

And nothing ever gets better.

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When a friend in need is a… pain in the butt

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Relationships | Comments Off on When a friend in need is a… pain in the butt

When a friend in need is a… pain in the butt

You’ve heard the story so many times before.

And now you’re hearing it again.

Yes, your friend is telling you their problems, and you’re listening and trying to be sympathetic.

But inside, you’re thinking:

Not this again! If you’re not happy with your life, why don’t you actually change it instead of giving me earache about it?

You’ve already given all the sympathy you can give.

You’ve talked through all their options, and they don’t want to choose any of them.

You’ve given your advice – and they’ve decided not to take it.

And you’ve reached the point where you’ve had enough.

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Quote: It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Quotes | Comments Off on Quote: It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

Quote: It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

If only…

We all have our dreams.

But do they have a hope of becoming reality? Or are they merely an easier alternative than facing reality and changing it to what we want?

You may remember the Mirror of Erised from the first Harry Potter book.

It shows the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. However, as Professor Dumbledore warns Harry:

‘This mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible…’

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Looking forward to your life: 7 reasons to have faith in the future

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Motivation | Comments Off on Looking forward to your life: 7 reasons to have faith in the future

Looking forward to your life: 7 reasons to have faith in the future

Gloom…

When things are bad, it’s easy to think there’s no hope for a better future – but there is!

Life is full of amazing things to look forward to and reasons to be cheerful.

So if the world feels grey and you’re having trouble staying positive among the stresses of everyday life, here are some good things to remember:

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Dodo Diary July 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #5

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Dodo Diary | 4 comments

Dodo Diary July 2015: Self-improvement challenge, Month #5

The fifth month of my Dodo to Dynamite in a Year self-improvement challenge… and I’m failing.

The last few months have been disappointing in terms of progress, and I feel as if I’m juggling too many balls at once. And I must admit, I’ve dropped quite a few!

So I’ve had a good chat with my closest family members, talked about the targets I’m trying to achieve and asked them to support me with a mixture of moral support and tough love. Talking it through has helped me come up with a few new strategies to make me stick to my plans.

And, as you’ve probably spotted, I’ve added a great motivational tool on Emily the Dodo this month – a countdown clock to show how long I’ve got left of my year.

If that doesn’t get me going again, nothing will. And it’s all too clear that time is running out. Eek! Time to redouble my efforts!

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Jam and positive thinking: making your own luck

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Motivation | Comments Off on Jam and positive thinking: making your own luck

Jam and positive thinking: making your own luck

Something amazing happened to me today.

One minute I was driving home along the motorway… and then, suddenly, I wasn’t.

And an hour of my life disappeared with nothing to show for it except the memory of some flashing lights.

No, don’t worry: I wasn’t abducted by aliens.

I was stuck in a traffic jam while the emergency services dealt with a crash up ahead.

But, amazingly, I was delighted.

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