Last month I read a post by someone who is a real creative inspiration for me. Chantelle, aka Fat Mum Slim, is a creative wunderkind. She created the exceptionally popular Photo-a-Day challenge that so many people have copied and made their own. And she’s just a really REAL blogger. She shares her worries, her weaknesses and her struggles. I love that. And she’s humble. She’s one of the most successful bloggers around yet she doesn’t bang on about being a “Pro Blogger” and how amazing she is. That’s why I like her. I like people who don’t fully appreciate how very clever they are. And while I have never met her, I am pretty darn sure that she is a very nice person in real life.
Chantelle’s post, 35 things I’ve learned from my time on Earth, was rather brilliant and in my ever-evolving journey toward Happiness, I thought I would give it a whirl myself. I sat down with one of my many notebooks and repurposed it to start my list. I got out my bumper pack of Stabilo fine tip pens, sat down on the couch and just wrote. I had read Chantelle’s post a week or so before and I didn’t want to replicate her bullet points but I probably have touched on some similar themes. I just wrote. And here’s my list. I would love to challenge you to do the same! I’ve managed to come up with 27 things. What an odd number! Ready? Here goes:
- Everything happens for a reason. I do fully believe this. While we may not always understand or appreciate that there is a reason, there is. And often times, even bad things that happen are leading you to even more brilliant things. Go with the flow. There is a reason.
- First impressions are almost always right. While I have tried to loosen up a bit and not snap judge people, I do find that those first impressions are pretty spot on when it comes to people and situations. Trust your judgement.
- Sometimes chocolate is the answer. Especially dark chocolate.
- Spend more time looking up. In the last two years I have made a real effort to SLOW DOWN and appreciate the world around me. We tend to be so focused on getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible that we often forget to look up. Clouds. Clouds are where it’s at. Watch them, appreciate them, soak them in. They make me happy.
- If you put yourself out there, be prepared for people to disagree. I started blogging to have something to do, to have a voice. I never expected to have people disagree with me. Or hate me. Or feel the need to tell me so. If you use a platform to share your views, your life, your ideas, at some point, someone will feel the need to tell you otherwise.
- You’re never too old for a nap. Naps are good. Take them more often. Preferably in the sunshine, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week. That’s indulgence.
- Always jump in, never wade in. This applies to the water and to your life!
- Pancakes are suitable for any meal. I am more of an American pancake-style kind of girl but any pancake will do. With maple syrup. And a side of bacon.
- A cup of tea, made by someone else is always better than one you make yourself.
- It’s okay to have a bad day. It’s not okay to let that bad day ruin the next day or the rest of your week. Let it go. Not every day is good but there is good in every day.
- A mother whose child is wronged is a force to be reckoned with. I never knew how cross and defensive I could feel until I saw my son being physically attacked by another child. I never knew how much my heart could hurt for my daughter when I heard about friends being mean to her. Roar!
- Dreams will only come true if you are brave enough to make them happen. I am still trying to build up the courage to leap!
- Don’t worry about the glass being half-empty or half-full. Be grateful you have a glass at all!
- Kindness costs nothing but means everything. If we all took a bit more time to think of others and put a little effort into making someone’s day brighter, our day would be far brighter in return.
- Roll down hills, ride a scooter, fling along a zip line- never stop having fun! Your children will love you for this one. Life is too short to stand by and watch. Jump in whenever you can.
- You cannot say “I love you” too often.
- Have a passport, renew your passport, be ready to drop everything and go. You just never know when an opportunity will arise to escape. Don’t let something as simple as a passport date prevent you from taking that opportunity.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Blogging taught me this. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid to dream and then find a way to make that dream happen. Someone may take you up on that and then you’re off!
- A 10-second hug is physiologically good for you. Don’t rush it! Breathe in the person you are hugging. Hold them tight, close your eyes and just feel them. It is physiologically proven that endorphins are released when you hug someone for 10-seconds or more. Endorphins make you happy. Happy is good.
- Turning off social media is a good thing. I am still trying to fully appreciate this!
- When baking, do not assume you can create a showstopper. Less is often more. We are all inspired by Great British Bake Off. Just because they can do it, doesn’t mean you can. I’m not suggesting that you can’t learn nor that you shouldn’t dream. Just lower your expectations a teeny bit!
- Let your children be in charge sometimes. The results can be quite surprising. A YES day can be a pretty awesome day! Give it a whirl!
- Splash in puddles, enjoy the rain for what it is…an opportunity to have fun! And an excuse to not have to water the garden or mow the grass. There’s no such thing as bad weather as long as you have the right clothing!
- Shouting is really only necessary in an emergency. Try to go a full day without raising your voice. Think about how you sound, what you’re saying and whether you would appreciate being spoken to in the same way. You may be the parent but you aren’t a prison guard!
- LISTEN to your children and acknowledge how they feel. Telling a child to “Stop being so silly!” or “Because I said so!” is not going to improve any situation. If your child is struggling, stop and listen to them. Process what they are saying before jumping in and solving the problem. Acknowledge their pain and find a way to help them work through whatever they are struggling with.
- Never stop trying with your partner. Relationships falter when one person stops working to keep it strong. Complacency is dangerous. Comfort is one thing but taking your partner for granted will damage your relationship in the long-term. Remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.
- Celebrate today! You don’t need a special occasion to open that bottle of Prosecco or to wear that pretty dress. Celebrate today. Life is far too short. Embrace happy, embrace today!
What have you learned in your time on Earth? How many items are on your list? Share with me!