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So its my birthday this week, my 44th birthday. Blimey! Is that officially old??
In honour of my advancing years, (ahem), I thought I would tell you 10 things I feel Iv learnt over the years, including wisdom, self discovery, revelations and lessons. I was going to do 10 fun things, but then thought lets delve a bit deeper, a different type of post for me! Not in a preachy way, Im learning still daily, but just to share! Its quite word heavy so grab a cuppa, settle in
1 – The bad times don’t last – however shitty you may be feeling about a situation or incident, it will pass. (not talking grieving here, thats different altogether) For various and multiple reasons, recently I had a period of about 18 months that were the most difficult I had ever had to endure and at times, they felt almost unbearable. However, I had to hold the faith that brighter days would come, and slowly, they did.
2 – Remove anything that brings negativity to your life – Im quite a positive person by nature, but have found myself in the past brought down by bad situations. I’d always want to fix them or make them better, but sometimes you just cant. They are out of your control. I learnt that you can keep letting the negative affect your disposition and give you worry, or you can just walk away/distance yourself/remove it. I now choose the latter and it has made me far happier and less of a worrier.
Beautiful things happen, when you distance yourself from the negative
3 – Do your best to try to see a positive in any situation – My 15 year old son has reconfirmed this one over the years. He is literally the most positive, upbeat, sunny natured little person I have ever met. He can always see good in every situation. Even when he gets in trouble at school, which he often does (probably due to lesson 6 below), he will see it as a positive. Recently he got put on behaviour report in school. His take on this was that it was a good thing as it would show that its only one or two lessons that he misbehaves in, not all of them as the school would have us believe. He reminds me daily that there is always sunshine after rain, always a positive to be found.
4 – Sometimes its better to hold your silence – This one probably took me 43 years to learn! Iv always been someone who wants to explain a situation or my side of a story, but occasionally its better to just stay silent and be dignified. Some people will twist the truth to their own version or use anyway, so don’t waste your energy.
5 – I have a chaotic nature – This was a revelation to me. My husband has always said that I rebel against routine, and a few years ago I realised the truth in his words. Maybe thats why I have an obsession with notepads, my vain attempt to become organised? I get bored easily, always need a “project” on the go and get restless with routine. Im a person who could move home every 3 years, the person that would push the top book in a stack of coffee table books so it sits wonky, the person who refuses to wear matching socks. I could go on…………
6 – Your vibe attracts your tribe – I think this is such an important one, and its a lesson I try to drum into my sons. Our next generations need to remember it before we all become clones! Always be the original, true version of yourself and don’t worry if that dosent fit in with others. Who wants to be a “cookie cutter” human anyway! If you want to dress in spots and stripes? Do it! Odd shoes? Why not! Dance in the rain? Turn up that music! Don’t want an Instagram theme? Mismatch those squares (teehee) Always be you, bang your own drum, and the right people will find you.
7 – Always be honest with yourself – That could sound a bit like number 6, but what I mean here is get to know yourself, fully and honestly. Know your strengths, definitely know your weaknesses, and understand what makes you tick. I think self-awareness is so important. How can we continue to grow and learn if we are blind to our faults? Mistakes will always be made, thats human nature, but learn from it, then its a blessing and a positive.
8 – Its ok to take time out – I think as women, we really struggle to just be. To just take some time to please ourselves. Although I meditate daily, I know “time out” was something I always felt guilty about, so never did. Literally never. If you carry on like I did, you end up with nothing left to give, and no one gets the best of you, after all, you cannot pour from an empty cup! I think in part, it was the stress of my business that made me that way. On my one day off a week, I had to fit in everything that I didn’t get done through the week. I even got to the point where I would be eating my toast in the morning, while loading the washing machine, just to save time. Well, since closing my business in January this year, I have reacquainted myself with some me time. I don’t feel guilty if I sit and read for an hour. I will take myself off for coffee somewhere if I feel the need. I schedule time to do what gives me joy, (like writing my bog). I have learnt to say no. I honestly feel so much better for it.
9 – It really is the simple things – I know its a cliche, and we all like to say it, but I really have learnt this to be the truth. Don’t misunderstand me, I love buying/having nice things, and will always get pleasure from saving up for things I want to buy. However, when I was going through my dark times a while back, it wasn’t my handbags that made me smile. It was listening to my boys chat about their day, hearing them roar with laughter upstairs together getting ready for a night out, my little dog pushing her nose into my hand for a stroke, walking with my husband thorough the woods with leaves crunching underfoot, being cosy in doors with the fire lit, seeing a beautiful sunset. These were just some of the things that made my heart feel lighter and my energy lift. The simple stuff that costs nothing.
10 – Try to always be kind – So this I know, can be tough. When someone has been an absolute arse to you, or treated you badly, its hard to think compassionately about them. Trust me, I know! What I have learnt though is everyone is fighting their own battle. Often, people who treat others badly are suffering within themselves. They are feeling hurt/angry, so want to deflect some of that pain, so treat others badly. Im not for one minute saying that its right, and I have in the past had massive temptation to fight fire with fire, but what does that actually achieve? You feel bad that you have sunk to their level and forever beat yourself up over it. As I said in lesson 2, rather than react negatively, just remove the negative. This was probably one of the hardest lessons for me, (as I said, my nature in the past has been to react) but I promise you, it has given me more inner peace to just walk away and wish them well.
*** Bonus item – Although I feel the following is one of the most important lessons, I didnt feel I could include it in my top 10 as Im still going through the teachings myself. It is so, so important though, so;
Never, Ever let anyone make you question your self-worth – Letting someone make you feel hard to like/love or irrelevant, is one of the most self-destructive things you can do to yourself. That is the absolute truth. I allowed a group of people to do this to me, and laying my cards on the table, it almost broke me. Almost. Its been a long and painful process I have had to work through, and am still working through. Its taught me that peoples weakness can make them act in a cowardly and bullying way (remember lesson 10), and that it always, without question says more about them than it does you. I know this, but the shock and hurt that I felt (at a time when we were already so low dealing with the passing of a family member) has meant that it has been my longest, most emotional, most soul searching lesson. As part of the process, Im writing an open letter to them. Not to be sent anywhere or read by anyone, but as a cathartic process. Id recommend doing this if you have experienced similar.
So there you have it. Ten things that I have learnt. The lesson has often been taught the hard way, but what is that well known saying, “You will keep getting presented the task, until you learn the lesson”. I am also thankful for the lessons, they have enabled me to grow as a person, and become a better person.
Id love to hear anything that life has taught you?
Iv linked up with Not Dressed as Lamb SaturdayShareLinkUp