This is the first in a potentially ongoing new series called, ‘5 things I have learned’. You only have yourselves to blame for this as you gave me such a great response to my more personal post about Birthdays last week. Thanks so much for all the comments, they were great to read. So, to that end, I have decided to do a few more posts on things that are not necessarily completely devoted to fashion.
Birthdays do tend to make you sit back take stock of your life a little bit. I thought about the things I have learnt since I have got a bit older. I’m 44 now, so these are just a few things I have come to realise over the past few years…
1. NO-ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING
This goes for pretty much everything, Work / Parenting / Life In General. When you stop and realise that no-one is perfect and most people are just moving forward one day at a time, it makes you feel just that little bit better about the shambles of your own life. I’ve had essentially the same job for the past 18 years and yet on a regular basis I still feel like I’m going to get found out, that I am just winging it. I bet everyone has this fear, and I know that I often sit in meetings, look around and think ‘You have no idea what you are doing either, do you?’ It helps me to think this way, especially when coming up against intimidating and overtly confident people (and also at home with the pre-teen). Obviously this doesn’t apply to brain surgeons, rocket scientists and most plumbers.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE…
We are not in school anymore, you don’t need to impress everyone and you don’t have to like everyone either. There are people in this life that you will get on with instantly, be buddies for life. There are people who you meet at various stages in your life that you will grow apart from, that’s fine. Don’t cling onto those that don’t work just out of a sense of duty. There are people from your past that you can reconnect with, your lives have drifted different directions but you can get together once a year and have the best time. There are people you interact with regularly that you just don’t like. It doesn’t matter, they probably don’t like you either. For those people I do not much care for I try my hardest to remember the old adage; ‘If you can ‘t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’, this helps to stop a proper falling out.
SWATU is something my Dad would always say. It stands for ‘Something Will Always Turn Up’, this goes hand-in-hand with point 1. Unless you are terribly, terribly unlucky, something does always tend to turn up. Worrying about things only gives you sleepless nights, heart palpitations and a potential anxiety disorder (I know, I have been there and had a years worth of insomnia to prove it). In recent years I have learned to be like her-off-of-Frozen and just Let It Go. Usually things work themselves out in the end.
4. TAKE TIME TO TREAT YO SELF
This is such an easy one for me, but I have friends who constantly deny themselves things. I’ve got a season ticket to ‘Lake Me’ and I’m there all the time swimming in it. I’m not advocating that you spend money you haven’t got on wildly outrageous things (whoops, see shoes above…), but if you really fancy going to the cinema on your own one afternoon, or having a facial on a Saturday morning to get away from the family, or buying a pair of expensive shoes just because you’ve always wanted them, then DO IT. you will be a happier person and therefore will undoubtedly be nicer to other people. It’s a win, win situation.
5. SAY YES MORE OFTEN
A little bit of cliché, as let’s be honest the previous 4 points also are, but do things that are out of your comfort zone, things that you would normally say no to. I’m not talking about taking Crystal Meth or having a threesome here, I’m talking about nights out, maybe with a bunch of people you don’t know very well, or work colleagues who are 20 years younger than you. I used to think I hated musical theatre but when asked to go to something a few years ago, I loved it. I even cried FFS! Football is another thing I had zero interest in until my youngest son wanted to go to a match, now we are members and go every week and I bloody love it (Come on The Bees!), Writing a blog, “Oh no, what’s the point?, no-one will read it, there are so many other good ones out there’ and I’ll be embarrassed to tell anyone about it’. Then one day I just thought, ‘Why not?’, who cares?’, and here we are. I re-discovered my love of writing and mixed it with my love of fashion and I couldn’t be happier.
I hope this didn’t sound like some kind of shite self-help guide. It’s just a few of my thoughts, I don’t expect everyone will agree with me. I’d love to know what you think — Good and bad and if there are any things you have learned that help you to keep going.
P.S. To point 4. Here are some things I would like to treat myself to soon (I had to get some shopping in here!) :