...seen through a slightly smudged, secondhand pair of rose-tinted glasses

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Listography: Top 5 Life Lessons

How great to see Listography back! And back with a rather profound and meaningful bang. Top Five Life Lessons no less…though feel I should say, just because I've learnt these things doesn't necessarily mean I'm any good at them…

1. Be Yourself - sounds so simple, but for a good chunk of my twenties I spent far too much time trying to be the person I imagined others wanted me to be; to fit in I suppose; to be like the people I thought I should like, so they'd like me, if you know what I mean. I wanted to please, to be part of the crowd.
All that pleasing drained the living identity out of me.  Definitely not the road to happiness.

I don't know when I stopped caring so much about what people thought, and being more confident in me. Maybe it was just getting older; maybe understanding honest, unconditional friendship, or feeling that freedom that comes with being true to yourself. Maybe it was being loved.

2. I know though it's got plenty to do with learning to Like Yourself. That sounds seriously self-helpy, and I'm not going to bang on about inner happiness, because honestly, I don't always like myself. But learning to like your own company has got to be a step in the right direction. The realisation that you don't need constant company to be happy. It's got to be one of the most useful lessons I've learnt, though quite frankly I didn't have a whole heap of choice seeing as my other half is rarely here. It has made me stronger. Undoubtedly. More sure of me. Although I may have swung too far the other way…. into the comfort of my hermit-like cave.

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. I'm pretty rubbish at this and often get bogged down with dull, trivial, mundane things that seem to take on gargantuan proportions. They wind me up. I worry about pointless stuff that's a waste time, energy and head space. Stuff that's happened, that I can't possibly change, and more often than not isn't remotely important. Wish I was better at letting go.

You know I said be yourself? Well unfortunately, this is me being myself. A natural born dweller.

4. I thought about leaving out Enjoy Now, because I get mildly irritated when people hark on about 'living in the moment' and all that blah. I mean really? ALL the time? My dwelling tendencies mean I often have an eye on the past, and the other is usually looking and planning ahead to stop things going pear-shaped. But I know there's a balance somewhere. A realistic one, with more stuff in the middle. It's just too easy to get caught up in the everyday gubbins and not leave enough time to Enjoy Now. I'm always yelling 'Wait a minute!' when one of the kids wants me, before plodding on with my treadmill of chores. But of course I don't really need to wash the kitchen floor, clean the windows or empty the hoover. All that small stuff can wait. It's the old 'learning to let go' chestnut again.
So, I'm trying. Sometimes instead of 'wait a minute' I take a minute. Less tidying, more crafting and drawing with the kids; less weeding, more garden football, or garden gazing. More 'stop the boring nonsense and take it all in' time.

5.  Praise them! My Dad has never been big on compliments. The only reason I know he's proud of me is because he's told other people. He'd rather assume than say. My husband couldn't be more different - he's a praiser (when it's due), which took a while to get used to, but it's been such a great lesson, and I can see how it helps the kids. Simple, positive and powerful. And now I'm a believer.

So that's it, well it's not - kept thinking of others as I wrote this, but what about you? What would your top Life Lessons be? Which ones would you pass on? Plenty more over at Kate's.

9 comments:

  1. So many valuable points there, I could do with remembering half of them myself, especially the slow down point, and the don't sweat the small stuff point, oh and the like yourself point... well actually all of them! :D

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    1. just because you know them doesn't mean they come easy, does it! :)

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  2. Pretty much covers it, I think Tracey - I could do with all of the above, although I think I'm better at liking myself and being myself these days. Takes time, I think.

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    1. more comfortable with those two as well, think they're pretty intertwined really.

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  3. I definitely need to adopt number 4 more - why is that so hard??!

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    1. maddening isn't it! Hard even with the best intentions.

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  4. Number 3 - yeah, that's me as well. I hope that I'm getting (very slightly) better as I get older, but unfortunately I'm just one of life's worriers!

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    1. weirdly I'm better/calmer at handling major worries/serious stuff, but still dwell away about petty nonsense! Bonkers really!

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  5. That's a fab list....common sense, not self helpy! I sweat the small stuff too, get bogged down in all the detail, and I could do with living in the present a little more! X

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