January 2015: Not so much “Resolutions” as “Things to Remember”…

At least, that’s what I said to myself after I doodled this lot (below) on a page in my new year’s notebook one night last week.

Rather than actual Things To Do (because god knows we’ve all got enough of those already), they’re more words to live by – how I try to live my life, always, whoever and whatever I’m dealing with.

resolutions-2015Sometimes I achieve it, and have a day where even the most-delayed, rammed, horrifically-slow District line Underground train can’t dent my zen-like, at-peace-with-the-world state.

Other times, even a five-minute delay can cause me to nearly cry with frustration at EVERYTHING being WRONG, and as the pure, distilled symbol of everything I don’t like about my life. (When does a Tube metaphor ever NOT perfectly describe the difficulties of existence, I ask you? Never. Nearly.)

These Things To Try And Remember segue neatly into actual “Things To Do”, because they help me balance my mood, remember what I’m living for, and crucially, make me feel good about myself.

So, blah blah blah, if you really want to know – in terms of ACTUAL resolutions, I’ve started a bloody difficult new exercise plan (TurboFire), am doing daily yoga workouts before work, trying to break the Christmas habits and eat better, keeping up my food diary again, starting up driving lessons again, trying to learn the repertoire of my new choir, keeping an open mind on relationships, and generally trying to take 2015 as it comes. With joy. And resolution. In that sense, these kind of ARE resolutions.

But crucially, I’m not beating myself up if I “break” one, or have a shit day. And equally I’m trying not to feel too “this is too good to be true” if I have a good day.

After all – as you can read here and here – one of my most favourite sayings is “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up”. Which, in less wanky language, is “Whatever it is, don’t let one fuck up, fuck up everything, and DON’T GIVE UP, EVER”. Maybe I should add that gem to the above list? Haha.

Here’s to 2015, everyone x

On “success”: a carrot cartoon for life

I saw this cartoon on the Psychologies Magazine Facebook page today, and it really resonated. Not only is it super-cute, but it cleverly conveys a few messages that I often struggle to remember. When I do remember, they have the power to instantly improve my own sense of happiness.

  • Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides. This is especially helpful when you’re having one of those days when you feel like a failure or like you never get anything done, and everyone else seems to succeed when you’re failing. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, realise that pretty much everyone has their own demons in some respect, everyone is dealing with something. Realise that, respect it, and carry on with your own good self.
  • Success, happiness and achievement aren’t always measured by their outside appearances. Maybe what makes you happy isn’t overt, or showy, or shiny, or glamorous, or especially cool. Or maybe you don’t make as much money as that lot over there with their swanky apartments and holidays, business trips or social-media-friendly parties. Or you don’t feel you look as good, or have as much going on. So what? Be yourself, whatever that might be (or at least, try and figure out what that could be). If you love something, or something else other than the “norm” makes you feel happier, do it anyway, and let the show-offs (with their big fuck-off carrot leaves, GOD!!) do their “overt” thing. The older I get, the more I think happiness lies in redefining your own meaning of success.
  • Often, people make a big deal out of something because they’re feeling a bit crap about it inside. They make a big noise or shout about how great they are, and you feel like you have nothing to say back. Maybe they really are great, but if they need to say it, they’re probably trying to convince *themselves* too. Or, maybe they really *are* just an arrogant twat. In which case, easier to ignore!
  • Something that looks like a failure might actually come good in the end. Even rubbish things in life can sometimes turn out OK, say a bad break-up or a crappy job or a terrible argument. After my last break-up, I felt completely broken, and it took me a long time to realise that I hadn’t entirely wasted that time or those feelings. At the time, it looked futile, but after a while I learned things and moved on, and that experience became part of the whole of who I am, bad bits and all.

Quite a lot of cheese from a cartoon about carrots, hey? Haha.