“A little story about quotes”
I’ve not written a personal blog for quite some time. I usually write about worries, insecurities, things that irk me. My paranoia is also a huge contributing factor to the basis of my blogs.
The reason I’ve not written?
I’m in a good place.
A very good place.
Don’t get me wrong, that place isn’t completely trash free. But me, well, I’m coping a little better than I ever used to, and that in itself is a huge achievement.
Making decisions to let things go, not worry or dwell on them, has made such a huge impact on my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a paranoid worrier who thinks I might upset someone just by the tone of my voice when I say “hello” , but essentially I’ve made friends with “reason” . Things bothered me more before than they do now.
There are a few phrases I’ve used over the last couple of years that I’ve adamantly decided need to be put to good use. Practise what I preach, so to speak. And you know what? It’s not all mumbo jumbo inner self spiritual shit either. It’s worked. Or rather, it’s working. In progress. Some areas still require attention. But I am getting there though. I truly am.
So what are these phrases and “rules” I’ve applied? Trust me, none of them are unachievable.
“Let go of what doesn’t make you happy”
It seems ridiculous that I even have to “action” that one, but I do. For some reason we all cling onto things just because once, at one point in our lives, it made us happy. Even though it has long since stopped enriching our lives, no longer provides any sort of enjoyment, we still keep it because once upon a time, it did. By this I mean friendships, relationships, clothes, trinkets and even memories. We clutch onto these things “just incase”. You know that drawer you have, full of bits and bobs, chargers for devices you no longer own, random bulbs and cables, that no longer have a purpose but you keep just incase they become useful again? Well our brains and hearts have the same compartment for feelings and emotions. But, just like that drawer, every now and then we need to have a clear out. The phone cable that charged your very first mobile flip phone, which was more than adequate to text and call could never be powerful enough to charge your all singing all dancing iPhone that you use as a diary, planner, camera, alarm etc that you have now. It doesn’t even fit. Just like the friendship that once helped you get through your awkward teenage high school years, is now not proving capable of having your back through adult problems. It doesn’t fit anymore. See my point? It can never be what it once was. It’s served a purpose for a while, but no longer does and never will again. There’s no point in keeping hold of it as it will never be able to offer the same function or fulfilment ever again. You’ve out grown each other. Accept it and move on.
So many people stay in loveless, mundane, boring relationships because they made vows, promises, to a person who once upon a time gave them every reason to smile but now makes no effort to keep that spark alive. Despite trying everything, the relationship has naturally run its course. But rather than break free and seek what they crave, they stick with it because maybe, just maybe it’ll reignite itself. People stay because of the children, thinking it’s the right thing to do. It’s not. Kids pick up on unhappy vibes and it has long term and detrimental effects on them too. There is no shame, if, after trying everything, the relationship brings no enjoyment to anyone involved, in saying goodbye and parting ways. I was guilty of this, staying put when no longer happy, and all that ended up happening was me getting hurt, because I wasn’t brave enough to walk away earlier. Buried my head in the sand and went “la la la” and pretended it would all be ok in the end. It wasn’t. It got worse. I saw the signs and ignored them because of what I then believed to be the right thing to do. Doing the right thing isn’t always rewarded,I know that now. I shouldve walked away when I’d started to feel lonely and question whether he even wanted to come home. But instead I chose to stick with it because I’d made vows. I was a proud woman and didn’t want to appear like I was giving up.
I once kept a dress which had long since become too big for me, but I absolutely loved it and I wore it for such a special occasion so I couldn’t get rid of it. It was a big, full length dress that took up a lot of space in my wardrobe. It had been too big for me for 3 years when I finally got rid of it. Although the occasion I wore it for was of huge importance and I felt amazing in it at the time, I was only keeping hold of it for sentimental reasons. I never intended to wear it again. By keeping it, wasn’t I just setting myself up for being a bigger girl again – I’ll keep it just in case I’m ever that size again? If I do get bigger again, so be it, I’ll just buy a new dress for a special occasion.
Get rid of anything stale and stagnant, physically and emotionally.
I recently went through a run of bad luck, some of it still hanging around like a shadow following me everywhere. One thing after another rained down on me and the weight became hard to carry. They say bad things happen in 3s. Well my quota was up before mid day and it wasn’t showing signs of stopping. I struggled to get motivated at work, my already crap sleeping pattern became even more disrupted, my skin was worse than ever. I was down. I was defeated. I forced myself to do a Happy Days challenge, where for 100 days, I post about something good that has happened that day, to prove to myself that even on the worst days, there’s a little glimmer of sunshine. Some days have been easy, days out with my other half, lunch with my parents, time with my son etc. But other days really were/are a “challenge”. As I write this, I am 53 days into my current self set challenge. And I’m proud to say, so far I’ve succeeded in finding something that has made me smile every day, even if just for a moment. The good things really do out weigh the bad. On the toughest days, I have felt like saying sod this, nothing’s gonna cheer me up, but then I decide to be happy, snap out of it and lo and behold something catches my eye and makes me grateful for the day after all. If you wake up hating the day before it even begins, you are on a downward spiral that you’ll struggle to get out of. Knowing I’ve set myself a silly little challenge to find that happy moment, I know I’ll be actively looking for it all day, thus forcing me, willing me, to make it appear. I’m not trying to say to the world “look at me, I’m so happy, life is perfect”. I’m simply trying to prove that a positive mind set can turn a negative, bad day into something not so bad after all.
” Let whatever happens be ok”
Ok, ok, this one isn’t mine. I stole it from a friend and I know they won’t mind me using it. This is one I NEED to get on board with. I lose hours, day time and night time, worrying. I worry a lot about stuff that doesn’t matter. But mostly, I worry about things I have absolutely no control over. And it’s moments like that where I need to remember this saying. No matter what I do or don’t say, what I do or don’t do, the result will be the same. I can’t change or influence it. All I can do is hope that whatever does happen will be something I can cope with and deal with. I need to accept that some things are bigger than me and what happens will happen whatever I do or don’t do. I’ve always been brought up to be responsible for my own actions, so when events happen that are out of my control, I have a hard time letting go of the responsibility, even when it’s not mine! For example, my mum had an operation recently. No amount of worrying on my part could change the outcome, or assist the doctors. All I could hope for was that the procedure went well and my mum recovered quickly. Wasting a day fretting and pacing would’ve done no one any good.
“Be the bigger person”
Over the last few years, I’ve been lured into some serious games of tit for tat bickering. At first, my desire to defend myself was so strong, I retaliated and just ended up miserable and frustrated about what version of events people were believing. Until I learnt to ignore it and let go. Let the truth find its own way out. Stand down and let everyone else carry on digging their own holes. No matter how much the proverbial bear was being poked, I stopped biting. I refrained from bringing my opponent down. And it felt, no feels, so good. Slowly, slowly, by keeping my composure and not hitting out in defence, people are realising that things aren’t quite as they are being described. It pays to hold your head high and say “I’ve done nothing wrong”. There are various quotes about truths but mine is “there are three versions of truth, yours, theirs and the Chinese whispers created by those who mix the two”. When an untruth is told so many times, the person speaking it starts to believe it themselves. When you reach this stage, there is no point trying to prove they are lying anymore. Sit back and watch them tangle themselves up on their own lies.
” Life’s too short”
Since losing my sister in December 2013, this is the one saying I’ve grabbed hold of more than most. My sister was 39. No age at all. Chances and opportunities taken away from her with no warning. For the sake of my parents and my son, I’m not going to waste another day. This saying is the umbrella underneath which all the others sit. It encompasses everything I now believe and strive to put into action.
Life’s too short to not be happy.
Life’s too short to waste time worrying over things you can’t control.
Life’s too short for regrets.
Life’s too short for “what if”.
Life’s too short for “if only”.
Life’s too short, eat the cake.
My sister didn’t know it was going to be her last day, the day she passed away. She thought there was a tomorrow. A next week. A next year, when she should’ve turned 40. There wasn’t. And it hurts and upsets me deeply that there were so many things my sister wanted to do but didn’t get chance, because she thought she had plenty of time. Don’t put off until tomorrow, things that you can do today. Tomorrow isn’t promised. I won’t waste a day. Even on a day off with nothing to do and nowhere to go, I go out at least once, just for a walk by myself, fresh air and exercise. I purposely take time to appreciate all that life has to offer.
Another good friend of mine uses “Not my Llama, not my zoo”, which is her version of the phrase :-
“not my circus, not my monkeys” meaning its none of my business and indicates that one is not responsible for controlling or changing a volatile or delicate situation.
A lot of our time is spent stressing over other people’s situations, things that not only don’t affect us, but that we can’t do anything about anyway. I’m not saying we shouldn’t care, but why stress over something you could potentially walk away from? Why overload your plate even more when you’re already struggling to balance things? Leave it to those involved to sort out.
I asked the question about what quotes do you live by to a forum I’m a member of on Facebook and the response was immense! So much inspiration! A couple I loved were along very similar lines as each other.
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken”
“If you walk in everyone elses foot prints you will never make any of your own”
Be yourself. Make your own choices. Act how you want to act. React in a way that comes naturally. Laugh when you want to laugh. Cry when you need to cry. Wear what you want. Eat what you like. Hang out with whoever you want. We don’t need to justify ourselves to anyone. Our individual selves are the most beautiful versions of ourselves. No need to blend in. No need to pretend you’re ok about something if you’re really not. If you want to wear the short skirt , wear it, don’t worry if people are going to think you haven’t got the legs for it. Approaching summer I saw a great post being shared on social media. The caption read “How to get a bikini body in time for Summer”. The pic showed a beautiful plus size woman wearing a bikini. Underneath the picture, the answer said “Buy a bikini. Put it on”. I absolutely love that statement.
I should probably also say that I have a friend who was born with no legs. His saying is #nolegsnoproblem . His attitude to life is so refreshing. Yeah, he can moan, but never ever about the hand life has dealt him. I think we could all learn a lot from him.
I think the answer that came up most when I asked which quotes people live by was simply
I can’t change who I am. Paranoid, over sensitive, worrier. But I can change whether or not I care.
Team the popular quote above with my all encompassing quote and, at the age of 41, I have discovered a motto to live by.
” Fuck it, Life’s too Short”.