My three new life rules

This feels like an important post to me – it’s one I’ve been thinking about for a few days and planning out in my head. I hope I do it justice. And, if it’s a bit more wordy than my usual posts then I hope you’ll bear with me.

You probably will have seen from my last two posts that I spent several days in Cornwall last week, and that they were mostly spent sat indoors with my lovely friend Lindsey whilst the boys went surfing. Being stuck in and watching the rain fall from a gloomy looking sky outside we did what any two ladies would do; we read magazines, we drank tea and we spent quite some time putting the world to rights. I guess before I start on explaining what I decided as a result of this I should also mention that I realised that allocating time to do this is really important. Before now I’ve always taken leave from work for holidays, events or activities, but never just to spend time mulling things over and taking stock of life. I think it’s easy to get swept up in the busy-ness and chaos of life that you never give yourself time to stop the proverbial ‘Bernard’s Watch’ and take a look around you and work out what’s working and what’s not working. Being able to chat things over with a wise friend over a pot of peppermint tea was also hugely enlightening. I hope she won’t mind me saying here that Lindsey has gone through several operations lately and quite a lot of discomfort and so we spent a lot of time chatting about how things like that change things, and also about relationships, material possessions and health and wellbeing (yeah… stuff got deep!) Out of this I decided on three things I want to focus on over the next few months and I want to share them with you. I’d also love it if you shared with me your own wise words (more on the later).

The first thing is something that I’ve been thinking for a while.  A rhetorical question – think back to relationships you’ve had that have broken up or people in your life who you have loved and lost. Of the arguments you had with them, or the times when things have not been so good because you’ve been clinging onto bad feelings or holding grudges, how much of that really mattered? How many of them would you go back and have over again and how many would you drop because you just wanted to enjoy your time together? I’ll bet a lot. The people who you have around you now, will not be there forever. I think we all spend too much time having petty arguments or getting worked up about little things that don’t matter, and so my pledge is to give people a break more.  People are (usually) not wilfully annoying, frustrating, stupid or mean, and everyone makes mistakes. The best thing we can do for ourselves (and for other people) is to know when to give people a break. This counts for me too – I fully intend to not be so hard on myself and give myself a break every now and then. In every situation where I find myself getting worked up about something I’m going to ask myself ‘will this really matter tomorrow, or in a week, or a month?’ I am in control of what I let get to me and what I just smile and let go. And I intend to do the latter a lot more.

I am well known for being a bit of a clothes shopping addict. Come payday you can usually find me gleefully ordering new clothes, and it’s almost become shameful when the post trolley comes round the corner at work a few days later weighed down by packages with my name on it, with the postman making a beeline for me and shaking his head. When I was 16 I worked in Budgens and earned a tenth of what I earn now. I used to save up my wages and go to the ‘Moist’ clothes shop in Southampton and buy myself a pair of baggy jeans or a zip up hoodie every month. And I wore them to death, every day having the excitement of putting on my new favourite item of clothing and knowing it was hanging in my wardrobe, nestling amongst other things I loved. I used to buy £50 jeans and £40 hoodies and feel really special in them. Now, I’ll blow that in Primark on ten things that sit in my drawer and never get worn. They fall apart after the fourth or fifth wear or hang forgotten in my wardrobe. They don’t make me happy or fill me with excitement. I own lots of lovely things but they’re at the bottom of drawers because I can never find them.

In addition, I recently read this article on a blog – ‘Happiness is simple, why too many choices makes us miserable.’ It was such an interesting article and basically explains that having too much choice in our life makes us feel anxious that we’ll make the wrong one and causes angst and stress. It explains that the happiest people in life are those who make choices and are content with things that are ‘good enough’ whereas people striving for ‘the best’ suffer stress from constant regret and disappointment. Lately I’ve realised that the amount of clothes and shoes I own often makes me feel stressed. The ironing pile is so huge that the things I want are never cleaned and ironed, new things I buy are swallowed in my enormous wardrobes and I’m constantly searching for that new thing that will bring an outfit together, neglecting the hundreds of clothes I already own. This pledge is to get rid of a lot of old, unworn clothes, and also to buy for quantity not quality. I want to rekindle that love I had for that special item of clothing when I was 15 by buying one or two really special things each month rather than 20 things that I’ll have forgotten about in a few days.

Do you remember those cringe-y phrases your parents used to say over and over again when you younger until every time they’d go to say it you’d repeat it back to them in their voice? Well this was my Dad’s. “Your body is like a car Rosie, what you put in is what you get out. If you put rubbish in, you’ll feel rubbish.” I’ve been getting tummy aches and headaches recently, and being on holiday with my friend, who has wheatgrass shots, eats tons of fruit and veg and buries herself in books about nutrition, made me realise I don’t care enough about what I put in my body. Along with this, now we live more in the countryside I want to make better use of all the resources around us and eat more organic food from local farmers. I ordered an Abel and Cole box on Sunday and I’m so excited about eating loads more veggies, trying to introduce more fruit into my diet and eating more home cooked hearty meals.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my three aims for the coming months. I feel like a bit of a hippy sometimes but I think it’s important to constantly strive to make yourself better and keep yourself happy and healthy.  But this isn’t all about me – now it’s…

I’d really like to get you guys involved and find out what advice you live by or any pledges you’ve made to make you happier. I’m going to do another post in two weeks time and publish your words of wisdom with your blog/Twitter links so please do comment or tweet me (I might even get a hashtag going!) and let me know. Let me know what you think of mine too, I’d love to know!