Sunday, 1 January 2017

Day 1 of 365

So that's it 2016 is over, and I for one was more than ready to say goodbye to it. I honestly think it'll be the year we look back on and say "What the f*** was that all about"
I'm not just talking about Brexit  here, or Trump *shudder* or the much loved talent we lost in 2016, those that sound tracked our youths, those who inspired us and made us laugh. Those that made the Eurovision worth tuning in for, thanks Terry. It's just that overall 2016 felt very unsettling, for me anyway. I can't blame that all on 2016, It's not like I was ever going to wake up this morning and find out that David Bowie didn't die, Brexit didn't happen and Trump isn't going to be President, unfortunately.
2016 just seemed to bring with it a whole heap of challenges, some of which I've documented here in my blog and some that I haven't. I've touched upon things such as anxiety, work related problems (and therefore money related problems cheers Steve) Dyspraxia. All things that may seem trivial compared to the challenges other face in their lives, but each one has left it's mark in some way. Not all of those challenges are over for us, some will take us into 2017 but how I approach them? Well that is going to different, it needs to be different.

I'm not going to make New Years resolutions because I make resolutions every year. Less wine, less bread, less social media, take up running. I get as far as buying the nice leggings and vest but they inevitably end up with the tags on in the drawer 12 months later, I'll drink less wine and eat less bread for a week but then think F*** it life is too short, and it is too short. As for social media? Never going to happen despite my best intentions. So I'm not making short term resolutions I'm making long term changes. Changes I hope will make not just make the challenges we face in 2017 easier but benefit me long term.

1. Knowing I am good enough. 

If I reflect on 2016 and look back at my blog there is a theme that runs through it. Not feeling good enough. Although it's a feeling I do try to challenge it's always there. It prevails over everything I do. Starting a blog: exciting, nerve wracking, confidence boosting, but always an underlying thought of is it funny enough? Is it as good as X or Y's blog? Do people think it's a bit daft?
Am I a good enough Mum?  A good wife, Sister Daughter and friend? Am I doing enough to live a good life? And the answer to all of those is I am doing my best. I am doing my absolute best and if I'm doing my best then you know what? My best is good enough.

2. Accept that not everyone is going to like you.

This was a hard one for me to come to terms with but here it is.
I am not everyone's cup of tea,
I am never going to be someone who they say "Oh Rachel, yeah she's alright..." You either really like me, or you really don't there's no in between. I used to be a people pleaser, always wanting to be liked, wanting to be everyone's friend, to never get it wrong, I would worry constantly about what people thought of me. even for something simple like a cake sale I'd want to make the best cake (or buy the best cake From M&S and pass it off as my own) I thought that it would make people think I was a good Mum, a good person if I did.

That is all just wasted energy.

It is wasted sleepless nights, wasted hours worrying. It doesn't matter if you bake the best cake or if you buy the best cake. It doesn't matter if you throw the biggest party. If you smile the biggest smile, always say the right thing. Sometimes people just aren't going to like you and that's OK. Honestly, when you accept that, then you feel like you can breathe again, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I didn't have to be 'on' all the time, because you know what being 'on' was just exhausting. As long as you are happy, you live your life your way then don't try to change something you can't control. Accept we are all different and you know some people like Apples, some don't they prefer pears.

3. Don't judge 

I was always told to never judge a book by it's cover, I thought this was something I naturally had instilled in me but the truth is we all judge to a certain extent.
We might see a parent whose kid is having a meltdown and wonder why they aren't managing it better, or read a ranty status on Facebook and roll our eyes, hey I've done it! And you know what who am I to judge? Because unless your own life is perfect, unless all your ducks are in a row. Unless you never ever get it wrong in life when it comes to parenting, relationships or Facebook etiquette then who are you to judge? That Mum dealing with a meltdown might have had a bad day, that might have been all she had done all day, is manage meltdowns, don't measure her life from that split second. That ranty Facebook status, well maybe they just wanted to feel heard, needed a place to vent. It's their opinion whether you agree with it or not.
I made a promise to myself that I will try hard not to to judge, because you know what no-ones life is perfect, we all have issues we're fighting Let's all be kinder to each other, more open with each other and support each other. The worlds a hard enough place as it is.

4. Never compare yourself.

It's so easy these days with social media at the tip of our fingertips to compare ourselves. We look at those pretty, colourful, filtered squares on Instagram and wonder why our life isn't as fun/glamourous/perfect. Take Christmas wrapping for instance, yup something so minor right? Well my Insta feed was full of elegantly wrapped gifts, in shades of grey, wrapped with brown string and a spig of holly. My wrap was 3 for 2 from M&S and had a distinct lack and hedge grow. Sorry.
Facebook was full of lots of festive fun pictures, of days out, get together's, visits to Reindeer, Santa grotto's.
Was S's Christmas not as special because we didn't visit a Grotto? Or go to a Panto, see some real live Reindeer? The answer is No. Her Christmas was just as  magical as we were all together, we were with family and friends. We had fun, we had a great Christmas and if it wasn't for social media I would never have thought twice about it. The truth is no-one knows what anyone's life is really like, we only see a snapshot of it, don't compare your life with the life someone else allows you a glimpse of.

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" Oscar Wilde

5. Positive vibes only

Ok this might sound a bit 'hippyish' but it's something so small that makes such a big impact. If you surround yourself with neagtive people, if you surround yourself with negative thoughts it doesn't only impact you, but those around you Neagtivity drains you.
Hey I've been negative, we're only human we've all done it, lets face it none of us are perfect but I know in work for instance, if I'm drawn into other peoples negative thoughts about the day ahead, the moaning about what we have to do and the time we have to do it in it puts me on a downward spiral.
Happiness is infectious, happiness breeds happiness and the only person in charge of your happiness is you. #positivevibesonly

Today is day 1 of 365, I can't wait to see what 2017 brings

Rachel x

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