There’s nothing like a shot of perspective and the post perspective whisky to get you thinking. Whether it’s relationships, health, our family, not getting the job, injury or illness… they come in all shapes and sizes, it’s how we use the perspective that makes a difference. Post whisky I instantly put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘live in the moment’, ‘make every moment count’, and ‘be my best self’. These are common mantras of self help on my social media feed and when taken too literally in my opinion not all that helpful. The pressure for unadulterated happiness and to ‘slay’ ones life can make us unhappy in the process not helped with inequality, global warming and Brexit filling our newsfeed.
Disclaimer. I am not 100% happy 100% of the time. I don’t think anybody is, even if social media and my blog name would have us believe otherwise. And that’s ok. Happiness is subjective and different for everyone. There’s no one way to be happy there’s no quick fix, finding happiness comes from a million different things. Just as lows can come from a million different things. I also don’t want to compare something like heartbreak to spilt milk. I just wonder if making small changes could actually make an influence on getting the most out of this thing called life. So here’s my musing; rather than running 10k everyday, drinking champagne every night and going skydiving over the Grand Canyon, I’m simply making a conscious effort to be my most present and engaged. I’ve made three categories – The Three P’s – to kick me into present and if you fancy a kick too, enjoy.
Be present, progress, then party.
Be Present. #SocialMedia
Most of our generation’s lives revolve around social media. It’s an incredible thing, used for business, relationships and for hilarious videos of cats (personal favourite). However in this digital age a worrying amount of us are probably addicted to social media, if you don’t believe me have a look at your daily screen time on your phone, you can even find out which particular apps you’re devoting your life to. Does it really matter? Who cares? I didn’t, even though a few months ago I was giving Instagram 3 hours of my average day. Then I did some maths. I knew that GCSE would come in handy some day. 3 hours a day for a whole year totals to 1,095 hours, that’s over 45 days. We only get 12 months in a year, so that’s a month and a half of my year on Instagram. I want to be remembered for the light and love I brought to my own and my loved ones’ lives, not my avid scrolling and thumb strength. My solution is no phones (social media) at meals alone or in company, turning my notifications off, swapping my pre bedtime scroll for a book and eye contact! If someones talking to you the least we can do is look at them, manners cost nothing.
Progress. Move, because you can.
As a 25 year old in musical theatre currently in a roller skating show I think I take being able to move for granted. I was on the treadmill at my local gym jogging along, not because I wanted to but because I felt I should. There are big plasma screen TVs that blare inspirational tunes, images and quotes and as I jogged along creating a mild ungrateful sweat I read “Move. Because you can.” This packed a punch, how lucky I felt to be able to do this but also how grateful I am to be spoiled for choice. Not everyone is as lucky and I doubt I’ll be rollerskating through my 80’s so I want to make the most of it now. My aim is to walk to work, try out new spin classes and add more yoga into my week, putting these things into our daily lives is just plain good for us, endorphins, sunlight and health. The more we move the more progression we’ll feel. Move, because we can!
Celebrating myself and my loved ones is one of my favourite things. Who doesn’t love birthday cake!? But I’m talking more day-to-day. If you just smashed a personal best at the gym, finished a puzzle, even the most mundane chores, celebrate them! Maybe not at the Ritz – maybe with your favourite cup of tea or treat yourself to a new candle. If we don’t reward ourselves for grafting we’re less likely to keep up the graft. Maybe it’s like training a dog: she sits; she gets a treat; he fetches the stick; he gets a tickle. There’s this thing called hedonic adaptation, whereby no matter how exhilarating something we do is we quickly get used to it and go back to our same level of happiness/contentment. Clever human brains but slightly annoying. And setting ourselves mammoth unrealistic feats is sometimes too much. There’s nothing like encouragement to get me going so I’m adding daily celebrations in because why the hell not? Congratulating myself for the smallest mountains. Because as Miley Cyrus once said ‘It’s the climb.’
The Three P’s.
Every bit of us and our lives matters. I may not be 100% happy 100% of the time but I know there’s something to be happy about 100% of the time and for me that’s enough.
Engage with yourself and others because we don’t get a second go at life. Every bit matters. Don’t miss it.