The one she forgotNov 23, 2023
Full disclosure, I’ve been a red hot mess these past 2 weeks.
I think it’s perimenopause.
My period is officially on the missing persons list and I think my brain is packing up shop to join it.
I’m uncoordinated, foggy in the mind and a whole plethora of other things that I’m too tired to document here! In short, it’s a jolly good time and yes I’m being sarcastic.
Anyway in my hormonal fog I forgot to put a question box up on Monday on my Insta stories so now I don’t have anything to write a blog about.
Except that I do, obviously, still have a lot to say (LOL).
So while this week’s blog isn’t officially a question from the public, it’s something I hear all the time from people coming to work with me and it goes like this.
My life is fine but I feel like it could be better, like I’m missing out on something but I don’t know what it is.
It’s a tale as old as time. Except it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a tale as old as the internet. Let me explain what I mean.
I hate to sound old, but back in my day there was no such thing as the internet (great story Grandma). It was a simpler time (in some ways) when the only way to compare your life to someone else’s was to hear about it over the garden fence, read about it in a magazine or watch it in a documentary.
We weren’t invited into influencers' homes to compare their beautifully made bed with our tatty sheets. We didn’t watch a blow by blow account of a celebs holiday while we commute in the rain. And the words “financial” and “freedom” hadn’t been introduced to each other, let alone dangled in front of us like an aspirational yet unquantifiable way of living.
But these days we have 24 hour access to other people documenting their lives, selecting the highlights, filtering and storyboarding them before displaying them as if they were the actual life.
We watch in our inadequacy as a 20 something influencer lives a bigger life in a month than we have in the 40+ years we’ve been knocking around. Of course we feel like what we have isn't enough.
But here’s the thing. We’ve forgotten how good we've got it.
Our great great grandparents were just trying to survive diphtheria and here we are worrying about whether our well paying job is actually our life’s purpose. While great great Grandpops was trying to stay out of the workhouse, we’re obsessed with making much more money than we need so we can afford to fly to Bora Bora and not have any problems. But while our ancestors' problems and ours are different, it’s always worth remembering that problems are built into life. Yes, even when you’re on Bora Bora beach. But social media paints a different picture and it’s up to us to apply critical thinking so we don’t get sucked into assuming that everyone has it better than us.
It’s also up to us to shift our focus from all the things we don’t have to all the things we do have. Honestly the simplest way to feel better about your life, is to start actively applying gratitude and looking for moments of joy, connection and happiness.
You could literally do nothing but sit on your arse and still make your life better by focusing your attention on how good you’ve got it and reminding yourself that the internet is gaslighting you.
Now, obviously there are also things we can do to expand our life experience. I’m not one for squashing dreams or saying that you shouldn’t ask for more. I ask for more daily. But let me be clear. I don’t just sit at home asking for more like some vision board girly who wants an easy ride.
I’m an active participant in the creation of my life. I’m the powerhouse. I’m the puppeteer. As my friend Carly Walker would say, I am the magic.
So what does this look like?
It means I challenge myself to follow my curiosity. Would I enjoy hiking? Who knows, I’ll give it a try (turns out I loved it!).
Would I enjoy my local book club? No, I didn't. They weren’t my people and they weren’t my books. So I stopped going.
Would I like to enrol for a Spartan obstacle race? Sounds hard and challenging and low key terrifying and I almost said no but I said yes anyway.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
A few months ago I noticed that because many of my friends now have children and I don’t, I felt a little lacking in community. So I pushed out of my comfort zone and reached out to some women I vaguely knew to see if they fancied lunch. Some said yes. One became a great friend.
I started a social networking group called Evolved Conversations and got to know my local community better.
I said yes when the universe put opportunities in my pathway (like climbing a mountain with some people I barely knew).
I became the person who solved her own problem.
I did it scared. I did it despite the stories and self doubt and what ifs. I did it on the days I couldn’t be bothered and at the times it felt so uncomfortable I just wanted to hide.
And now I have a rich and varied social network again, full of swim clubs and mountain climbs and WhatsApp groups where we’re planning trips to Japan.
If you want an interesting life, you have to get interested.
Follow your curiosity. Try new things. Push past your limiting beliefs about what other people might think or what might happen if you fail. And most importantly, remember to ignore social media.
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