Life Lately and How I Stay Positive
I did exactly what I promised myself I wouldn’t do, and that’s neglect the website. I thought I should come and explain a little about what I’ve been up to over January/most of February, and how I’ve been feeling. I don’t normally get so personal online; my birth story might be on the internet, but somehow sharing my feelings with you is harder than talking about relieving myself in a birth pool (sorry for #TMI but it happens).
January was honestly a really hard month, which totally took me by surprise. I wasn’t ready for the emotional rollercoaster it put me on (side note: I’ve never been on an actual, real life rollercoaster, the thought of it terrifies me, so an emotional one is quite enough for me thanks.) But I feel I’m out the other side now and back ready to go.
Whilst I’ve been feeling a bit low here and there, I have done some things I am really pleased with since the start of 2018. I used to not really celebrate my achievements, but now I record them so that when I’m having a wobble I can prove to myself I’m not totally useless. Before I tell you what I do to stay positive and record all of life’s good things, let me tell you this person wasn’t always me. It’s taken quite a few years to realise I need to practise this stuff and that it takes work. I thought most people were born with a positive outlook and cynical was my default setting.
Last year I started a notebook with a page for my accomplishments for each month. Every time I do something I’m pleased with myself about, I add it to the list. I read once that you should start the year with an empty jar and add notes of good things that happen each day or week. The only problem with that is I’ll forget to add them and feel bad that I can’t keep up, so I find the notebook works much better. Do you do anything like this so you can be your own cheerleader?
I also keep a gratitude journal thanks to encouragement from my friend/coach Ray Dodd. Each morning (or when I remember) I write down 15-20 things I am grateful for. Some people prefer to do it in the evenings, but it really sets me up for the day if I do it earlier. Things that have gone in the list include mugs of tea, LOTS OF THEM, my hair (because when you mainly work alone you need to be giving the compliments), having a flat that has lots of daylight in it, my favourite pink jumper, croissants, phone calls with friends. It can be as big or small as you want, and some days are certainly easier than others. The point of it, and having so many things on there, is that you are forced to sit around and see all the wonderful things in your life, even during difficult times. Often we might think I’ll be happier when I have this, or when that happens. But if we are constantly striving towards a future point in time when we will be happy, we’ll never be content in the here and now.
You can also theme your lists - you could theme one around your body (I haven’t been brave enough to do this yet), or your house (if, like me, you want to move somewhere bigger but don’t quite have the option right now, then appreciating where you do live makes so much difference). I can even be grateful for the notebook I am writing in, as it’s pink and has my initials on it. Good stationery is something to be grateful for!
And now, back to the website. I’ve decided to remove the career section for the moment. As for the rest, I’ve been a bit paralysed by fear. Whilst during the run up to Christmas I was really proud of the content I was producing, 2018 seems to have thrown me a little wobble in the road. With having so many loyal readers of the printed version of Betty, I am bound to lose a few with the new, more personal direction of the website. I can’t worry about that, I have to just continue writing and sharing things I feel passionate about. In short, I’m back and I have a head full of ideas, so watch this space.
In the meantime, have you listened to the podcast I launched with my lovely friend Liv Purvis? The Fringe of It is released weekly, alongside the Betty newsletter. The Monday Motivator has been delivered into inboxes every Monday morning, and I’m having a ball in the Betty Facebook group. So whilst the start of the year has been up and down, in hindsight I can see it really wasn’t all that bad and I’ve achieved some great things.
Maybe I’ll just blame it all on the weather?