I spent the past weekend at home home (with my parents) and somewhere between countless cups of Barry’s Tea and Conversations about the weather, I came up with an idea for a post.
When I arrived, Ma was in the midst of a tech-related nightmare. An online shop was refusing checkout, and her phone company was objecting to her ‘topping up’ (I find it odd that people still ‘top up’ but anyway…)
Pops was in his own spiral of despair the next day: he, once again, hadn’t left himself to make my sis her birthday video (we’ve upgraded from cards to video-not bad eh?)
It’s never fun to see those you love in distress – even if the problems are microscopic. Rather than put my oar in and come out with ‘shoulda’s’ (You should have switched to Giffgaff! You should have started last week!) I’ve decided a blog was in order.
It won’t help them, but it may help you should you find yourself having ‘one of these days’.
1. Ask yourself:
Are You making things harder than they need to be?
Where can you simplify?
Another ‘issue’ that cropped up was ma’s bushel of damsons that needed to fulfil their destiny: to be made into jam.
She had the full kit, but one item: jam jar seals.
This turned the relatively simple (if rather tedious) project into a mission impossible.
A quick google search revealed yen can make your own seal by melting wax and letting it set in the lid.
I’ve often found with art projects, I’ll delay something because I don’t have a certain tool – so I see the resistance (which is NEVER about the tool) and force myself to think of a simpler approach.
2. Set the bar lower
This would have walked in Dad’s case: he didn’t have to make a video.
If he was set on it, it didn’t have to be so long.
He had already scanned 38 photos – which was more than enough (more than one-per-year anyway)
When we set the bar too high, we end up procrastinating, calling ourselves failures, and ultimately crying into a tub of Ben + Jerry’s.
This also works with trying to form new habits. Is making it to the gym 5 days a week for an hour is proving too much, ask yourself what’s the minimum you can do?
Even if it’s a 5 minute warm up on the cross-trainer, you made it to the gym. If you stay a minute longer: you win the day!
3. Make a jar of awesome
I’ve heard of bloggers and other internet celebs doing this and while it can sound woo at first, I promise their is some science behind it.
Gratitude: it just works. I am tempted to conclude it was the single biggest life-charger in the past few years Ser me. My general happiness and peace-of-mind went up, I’d say, 300 points.
I know there isn’t a scale, but when there is…
Anyway, just by making a note of the small wins – a physical one on a real piece of paper – we train or brain lo spot more good shit.
By keeping these notes of gratitude (or AWESOME) in a jar, you can come back to them when you’re having one of those days.
Pick up a scrap of awesome, read it, and keep on trucking with a reminder of why your world actually rocks.
4. Be a 3-year old
This is one I learnt from my little niece.
If you’re on a thought-train of bad feelings, frustration, regret, guilt, anger… ask yourself WHY.
This might temporarily stir the pot some more – but stick with it! Keep asking why.
Then, try to catch your self out. If you’re pissed that someone cut you up in traffic, ask why that makes you so mad?
Did they do that to piss you off, or is it because they’re on the way to the hospital?
Are you mad because it will get you to your destination quicker, or are you just indulging your lizard brain and letting it ruin your day?
If all the above fail: take a nap. Or just go to bed early.
Wake up and know that your curse has lifted and you have every opportunity to win the rest of the day.