This morning I was doing some adulting by cleaning out my kitchen cupboards. I bet you are all hooked now. I mean what could be more interesting than a blog post about kitchen organisation. Well, sorry to disappoint the pan-o-philes amongst you but I’m gonna swerve at this juncture to what I actually want to talk about.
While surrounded by pans (that’s your lot pan fans) I came across an empty jar. Audience participation time, this is your line, “What’s the big deal about an empty jar?” (your cooperation is MOST appreciated and this is much cheaper than a pantomime so you can thank me later) Well, it’s not the jar itself, but the reason I had the jar in the first place.
About this time last year I bought said jar with one plan in mind. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, my plan was to write something positive that happened or something I was grateful for each day and fold up the piece of paper and put it in the jar. Then on NYE 2016 I was going to read each one and it was going to be the most amazing and fulfilling experience EVER. Well fact fans, for those who were paying attention, you will realise that today the jar was EMPTY. Some questions ran through my mind…
- a) Why was the jar still empty?
- b) How had I forgotten something I was SO determined to do?
- c) When did I give up the ghost and pack it away?
I came up with zero answers. Apart from the obvious booming voice in my head saying “well Lindsey, the answer to all 3 questions is that you can’t stick to anything and you’re a loser who bought a jar and didn’t fill it with anything life changing, DUH.”
That was rude wasn’t it? In reality that could have been my answer. I could have accepted that as fact.But the thing is, yes there have been some bumps in the road but all in all with my reflective head on I have a lot to be grateful for.
This year has been full of change. I was not a fan of change. At all. But I have learned that sometimes you have to make room for good things to come in and in order to do so, you have to let go of the not so good things. I don’t call them “bad” things because that negates the good that has come from them. The not so good things didn’t seem ‘not so good’ at the time. In fact they seemed pretty amazing. Which is why it’s so hard to let them go, right? The process of reflecting and growing takes time. It doesn’t happen in a day, a week or even a month and to be quite honest I didn’t even see the process taking place. It’s so strange isn’t it? That some of our most life changing elements can happen right under our noses and we don’t even know we are doing it?
I learned to say no. The big bad two letter word that caused me so much angst and guilt my entire life REALLY isn’t that big or bad. I believed firmly that saying no automatically meant I was being selfish. How wrong was I? Someone a lot wiser than me said, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Saying no is really all about self-care and that has become a priority for me and PLEASE, as we enter 2017, make YOURSELF a priority for you too. You will find you are a lot more able to do the things you want to do, including helping others, if you make sure you are well taken care of. Harsh truth? No one else is going to do it for you.
I went out of my comfort zone. I know I talked about my first visit to a proper hairdressers and it was all a bit ELL OH ELL but that’s one example. At the opposite end of the spectrum I also did and am continuing to do one of the scariest things imaginable for most humans. Ready? I am being 100% honest about my thoughts and feelings and SHARING these with others who (dun dun dunnnnn) MIGHT JUDGE ME. I am sure you can imagine the trauma this could cause to a recovering people-pleaser such as myself and to tell you the truth (because that’s how I roll now), some elements of this have gone better than others. BUT here’s the thing, I am SO MUCH HAPPIER. If someone is behaving in a certain way that causes upset or hurt – instead of accepting it (which is in truth, giving them permission to continue) SPEAK UP ABOUT IT. In reality, what do you have to lose? 9 times out of 10 the other person will be devastated that they have caused you any form of harm and the behaviour will cease and your relationship can grow. For the remaining 1 out of the 10? It’s time to slide on. It’s not a loss, it’s making room for more good stuff to flow. But it’s not just about the negatives. Tell the people you love that you love them, if you are impressed with something that someone has done, let them know – spread the love, you don’t know how much it can mean to someone to hear the positives.
So all in all, even though my literal jar was empty (not anymore, it’s now full of biscuits), my metaphorical jar is overflowing and it is SO much easier to quiet the booming voice in your head when you take the time to reflect.
If there is one thing I would love for you to take from this post it’s that life is too short to be so hard on yourself. The good things are there if you make the seemingly scary strides to go and grab them.
As always I would love to know your thoughts, hit me up on here or over on the old Twitter – the username is @lindslikedthat btw. Until next time….