As I am sure everyone is aware we are in a new year, we have all seen the hashtags, the health promotions, gym membership adds and charity campaigns. We are all supposed to use this month to turn over a new leaf or change something faulty in our lives. Well not for me, I am doing just fine thank you very much, I could if you pushed me give you a list of stuff I should be doing better but I could give you that same list no matter what time of the year I wrote it. The thing is I got to January the 1st and there have been times when I doubted I would achieve that and so I am making that my win.
My father once told me that the two most important things in life were a made bed and a good pair of shoes and if you could achieve that on a daily basis you would do ok. I have both but some days I really do not do ok. What my father should have told me, and probably tried to many times, was that we all need a framework to live our lives within and even more importantly we all have the right to choose that framework for ourselves.
Imagine getting on a train in London and you need to get to Glasgow, presuming you got on the right train, then you could be pretty confident in reaching your destination. The train may be delayed, it may breakdown on the way, there could be leaves on the line but eventually you will arrive at the place you set out to be and all because many many people worked extremely hard to lay a framework of railway lines across the country that guided the train. Well life is a little like that train journey, we travel from life to death stopping at many stations along the way but for many of us we have no framework, a faulty framework or worse of all someone else’s framework. Sounds pretty straightforward but what is a ‘framework’ where do we find one? How do we know we have the right one? The first thing I did was to discover the framework I was using right now, and then tried to trace where that had come from. How do I make decisions? Why do I like the sort of people I like? What are my hopes for my children? If you sit and consider those questions, then you start to make conscious where your framework comes from and what it actually is. It is not a quick process, that railway line was not built in a day, but start to become conscious about how you make decisions, your ethics, beliefs and morals and you may surprise yourself.
I call this ‘The Rules’ and it is part of a project I am slowly building a process for, it is much a journey of self as it of learning to be flexible, curious and try new things. If it makes you stop and think or if you feel uncomfortable in your skin, you suffer from anxiety or imposter syndrome then maybe you may want to join me on this journey. Please feel free to share your discoveries, I will share one of mine so far and it seems small, but it was an aha moment. It was Sunday and I was stressing about changing the sheets on the bed, we had visitors for lunch and they were staying longer than I expected. I could feel myself getting anxious, clock watching and hoping they would leave. I love these people, I really enjoy their company, but it is Sunday and I need to strip the bed. Why? Because Sunday is change the bed day, why? Because it is, because my mother’s rule was every Sunday the bed linen needed to be changed. So, a rule my mum made was making me anxious some 40 plus years later. It would certainly do no harm to leave the bed linen one more night and enjoy my friends company. Right there and then I decided to change that rule, and I changed it to, I will change the sheets weekly at some point. Now I could relax and enjoy time with my friends, stop clock watching and lose the anxiety. So what rules have you picked up that actually do not have any real reason to remain?