Here I am in the 80s, ribbon in my hair, pea shooter in my pocket, smile on my face. All that mattered then was playing. I dressed like a girl and played like a boy, spending most of my time with my older brother and his friends. Life was so simple. I didn’t come home from school and whine about what a terrible day I had, I came home from school and grabbed the football for a kick about in the streets. Fast forward to today and I’m frazzled, as so many of us are. How exactly did life get so complicated?
In the last couple of years I have been through some significant change. I had been living the life of a single girl in a major city centre where nothing was more than a few minutes away. Working full time as a retail manager I was forced to manage my time to fit my life around my work. If I had something to do, I knew that if I procrastinated it just would not get done. My time was meticulously planned, each day I knew exactly how long I had to get home from work, get changed and get out again to make it on time for whatever activity I was attending that evening. Some people could not believe how much I was doing but the hard truth is that if you really want to do something you will find a way to fit it in.
I somehow managed to squeeze the occasional date into my schedule, with all the hobbies I had I was meeting lots of men with common interests. The upshot was that I met one I fancied hanging onto and I was enticed to the other side of the country to live in a small town with limited access to all the components of my previous life. I gave up my stressful job, looking forward to a new stress free life in the country. For a while it also seemed as though I had given up my happiness, but after many months of trying to make things work I realised my unhappiness was caused by trying to cling onto my city life instead of making a new one to fit the changes. My conversations became full of the words, ”used to,” as ”I used to be fit,” ”I used to eat healthily,” “I used to be around people all the time.” I held onto resentment that in my new location these things were harder to achieve.
This Christmas I spent a lot of time with old friends and family and despite some wonderful times, after one particular occasion I was left with the feeling that I had outgrown certain people. After some thought I realised the reason I met up with them was because, “I used to be close to them.” Yes, they are lovely people, but our lives have grown in different directions. The worst of it was that I almost resented having spent the time with them when I had so much else to do. I resolved to seek out people who had more in common with my current circumstances. Shortly after, I saw this blog and decided my nuts had to go.
I now know I had nuts all over. I clearly had both fists and feet trapped inside jars. After much analysis I found so many changes I could make which would simplify my life. Realisation crept in that some of the things I thought I wanted to do but didn’t have time for I was actually finding excuses not to do. As I said already, if you really want to do something you will make the time. No more doing things because “I used to,” instead I need a good reason why I want to do something. I started examining why I wanted to do the things I felt I couldn’t do any more, I began to see other things I used to enjoy long before my time was filled with city activities. I “used to” write, I “used to” read, I “used to” dance, all things I wish I still did. So here I go, on a mission to ditch the items, activities and people in my life which are getting in the way of the things I really want to do.
I know from talking to people and reading social media that I am not the only person struggling to do it all and I hope that I can set an example which will help others to make life less stressful and more simple. Start by looking at why you want to do your what and see how many whats you can leave behind.