Sunday, November 3, 2013

Listography - Top 5 life lessons

Earlier this year an article did the rounds on social media called 'Top 5 regrets of the dying'. An Australian nurse who had cared for people in the last weeks of their lives had recorded their biggest regrets and turned it in to a book. There were some expected results and some more unusual ones, but it was all very thought provoking reading.

Fortunately I am not in the last weeks of my life and therefore don't have to have any life regrets - yet. But sometimes you have to take a step back from your day to day life and look at the bigger picture to remember what's really important in your life. So today is the day I climb that mountain and look down on that silly woman racing around the internet and shout 'STOP! Sit back and think about these instead...'

1.  Money is not important
- when you have have it. Since moving to Spain our finances seem to have improved dramatically. Rip off Ireland is dead and gone, for the moment at least, and we are enjoying a far higher standard of living. When you are living week to week on what you have left in the bank so much bad energy is used up worrying about it, thinking and rethinking each thing you do and buy. Much of that negativity is gone for the moment and it feels good. I'd love to quote Mr. Robert Marley and tell you Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold” - but the truth is you need a balance of both really. So this time is to be relished and appreciated whilst it lasts and not to be taken for granted.  

2. Laugh like you mean it
Last night I had a text exchange with my sister that thanks to autocorrect left us both crying with laughter. I may have looked like the village idiot sitting all on my own on the sofa with a massive fit of the giggles and tears rolling down my face, but there really is nothing better. Never underestimate the power of a good belly laugh. I found a lovely quote for this which says 'Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing. My soul probably looks like Fred Astaire'. Unfortunately I'm not a very graceful laugher - I'm a bit of a can't-breathe-crier when I really get going. My soul is probably more like David Brent.

3.  Engage with your kids
I spend so much of my time telling them to be quiet, sit down, get out, shut up so that I can get on with whatever menial task I am performing. But the truth is when you properly engage with your kids that's when the magic happens. I know this yet rarely follow through on it. The other day I put down the magazine I had just picked up because one of them wanted to play charades with me. We ended up giggling together over one of the acting out sequences and I looked into his eyes and saw pure love and laughter. Best use of 10 minutes that I spent all week that's for sure.

4. Do the hippie shake
I've done both the barefoot, beaded hair hippie and the well heeled business woman in my time and I can tell you in a heartbeat which one brought me more joy. Sadly the majority of our world is conditioned to cynicism and mistrust about anything we don't understand, but just because we don't understand them doesn't make them null and void. A lot of the time we build up barriers to the mystic, creative parts inside ourselves because that's just the way the world works. Too often we do the finger spinning crazy sign and laugh behind the backs of anyone who steps off the traditional treadmill onto the hippie flower scattered path. But who's happier? For me it's time to reengage with the yogic, chakric, creative, crystal loving alternative universe that's out there and my first port of call is this wonderful book The Rainbow Way by my lovely friend Lucy Pearce. I should add that she's not a crazed hippie, but is a fabulous artist and writer who is full of brilliant advice on how busy mums can engage with their creative side. She says: 'in order to seize this possibility for a more fulfilling life, we have to let go of our old map, which has been handed down to us by well-meaning careers counsellors, teachers, parents, partners and employers, that which is called “The Only Way” or “Just The Way Things Are”. 

 I think we can all do with a bit of that in our lives.

5.  Make Art
Linked into number 4 is my long held desire to write a book. I've written about, talked about it, started it, stopped it, and again and again the excuses keep coming. It may be a very bad book but I just want to know I've actually done it. With that in mind I am taking the drastic step of signing up to National Novel Writing Month and taking a month long blog break so it's so long from me for a little while.

Wish me luck!

A little bit about Listography.
I used to run the Listography linky every week before it all became a bit too much and I gave it up. Last week some of my favourite bloggers came together to help me relaunch it so I feel a bit shitty disappearing on them now. So you may see Listography popping up on some other blogs as I ask people to host it for me - and I'll definitely be back in December with another one (If I'm not too busy with my book launch of course, ahem).  Special thanks to the gorgeous Carolin from Mummy Alarm and Jayne from Mums the Word for getting the ball rolling - you guys rock.

There are no rules to Listography so if you want to join in just go ahead and write your Top 5 Life Lessons post on your own blog and then come back and linky it up below. It's not compulsory but it's good manners to pop over to a couple of others and leave a comment too, and I will do my best to drop by and say hello inbetween tearing my hair out and weeping onto my keyboard.

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