I’m now over 40. How much over, never you mind. It took this long to realise what I can control to feel content and satisfied most days. I’m no expert, but here are my suggestions for The Good Life. What would you add to the list?
Wear what makes you happy.
Follow the trends if you like them, but don’t let others dictate what makes you feel good. High heels bring you agony, wear the flats. There are way too many important things in this life to spend one minute worrying if the rise of your jeans is acceptable. Be comfortable in who you are, be comfortable in what you put on your body.
Order the dessert.
I’m all for living a healthy lifestyle. I stay active, I consciously choose fruits and vegetables and attempt to limit the junk. In the end though, life is not made full and rich by austerity. We need to allow ourselves permission to indulge in the good stuff occasionally without guilt. If you can, get the calorie loaded coffee once in a while, schedule a massage, sleep in, order the fries. You are worth the fancy dessert.
Go low maintenance.
Ladies, if you find your beauty routine brings you joy, then go for it. If you find yourself stressed over the time and cost of waxing, dyeing, painting, lasering, exfoliating, needling, injecting, then cut that out of your life. Partake in what you decide is important for your body, not what you are shamed into or expected to do by society. I don’t do the lovely gel nails because I’m not good with the upkeep, but getting my eyebrows and eyelashes done are worth every penny for a natural blond.
Forget about expectations.
You will run yourself into the ground trying to meet the expectations of others. This includes employment expectations, family expectations and societal expectations. You get to determine where to spend your time, your money and your energy. Yes, sometimes you will still conform in general, but when those expectations conflict with your mental health, your values, your safety, you have every right to stand up for yourself and walk away.
Choose your obligations wisely.
You get twenty-four short hours each day. Your obligations should reflect your values and priorities. If something does not serve your priorities and is taking time away from the important things in your life, feel free to toss it out the window and don’t look back. You will never be everything to everybody all the time, and that’s ok.
Give compliments freely.
You’ll be surprised by how much good in this world you recognize when you go looking for it. Compliment your child on helping a sibling or getting ready for bed without fuss. Compliment your partner for something you would normally take for granted. Thank the people in your life. I’ve been known to yell at the numerous delivery drivers as they drive away to thank them for my package.
Experience new things.
Dollar for dollar, you will gain a significant increase in enjoyment from spending your money on experiences, creating memories and spending time with the ones you love versus buying one more unneeded gadget. Our children will outgrow toys, they will never outgrow the knowledge and closeness gained from family experiences.
Be honest in your needs. Be honest in what you can give. Be honest in what you deserve from others. The best love is the kind where you can feel safe in your vulnerabilities.