What I’m giving up.

Calm scene with flower

May was a tricky month weatherwise. One day we were basking in a heatwave, the next my gutters were overflowing in a monsoon-like downpour. But the day came when I knew had to put away my winter clothes (though being in England I kept by a few jumpers!), and get out the lighter trousers and caftans.

 Going through the mounting pile, I felt an urge to get rid of a whole load. I’m the sort of woman who hangs on to clothes for years. Oh yes, I mean decades! But looking at some items I couldn’t bear the thought of getting them out of store in the autumn and wearing them for yet another season. I was bored. They were dragging me down.

 I’m giving up on having things in my life that drag me down.

 My energy is precious these days and I want to surround myself with people who lift me up, things that I find beautiful and experiences that enrich me.

I’m also giving up on time-wasting. My time is precious, I can never get it back and I can’t see anyone inventing a way of getting more of it! So I started to think about the things that I spent time on needlessly.

I’ve been getting very selective on the TV I’ll watch, though I must admit this one was forced on me this month while our television gave up on us and we’ve had to wait for the repairman to come knocking. I missed watching the Chelsea Flower Show and it’s been agony not being able to watch The Handmaid’s Tale (definitely not uplifting but so gripping!).

I’m trying to give up sugar. I ignore the biscuit tin in the house, even though there’s very little in it. I can now stand by a sweet counter and turn away. I treat myself to one small but very good chocolate each afternoon and I can truly savour the deliciousness instead of just popping sweets into my mouth without noticing.

But the BIG thing I’m also trying to give up is complaining. Have you tried that? It’s a difficult one!  I get annoyed by drivers speeding past me in small towns; people chatting in doorways when I’m in a hurry; companies not getting back to me; data protection systems; fruit packaged in plastic, birds pooping on my clean car….. the list goes on.   But when you switch your focus from situations that are frustrating you and stop… breathe…and smile, life becomes easier.

When you complain you’re focusing on lack and what’s not working.  You can get caught in a downward spiral of dissatisfaction making you angry and frustrated. 

When you look instead at what you do have and what’s making you feel good, your mood is instantly uplifted.  Suddenly you notice the sway of the trees, the smile from a stranger, even the song from the bird that pooped on your car!  Gratitude I’ve found is the greatest healer, mood enhancer and life improver.

 And that’s what it’s all about, wouldn’t you agree?

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