Spending time on your interests

Outside of all the things you’re obligated or committed to do, how much time do you spend on your interests?

It’s easy to be dedicated to your career because doing so often comes with rewards like praise, promotions and a pay rise. It’s easy to spend time on your ‘side hustle’ because doing so will hopefully bring it closer to being your main hustle.

But when it comes to your interests like neoplasticism, poetry and hand embroidery sometimes it can feel difficult to make the time when you don’t directly get anything back from it.

As much as your interests bring you great joy, they don’t don’t always come with specific tanigble rewards. And so if you find that you’re not making time for them, you may need to remind yourself why were interested in them the first place.

Order status update

I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.

One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.

The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.

Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.

I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.

Letting things pile up

Little problems can suddenly become big problems.

It is so important to address things in the moment instead of brushing them off, waiting or saying nothing.

When you do this you’ll find that days, weeks or even months later you’re bringing stuff up that were (according to the other person) not an issue when they happened. And this can then make you seem disingenuous because you pretended that everything was okay instead of raising the issue in the moment.

I think it’s important to be clear about what you do and don’t accept. And then practice voicing that to the people around you so that they are aware of what you’re not okay with.

That way, you never have to let things pile up because that person is already aware. Sometimes we tell ourselves that by saying nothing we are avoiding confrontation or protecting the other persons feelings from getting hurt. However, more often than not we just end up causing ourselves more issues.

A healing place

There comes a time when you must come to a healing place.

Some say they feel connected and at peace by the ocean and for others it’s being among the plants and trees.

Life can be challenging, emotions can be draining.

It’s hard to go on with your normal day to day life when your troubles are weighing you down.

Maybe you don’t even realise you need a break, that your body and mind have had enough.

And then suddenly you find yourself called to a place that is peaceful and calm. Upon arrival, you relax your shoulders and audibly exhale. You had no idea how much you needed to be there.

It gets easier

Letting go can be scary, terrifying in fact. But, once you start doing it and especially if you start with something big, it gets a lot easier.

This happens because you realise that you’re completely fine without the thing you thought you needed.

However, when you’re caught up in the moment going back and forth over whether not not to let something go. it’s difficult. Sometimes no amount of reassurance and advice is enough to make you believe that things will turn out okay.

Perhaps, you believed that your whole world would implode, that you’d be miserable or that nothing good better could come into your life. And maybe you do feel that way for a little while after but then things will start to change. Eventually you’ll find yourself pretty happy with your decision, a weight will have been lifted off your shoulders and maybe you’ll even wish you’d made the choice to let go sooner.

The role of the creator

When it comes to this blog, I’m in charge of the writing process and you are in charge of the rest. That includes the views, likes, comments and how popular each post gets.

As the creator, as much as you might want to be, you can’t be in control of the numbers and of how well your work performs because that’s not your role.

Your role is to do the work and as long as you’re doing it well, you have to learn to be okay with everything that comes with it.

Obviously if you earn a living from creating, the stakes are much higher. You might need to report back to someone and of course what they want to hear is that the numbers have gone up and at worst that they’ve stayed the same.

However, in spite of the above, I think it’s good to look at the numbers occasionally (even if they don’t affect your income). It can be useful to see the kind of stuff that is performing well. For example, one of my most popular posts is about Instagram and I’m also aware that my posts about being a writer and the writing process tend to do fairly well. I enjoy writing about those topics so choosing to do more of that would be a win-win for me as the writer and you as the reader. I wouldn’t have that knowledge without looking at the numbers.

But most importantly, the key is to not become so attached to the point that you’re happy when the numbers are up and sad when they’re down. The only thing you need to do is create.

What if things could be easier?

I have this belief about the people that we meet.

I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.

Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.

Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .

I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.

Get the ball rolling

As much as it is easy to remain stagnant it requires much less effort than expected in order to get the ball rolling.

It could be as simple as making a phone call, sending an email or booking something.

We make things much more challenging than they really are by thinking that we have to complete the thing in one giant leap rather than step by step.

We under estimate the power of little by little because we can’t see the bigger picture.

It might start with a phone call but then it moves on to something else and then something else which goes on and on until suddenly you’ve completed the thing you were working towards.

Something always has to give

Life is about balance. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to pay equal attention to all things constantly. Instead you give more attention to different areas of your life when necessary.

And that means that at certain points, some things will have to take a back seat. Perhaps when you’re focusing more on work, you spend less time with friends. Or when you’re focused on saving you spend less time going out for drinks/food. But when you’re focused on improving your health and fitness you spend more time working out and cooking.

Sometimes, after a period of focusing on one thing, you might find yourself feeling guilty for having put other things aside, even though it was for the best.

Something has to give because you can’t give 100% of your effort to every aspect of your life at once.

However, you can’t just totally neglect an aspect of your life, the trick is to balance your time so that you’re not so focused on one thing that everything else falls apart.

That’s not like you

We grow up carrying around certain beliefs, ideas and perspectives. We have things that we tell ourselves we wouldn’t do. It could be anything from playing sports to wearing false nails, hiring a cleaner to watching stand up comedy.

These aspects help shape the kind of people we end up becoming.

However, sometimes we reach a crossing where we want to explore other aspects of ourselves without the limitations we had previously used to form our identities.

Perhaps you now want to try something that conflicts with the ideas or beliefs of your past.

It could be something that appears small to others yet for you this change almost feels like a betrayal. It means you’re no longer the person you thought you were/would be.

It’s especially difficult when you start becoming or experimenting with things that you associate with the kind of person you used to judge and make negative assumptions about.