I recently discovered a new podcast and listening to it brings me joy.
I find myself often relating to the conversations they have or smiling/laughing.
It’s so useful to fill your life with little things that bring you joy that you have easy access to.
Something extravagant like a week in the Maldives isn’t accessible to you on a regular basis.
You have to think small-scale.
A useful exercise is either throughout or at the end of the day write down all the things you did that brought you joy, then make a vow to do those things more.
It could be meditation, morning gratitude, getting a coffee in the kitchen with your work pal, listening to a particular song or podcast, reading a book, putting on a face mask, saying good morning to strangers on your way to the bus stop or train station or even going for a walk.
As humans we have a tendency to over complicate things but often it’s as simple as, whatever makes you feel good, do more of it.
I’d love to know what you like and would want more of in the future from The Daily Gemm.
It could be more about my career journey as I work on developing myself, stuff on overcoming anxiety, habits and practices, my writing process, becoming more confident or just more about Debbies brother.
I have a good idea of what I’ll be sharing next year but if there’s anything in particular that you’ve enjoyed from me this year then I’m happy to do more of that.
It’s also Christmas Eve today so think of your feedback as part of a gift exchange, one that will be returned in the new year.
Sometimes I find myself caught up in trying to be a blogger instead of simply just being myself. And in the process I find myself being drawn to creating content that I don’t love as much as I could.
When I first started blogging 8 years ago I was just sharing stuff that I was interested in which mostly included fashion and personal style. But over time instead of following my own flow of creativity I started trying to be a blogger. I ended up falling out of love with creating stuff to share online because I’d sacrificed my sense of self in order to try and fit it and do things ‘the right way’.
I didn’t realise it at the time but I lost my creativity. Not to the extent that I was unable to create because I haven’t really stopped blogging since I started. However, what my content lacked was passion, consistency and quality.
For the past few years I’ve ticked along in the lifestyle blogging space not improving, sharing, connecting, experimenting or expanding as much as I could have.
But starting this blog almost a year ago (can you believe it!) helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Despite not having designed a fancy header or logo and the fact that this site contains no pictures, I feel more creative here than I’ve felt on wordsbygemm for the majority of the year.
On The Daily Gemm, I don’t get to hide behind content that has been done 101 timed before. As a result I’ve made up characters like Betty and Debbies brother, I’ve explored my feelings, wrote about my work life, shared my experiences with having anxiety, shared things that I’ve learnt and even written about current events like fires, abortion laws and politics.
The year is not over yet but I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to share so far and thankful to you for reading.
…in anger (this has nothing to do with Oasis but I do love that song!).
You can spend your whole life working on improving aspects of your life. Imagine you’ve always struggled with your career and finding something that you like that pays enough that you can live a life you’re happy with you.
Imagine you’ve spent years feeling unsatisfied moving from job to job.
Then all of sudden you find something that is everything you’ve always wanted and you’re finally happy doing what you do to earn a living.
But you’re also left with somewhat of a gaping hole in your heart where that struggle used to be.
Even though things have changed for the better, it feels as though something is missing because you’re lighter now.
What’s missing is the stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, worry and the struggle. Yet somehow you might find yourself longing for what once was.
Overcoming is a pretty big deal, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and don’t look back on what once was.
There is power in the meaning we attach to words.
The Bare Minimum Betty concept is something I came up with because I enjoy playing around with ideas and creating characters. But it’s about more than just a made up character that doesn’t go above and beyond.
What started as just part of my writing practice resulted in me reflecting on my own behaviour.
I began identifying moments in my life where I was being bare minimum, not in a critical way but in a gentle way. Like ‘oh, I could put in more effort here’ or ‘I can feel myself holding back’.
And in these moments of reflection I began to understand what it really means to be bare minimum.
It’s complaining or being frustrated with where you’re at because you’re not putting much effort in and not getting much back.
It’s going through life without letting your core self be seen.
It’s following instructions and not being willing to ask questions.
It’s being tossed about by the waves of life because you aren’t willing to pick up an oar.
It’s noticing a problem but waiting for someone else to offer a solution.
That’s not the kind of person I want to be, yet I like many others sometimes fall into being a bare minimum Betty.
But in recognising those things in myself I’m able to push past them. So, when I notice I’m holding back, I’ll push past those feelings and speak up.
On the flipside I’m also aware that some people are totally satisfied with being good enough or bare minimum that is totally okay as long as you don’t pretend you’re offering your best.
Which one are you?
The first kind is the one we all know and love (or perhaps just tolerate through excessive eye rolls). This person is problem focused. They find a problem with anything and everything.
What’s worse is if you offer a potential solution they’ll probably find a problem with that too.
The second person is solution focused. They’ll complain as a way to vent their frustrations but then they’ll move on and do something about it.
The first person never manages to progress nearly as much as the second.
The answer might surprise you, or not.
By ‘it’ I mean this blog, the words, my writing.
I used to think that it was for you, that I was doing this because I had some great message to share with you and that it would hopefully inspire you in some way (or something along those lines).
But then I started reflecting on what I was writing about and how I was feeling each time I let the words pour out.
That’s when I realised that it was for me. I write for myself. Sure I want you to read it and I’m happy when you do but my musings of fear, challenges and the dreamlife are things I write because of the life I have lived.
I find it helpful to write a couple hundred words on overcoming a difficult situation because it serves as a reminder that not only is it possible, but that I’ve actually done it.
And when I think about all the pieces I’ve written it’s a reminder of the journey that I’m on and all the ‘gemms’ I’ve learnt along the way.
Some days the ‘gemm’ might be something I noticed whilst I was on the train and other days it’ll be an epiphany that changes the way I live my life.
And perhaps a few years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to share these random short pieces but I’m glad that I decided to start doing it.