Turning a Quarter of a Century

I turned the grand ol’ age of 25 at the end of January and previous followers of this blog might remember my little to-do list before I blew the candles out on my cake.

At the halfway point, I’d managed to tick off quite a few of them and I’m glad to say that I’ve done a lot more since, and probably outside of what I set out to do when I first created this list. Yeah I still haven’t been to Paris (wah) but the 365 days leading up to another mile stone birthday were pretty darn good…

  1. Visit Paris – TO DO!!! THIS YEAR!!!
  2. Take on another sporting challenge- Last year’s 5k has now turned into a Half Marathon… eek.
  3. Camp at a music festival- Festival season is long gone.
  4. Get more work published  I’ve been writing my gig panel for a year now, still getting in reviews and writing online. 
  5. Visit somewhere in the UK I’ve never been– Had a nice little jolly around the South-West in October, so much so that it’s my retirement destination.
  6. Try different foods (Big step for a fussy-eater!) Hmm…yeah, sort of. I likes what I like.
  7. Cook dinner for my family- Erm…I’ve bought a 30 Minute Meals cookbook, that’s a start right?
  8. Finish a TV boxset- On the last few episodes of Breaking Bad. I know I suck at life.
  9. Start saving for the future  On my way!
  10. Have two mad nights out in a row or go out on a school-night (Deal with the aftermath without complaint) Done on a couple of occasions (*cough* Christmas *cough*). I’ve only just started to drink white wine again.
  11. Experiment more with my personal style (Note to self: You can’t live in floral dresses forever)  Yup but I can’t pull off culottes.
  12. Host a charity event- We’re a charitable bunch in my office.
  13. Create a collage/photo album of “My Life 18-25″-  Needs an update.
  14. Move forward in my career BIG SMILEY FACE.
  15. Learn a new skill or take up a short course- You never stop learning.
  16. Stop worrying incessantly about EVERYTHING! Just STOP.- Well…I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t.
  17. Develop and be consistent with my blog  I promiiiiiiiiise.
  18. Face my fear of public speaking- I don’t think I ever will, if I can help it.
  19. Buy a newer car- I still have Bella, my precious.
  20. Visit more of London’s landmarks   Of course. 
  21. Learn when to say “NO.” You can’t always be Super Girl Getting better at this.
  22. Be a bit more impulsive  I’ve learned to take a back seat with plans too (go me)
  23. Start writing short stories again – One day…
  24. Tick more bands off my Live Gig list Forever the music lover. 
  25. Be happy with where I am in life and enjoy living in the moment- Overall, yes, I’ve tried to stop getting too far ahead of myself, stop worrying about where other people are in their lives and concentrate on the here and now. Deep.

18/25

Y’know what? This list wasn’t ever really in the back of my mind throughout 2014 and I never sat there and thought to myself ‘Quick, I must do this before I’m 25 otherwise I fail at life.’ It was a fun thing to do and to look back on I guess.

Life isn’t a to-do list, it isn’t a series of tick boxes with JOB, HOUSE, MARRIAGE, KIDS on it. It’s about doing what you set out to achieve individually, whether that be working towards a promotion, taking up a post-grad course and even things like having some more ‘me’ time or visiting a place you’ve always wanted to go to.

I think with even more so with social media now, we’re into the concept of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’ in the sense we get FOMO and life-envy. For most people, social media is like an Instagram filter of their lives, we’re only seeing what we want everybody else to see. And that’s fine, why wouldn’t you want everyone to think your life is amaaaaazing?

Just take everything with a pinch of salt and think about everything you have that makes YOU happy the next time you see something that makes you go ‘Oh, why can’t that be me?’ Why would you want a regram of somebody else’s life when you have the option of your own, no matter how tough it can be at times.

Every Cloud…

Dare I say it but summer might actually be here and yeah I know that I usually start off every single one of my blog posts with a comment about the weather, like an awkward ice-breaker. My mother would probably tell you that my middle name is ‘awkward,’ so it’s quite fitting.

I’ve taken a break from sunbathing in the garden so that hayfever doesn’t turn me into a snotty mess (anyone else have shares in Benadryl?) and I was inspired to write a post by the book I’m currently reading- The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.

Does every cloud have a silver lining?

Does every cloud have a silver lining?

I haven’t see the movie yet and I’m only halfway through the book so no spoilers please. From what I’ve read so far, the main character is Pat Peoples, a guy who has just been released from a psychiatric unit and desperately wants to reconcile with his wife Nikki again, despite the advice from his family. Pat is happy to have a new therapist, who doesn’t write down or analyse every little thing he says and appears to be understanding of Pat’s optimism in life, something which the doctors in the institution he was in, lacked. He’s fascinated by clouds and therefore believes in the ol’ mantra of ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’

It made me think whether that old saying is just an optimist’s belief, y’know like “the glass is always half-full,” or “there’s always light at the end of a tunnel,” or is it some sort of ego defence mechanism that people use when the going gets tough because most people like to believe in hope. I mean, is there always a positive spin on a bad situation?

Don’t think for a second that I’m disregarding the entire notion because I’m one of those people who does try to see the bright side of things even when it can be quite difficult to do so. My motto in life afterall is C’est la vie but the book has made me think about what we do when no silver lining appears?

It also made me think whether the silver lining mantra also ‘appears’ to us when things start looking up again. If you think about all of the crappy things that have ever happened to you in your life, I can guarantee you that we only start to see the positives once we have cried or stopped being angry or sad. Emotions may be a mind-set but I think physically our bodies have to go through a healing process too, the ol’ Fight or Flight syndrome when we either decide to face something or run for the hills. I mean, do we only see the silver lining once we’ve reflected on things?

For me, whenever I look back on certain past events that haven’t exactly been pleasant, I always try and look at them as some sort of learning curve, even if they were beyond my control. That’s another reason why I think it’s important not to regret anything because life throws small challenges at you to make you learn, whether it’s an explicit one or not.

While I’m not an all-dancing, all-singing, butterflies and rainbows kind of optimist, I think it’s good to believe in certain life mantras, even if it’s just to keep some sort of sanity like Pat Peoples.

That’s my food for thought for today, enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday!