Did I perhaps mentioned I was stressed in my earlier blog posts? Well I look at myself two weeks ago and laugh, no weep, no laugh. Stressed? I didn’t know what the word meant then. But I’m not going to go into that too much because then I’m just reinforcing unhealthy neural pathways, which is bad. Instead I’m going to breathe and ignore a third of the things I’m supposed to do today.
Because it’s my birthday. Today I turn 31 and mostly for my own pleasure and for future reference I’d like to sum up some of the things I learned this year. I apologise in advance for jumping between using first and second person in the following list. It’s my birthday and I don’t care.
Stuff I learned when I was thirty
Sometimes good things happen out of the blue. You won’t expect them. There is nothing you can do to force these things to happen, they just will and, when they do, it will be a nice surprise.
The only thing you can do is to keep trying and to doing the best you can.
Small virtuous things like doing yoga regularly or meditating will start to add up and make you feel better. Exercising regularly will actually make you stronger, even though your subconscious tells you that unless you’re perfect from day one it isn’t worth the effort.
I really must remember not to eat pineapple.
Being around a lot of people is exhausting. Sometimes it’s important to sit in a quiet room with a cup of tea and just look out of the window.
I’m really very resistant to learning how to drive in London. I’ve spent a year making up excuses for why I can’t book that first driving lesson.
The winters are getting warmer.
The more I read, the better I’ll write. The more I write, the better I’ll write. There is a formula for every sort of writing. Learn the formula first, then focus on how to write well.
Worrying is a waste of energy.
No matter how much you’d like to protect someone and shield them from pain you can’t. You can only love them.
Nothing is more important than family and friends.
Not everyone can be your friend.
Being vulnerable in front of a group of strangers might feel good at the time, but quite embarrassing afterward.
Bread tastes pretty good after almost two years of gluten-freeness. So does pizza and a nice dark porter.
Eating well is one of life’s great pleasures. My most vivid memories are all food-related.
One of the best things about London is the river that runs through it. There’s no coast, but at least there’s the Thames.
Singing makes me happy. It shouldn’t matter how it sounds.
I’ve managed to create some of my best work when I’ve had tight deadlines and not been able over-think and over-analyse. Sometimes it’s best to not think and just do.
The best way to tackle fear and anxiety is to try to feel loving, either toward yourself or someone else. I read somewhere that this releases oxytocin, which lowers the amount of cortisol in your system. I have no idea if this is true, but at this point in time the semi-scientific explanation is enough for me.
I’m the happiest when I have a goal to work towards. Without a goal I start worrying about the meaning of life. That might have been OK when I was fifteen, now it’s better to just come up with the next goal.
Hate and fear will only create more hate and fear. And the world doesn’t need any more of that.
Image by Kris Atomic at Unsplash.