Focus, Forgiveness, and Caring a Lot Less

I know it’s a little late to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  The majority probably went straight in the bin by January 3rd.  I also know it’s rather early to be reflecting on resolutions that have held so far. Some people also just don’t like to set goals at the beginning of the year as self improvement is an ongoing process, which I totally get and actually agree with.  However, I feel like I wanted to share my main aim of the year, because if I share it then I am far more likely to stick to it.

Goodbye 2018: Hello Cliched Blog Post 

I would like to think of this less as a ‘New Year’s’ thing and more of a general life and happiness goal.   The fact of the matter is that I have a real issue with taking things to heart and mulling things over for weeks, months even.  I tend to end up making myself completely miserable over stuff that won’t matter in six months’ time.  This is no good for anybody involved.   This is something I realised I can learn to completely avoid as I bring it very much on myself.  So, I’ve decided to put a stop to this self destructive behaviour.  I can’t carry on stressing about things that happened years ago or feeling angry when certain names pop up on my Twitter feed.  It sounds ridiculous I guess, but I’ve gone cold turkey on caring.   Obviously not about important things like the environment and politics, but about the things that leave you angry with no real lasting meaning.

The first step to this was a social media cleanse.  I went through my Twitter and personal Instagram and unfollowed anyone who made me feel bad about my mind or body, posted negativity, and caused drama.  No one’s got time for that.  I was inspired to do this by Lucy Moon and her YouTube video ‘Organising my Life: Ten Mindful Habits for the New Year’.  She only follows people who inspire her, or who she considers a friend.  If you don’t make the cut, you’re out.  Taking this advice onboard has actually changed my general outlook and happiness.  I don’t see any negativity (the mute button is a blessing), and because I follow fewer people there is less to see, thus I spend far less time on social media.  That’s just generally good for your brain anyway.  There’s far less mindless late-night scrolling meaning far more energy and positive feelings in the morning!  This initial step has made me feel so much freer? It’s weird to think that social media can tie you down so much and bring such a negative energy into your life.

2019 is the year of forgiveness and water under the bridge for me.  Everyone in my life had their slates wiped clean this year.  I’m all for second chances and new beginnings.  It’s tiring holding a grudge and to be quite honest, it makes you completely miserable.  Life is way too short to care about the petty things.  There’s no easy way of just forgiving people, you just have to constantly remind yourself that it doesn’t matter to you anymore and eventually you won’t even think about it.  I think it’s less about the ‘forgivee’ and more about being the bigger person yourself.  I’d say I feel so much happier, and way more confident, having wiped a couple of slates clean.  It’s so good for your head and general well-being.  I understand that there are some things that can never be forgiven for some people.  They were traumatic, manipulative, or now is just way too soon.  And that is perfectly okay.  It won’t be long until it stops ruling your life and you feel a huge weight lifted.

This month I’ve completely channelled my focus into myself.  Not in a self-absorbed way, but in terms of understanding things that I can do better and ways to make my life easier.  For example, having a schedule for this blog keeps me driven and motivated.  It gives me a reason to reflect and understand how I feel and think, in order to put it into words.  In addition, I’ve widened the genres of my intake of all forms of media.  Discovering new writers and documentaries is far more fulfilling than scrolling through Twitter beef.   I think focussing more on myself and the values I hold has stopped me for caring about what other people are up to and becoming absorbed in their drama and gossip.   Concentrating on bettering yourself makes all the small town chatter seem so meaningless and futile.   I have found that it’s important for me to give myself a moment to be mindful.  I’ve found that the time I take for yoga really helps this.  It requires calm and concentration and I don’t think about anything else.  It helps me put everything into perspective and focus my energy into positive things.  I also feel like I’m walking on sunshine afterwards, so I guess that helps.

When I’m having a rough patch, negativity clings to me like cobwebs, and I’m kind of proud to be able to say that I’m working out how to unpick them.  Obviously there are days that are worse than others.  There are days when everything gets to people and there isn’t much that you can do about it.  But by doing these three things this month everything is seeming a little bit brighter, and I am feeling a whole lot lighter.   Here’s to caring less in 2019.

Leave a comment below or on my Instagram and let me know how you resolutions are going if you have any, or if not what is one thing you’ve started doing recently that makes you happier?

R x

Thank you for reading!
I’m Rosie and I post every Wednesday and on the last Sunday of every month.
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Saying Yes to More

I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly outgoing individual.  Normally, the idea of going to an event alone, without anyone I know being there, would completely freak me out.  I like the comfort of having a friend there who I can follow about and get introduced to people by.  So, God knows why I signed up for a 10 day volunteering scheme 200 miles away, on my tod.

While procrastinating from my final essays of university, I was scouring my emails for job opportunities and came across a message from my course leader concerning Cheltenham Literary Festival.  I signed up to volunteer, almost as just something else to do for thirty minutes instead of writing my essays.  About two months later I was having a telephone interview in my lunch break, out the back of the pub I work in.  To be honest, I didn’t really expect much to come from applying on a whim.  I was shocked I was actually chosen for an interview.  Several months later I found myself on a train to Cheltenham, just me and my little bag.  I was a bit terrified to say the least.   I realised I was surrounded by people I didn’t know, who all seemed to know each other, and I was completely stuck.

My actual worst nightmare come to life.

I find it amazing that from this, I went on to have one of the best, most fulfilling experiences.  Forcing myself to speak to people and put myself in situations I’d otherwise avoid, made me realise how outgoing I can actually be.   I made amazing friends, some of who I’m still in contact with.  I met incredible people; Richard Curtis, Ruth Jones, and Simon Mayo to name a few.  I was overwhelmed by how rich and motivating the entire festival was for me.  I realised I was good at the things I wanted to do and although you can’t make everyone like you, you meet the loveliest of people in the weirdest scenarios.   I went to parties and helped at book signings and saw Michael Morpurgo in real life.

This year I hope I find more opportunities to say ‘yes’ to.  I want to do more things that are out of my comfort zone.  I don’t want to always feel safe.  It’s good to sometimes feel vulnerable and create a stronger you out of it.  I know this was only a tiny little thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m quite proud of myself.  I applied for a thing, I was chosen for the thing, and I made the absolute most out of the experience.

Here’s to 2019 being full of fulfilling opportunities and chances to say yes to more.

Goodbye 2018: Hello Cliched Blog Post

This New Year I have fully embraced the cliché of a good old fresh start.  I am so happy to be sweeping out those cobwebs and find a new beginning.  I don’t really want to say that I’m happy that 2018 is over, that brings with it the idea that I had a bad! year.  It wasn’t that bad really, but I am still glad to see it gone.  The reason for this is that 2018 was massively overwhelming.  I felt so much pressure throughout and it is the nicest feeling to start a new year without a deadline looming over my head.  There are plenty of other self-made deadlines, but nothing that’s going to either make or break my actual future career, which is a pleasant change.

2018 left me completely exhausted.  So many things, both good and bad, were condensed into a relatively short period of time, and yet I still felt like nothing moved forward.  The big change of the year was obviously graduating from university.  I am so proud of this achievement, especially as for a while it seemed so unattainable.  Even so, while many of my friends and peers have gone on to begin incredible careers, it was somewhat anti-climatic for me.  I felt like everybody around me was either travelling or kickstarting amazing jobs and I was still stuck at home feeling sorry for myself.  I am excited to escape this rut and fully begin my own journey.  I know that 2019 is going to bring positive change.  I don’t want to tempt fate but I truly believe that this year has big things in store.  It feels so good to start a fresh year knowing I could do whatever I want.

Unfortunately, 2018 also brought with it a series of saddening losses that have affected both my family and friends.  These bereavements have demonstrated to me how strong and resilient the people I love can be, and whilst looking back makes me sad, it also makes me proud. I hope 2019 will be slightly less cruel to us.  Having said this, we did have a whole extra year with our family dog, Sweep.  He wasn’t expected to see it past Christmas 2017, and while he’s the biggest, dopiest, blind, deaf, baby – somehow a Christmas miracle pulled through and he’s still happy and with us today.

I am proud to say that I went through a lot of personal growth last year.  2017 was a terrible year for my mental health and therefore my physical health, grades and personal relationships.  I’d like to think that I had a Sweep-like miracle and have started to pull it back.  I think I owe a lot of this development to bullet journaling, which I know sounds dumb but I really believe it helped me a lot.  I expressed my thoughts about how this method of organisation has helped me mentally in a previous blog post.  I forced myself into this habit and the difference it has made is phenomenal.  I am so happy to be able to say that the dark periods are growing fewer and fewer, and that for the first time in a long time, I can see things clearly and positively.

After realising how good bullet journaling was for me last year, I picked up new interests during the summer as a way to distract myself from everyone around me catapulting themselves into their futures.  I started doing yoga as a way of managing my anxiety.  Straight away I kind of just knew that this was what I’d been missing in my life.  It keeps me grounded but also encourages me to keep on pushing myself and improving on my abilities.  I used to go to the gym in Cardiff and this was great when I’d fully got into it and had a decent session.  But, the stress it caused before I even got there (in terms of how busy it was or if I’d bump into anyone I knew), stopped me from going too many times.  In comparison I get excited to get my yoga mat out in the living room, and my goal this year is to start going to classes, but I’ll do it at my own pace.   I also embroidered a couple of t-shirts and I’m keen to broaden my creative outlet.  I find this so therapeutic and the people who have received my creations seem to love them, so watch this space.

I have given myself so many more realistic goals this year and I am genuinely enthusiastic to get started on them.  ‘Care Less’ is one of the main ones.  Not about people, but about petty things that drag me down.  I don’t need that drama and gossip in my life, and I know it never makes me happy.  I hope January 2020 will find me full of joy and pride for 2019.  I know that this year is going to hold the big turning point in my life and it both thrills and scares me.  I will look back on most of 2018 with fondness, but I am very ready to move onwards and upwards with vast amounts of positivity.   Here’s to new adventures and big beginnings.