Live Life Hard

Hello lovelies!

I'm feeling really inspired at the moment and I wanted to tell you about a bit of a challenge I have set for myself this year, and every year to follow. We don't know how long we're here for, and to quote something I heard once: We're here for a good time, not a long time. How true! In a nutshell, my challenge boils down to telling my doubtful, cowardly, fearful little mind to shut up and let me enjoy life unhindered.

In a bit more detail, it has come about from an awareness of all the little ways my head starts to try to self-sabotage me. Have you ever had a blazingly brilliant idea, but a split second later heard a little voice in your head say 'Don't be stupid!'? Have you ever wanted to wear something truly outlandish to celebrate the joy you feel within but a little voice says 'People will laugh at you!'? Have you ever wanted to do something, anything, but told yourself you're too old/young/fat/poor/loud and a million other I'm things? Well, eff that train of thought. Seriously.

This year I'm really trying to nip that kind of crap in the bud and live life hard.

Here are a few small things I want to do in the face of my little voice telling me I can't.

I want to get my septum pierced because it's a discreet little piercing that I can tuck up my nosey-holes if I want to look 'normal', whatever that is. My little voice tells me it'll look stupid on me. I say 'Define stupid!' *pokes tongue out*

I want to get a chest tattoo piece because I'm starting to get a bit of a wrinkly decollete, and if people are going to stare at it I may as well give them something pretty to look at AND it'll remind me to wear sunscreen on it at all times because I'm religious about covering up my ink. My little voice tells me I'm too old for a chest piece. I say I'm 38, not 98, and I tell you one thing that's more ageing than getting old, and that's being a boring ol' shit.

I want to get a small undercut on one side of my head. My little voice tells me my head is too fat for an undercut. I say my little voice can go stuff itself and if it looks awful, it'll grow back! DONE!

I'm lucky, because I had a bit of a wake up call a couple of years ago. I got the chance to realise how fleeting life is, how fragile human life is (no matter tough we think we are) and how much of a blessing life is, no matter what the challenges we face are.

Despite all that's going on in my life, I'm happy. When I'm in the moment, I want to be neck deep in it.

How often do we stop just to look at the beauty of the moon, try to count the stars or listen to the sea? How often do we stop to think how lovely the wind rushing through the trees sounds or how beautiful the sunset is? There are small moments of beauty to be had every day, if only we notice them. There are chances out there to feel alive and invigorated, even if it's only going for a walk on a freezing cold, windy day. I can't think of any better way to feel a million dollars than to breathe in lungfuls of cold air and be blown along in the wind. What's better than going home for a lovely cup of hot chocolate after a beautiful walk? What's better than stomping round your local park, rosy cheeks aglow, watching happy dogs running and hearing the laughter of little children?

We all have things we have to do every day - school, work, housework, exercise, cooking, eating, self-maintenance. These things can take up a lot of time, but if we make time for one soul-enriching thing a day and immerse ourselves in it totally, I swear we'd all be a lot happier. Just for five minutes. Go to your window tonight and look for the moon. See how many stars you recognise. Watch the rain pour down your window. Go to the park this weekend all wrapped up in scarves and hats (if you're in the UK, you'll bloody well need them!) and just let your troubles blow away in the wind...even if it's only for 5 minutes.

We can all immerse ourselves in something for 5 minutes a day, right? Just be mindful and enjoy whatever it is we're doing.....or not doing. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing for 5 minutes can be absolute bliss. No tv, no radio, eyes shut, concentrating on our breathing.....just being. How often do we give ourselves the gift of being in our constantly-plugged-into-phones-and-emails lives? Doing nothing and doing it mindfully can be wonderful. Enjoy doing nothing.

Have you ever thought about your death? I have. I want to be outside, in the countryside or near a beach with the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. Live a little bit of your death every day. It'll remind you to be alive.

Of course there are times when I'm not fully in the moment - there are times when our minds need to coast along in cruise control. I might spend half an evening watching the TV over the top of my laptop screen, but I am mindful of putting more sentient moments into every day, and throwing myself into even the small things in life with joyous abandon.

That may sound odd coming from a woman who's disabled and in poor health, but many moments of my life are truly stonkingly fantastic. Maybe having some parts of my life closed off has given me an appreciation of the little things.

All I know is I'm probably half way through my life (or more) already and I barely feel like I'm getting started. If I'm not going to life my life balls out, who else is going to do it for me? I don't want to lay back on my deathbed and think 'I never put my all into anything. I was too afraid.' I want to lay back and think 'I may not have done everything I wanted to, but I gave everything I had to what I did.'

I told you my three little things, now here are three big things I want to do, but these may take more time than changing physical aspects of myself. These will be my works in progress.

1. I want to learn to trust that everything will be OK. I don't mean that I'll be magically cured, just to take opportunities when they come my way, let go and trust that more good than bad will happen to me. Don't worry about a thing, 'cos every little thing's gonna be all right....

2. I want to try to stop basing decisions on fear. 'I won't do XYZ because ABC might happen.' I don't mean I'm going to start crossing the road with my eyes shut. I mean I want to be able to let go a bit, live more in the now and stop worrying so much about the future.

3. I want to care a lot less what people think about me. The older I've gotten the better I've got at this, but fear of ridicule is still something I face on a daily basis, even if it's an unfounded fear. What am I afraid of? Maybe I do myself an injustice by trying to protect myself all the time. Can I not deal with a bit of unpleasantness if it comes my way? Surely it's better to live the life I want and deal with any issues as they come up rather than worrying about it constantly and letting it impinge on my happiness?

If you had 3 things you wanted to do but a little voice gave you doubts, what would those three things be? What would you tell your little voice to shut it up so you could flourish? Be honest with yourself and share if you feel able to.

Thanks for reading!

If this post has inspired you, feel free to share. 

P.S. A new motto just popped into my head - SCREW IT, JUST DO IT!

Those are the words I want to live by this year.