They say you have 30,000 days on this planet – and that’s if you’re lucky enough to live to 85 – which is quite an achievement when you think about it. Anyway, then you’ll be gone and the party will be over. So, you can use this in two ways; the first being to let it motivate you – if you know what you want or what you want to achieve then take a minute and scare yourself with my you-only-get-30,000-days fact. Then, get off your backside and apply for that job/ask out that person/clear out your sock drawer (I’m about to sell my flat so yes, clearing sock drawers is currently a priority for me...) The second is almost the opposite; remember to chill the hell out and stop worrying that you’re not a rocket scientist/haven’t climbed Everest yet/gotten that degree– you’re not here for very long so relax and remember you're allowed to enjoy it and there’s more to life than just checking off fancy achievements. You must also allow time for the other stuff too - it’s just as important.
2) Sometimes things going wrong will give you stories that you will laugh at in years to come.
Most of my close friends will tell you I’m prone to the odd moment of becoming a complete walking disaster. Shortly after I moved to Italy, one of my best friends was getting married back in the U.K. I was so pleased with myself for managing to book the time off in my new job, organise cheap flights, a hotel, and being all prepared and ready. She’s one of my best mates and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Anyway, the night before I was due to fly home I realised I’d booked everything on the wrong day – I was a day late. What an idiot. I had a cry, panicked and had to change my flights so I quite literally got off the plane and hopped in a taxi directly to the wedding reception. I even got changed and put my make up on in the aeroplane loo! Anyway, at the time I was quietly mortified but it was an amazing day, she looked beautiful and it really wasn’t a big deal – I’d made it - plus we laugh about it now. When everything’s going wrong, you’ve got to keep perspective. Obviously some of the more serious disasters in life will never be something to laugh about but sometimes, when you look at the bigger picture, when stuff goes wrong and lifes gets ridiculous - you get the stories. I once got food poisoning on a 10 hour flight back from Panama to Amsterdam – it was one of the worst experiences of my life but I can’t help fall about laughing whenever I talk about it. There are so many moments when I was a holiday rep where I just had to laugh at how disastrously things were going and remember; no ones died, its fine, the air conditioning has broken, my driver only speaks Italian, its 45 degrees and I’m trapped in traffic on a coach with 30 rapidly over-heating angry Glaswegians, but its fine, no ones died!. We’re good – and I know I’ll be 3 glasses of Prosecco deep and laughing about it later. Forget perfect – things rarely go as planned and often that’s where the fun starts anyway. So if you got up late this morning, accidentally conditioned your hair twice, went to work with the pricetag still hanging off your new top before putting kisses on the end of an email to your boss – (yes I have done all of these things..) its fine…you’ll laugh about it later. The world has become so obsessed with perfection that being able to laugh at ones ridiculous and imperfect self is becoming a dying art. Yet a lot of the funniest moments of my life have come from things going disastrously unaccording to plan. So don’t worry, if all the wheels seem to be falling off, you’ll be alright – and you’ll probably end up laughing about it later anyway.
3) When you’re feeling fat, unattractive and unlovable.
We’ve all been there. Looking in the mirror and seeing every single one of your physical imperfections screaming out at you in full colour high definition. The moment where you catch a glimpse of your bare face, in bright white daylight, on a hangover. Oh my goodness – how has anyone ever found me remotely attractive. It must have been dark when they met me – or maybe they really do need to go to Specasavers. The same can be said for when you know you’re a grumpy miserable so n so and being the most Negative Nancy in the whole entire world and why would anyone want to hang out with you right now??..in fact how do you even have any friends!?. Anyway, these days are the worst but you’ve got to remember a few things. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw that sexy thigh gap’…said no man ever on his wedding day. You don’t fall for someone because they’re skinny or because they have a big fancy job – or they never get a spot– or they have a tidy house. You fall for the whole package, the person inside – ‘warts and all’. ok, on a superficial level we all fancy attractive people initially, that’s just human nature - but it’s the deeper stuff that makes you want to share a dog with someone. The same goes for friendship; if I asked you why you love your friends, you probably wouldn’t say because of how they look or what job they have (and if you do well, urgh, how shallow are you..?). We love them because they’re funny, or kind, or they make us laugh, or they know what to say when we need picking up. Your friends likely don’t love you for having clear skin, or being a certain weight on the scales or the fact you’re happy all the time. If they do – you need some new friends! I personally find the need to be happy all the time exhausting; I need to be a grumpy cow sometimes to keep my sanity.
We live in an image obsessed world which is starting to lead us to believe that if we’re not showing up shiny and happy – we’re not lovable and we’ll be rejected. When you break it down, the real stuff like love and friendship – doesn’t really have anything to do with all that superficial perfection stuff. So don’t stress; you’re not unlovable because you’ve gained a few pounds – or if today you feel like smiling might crack you’re face. If anything, being a normal, imperfect human will likely make you even more loveable.
So, if you're feeling a rubbish today - I hope after reading this you feel a little less rubbish - or even better you've now just decided to laugh at your feeling rubbish-ness. Either way, I hope you feel better and can give yourself a bit of compassion. Remember...you've only got 30,000 days!..so don't waste them being hard on yourself for just being a normal, imperfect human bean. We really are all in this together...