I read a great blog post on Thursday by Emma at freefromfarmhouse.co.uk where she wrote a non-negotiables list. A list of things that she needed in her life to make her feel good (family and friends aside). You can check out her great list here.
It sounded like such a fun idea that I decided to have a go at writing my own. At first all that would spring to mind was wine and chocolate, closely followed by my phone(!). It was clear I had some work to do to figure out what really mattered to me. Again, friends and family are a given, this is a list of other things I need in my life to bring me a sense of peace and calm and all round happiness; things I could not function long-term without.
Right now I am trying to be in a place of calm, a place where I can chill out and then handle the chaos of life better. You don’t just get it overnight; you have to work at it. It’s a daily struggle. – Jackee Harry
For as long as I can remember books have been a big part of my life, a refuge and escape, my happy place if you will. Sadly I haven’t read a full book in months, (although I do have about 6 I dip in and out of every now and then) and miss that feeling of becoming fully engaged in a story. I used to read 2 books a week but life seems to have gotten in the way lately and this is something I definitely want to change. In my Monthly Bucket List post for this month (read it here) I added that I want to read two books this month to get myself back on track. Even when not reading them, I love books; the smell, the feel. I could happily spend hours in a bookshop or the library.
I don’t play an instrument and my singing sends the animals running for cover, so it not musical in any way. However, listening to music can lift my mood like nothing else. Kids driving me up the wall? Stick some music on and have a ten minute dance party, everyone is laughing and having fun and reconnecting. Mountains of cleaning to do and zero motivation? Stick some music on as loud as I can without tormenting the neighbours and get moving. Feeling tired while driving? Turn the music up and sing along. Kids screaming in the back of the car? Turn the music up as loud as you can without bursting any eardrums and drown them out (this is a great tip by the way, they soon give up when they realise the more they scream the louder the music gets, when they stop I turn it back down and listen to what they have to say). Music also has the power to transport you back to another time, with certain songs or eras of music bringing back great memories.
There was no way this wasn’t going to make the list. Curling up on the couch after the kids have gone to bed with a bar of chocolate and a good book or film to watch is pure heaven. Although perhaps not in the vast quantities that I manage to get through!
I’m lucky that although my children are still young (7 and 2), they rarely get up before 7am. Once they do get up everything becomes bedlam. If I get up at the same time as them and start my day with the manic screaming and ten million questions about minecraft or Star Wars I am tearing my hair out by 8am. However, I’ve discovered that if I get up at 6am I can shower without an audience, I can have breakfast all to myself without having to share it with a drooling and snotty 2 yr old, I can even read the news and drink a cup of tea while it’s still warm! Starting the mornings in this calm way helps me last a lot longer before they break me (at least 9am!).
My husband is in the Merchant Navy and works away 10 weeks at a time and in the last couple of years it has become a bit of a tradition to have a night away just the two of us each time he comes home (before that it used to be once a year but as the kids have increased so has the need to get away!). Both sets of grandparents live close by so we are really lucky and arranging a babysitter for a weekend isn’t usually a problem. It’s nice to just get out the house without a big change bag and be able to go out and eat a nice meal without food flying everywhere and someone having a tantrum, or having to play ‘parking cars’ on the table. And we can get blind drunk and not have to get up early. I can have a lie-in and still get a quiet morning, albeit with a thumping headache and nausea!
How about you? What things do you need in life to keep you sane?