#9 It’s Ok To Not Stick At Something Forever

Hobbies. We all have different ones and they probably change many times throughout our lives, depending where we are.

I have recently been struggling with the fact that my passion for music and orchestral playing seems to have died a death and I haven’t been playing in an orchestra for months. I feel guilty and feel like I ‘should’ get back into it.

Then the other day I had a revelation. Yes the orchestra may be taking a backseat for now but I am currently heavily involved in my Rotaract group, enjoying gym classes twice a week, gardening regularly and reading a lot more. Things I used to do like group walks on a Sunday, orchestra practice and yoga classes have been replaced by these new hobbies and actually I have no reason to feel guilty.

Apparently there are a group of people, like me, called multipotentialites, who love to dabble in all sorts of things but might not stick to just one thing. Reading about this made me realise that I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to keep doing everything. In actual fact, I go through phases and it’s not to say I can’t come back to any of my previous hobbies, it’s just that I am enjoying new and different things.

It’s important to recognise that we are all different and, particularly for us multipotentialites, we probably won’t always stick at one thing forever and THAT’S OK.

For me, I like to think it brings excitement and adaptability into my life because I am always on a quest to liven things up and make it different, whether that’s a new date idea with the boyfriend, a change of jobs or a new hobby.

I thought this quote sums it up pretty well:

There’s nothing wrong with having multiple interests. There’s nothing wrong with finding new hobbies, new ideas, new dreams. There’s nothing wrong with letting go what you don’t need anymore. Do whatever makes you – and others – happy. But do it with all your heart.

— Giulia Bergonzoni 

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#8 Don’t Compare, Look Inwards Instead

In our lives, we all have people who we admire, envy or maybe are jealous of. Maybe they have a nice car that we want, or they have travelled somewhere we want to go, or they seem to have a perfect family.

The thing is, we can be so busy looking across the fence that we forget to look at our own patch. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to start working on reaching our own goals.

Sometimes we think we want something just because someone else has it. When actually, when you give it some thought, it’s not that exact thing we want. So they are travelling to Thailand but is that really what you want too? Maybe not, maybe you just want a holiday. So they have a 3 bed house with a garden? But you forget you are saving towards that. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Like everyone, I have suffered with jealous feelings when friends seem to have something I want. However, I have steadily learnt to stop comparing and instead started to focus inwards and remember that I am also a player in the game of life.

For instance the other day, a friend of mine said she was off to Norway for a week. I instantly felt a pang of jealousy but then reminded myself that I have two holidays coming up this year. Instantly I felt more on a level about it, happy for her that she was having a holiday and also excited for my trips later in the year.

This small mindset shift helped me enormously.

So instead of thinking something like, ‘Oh pity me, I don’t have a car or holiday’, change your game and think more along the lines of ‘I am saving for a nice holiday and a house, and I have lots of great things in my life.’

Sometimes all you need is a bit of perspective.

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#7 Walking 2km A Day To Keep The Negative Thoughts At Bay

Nature, and being outside, is one of the best therapies I know. If I find myself ruminating over something or inflating problems into catastrophes, I know it’s time for a walk.

Something about walking outside, breathing in fresh air and being surrounded by trees and greenery is refreshing. It gives you perspective, it allows you to be mindful and to let thoughts tumble through your head and just fly away.

I know for many people, exercise in some form is very helpful to relieve stress and get them out of their head. I find this too and I set myself a challenge to walk 2km everyday to see if it would improve my mood over the course of a week.

Luckily for me the weather was kind and I was able to get out everyday, recording my distance using my phone tracker. Some days I managed to go for nearly 3km and I did feel the difference. Usually, I got out at lunchtime and I’d come back to the office feeling refreshed and happier and, at weekends, I went further out to get into the nearby woodland or park.

It was an ideal distance as it took around 30 minutes to do, so perfect to fit in during a lunch break or after work, and long enough to unplug and let go of unhelpful thoughts. It also helped me to train my mind to focus on the helpful thoughts and to release any negative ones.

I try to get out for a walk everyday, even in the rain, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, because I know it helps me. Everyone has different strategies for managing emotions, stress and anxieties but I believe walking is one of those things that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. And the joy of it is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it – just a pair of shoes!

Oh and maybe a camera…



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#6 Decisions Decide Destiny

Do you ever have times when nothing seems to be going your way? Your friend cancels your dinner together, you don’t get the job interview or you spill your tea. It happens and sometimes we just have bad days. But sometimes, it seems like the Universe is looking out for you.

Maybe you have a random conversation with someone in a shop and something they say rings true, or you see a poster that inspires you to take up a new hobby. It’s like a series of signposts throughout your day. Some you notice, others pass you by, but they might change the decisions you make.

The Universe is looking out for you. It is directing you, helping you, challenging you. For me, for example, I had a series of failed job applications and began to give up hope but then I was absent-mindedly browsing job sites and came across a role I hadn’t heard of before but liked the sound of.

Suddenly it all seemed to fall in place – what I wanted to do. The conversations I’d had with people in the previous few weeks all made sense and the signs had been leading me here.

It sounds quite out there, a bit fatalistic, but the more you are aware of it, the more you see it. I know some people like to see life as spontaneous and random, and it is really, but you have to make decisions even when spontaneous, and those decisions have to be informed by something.

I have heard it said that you attract what you are, not what you want to be, but people change and often so do the people around them. I know that many of my friendships have changed over the last few years as I have shaped and evolved my values, opinions and aspirations.

When you take a step back and look at what you have achieved and how you got there, you may find yourself saying things like, ” I took that job because I knew so and so”, or “I started photography because friends kept telling me I was good at it” or “I met my partner at a mutual friend’s party”. The link here is people. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The conversations you have and the people you know are part of what shapes you and your life and you are led to them through a series of decisions you make.

Take a look at your friendships, especially your close ones. What do they reflect about you? And then think about what decisions you made to meet those people. Amazing to think that some people in your life, perhaps even your best friends, might not even know you if it wasn’t because of some action you took. Be grateful.

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#5 You Are Not Chained To The Everyday Routines

The everyday routines can get boring and mundane but they can also be reassuring and safe. Sometimes though, we need to remember that we aren’t chained to the wheel and that in amongst our 9-5 jobs, we do still have a lot of freedom in how we run our days.

In the week I tend to get up around 7am and get sleepy around 10.30pm, which is a good 15 hours. Albeit, 8 hours are at work and 1 hour is my commute, but that still leaves 6 whole hours to do what I want to do. This thought occurred to me the other day when I was feeling overwhelmed by everything I wanted to get done outside of work – doing the garden, writing a letter to my friend, compiling a photo album. Now there are two options here, I could get up earlier/stay up later to complete these things, OR just make my time work better.

For instance, I have 30 minutes after breakfast and before I have to leave for work, which would be perfect timing for writing a letter, drafting a blog post or simply going out for a short walk. At the moment, that half hour seems to get filled but I couldn’t tell you with exactly what!

So how do we make the most of our time without it becoming another routine part of our day?

Mix it up. One day read the paper over breakfast, the next use that half an hour to write a letter and then post it on your way to work! Some days don’t do anything.

Integrate it. Find a skill you want to learn or improve on and commit to it. Maybe it’s photography – use half an hour in your morning to catch the morning dew on the grass, or maybe a beautiful sunrise. Take your camera with you at lunchtime and capture the hubbub of the city or the reflections in the puddles.

Don’t schedule it. Don’t put one hour aside per day, at the same time, to do that hobby because it becomes too boring, especially for something you enjoy. Just like in yoga they say do what your body says you can do TODAY. Not yesterday or what you think you can do, deal with how it is today. Be aware of how motivated you feel, how strong you feel or how tired you feel. The same applies for our hobbies and our routines. You can’t do everything everyday. Some days you do, other days you barely manage breakfast. And that’s ok. Do what you can, with how you are today.

We are so used to routines, schedules, diaries, calendars, event invitations that it is good to remind ourselves once in a while that we don’t always have to do everything by the clock. Give yourself permission to turn off your phone and take the batteries out of your clock and just be for a while. Do something or do nothing but just enjoy that feeling of passing the time, without watching time pass.

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#4 Resurrect Your New Year’s Resolutions

Spring is upon us. The nights are lighter, the flowers are blooming and the sound of birds is your morning alarm. This is a wonderful time of year.

A time of new beginnings, when we celebrate Easter and Spring clean our homes to brush out the dust from Winter ‘hibernation’. So it is the perfect time to resurrect any new year’s resolutions which may have been left by the wayside or forgotten.

I took some time to review my own resolutions and see how well I was doing. At the beginning of 2017, I set myself three resolutions:

  1. To schedule free time into my diary and not feel bad about not having plans.
  2. To embrace spontaneity and keep an eye out for last minute events.
  3. To visit family and friends more often.

I must admit that I haven’t been very good at putting free time into my schedule, however I have taken more time out from ‘doing’ things to just ‘being’. I have been reading more books and I started a journal, so I am spending more time on me.

On the spontaneous front, I have been doing ok. I’ve popped round to friends for dinner at short notice, tried a new fitness class on a whim (and now doing it regularly) and made the most of quiet Friday evenings with random phone calls, or impromptu drinks with friends. I can do more and will keep looking out for events on the day.

My third resolution, to visit my friends and family more, is going well. I had an ingenious idea to go pottery painting for my birthday with a group of friends who live in various places around the UK. Then when I collected our final pottery masterpieces, I organised trips to see all my friends in their hometown, and deliver their pieces! Worked a treat, and meant I got a day trip out to somewhere different. I have been making sure I get to see my family every couple of months and, so far, I am on track.

Admittedly, my resolutions do contradict themselves in that one says plan, the other says be spontaneous, but it seems to be helping. I am learning more about balance and how nice it is to have time not filled with plans, to be open to new opportunities.

So whatever it was that you set out to achieve this year, revisit it, dust it off and get back into it!

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#3 There Is No Such Thing As The ‘Right’ Person

You hear a lot about being with the ‘right’ person and how this magical ‘right’ person will make you a ‘better’ person. That’s all very well and good until you come to define ‘right’ and ‘better’.

In my view, there is no ‘right’ person and you don’t become ‘better’ as such.  It’s more about where you are in life and who happens to be around you, helping you grow and move to the next stage, not just romantic partner but friends too.

We are always changing as human beings, so instead of thinking of it as finding this ‘right’ person and becoming this ‘better’ person, think of it as being with someone who fits with what you are trying to achieve and who can therefore help you grow.

Now I’m not saying that when you meet new friends or a new partner that you analyse where they fit on your 5 year plan. I mean in terms of whether you hit it off and get a good vibe from that relationship or friendship.

For me, I have always loved music, writing and photography but inevitably sometimes these get dropped in favour of other things. My partner has always encouraged me to pursue my hobbies – he even came up with the title to my current blog posts ‘Bits & Blogs’! And when we moved to a new area together, I joined a new orchestra and got back into my photography. It made me realise how much I had missed it.

When you’re doing things you love, you feel content and happy and that makes you feel good. Some people see this as you being a ‘better’ person but I see it more as just being you. I think we need to get rid of this idea that to be better we have to be happier or blissful in life. In reality, life has its ups and downs, we can’t always be happy but it doesn’t make us any less of a person.

Those who recognise your strengths and the things that make you happy are the ones to keep around. They will be there to help you in the times where your motivation weakens or you lose faith in yourself. They will see your potential and most of all will want to see you succeed.

There are people who will say they want meet up and then there are people who will come and watch you speak at a conference. That’s the difference.

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