I went to a friend’s wedding last week and it was fan-fucking-tastic. The night before we drank plenty of wine, took a dip in the hot tub, and smoked the nerves away. Like most smokers, drinking is a trigger – in addition to long drives and beer gardens – and whilst I wouldn’t say I’m physically addicted to smoking, I still occasionally do so simply because of habit. Always believing that everything should be done in moderation (thanks, Oscar), I let that rule go out of the window and smoked a fucking shit-ton over the few days of last week. I made Dot Cotton look like a light smoker.
Also, whilst being incredibly drunk, I ate so much of the evening buffet I genuinely thought I was gonna pop. (The chips were so good though! My love affair with Carbs will never die.) I went to bed uncomfortable and woke up the next morning with a dry throat from smoking so much and I just felt…icky. My excess was my downfall. Thank fuck the alcohol didn’t raise it’s head the morning after, either, as a hangover would be the last thing I’d want to endure.
I thought “Why did I do it to myself?” None of that made me feel good in the long run. It kinda did in the moment, I guess, but the moment was short lived in comparison to the lingering feeling of crap I felt the following morning. What was worse was that I had done it to myself. No one had forced me. I mean, how can I trust myself if I can’t even keep me under control and look after me? What else was I doing in my life that made me feel like shit? On those gut feelings, I decided to go home and write a list of the things I was doing that made me unhappy…
- Smoking excessively. You don’t need to. Just stop already and let it go.
- Eating excessively. Put the carbs down, girl.
- Breaking promises to myself.
- Not drinking enough water in the day…
…And on it went. Writing down all those things actually felt so fucking liberating. I was physically seeing the ways that I wasn’t treating my body, myself, and my life with the respect I deserved. I was operating from a place of self-hate instead of self-love. And, on writing that small but poignant list, I decided that I would simply stop doing the shit that made me so damn unhappy.
You see, there are so many Instagram-worthy and Pinterest-ing quotes flying about all over the internet about doing more of what makes you happy, and treating yourself with love, and being kind to yourself…and we do more to ensure that we are being kind to ourselves and loving ourselves fully. We treat ourselves to that Yoga class, or we spend more time cooking delicious food to nourish our bodies, or we buy the magazine and drink with a cup of tea.
And all these things are amazing! We should be doing the things that make us happy! Absolutely! But, it’s kind of pointless if we continue to do shit that makes us unhappy. We should be doing less of what makes us unhappy because the more time we spend doing things that make us sad, the less time we have doing the things that truly bring us joy.
So, before you do any more of what makes you happy…Pause. Take some time to investigate your life and identify the things that you do, the things that you say, or the habits that you’ve formed, and ask yourself ‘Is this making me feel fulfilled and joyful, or simply adding to my guilt and sadness?’ If the latter, stop doing them.
Now, you could argue “But what if the washing up makes me unhappy?” Yeah, I hate washing up, too, but I know that if I let that shit pile up, it’s going to make me miserable because I’ll be living in dirt. Living in dirt doesn’t make me happy because I like things tidy. So, instead of quitting the washing up, do something that makes it bearable. For instance, play some music and have a little dance while you scrub, or listen to a podcast (From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl are my favourites at the moment!) Keep it realistic, oui?
Once you’ve done a thorough search of your life then surely, it follows, that if we stop doing the crap that makes us so miserable we’ll be happy by proxy.
It’s empowering to be honest with yourself…and I mean really fucking honest. I’ve bared my own life and habits way more than I would normally do so in a blog post but…hey…if it inspires someone else to do the same, then I’m a happy woman.
Less of the bullshit, more of the good shit, right?