When I was a young adult and I looked at people in their 30s or 40s, I always assumed that they had this game of life sussed. They were mature adults. Surely, they knew exactly what they were doing. Surely, they’d learnt the lessons of how to live a happy and contented life.
I looked at them in awe and believed they all lived perfect lives. They seemed filled with wisdom and knowledge and a confidence I couldn’t imagine possessing.
I was always desperate to grow up and be an adult.
But now I’m 39, and on Saturday, I will be turning 40. Yet, I’m still wondering when I will start feeling mature or adult. Will there come a time when I feel my age? Perhaps when I’m in my 50s I’ll stop looking for my Mum every time I need to make a big decision.
Last year, I wrote and published a post about the 39 life lessons I’ve learnt over my 39 years. But still, there are some life lessons that I really thought I would have grasped by now. So here is my companion piece to that post.
Life Lessons I Thought I’d Have Learnt By Now
1. Be Kind To Yourself
This is the piece of advice that I give to everyone I know. Especially if they are going through a tough time.
“Be kind to yourself.”
I tell them to be gentle with themselves. To go with the flow. And to become their own best friend.
Yet, do I ever follow my own advice? Never! I’m my own worst enemy. No one dislikes me as strongly as I do sometimes. And no one mistreats me as I mistreat myself. I can be very cruel sometimes. But never to other people. The cruelty is always aimed in my direction.
I hope that by the time I’m 50, I’ve learnt to be kind to myself. Perhaps I will begin to give myself a break. Even practise some self-care. It’s probably asking too much that I will have become my best friend. But it would be nice to no longer be my own worst enemy.
2. Learn To Say No
I’m terrible at saying no. I want to please everyone all the time (see point number 3) and I want to make them happy by agreeing to things that will make their life easier. That is why I never say no.
Sure, I’ll volunteer for the NCT. Of course, I can take on the social media and publicity for the Nearly New Sale. You need a parent representative for my daughter’s class? I’ll do it.
On top of all this, I’m a mum of two and a wife to one. I work from home while I look after the kids. Little Miss H goes to school but I have no additional help with childcare. I’m desperately trying to make my blog as successful as possible. I want to reach more readers so that I can spread my story of baby loss and mental ill health. I’m also about to be one of a number of writers collaborating on The Mumington Post and Unique And Chic blogs.
And most importantly I need to protect my mental health. I need to do what I must to keep my mental health well and to look after myself. Otherwise, I can have a relapse (as I’m experiencing at the moment).
I love doing all these things and wouldn’t want to give anything up. But I really can’t take on any more. So I do need to learn to say no.
3. Not Everyone Will Like You
I’m a people pleaser. I want to be loved by everyone. My aim is to make people happy.
Along with this, comes a desperate desire to be liked by everyone. I hate the idea that I’m not best friends with all the people I know. And the thought that some people don’t like me is soul destroying. Rather than concentrating on all the wonderful friends that I do have. I end up focusing on the people that just don’t like me and it reinforces every bad thing that I think about myself.
Yet, the thing is, I’m not going to be liked by every Tom, Dick and Harry. There will be people that find me annoying and irritating. And that should be fine. I need to learn to accept that. And not to think of it as an indictment against me. But to remember it’s normal.
I don’t like Marmite. But I’m sure Marmite doesn’t take it personally. It knows that there are enough people out there who love it. Who appreciate it’s yeasty goodness. It’s just not for me. And Marmite is okay with that.
I need to be more like Marmite.
4. Everyone Doesn’t Hate You
I am a woman of contradictions. I want people to like me. But my default reaction is to assume that I’m hated by one and all.
As I struggle to like myself, then I find it hard to understand why anyone would like me or choose to be my friend. And I tend to fear that my friends don’t know me properly. Because if they did then they wouldn’t want to be my friends. I also apply this theory to my family and my husband.
Yet, I know this is ridiculous. But knowing it in my heard and feeling it are two very different things.
5. Don’t Put Off Tomorrow, What You Can Do Today
Mr H once nicknamed me Lucy Tomorrow. Because of my tendency to say:
“It’s fine. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Of course, tomorrow came and I still didn’t want to do the activity. Plus my anxiety had built up because I’d been putting the job off.
I need a new mantra. One that I can I tell myself on a daily basis. I must become Lucy Today. And instead I will say:
“Of course, I’ll do it now and I’ll get it done.”
This leads me nicely to my final point.
6. Stop Faffing And Just Do It
There is not much to say about this. I need to stop overthinking. Stop procrastinating. And stop faffing and take action. For the love of God, woman, stop faffing and just do it.
Hopefully, the next 10 years will serve me well. And I’m sure that I’ll learn many more life lessons. It would just be nice if a few of the life lessons above could be among them.
Are there any lessons that you thought you would have learnt by now?