A complicated look at uncomplicated topics to ameliorate your day.
1. Get in touch with a favourite childhood hobby
We are only young once but it doesn’t mean we can’t pretend, right? Think back to those halcyon days of blissful ignorance when Mum wanted you home by 5pm so instead you would just sneak in before dark. When riding your bike to school was as fun as pay-day is now and grazed elbows and knees were as usual as your next parking fine. Think back to what you ‘loved’ as a kid. What did you throw your schoolbag in your room and quickly scoff down your afternoon cheese and biscuits for? What did you argue with your parents about for an extra 30 minutes to stay out before dinner?
Whatever that was, if you are lucky enough to be still doing it now, that is brilliant. If you are not, why not get back in touch with it. I, like most, went through many phases and fads. I don’t expect every young adult to race out and buy another Tamogotchi or a set of marbles but there is undoubtedly something else, a hobby, you have tucked away there that you can rekindle. Did you shoot hoops and haven’t done so in years? Did you paint or draw and have no time to fit it in anymore? Did you try Parkour or play golf?
When it hits you, you will know what I am talking about. I have planned to buy a new skateboard and take it to an old stomping ground (skate-park). I am sure to make an idiot of myself, I am sure to look a tad old to be rippin it up on the fun box and I am sure to pop a shoulder or break a wrist but hey, it will be fun.
2. Call an old friend
Life gets in the way. We get taken to funny places with unplanned consequences. There is no better time of the year to call an old friend. Maybe a previous work colleague or a school friend who went to a different university and you drifted apart.
Do you think, eh, what would I say?
You were good friends for a reason, you enjoyed each other’s personality, thoughts, fears and dreams. All you need to do is pick up the phone for 15 minutes and reconnect. Start with “Hi, its [name], it has been long enough so I thought I would call. How are you?”
You will be surprised where it will lead and how it will unfold. You don’t need to schedule a reunion or tell them about your credit card debt. Be yourself and it will be a very worthwhile experience.
There is always someone else less fortunate than us. It is very normal to want gratitude or recognition for philanthropic deeds but this year, just buy an extra Christmas stocking from a department store and leave it under their Christmas Donation Tree or the other charity spots. Someone will be very grateful on the 25th.
4. Family – Be thankful
We all owe a great deal to our family. Most of us are aware of this and are thankful for all the sacrifice offered. It is not very often we sincerely and openly display this gratitude. We may say “thank you” or send a nice text but do we ever deeply show thanks for what we are lucky enough to be a part of? Do we express why we are so blessed to have the influence and support of those loved ones around us to these people? This year, try to sit down with a family member who has been vital to your success, helped with your stress or just been a guiding figure in your evolution. Don’t overdo it or over think it, just be honest, open and genuine. You will feel much better after saying it, and they will no doubt appreciate your thoughts.
You don’t need to sit someone down or make a speech at the Christmas dinner table. A simple note on some scrap paper or a handwritten letter will be just as authentic.
The year has almost culminated so what better time than now to stop. Life in the current age is fast paced, unforgiving and frantic at times. Rarely do we get a chance to reflect. Sit down in a quiet spot for a reflection on what has happened in the past year. Run through month by month to get a gauge of exactly what you have done. Where have you gone wrong? What choices would you change?
Come up with a small list of the great things you achieved or were a part of. Similarly, do a list of things you didn’t do or want to do better. It will give you a chance to reflect upon what is always a whirlwind 12 months. Enjoy the good memories and embrace the things you’re going to improve, as they are how we evolve.