I’ve been re-reading some of Richard Carlson’s books lately (Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, and You Can Be Happy No Matter What). I haven’t taken too much of a dip this winter, mood-wise, but it’s certainly harder to keep my perspective, not to get stressed out, not to be irritated by other people, at this time of year. Some days, I’m like a bear with a sore head. Even I don’t want to be around me.
It’s hard to admit that, because I think we all prefer to think that our own negative feelings are a result of everyone else’s actions, rather than our own, but it’s true. We can’t control people or events around us, but we are solely responsible for how we react to those people and events. Still, knowing that doesn’t seem to make it any easier to change the kind of character you naturally have, or the ingrained habits you have (often inherited or learned at a young age) for dealing with things.
The truth is, I’m an uptight person. I take life way too seriously, everything feels like an emergency. I have very strong opinions, and find it hard to see things from someone else’s perspective. I’m driven, overly sensitive, and highly strung. If you cut me open, I’d have “Type A” stamped right through the middle of me, like Brighton rock.
I would love to be more compassionate, patient, flexible, easygoing, fun. I’d like to take life as it comes, to live in the moment, to be impulsive, not to care about getting everything absolutely perfect all of the time, not to be such an over achiever. I’d like to be easily amused, easily satisfied, easy to be around.
But I’m not.
I’m sure that all of us struggle with this disparity between who we are, and who we want to be. And the older we get, the more we realise how far we have to go, how much we have to learn. Just how much you can change your natural characteristics, I don’t know. Can a naturally serious person ever become playful, laidback? Perhaps it’s enough just to reach towards it, perhaps that’s all that is needed to make you a more balanced person. I don’t have it all figured out just yet. What do you think?
(Sunday’s outfit: Joules cardigan, Anthropologie shirt, vintage belt, Toast skirt, Fly London shoes, jewellery from Etsy. You can see it in more detail here.)