06.06.12

Surprise! I’ve got an early preview for you this week. The update is so lavish, so packed with intense colour, I thought you deserved extra window shopping time. Here are some of my favourites.

04.06.12

I have this quote pinned up on my Happiness board on Pinterest: You can do anything, but not everything.

I appreciate – and need – the reminder that we can’t be everything in life, that we have to make choices, take certain paths, and that may close down other options for us. I think far too many of us try to be – and have – everything. But this quote doesn’t quite get it right either. Because you can’t do anything. You can do a lot of things, depending on how much effort you are willing to put in, but the world is not your oyster. You don’t have infinite choices. No matter how much I might want to, I’m never going to be a supermodel (I don’t want to, but it’s the first example I thought of!).

I think it’s important to understand this, and to accept it graciously. I’m always horrified by talent/reality shows, where the most appalling singers come on, and after getting slammed by the judges, wail, but all my family say I have an amazing voice! Yes, it’s important to praise children, and allow them to aspire to great things in life, and to support and encourage them as they reach for their goals  – but it’s as damaging to encourage false aspirations, unrealistic goals, as it is not to encourage them at all.

There seems to be a remarkable degree of ambition in the world today, and a corresponding degree of dissatisfaction. Instead of embracing our strengths and accepting our flaws, and being content with our little corner of life, we are urged to settle for nothing less than perfection. Reality tv shows promise fame (you could be the next Star!). Magazines promise beauty (30 days to a supermodel bikini body!). Lotteries promise wealth (it could be you!).

The inference is that without fame, power, riches, beauty, you cannot be happy, and the sad thing is, so many people buy into that, and spend their whole lives reaching out for the golden carrot that is always just out of reach (and as a result, not seeing all the gifts around them in their everyday lives).

Today’s excessive emphasis on appearance makes me really sick. The cosmetic surgery industry is booming like never before. Have you noticed, when you watch TV, how women are all starting to look alike? Plasticky, generic, dolls. It’s tragic. Individual beauty and character are wiped out, in favour of eternal youth and the narrow margin of accepted beauty.

It seems to me (and I’m treading on thin ice here, I know) that much of the increase in broken marriages in recent decades has to do with this issue. If we are encouraged to question the value of our life, to constantly reach out for better, to be envious of those with more, then the inevitable result of that is a dissatisfaction with everything in your life, and that may include your spouse. This is a world of constant upgrades, after all. So instead of looking for the real root of discontent, or working on any problems, couples split, quick to find a better version. And soon, the cycle starts all over again.

A lot of this harks back to a previous blog post, in which I confessed a struggle with envy and comparing myself to others. This is a huge part of the issue. But we are under constant pressure to do just that – the majority of the commercial world is built around this very concept. It’s incredibly difficult to break out of this mentality. But I’m doing my best, every single day.

Here’s what really matters: I am me. No one else in the world is like me. I am unique. Why try to be like someone else? Why should we all be the same? How incredibly dull would life be then? Be yourself. Enjoy being yourself. Live your own life, not someone else’s. Walk your own path, and be content in it. Make the most of what you have, and forget about what you don’t have. We can be something special without being anything special at all. We don’t have to excel, to get external adulation, to be on a pedestal. Every single one of us is special for the solitary reason that we are ourselves.

Don’t lose your specialness trying to become someone else. Be the very best you that you can be.

02.06.12

If anyone is in doubt of the appropriateness of the name, Bank Holiday Weather, here’s my local weather forecast for the next 4 days, the holiday weekend:

Hope your weekend is looking sunnier than this!!

01.06.12

This week’s preview is now up!! Here’s a screenshot of the Flickr set. Hope you can join us on Sunday night!! A quick note for non-UK customers – we have an extended holiday weekend, for the Jubilee, and that means the Post Office will not be open until Wednesday, so parcels won’t go out until then.