Be Serious About Play - A Review
I knew I was going to enjoy last month's goals as they were all about play and having fun, I made sure to put a lot of effort in and the results were well worth it! The school holidays and our trip to Hawaii definitely made it easier to find time to have fun.
My first goal was to 'find more fun'. I actually struggled with this because I didn't know what I considered to be fun. I don't particularly enjoy spending all day in the park having a picnic, nor do I enjoy doing lots of craft activities. I spent some time thinking about the things that I really do look forward to doing and I came up with two main things: I love to write and I love to curl up with a book. I know neither activity is hugely exciting for most people, but they are both things that make me feel relaxed and I actually get disappointed if I don't get to do them. During the average working week I struggle to find time to write and I barely read a thing as I'm exhausted at the end of each day, but during the summer holidays I had plenty of spare time to focus on doing the things I love most. I was writing regularly and posting on my blog several times a week and it felt so good! There was no struggling to make the words make sense or rushing to finish a post before dinner. I really do love to write, I might not be very good at it and I might write a load of old drivel that doesn't interest anyone but I don't care!
All the spare time meant that I was able to get in bed awake enough to be able to read each night. I have always loved reading and it is a huge part of my life, but during term time I don't have as many opportunities to read as I would like, so be able to lose myself in a book was pure bliss! I read three books over the five weeks of summer, I know that doesn't sound a lot but it was more than I had read in the past four months.
My second goal was 'take time to be silly'. I had allowed myself to treat life like I was on a treadmill, so when I got in from work I was rushing to get the dinner cooked, the washing folded, the lunches made and trying to squeeze a blog post in somewhere in the middle. There was no time for being silly or messing around and my grumpiness just made for a crappy atmosphere in the house. As I was cooking dinner one evening, Abby came into the kitchen to tell me about her day, while we were chatting I started pulling silly faces at her and it made her laugh. Harry heard the noise and wandered in to see what was going on and soon we were all pulling faces at each other, then I did a silly dance which set the kids off doing dances of their own. It turns out being silly is much easier than I thought!
Goal number three was 'go off the path'. I did this in a couple of different ways; the first way was very literal. During our trip to Hawaii I happened to be talking to a lovely Hawaiian lady who told me not to be afraid to explore the island and that we wouldn't come to any harm even those areas that looked a little unsavoury. I took her words to heart and the next day we decided to go out and explore the island. We put the map away and just drove around stopping anywhere that caught our eye. We got to see so much of the island this way and we found some cool things that were off the beaten track. The other way I went 'off the path' was by shaking up my wardrobe a bit. I have always admired certain styles of clothes but my anxiety has stopped me from wearing them. I was worried that people would judge me but a conversation with one of my lovely sister in laws made me see things differently. We were talking about our anxieties and the fact that despite having very different body shapes, we both worried about the same things. She said that life was too short to keep worrying about other people's opinions and that we should just wear what made us happy. That day I ordered a new top, a 1950's style that I had coveted for months but had never been brave enough to wear. A few days later I put it on and had many people compliment me throughout the day on how good it looked. The boost to my confidence made me feel so good and that in turn made me feel happy - I quite enjoyed going off the path!
My last goal of the month was 'to start a collection'. I put a lot of thought into what I was going to collect, but I kept going round in circles. I don't like having lots of ornaments and trinkets on display as I find it a bit too untidy (and I hate having to dust them!). So ornaments were out of the question. I have a small collection of Disney Vinylmations but they were ones that meant something to me and I wasn't planning on purchasing anymore. I couldn't think of anything to collect. During August, Mark and I had started to focus our attention on the extension that we want to add on to the back of the house. One night we were sat talking about how we would decorate the rooms and I excitedly said that I could put my pictures in there, then it hit me - I already have a collection! I have been collecting artwork for a couple of years and each year I try to add a piece to it. It's all packed away at the moment while we work on the house and I had completely forgotten about it. I was so delighted to realise that I could be a collector after all and I explained to Mark that I had been struggling with this goal. He gave me a funny look and said 'what about your Christmas collection?' I had completely forgotten about that too! I have a collection of Disney baubles that I started the year that Mark and I got our first flat together. They no longer make the baubles but I continue to add to my collection with decorations from all the places around the world that we visit. Mark's parents also bring me back Christmas decorations from their travels too and I have a collection that is so precious to me.
I loved August's goals, they were fun to carry out and they made me feel good as I did them. My happiness levels are even higher than last month.