We live in the age when speed, technology and algorithms rule, yet having grown up as a child without computer, mobile and social media, I know that my generation has a different, possibly more grounding foundation than the younger generation, allowing us to be more balanced and better equipped to separate the grain from the husk, having learnt our early life lessons without the social media glare.
Lately I have been running a bit on empty, with a lot of my daily energy going towards helping prepare my eldest for the imminent onslaught that is 11+. Brutal is putting it mildly, but while education and discipline are paramount for laying out the right foundations for the professional future, so is the innate need to make sure my son is healthy, happy and not paralysed by stress, targets or expectations. My generation didn’t have as much choice, but we definitely grew up with less stress!
I have also been observing some of my friends and colleagues facing their own professional and personal struggles, as stress continued to build up and take its tall. The truth is, we all wear masks in public, which often hide a multitude of things going on behind the scenes, as we all feel the need to keep up ‘happy’ external appearances. But if I can take it upon myself and offer one piece of advice, it would be this – nothing matters as much as your health, happiness and inner peace of mind! Without it you can’s care, love or nurture others to your full capacity. Do whatever works for you every single day, even if it is for ten or fifteen minutes, to make sure you aren’t just coping or functioning on the auto-pilot, but actually thriving.
Last night my daughter finished reading ‘The Truth Pixie’, the latest book written by Matt Haig (and beautifully illustrated by Chris Mould), whose books are very much loved and cherished in my household. There was a line in this book that particularly resonated with me:
My daughter, having finished the last page of the book, looked at me with her big, wise eyes and said:’ Mummy, this book started out quite sadly, but as I read it out to you, it became happier. I want to re-read it again, and again, and again. That’s how much I LOVED it!’ And that, my dear friends, is really the lesson – do what you love, find things or people that nurture your soul, heart and mind and it will help you weather life’s storms. Actual moments of happiness are always fleeting, but it is the journey towards it that matters, as do life lessons we learn along the way. And sometimes time away from social media isn’t going to make people disinterested in what you do, but actually make them wonder what you are up to, while you take the time to rediscover your sense of wonder, creativity and joy. Look after yourself every single day, it is the biggest gift to yourself and ultimately, to your family, friends, colleagues and the world!