As the end of the year of the tiger approached ( where did the year go really, time seems to be picking up pace and I try to keep up with it, not always successfully, might I add ) I tried to find a quite spot and reflect on what happened this past year and where I wanted the next one to take me.
Some happy events occurred, but equally some sad ones too and they made me reflect more on how I can do things differently, as I truly believe that we need to look back, on our past, learn and move forward, with a lighter step and feeling a little bit wiser.
I had disappointments this year and surprising to me, they often came from people to whom I felt close, whose success or hope of it I supported and got excited about. Some of those people accepted my help, my encouragement and my support, on occasion not even thanking me for it or accepting it as if they were entitled to it. I felt sad but somehow I realise now that sometimes my own expectations-after all, we judge situations based on our own behaviour and experiences, have let me down. My resolution for year 2013? Have no expectations.
Due to the situation on the financial markets some of my friends had to pack their belongings and leave for other shores, looking for more stability and better work opportunities. While I miss them, I equally realise that it has been harder on them, leaving a comfortable routine, habits and places that they loved and felt attached to, behind. Resolution for 2013? Life throws us curve balls all the time, don’t be afraid, face forward and walk, just choose your steps more carefully sometimes. The road might be steep and full of falls from grace, but there will be highs too, which outweigh the lows.
We are all quick to judge others, why might we not be harder on ourselves first, before picking at the seams of others? We are not gods, we aren’t perfect, so why don’t we concentrate on ‘perfecting’ ourselves and being kinder to others-people who are happy and in balance with themselves, don’t have any desire to find fault in others. This approach definitely makes the world a happier place.
A few weeks ago I went to the opening of the new paediatric sleep centre at Royal Brompton Hospital. Respiratory sleep disorders are unfortunately a common health problem, often leading not just to sleep deprivation for children and their worried parents, but sometimes to devastating results. This centre has been funded by the tireless fundraising efforts and generosity of people. Unless you have a health problem yourself, humans tend to take health, like happiness, for granted. One day a problem might come knocking at your door and not always do we find the right support by the right people at the right time. Maybe we need to be more generous to people around us and appreciate the work of doctors and nurses, instead of blaming the NHS for the plethora of problems-the blame should be laid at the door of bureaucracy that seem to be gaining momentum and ground everywhere you look. If you decide to give your time to fundraising for a cause that you believe in, it might give you a much bigger satisfaction than going out for a nice meal or taking a holidays in a fancy location. Or just giving your time to someone who isn’t as fortunate as you are, maybe as a way of mentoring or giving donations to the charity shop ( while also de-cluttering your home. Ask yourself a question-‘do I really need this?’- when you go shopping ) or spending time with people who don’t have a family or friends around them, like many elderly people in the nursing homes.
I love fashion, as it can create different moods, allowing each one of us to express our personalities and wear different hats .) However I don’t believe in following trends or buying the latest dress or bag-I prefer my clothes to be classic and to suit my personality, to reflect me and a little bit of my life, so while I pay attention to what happens on the catwalks, I don’t let it rule me, I follow my heart and buy clothes that put a knowing smile on my face, that make me feel good about myself, putting the parts of my body that I want to enhance in the spotlight. A while back I was reading an interview with Alber Elbaz, who has breathed new life in to the veritable French institution, the house of Lanvin and something that he said really struck a cord with me: ‘The biggest mistake women can make is to get caught in the idea that they need a new wardrobe every season. Before you jump in and buy, buy, buy, consider what you need…..You need time to live with clothes or a new accessory to truly appreciate it for what it is. If you want to bring newness to anything-….you must appreciate what you have.’
Real fashion lasts a life-time, I know that when I put on some of the vintage clothes that originally belonged to my mother, like an YSL velvet jacket or when I go to the Valentino exhibition at the Somerset house and look in complete awe at the clothes that he has created over the decades-their beauty is timeless, as is the elegance, style and grace-money won’t buy you those. Don’t look at the IT fashion girls or models-they are who they are and so are you, find your own style to suit your personality, that alone will make you stand apart from the crowd.
Be you, follow your heart, even if it means closing one door-another one will open itself before you, when you least expect it. Be brave, be adventurous, cherish those who love you and give back, even when you don’t feel like giving-we have all had been let down in the past or came across rudeness, it doesn’t mean that we need to become the person who let you down in the first place. Eat well, take supplements when you feel that your body is sending your signals that you have been overdoing things, exercise or keep active, even if it’s for only 15 minutes a day, smile, do things that inspire you, read books and see plays with great actors, take pictures-as my mother says, nothing in life repeats itself. Become a better person, woman, daughter, friend, mother, professional. Life is a precious gift, enjoy it and be in the moment.