It has come to my attention that whilst I’m pretty good at talking the talk and at giving out verging-on-sanctimonious advice as to how we should live and where our society is going wrong, it turns out that I’m not actually very good at living said words. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if I was reading my column in a paper, I’d probably get increasingly irate with the author, week on week. I think I’m a bit of a one trick pony. I tend to stick to what I know, rhetoric about strong communities, staying positive and the ability of many small actions to work together towards significant change. And whilst I fully believe in all those things, I’m guessing folk out there might be getting a bit bored of reading the same thing week in, week out.
On paper, I’m that annoying eternally chirpy person we all know, always pointing out what we should be grateful for and giving out unwanted pep talks. But to make matters worse, in reality I often fall short of my own impassioned cries for self improvement. This week, I was consistently grumpy every day. I was stressed about money, grouchy at being tired and letting myself be wound up by the kids when they weren’t really doing anything other than simply being children. It was only when I escaped for a long run this morning that I gained some perspective. I realised a few things.
Firstly, that being grumpy was not having a particularly productive or desirable effect on myself, others around me or life in general and I’d probably be happier if I snapped out of it. Secondly, that actually, life is pretty good. I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my fridge and good friends and family. In the grand scheme of things, that ain’t half bad! And finally, whilst pondering column fodder, that if I was going to insist on continuing to write with such positivity, I should probably start walking the walk and living out what I’ve written.
The upshot of all of this is that I’m going to make two changes in my life (both written and real). I’ve decided to try and make an effort to actually focus on the good things, to help others more and to be more grounded. I’ve also decided that rather than continue my fairly limited narrative in this column, I’m going to cast my net further afield and set myself a challenge by asking others for topics for this column. Whether I write about everything suggested is another matter altogether, but I think it will be a good exercise for expanding my writing skill set as well as hopefully making for some interesting reading for you, dear readers! So, if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!