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Monday, August 14, 2017

25 Things I Have Learnt in 25 Years

Now, I'm not a magical person of great knowledge and rather a real person - so don't expect superior and profound insight in this post. Instead, I'm going to share the real things I've learnt in life so far...

And it also gives me an opportunity to share some of my test shots from my birthday adventure at the Royal Botanic Gardens (where I was testing out my new lens!).

So here's what I've learnt! >> 

1: Marry someone who makes you laugh 
And yes, I know, this sounds totally cliche and I probably would have rolled my eyes at you had I not met Jesse - but it's true. 

Life is so much more fun when you get to spend it with someone who makes you laugh every single day (not an exaggeration here, we literally laugh every single day) and who you genuinely like.

That last bit is important too. I don't know how many people I know who are in relationships that are totally toxic - but they stay in those relationships for whatever reason. People don't change that much - so if you're waiting for change, it's probably never going to happen. 

2: A good relationship with your parents is the greatest gift 
To you and to them. I am so lucky that I have a great relationship with my parents. Sure, as a teenager there were times where I drove them mad - and I know I still drive them mad for time to time. But generally speaking? We get along really well - and life is so much better because of it. 

3: "Stuff" is overrated and messy
We live in a world of MUST HAVES and we don't actually need half of it. 

It might be because I hate clutter, but I've realised having "things" just for the sake of having them is no reason to have them at all. We spend too much time trying to keep up with trends or our friends or feeling like we really do need that random unicorn bobble head that's only going to gather dust on our already overcrowded desk - and we don't spend enough time focusing on what's really important. 

4: When you're doubtful of yourself, do it anyway
I'm a business owner. That means sometimes I go into situations where I'm like I can't really do this/I'm not good enough/people are going to think I'm dumb/I'm going to mess up etc - but do you know what I've learnt? Most of the time my doubts were completely unwarranted. 

That's why I think you should do things even when you doubt yourself - because we're our own worst enemies. It's always better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. 

5: Just say NO
I don't know about you, but I'm a natural yes person - and it all comes down to the fact that I'm a people pleaser.  

In previous years, I said yes to ALL THE THINGS - only because I was afraid of saying no. Why? Because I thought saying no would disappoint others or make things difficult for them. 

What did saying yes all the time do? It made me completely burn out. I was overrun with things I had to do and I probably wasn't doing any of them well - so Jesse challenged me to say no more often (and to really think about what I am saying yes to) and it was the change I needed.

Don't be afraid to say no. 

6: Everyone needs a puppy.... or a pet
I can't imagine life without my puppies - which is funny because I used to be terrified of dogs! Our puppies are a huge part of our family. They make us laugh, smile and AWWWWW 24/7 and I can't imagine life without them!

7: You don't have to impress people
I'm a 25 year old, married and living at home with my parents (and my husband). The media and world around me focuses on that last bit and looks at me as a bit of a joke... or a failure... 

And for a while? I did too. Why? Because it went against my "life plan" and I felt weird telling others that that's what we were doing. 

But do you know what the truth is? It doesn't matter - and I don't have to impress people. We live in an area where the AVERAGE house (usually a knock down rebuild) doesn't sell for less that 1.2-1.5 MILLION DOLLARS. Sure, we could move to the middle of nowhere - but that would mean sacrificing our friends, family, volunteer positions, jobs and so many things that bring us so much joy. 

What are we doing whilst at home here? Contributing to the household, enjoying this time spent with my parents as adults (because both Jesse and I have a great relationship with them and we are so grateful for this time we wouldn't have otherwise gotten), saving for a home of our own and making the most of our situation. Is there anything bad about that? I don't think so. 

8: Adventures don't have to involve planes
I love travelling and hopping on a plane - but that shouldn't be the only kind of adventure you go on! Get out there and explore your neighbourhood. Check out a new park, walk down a new trail - jump on a bus or a train or take a mini road trip and explore a new suburb. 

Don't take the world around you for granted. 

9: Friends are amazing and good ones WILL come
If you're reading this right now thinking yeah, but everyone else has great friends except me... so that's never going to happen

Hello there, my name is Kristy and I was just like YOU. 

Throughout my school years, I never had any really good friends. I had great ones that moved interstate or overseas - but for the most part? I had toxic friendships and experienced bullying and manipulation. 

For years, I thought that was all my fault. I thought I was someone who didn't deserve or would never have great friends - and it sucked. Little did I know, I just hadn't met my people. 

Today? I have amazing friends. Friends who care about me, friends who love me, friends who share my hobbies and interests and who the conversation just never seems to dry up with. Friends who text and call and message and catch up over coffee and I am SO thankful for that. 

So if you're like I used to be, hang in there - good friends are coming. 

10: Learn to ACCEPT compliments
When someone gives you a compliment, what do you say? For a longggg time I always said something along the lines of ohhhh, no or I just laughed.

Why? Because I couldn't accept a compliment.

Jesse realised this and he put a plan into action. He knew I wouldn't magially start accepting compliments - so he told me if I denied a compliment he gave me, I had to give him $5.

Well, fast forward and it worked. I learnt to accept compliments, to have more confidence in myself and I can't thank my husband enough for that. Really, he needs to right a book or come up with some kind of self confidence plan, haha!

11: Chocolate is ALWAYS a good idea
Do I really need to explain this one?

12: Treat yourself, daily
Forget cheat days and cheat meals, I think the key to healthy living is to treat yourself daily.

We have dessert every night and often have some kind of baked good or treat I've made during the day too. Why? Because life is all about balance. Eat your veggies and eat some cake too... 

And when I say treats, I mean real treats. Not low calorie diet rubbish.

13: Don't sweat the small stuff
Sometimes I want to get annoyed at Jesse or my family over little things and then I realise... does it really matter?

Is it worth it arguing over the washing up or laundry or something trivial? Do those things really matter? 

Loving people well means realising people aren't perfect.

14: You are not the centre of the universe
Repeat after me, people: I am not the centre of the universe and the world does not revolve around me.

Don't be selfish because NO ONE likes a selfish person.

15: Often times the things that irritate you about others are actually things you do yourself 
This is kind of a "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye" situation. 

I've learnt that often the things that irritate me about others are either a lesson (something I need to avoid doing in the future) or something that actually irritates me about myself. 

That's something I try to remember every time I'm irritated by someone - and it makes a world of difference. 

16: Friends and family are more important than work
I am really lucky to run my own business and have the flexibility to stop work to care for friends or family or catch up for a coffee with a friend who just needs someone to vent to - but I think this one can apply to everyone. 

Too often I have seen people choose to work overtime or take a job that earns more money (that they didn't actually need) but that drives their family apart. 

Work isn't the be all and end all. 

17: Listen to your body 
At 16, I started getting really sick. I knew something was up - but the doctors kept blaming it on other things. It was anxiety, it was me trying to avoid school, it was IBS - the sickness went on and on until I was 19 when, a week after my 19th birthday, I decided to take action. 

The doctors weren't listening to me when I told them that I thought it was food intolerances that was the issue and I decided I'd take action. I had lost so much weight and all of my googling seemed to find a pattern; gluten. 

I was clutching at straws and thought it was worth a shot to eliminate it - thinking I'd be eating my favourite croissants and grainy breads in just a month... but everything changed. All of a sudden I looked completely different. My swollen tummy? Gone. My constant nausea? Dissipating. My GI issues? Almost dissapeared. It was such a difference that even my clueless doctor noticed and sent me off to a gastroenterologist - who quickly found I did in fact have coeliac disease. 

I've learnt that you are the one who knows your body best. I have been in many situations where doctors weren't really interested or bothered by symptoms but I knew something was wrong - and I was right. From B6 toxicity that caused sensory neuropathy (that was a big scare and the only reason we found it is because I stuck with my gut and sought a second opinion) to coeliac disease and circulation issues.

18: Be grateful
Gratitude is really the key to happiness, in my opinion. When you're thankful for what you have, your whole outlook on life changes. 

19: Fitness does NOT equal health
Right now everyone wants to be fitter, stronger, faster - and I think it's actually an unhealthy trend. 

I know of waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too many people who overexercise or put fitness above health - and it's not okay. Your body wasn't made to be burnt out. 

Lay off the miles, cut down the cardio, eat enough food and look after your health - otherwise you're going to find you get older and need all of these surgeries and hip replacements and knee replacements or your metabolism will be screwed from all of the torture you put your body through. 

20: Don't take yourself too seriously
Serious people are boring. Laugh at yourself, laugh with yourself and have FUN with life. 

21: Don't hold grudges
Things happen, mistakes are made - don't be a sour puss and hold onto that forever.

They say build a bridge and get over it - but building a bridge takes a lot of time and effort... so maybe just move on. 

22: God is SO great - but forcing the Bible down someone's throat does not make them interested
I'm a Christian. I love God, I love my church - but I also live in a world of non-believers. 

Do I think it's a good idea to be a "bible basher"? Absolutely not. Because no one likes to feel belittled or stupid or pressured or overrun. 

Jesus says love - and that's what I do. Sometimes that's loving gently, praying for friends and family who don't yet know God but also recognising that pushing them may only push them in the wrong direction. 

Be gentle, friends - and remember that it's not up to you to change their hearts. 

23: Nobody really knows what they're doing in life

Because no one really knows what they're doing in life. Sometimes you've gotta pretend and sometimes you've just got to go with the flow.

We're not God, we don't know all the answers and that's okay!

24: Distractions are a great way to wind down
I know people say WAAAAAAAAAAH TV is bad, but really - it's a distraction... and distractions are often needed to wind down. 

After work of an evening, we are totally spent from a day of thinking and doing and dealing with people - and all we want to do is relax and wind down. 

So we do that - with distractions. We watch TV or a movie, we play a board game, we read or we talk about anything other than work. Is there anything bad about that? NOPE! 

25: Self help books are kind of rubbish
This is an unpopular opinion, I know, but it's true. 

There are a gazillion self help books out there. Everything from how to be an awesome business person to making millions of dollars to dealing with anxiety to being a parent and yada yada boom bada. 

But you know what? Everyone is different - so self help books are kind of useless. 

What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for you. It might but with a million different variables at play, chances are it won't. Don't beat yourself up about it - listen to your gut and BE YOUR OWN PERSON. 

The most successful people are successful because they are unique. 

But tell me, what's one lesson you've learnt from life? 
And which of these things do you agree with? 


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