And life keeps getting better…

December 4, 2011

What I learnt on Friday after having such a wonderful day was that it can be changed in a second if at a single point in time, you choose to do something you don’t really want to do.  Setting the scene, I had a lovely evening planned doing ‘nothing in particular’ with the family, and a kind guesture by someone else was about to take that away….and the worse thing is – I nearly let it happen. 

It was just after 5pm and I was playing a game with the girls (something they’d been asking me to play all week), sitting in front of a warm cosy fire and listening to cheesy Christmas music.  I was thinking how perfect everything was and felt glad that I had done all my writing and chores.   I was also feeling spontaneous and letting the girls lead in what we were doing. 

Then came the phone call from a friend asking me if I wanted to take her place on a night out, as she didn’t really feel up to it.  It would have been all expenses paid as she knew that I didn’t really have the money.  My gut feel was that I wasn’t in the mood for going out (and also it would interfere with my Friday as it’s my only weekday with the girls) but as she’d been so nice in asking, I said I’d consider it. 

The decision

For twenty minutes I agonised over my decision, knowing that I would have to be ready and leave within the hour.  I talked it through with my family and felt upset when my five year old daughter wrapped her arms and legs around me crying “please don’t go mummy”.  At the same time I was thinking what a wonderful evening I already had ahead; I had finished my writing, I had a lovely meal planned and I had been sitting in a cosy lounge with my girls feeling really really happy.  I was about to change all of that to do something that wasn’t even on my wish list.

My partner suggested that I go with my gut feel and it was then that I realised how much I didn’t want to go and would only have been going because my friend had been so nice in asking.  I expressed my gratitude to my friend, and was honest in my response to her – and felt relieved and happy when I put the phone down.

Reflecting later that evening

When all was quiet later that evening, I decided to run a bath whilst thinking how grateful I was to my partner for saying the right thing at the right time and helping me get to my decision.  I also remembered what Noel  Walker (founder of OpenLeaf and author of Get the Life you Want) had said in an email earlier that day:

“Keeping put yourself first, by constantly focusing on that ideal world marker – then by going with the flow, will enable you to get to that point sooner.  And very often it does mean that you will keep getting the best of both worlds as the path of least resistance is to learn & accommodate rather than react etc.”

Anyway, for the first time in a long time, it was so clear in my mind what I wanted more than anything in life – to carve out ample time to have fun with my family so that we can do things together – and the memories that come from that are priceless.

The night out would have been nice, but it wouldn’t even have been on the top fifty things on my list at the moment.  A much better night out would have been with my partner, or a day out with the girls and him.  I almost ran to find my notebook and pen, and as the bath filled, I wrote and wrote….and this blog holds the highlights of my thoughts.

The conclusion

There are two ways in which my day could have ended and neither of them would have been the wrong decision; deep down I know that I picked the one that made me the happiest at that time. 

My message to you is: always trust your instincts – no one knows more than you, what is best for you.   Something else that Noel Walker said in his email on Friday, in response to me telling him that my plan was to keep my evenings free from now on:

“Leaving your evenings free will reap dividends.  There’s nothing to say that you can’t have a pad to jot down the various ideas throughout the day that will now start to pop into your head etc.  More importantly, it means that when you come to write them up, it will also come together that much faster, because you will have already played around with them in your mind”. 

I would like to thank my wonderful family and also Noel Walker for all the great tips and advice.  I am already reaping the rewards from keeping the last few evenings free – they feel so different, in a good way.

That’s all for this week.  Thank you for popping by and I hope you are having a great day too!

Until next time…

Freelance writer
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