Life has taught me many things. In all the experiences and people I’ve encountered; the mistakes I’ve made; other people’s positive and negative experiences that I’ve had the good fortune or misfortune to witness, and the years I’ve spent growing up, older and (a little!) wiser; there’s been a lesson in it all. I’ve realised what matters, what doesn’t, and that sometimes it’s the little things that really count. Even though I don’t necessarily do ‘rules’ there are some rules I live by because it makes life happier, easier and better.
1. It’s important to work hard – but make sure you play just as hard!
2. Laughter really is the best medicine and is the secret to eternal youth…
3. …And so is sleep!
4. The best place to think things over is in the shower or better still, in the bathtub with lots and lots of bubbles.
5. Cake and coffee with the girls is the solution to everything…
6… Cocktails are as well providing you don’t go mad!
7. Being single is much better than being stuck in a relationship with the wrong person.
8. And likewise it’s better to have just a couple of really great mates than a whole bunch of toxic ‘friends.’
9. You don’t have to have a bikini body to wear a bikini. Trust me – no one on the beach will care.
10. Of course it’s not good to harbour grudges but it’s also pointless to say you’re OK with a person or situation when you’re not or force yourself to forgive someone when what you really want to do is knock their teeth out! It’ll cause more problems in the long run (not that I’m suggesting you should ever knock someone’s teeth out!)
11. Being in debt – especially heavy debt – is so not worth it so always live within your means…
12. …Although if you’re able to manage your money well, the occasional splurge won’t do you any harm.
13. You don’t look like a flat, rectangular piece of carpet so don’t let anyone treat you like a doormat and take advantage of your good nature. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in not doing a favour for someone who you know full well would never put themselves out for you.
14. Get clued up on what’s going on in the world – but at the same time keep an open mind, make an effort to understand the facts and don’t be heavily influenced by everything you see on TV or read in the papers.
15. It’s a sad, sad fact that there are certain companies, organizations and services out there who think nothing of ripping people off. Read the small print – and don’t be afraid to ask what it means if you don’t understand. Get a second opinion if necessary.
16. Take great care of your health but don’t deprive yourself of the occasional treat.
17. Prevention is most definitely better than cure.
18. Believe it or not, you won’t stop breathing if your phone isn’t in your hand for two seconds. So put it down, talk to the person with you, see what’s around you and enjoy life!
19. There will be some days, you just want to snuggle under the covers for the entire day with your iPad. And providing it’s not a work day – why not?
20. … and when you’re having a lazy day, only a take-away will do!
21.Photos bring back so many wonderful memories – so snap away! But be careful what you put on social media.
22. Make-up can only do so much, so make skin care a priority then you can dare to go bare and still look stunning!
23. What we see on social media is a bit like what we see on TV – it’s not always real. So don’t compare yourself with your friends – or ‘friends’…
24. …but feel free to unfollow anyone if they’re annoying the hell out of you!
25. There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake. What’s wrong is when you refuse to accept responsibility or deny it ever happened. Own up, accept you made a mistake, apologize sincerely and move on. People will respect you a whole lot more…
26. … and if you do make a mistake, let it be your mistake and not someone else’s. When things go wrong because of other people, they very rarely take responsibility or apologise leaving you to feel resentful.
27. No one likes to admit to negative feelings such as loneliness or envy but we all feel it sometimes. Remember that you are only human and accept that there will be times when you will feel a bit negative – and keep in mind that it will soon pass. And if we didn’t have bad days, we’d never fully appreciate the really good ones.
28. Get a hobby! Make sure it’s something you’re super passionate about; you enjoy immensely and that it makes you feel good about yourself.
29. Even if you’re unable to go abroad, explore what your own country has to offer. I guarantee there will be things within your own home town that you never even knew about.
30. I love clothes but I hate fashion. And now that I’m older I have the confidence to show off my own sense of style without conforming to other people’s ideas of what looks good. So it doesn’t matter if it’s this season’s, last season’s or ten seasons’ ago – if you like it and it makes you feel great, wear it!
31. Comparing yourself to others really is a waste of time – take it from someone who knows! Focus on yourself and your own life and make it the very best it can be.
32. I thrive on creativity. There’s nothing like people enjoying a delicious meal, or appreciating a floral arrangement or hand-knitted scarf and knowing that it’s your very own creation. So don’t be afraid of unleashing your inner creative genius.
33. There’s something to be said for doing things on your own that would normally be a social activity. So don’t be intimidated by going shopping, to the cinema, to a restaurant, to a gig or even on holiday by yourself. It might be awkward the first time and you might feel like Billy-no-mates but as you gain in confidence, it can actually be quite liberating.
34. Road trips are fun but headbanging road trips are so much better, so make sure that rock music is playing at full blast with all the passengers singing along. Bohemian Rhapsody, anyone?
35. Don’t take your nearest and dearest for granted. Never miss an opportunity to show them how important they are to you.
36. I’ve come across people in my life who, even though they barely know me, they have shown me immense kindness. These are very special people to be treasured.
37. I was brought up to believe that family should always come first. Unfortunately there are some people who are just not worthy of the word ‘family’. To me my family are the people who love me unconditionally; don’t judge and are supportive and encouraging. The others are people I just happen to be related to.
38. Sadly some friendships don’t last forever – no matter how much you want them to. Accept that some people come into your life for a reason and that some friendships just run it’s course. Learn to let go and move on… even though yes, it takes time.
39. Although selfishness is generally not a good trait, sometimes it’s important to be a little selfish for the sake of our own happiness and well-being. And as long as you’re not hurting anyone, it’s ok to put yourself first when absolutely necessary.
40. I’ve had jobs that sucked and I’ve had jobs which felt more like being at a holiday camp – and I know which I prefer. You spend most of your day at work so it’s important to do something that makes you happy. If you’re currently stuck in a job you hate, don’t accept it and think that it’s always going to be that way like I did – make an effort to get out and apply for things you do want to do. It may take a while but it’ll be worth it in the end.