We are rapidly approaching the end of the school year in Australia, with only 10 weeks to go, I am weirdly super organised, at least this week! Since I am so organised for next week, today I've had a bit of free thinking time and have realised I am scarily halfway through my 30th year on this planet so I am feeling pretty reflective. And happy, dammit!
It's Spring here, the sun is shining and I am grateful. So I am going to share the wise things I've learnt so far in life, nothing earth shattering but some are positive, some are negative and some things are just weird.
Here are my 30 Random Things I've Learnt in 30 years* (in no particular order)...
*Apologies for the swapping between 1st and 3rd person.
1. Start the day being grateful for what you have.
Some days, particularly teaching, things get overwhelming. You're running around, planning, assisting, trying to teach, doing first aid, counselling kids, listening to parents, dealing with ridiculous meetings, etc. I'm a great one for letting everything get on top of me but taking a few minutes to remember how lucky I am makes a hell of a difference later in the day.
2. Wear sunscreen. Every. damn. day.
There is this wicked horrible thing called pigmentation which has exploded on my face this year. I've been good at the sunscreen thing since my early 20's however I didn't know you should wear physical sunscreen not chemical sunscreen until a few years ago. Google it. Wear it.
3. I am harder on myself than anyone else can ever be. Other people really don't judge as much as I think they do.
I am my worst critic, hardest criticiser I will stress and kick my arse about everything. A 100 times worse than anyone else will. Breathe and let go.
4. Don't throw anything to me. Ever. I can't catch.
Apparently this is because I didn't crawl as a baby. Who knew.
5. Dance in the car, who cares if anyone is watching. Say for singing badly.
Because it's fun!
6. Getting in to discussions with ppl you have only just met about religion and politics always ends in disaster. Especially if you're drinking.
But I still keep doing it...
7. Don't argue on Facebook.
Just don't do it.
8. Exercise everyday & (try to) meditate.
I go to yoga, Body Balance and I walk. I've been going to Meditation once a week run by a Buddhist monk. And I feel good! My brain is less full, more peaceful and happy. Keep that smile on your mind :)
9. Some people won't like me and that's ok. I probably won't like them either.
10. Take photos.
A lot of them, especially in the classroom. Take the serious ones but take a ton of silly ones too.
And mean it!
12. Take time out! To watch bad 80s movies or Notting Hill for the 100th time.
There is always, always, always something to be done. I could plan and organise every day for the rest of my life and there would still be stuff to do in my classroom. Relax sometimes. You'll be a better teacher and human being because of it.
13. Apple and nut butter is delicious.
14. Even if it sounds disgusting or scary, try it.
I'm not talking about doing anything unsafe but I am saying trying the things you think you won't like. Some of the best things I have ever done or eaten I have been petrified of. Like eating Sushi or climbing the Sydney Harbour bridge. I now couldn't live without sushi and I loved the bridge. Ditto for chair lifts, climbing mountains, parasailing. I still want to zip line and bungee jump. I'm really not a fan of heights/falling.
15. Getting lost can be bloody terrifying but there is always someone who will stop to help.
Japan, 2008 at Hiroshima. It got dark really, really quickly and I got lost coming back from the Atomic Bomb Memorial. Badly lost. I am forever grateful to the lady who seeing me freaking out over a map got me on a bus in the right direction. I puffy heart you.
16. I can't speak languages other than English, therefore I will make an absolute fool out of myself in foreign countries.
France, 2013, Monet's garden, asking for one ticket to get on the bus, said "une" instead of "un". Man on bus laughed, pointed and told French people on the bus. Good times.
17. I like bread but it doesn't like me. Ditto for diary.
I think it's been getting older. It kinda sucks but I feel better.
18. Plant stuff & remember to water it.
I love our garden. A few things have died but I really enjoy the planting and watching stuff grow. And talking to my plants like a crazy lady.
19. Love hard, love lots.
Friendships have come and gone but I am thankful for all of the people who I have been fortunate enough to love.
20. If you're invited to something you don't aways have to go but balance out the No's.
Social situations can sometimes send me into a panic but it really is good if I go but sometimes it's ok to stay home too.
21. When at a music festival always have hand sanitiser & packets of tissues in your bag.
And try to use the port-a-loos early in the day. Yeah, gross fact but learnt the hard way.
22. If you're tired, sleep.
Like a Nanna.
23. Dark chocolate is actually delicious and better for you.
Green and Black's 70% I love you.
24. Always order a margarita with extra salt.
25. If you want to do something, do it but just because everyone else is doing something doesn't mean you have to. Really.
Confusing much?! Going against the crowd can be absolutely fantastic!
26. Go to the movies or out to dinner by yourself every once in a while.
I'm married and I still do this occasionally. I get to have a whole tub of popcorn to myself. Winning.
27. Forgive yourself.
Holding on to stuff makes it worse. Breathe, write in a diary, sitract yourself, let go.
28. If a parent comes in to work furious, there is ALWAYS more to the story.
School is a safe zone, if parents come in screaming, yes there'll be an issue but it'll be fixable. Things will be done to fix this problem, unfortunately things like a marriage breakdown, a dying parent, a kid diagnosed with autism, are not fixable things.
29. Drink lots of water. At least 2 litres a day.
UTIs are hideous. Drink lots and lots of water every day. Good for the skin too.
30. Never wear moisturiser to the gym.
Been caught out trying to do tree pose one too many times.