I love Australia Day. As much as our national holiday gets a bad rap, there’s just something that sets it apart from our other long weekends. There’s no pressure for it to be a religious/serious/family-based affair – just the last public holiday of summer where you’re allowed to eat as much pie, prawns and pavlova as you want, listen to Cold Chisel and INXS (and the Hottest 100, but only after the first 50 dud songs are over)
Adventure-packed weekends away are brilliant. As are the weekends where you spend the entire two days at home, baking and watching movies you’ve already seen. But sometimes you need those lovely Saturday and Sundays which fall somewhere in between – where you have no game plan, but manage to have a lot of laughs, a few small adventures and finish it ready for Monday.
Smart phones, aka pocket internet browsers, are bad for us in a lot of ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the internet. Without it, we couldn’t convert fahrenheit to celsius right there in the kitchen, or read handy articles on which Disney prince has the best butt (still disappointed by the winner there #teamLiShang). But it’s true – I don’t believe many of us are going to reach the end of our lives and think “man, I just didn’t spend enough time on Facebook.”’
While I’m not addicted to my phone (I can happily go without it on holidays, and if it’s flat I don’t freak out) but if it’s there I have a very bad (and very strong) habit of picking it up and scrolling endlessly through various social media apps.
One of my 2015 new year’s resolutions was to look at my phone less. Here are a couple of reasons why…
You might have noticed my blog’s name changed this week.
I still love the term “hurry up and wait,” and it worked very well for the girl I was in 2012 when my boyfriend was deployed to Afghanistan, I was waiting for life to start and I began this blog.
But it’s now 2015 and there’s very little waiting going on – I’m very much full steam ahead, both in terms of career, happiness, and just packing as much life as I can into the weeks/months/years.
This is separate from my 2015 New Years Resolutions – for those, click here.
If there are two things that I remember most clearly from the golden days of Myspace, they would be the time that Brandon told me he wanted to throw his computer in the bathtub every time I posted a melodramatic bulletin (remember those? #nostalgia), and a quote that continues to follow me years after I deleted my account:
I’ve since found out this is (as pretty much everything else on Myspace was) an appropriation of something Gerard Way said. Either way it seemed very profound to 15-year-old me.
These days, I’m less concerned by it flashing before me in a quick death, and more by it boring me before a slow one. When I’m old and in a hospital bed living out my last days/weeks/months, I want to have a lot of varied experiences to look back on, and feel that I was at least a little bit interesting.
That quote is the reason I get up to see the sunrise sometimes, and agree to eat chickens feet and duck tongues. It’s also the reason I’ve written a list of things I want to achieve by the time 2015 is over.
This list is different to my resolutions, which you can find here. Instead of long-term lifestyle changes, these are just short-term goals and experiences (some of which I will potentially hate) that will hopefully make me more healthy, well-rounded, social and generally more interesting. I also just have a thing for lists.
They range from physical challenges to learning a new language – expect lots of adventures, geeky stuff, and a lot of unleashing my inner child.
The list is taped to the side of my bookshelf, but you can see it here.
Disclaimer: Now, I realize that what I consider to be fun and interesting may bore someone else to tears. I’m sure 92-year-old-me will possibly be happier to reminisce about books and art exhibitions rather than the time I sprained my ankle at a trampoline centre. But I’m going to do both. You do you – I’d love to hear what’s on your list!
I wasn’t quite ready to let go of 2014. Not just because it was such a fantastic year for me, but also because this is the first new year since I was about 10 that I haven’t had my resolutions all set and rearing to go.
Around this time last year I shared my resolutions for 2014:
1. Go to Japan – tick. In June I did a whirlwind trip of Tokyo, Nagahama and Kyoto.
2. Graduate from uni – tick. I am now the proud owner of a very expensive piece of paper.
3. Focus on being happy – tick, tick and tick again. I left two particularly negative people behind, got a job I love, spent my first full calendar year living with Brandon, spent more time with family, climbed more mountains (literally) and much much more.
So I think in ticking all of those off, my brain must have also ticked off the entire concept of resolutions and decided we didn’t need to do that anymore. But I’m still in love with the whole idea of resolutions and the optimism that comes with January 1st (see more on that here), so I’ve racked my brain for this year’s goals.
The result is that in 2015, I’m making actual resolutions of my I-should-reallys.
Everyone has a few: “I should really drink less” or “I should really call my mum more often.” This year I’m going to stop being so vague about mine, work on them properly, and hopefully change “I should” to “I will.”
- I should really will get back in shape.
My fitness levels were great in 2012, pretty good in 2013, and then got destroyed in 2014 (I didn’t just fall off the bandwagon, I rolled it off a cliff). This could seem like a pretty shallow goal, but it’s not (well, it is a bit). In addition to fitting back into the entire size 8 wardrobe I’ve sadly left behind, more exercise and eating properly makes me genuinely more happy and more pleasant to be around, so it’s win-win for everyone. Bring on those endorphins.
- I should really will stop being so messy.
Seriously, I’m shocking. I thought living with a neat-freak who’s in the army would make me clean up my act (I prefer my puns intended) but 18 months later I’ve actually just dragged him down to my level.
- I should really will look at my phone less.
I’m not addicted to my phone – I could gladly go without it for a week. But if it’s there, I play with it. A few weeks ago I looked up and out the bus window and there was the most gorgeous sunset over the river. Instead of going straight home I got off and went for a walk to enjoy it. Who knows how many more I’ve missed? This year I won’t spend entire bus trips scrolling past the same Instagram posts I saw the hour before.
If you haven’t made any resolutions yet, why not tackle one of your I-should-reallys?
There’s a statistic floating around at the moment, getting quoted by every news outlet and their dog: only 8% of new year’s resolutions are kept. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but, forever the resolutionist, I’d like to think that there are two significant reasons for this:
1. People feel like they have to come up with something impressive/deep/interesting on short notice. So on December 31st or the days after, they pick something they don’t really care about.
2. We often choose something too specific. They say that goals need to be measurable, but when you set yourself a benchmark you’re also making it easier to fail. Saying that you’ll run more often is easier to keep than “I will run four times a week.”
By turning I-Should-Reallys into resolutions, you’re more likely to follow it. Not only are they generally not guided by a specific number (so you’re less likely to feel a sense of failure if you don’t make much progress for a week or two) but they’re also something that you know you want to do – you’ve just been putting it off for a long time.
Remember – it’s a year’s resolution, not a short term goal. Don’t stress if you haven’t completed it by April, or if you go backwards for a while in July – you’ve got twelve months to work it out. The best ones will give you something to work on, and become part of your lifestyle.
Whether it’s quitting smoking or going kayaking more often, let me know what your I-Should-Reallys-Turned-Resolutions are below
Despite nearly pulling out when someone told me it was based on that song* by Pharrell, I’m now a quarter of the way through my #100happydays challenge.
And honestly? It’s working!
I actually do feel so much more positive. Even on days when I’ve felt pretty crappy, I’ve been on the lookout for things that make me smile –and it turns out there are a lot! Some days I find myself tossing up over which happy thing to post. When there are enough happy things and you don’t know which part makes you happiest, that can only mean life is pretty great.
Other things I noticed:
- My Instagram profile isn’t as pretty as it was. Turns out the things that make me happy aren’t necessarily easy to make beautiful with a Samsung S3 and Valencia – e.g. the Turnitin Receipt from an assignment I hated. Stupidly this makes me a bit self-conscious – ridiculous right?
- It can be very tempting to make every post an image of food or drink, but I think I’ve done alright in keeping the balance so far!
75 days to go! Get on board at www.100happydays.com
*I really don’t like that song. So click here for a surprise happy-song alternative.
Today, I’m starting “one of those Instagram challenges.” You know the deal: every day, for a pre-determined amount of time, you post a picture related to the prescribed theme with the official hashtag. To be honest, I’d never thought I’d be doing one.
But the 100 Happy Days challenge is different to the others. Instead of being given a different, specific subject every day (e.g. “red” – and it becomes a pretentious hipster competition for the most creative, appropriately filtered shot), you simply share a photo of something that made you happy that day.
In doing this, the challenge claims you will:
- Start noticing what makes you happy every day;
- Be in a better mood every day;
- Start receiving more compliments from other people;
- Realize how lucky you are to have the life you do;
- Become more optimistic;
- And maybe even fall in love.
As if that isn’t enough to make you give it a shot, you’ll have incentive; unlike other challenges, 100 Happy Days keeps you accountable. Register online at 100happydays.com, give them your email address and username and they’ll monitor your activity – no dropping off the radar 17 days in! If you succeed, you can buy a book with your 100 happy images compiled into a positive little reminder of the things that make your life great.
Not into Instagram? You can also do the challenge through Facebook or Twitter, or if you’d rather keep it private you can upload your entries directly to the site.
I’ll be reporting back in a few days to let you know if it’s working, but in the meantime you can follow me through the challenge on Instagram (my handle is @jessimin) and sign up yourself at 100happydays.com!
My inspiration for doing this challenge came from Katie, a girl I used to train with at ABBBC in Kangaroo Point – she also works in marketing! I believe her Instagram is private so I can’t point you that way, but thanks Katie!
Roughly a year ago, I wrote a post about my new year’s resolution for 2013. I said I would become more competitive and work hard towards my career goals so that I’d stand a chance once classes are over and I have my $18k piece of paper in my hand next year.
And for the first time in my life, I actually stuck to my resolution (I think the trick is to be vague – never, ever drinking soft drink and swearing I’ll go for a run three times a week have featured in the past and neither made it past February).
2013 has probably been the most stressful year of my life (I think. 2011/HSC-era me is probably jumping up and down right now) but easily the best as well.
In March I started applying for internships and had a few interviews. In April a tweet led to Amelia Taylor from Liquidity Marketing and Communications taking me on, and I stayed for four months. Liquidity was an amazing learning experience for me, not just in terms of picking up tricks of the job and finally getting something on my resume but in perseverance – Amelia had originally rejected me, and said she was impressed by how I stayed in touch and kept myself in the right place at the right time. So “no doesn’t mean never, it just means not now,” has become something of a mantra for me. (Thanks again Amelia!!!)
In August I left both Liquidity and my waitressing job to take on my first paid marketing role, which was insanely challenging but a lot of fun, and being the only staff-member who did any marketing, I taught myself a lot. Unfortunately in October the company was restructured and they no longer had enough hours for me, but we’re still on excellent terms and I occasionally pop in for a few hours to do their newsletter and tweak the Facebook page. Being made redundant at 20 wasn’t a whole lot of fun, but it wasn’t the end of the world and I’m actually grateful for facing it for the first time this early.
Since then, instead of sitting around and waiting for the next opportunity I made my own and took control of the social media for my partner’s dad’s limo business in Vanuatu.
So I think adding 3 positions/8 months of stuff to my resume isn’t bad.
Career-y stuff aside, this was also the year:
- I left my teenage years behind.
- I lived in three different apartments with 9 different people from 6 different countries (the final of each of those being my partner of four years. Turns out I should have been less stubborn and moved in with him a while ago – this beats share-houses by a mile).
- I somehow found myself studying full-time, waitressing full-time and interning at the same time (safe to say that didn’t last too long).
- I made a few ridiculously last-minute trips to Melbourne to see Brandon.
- I decided I don’t actually hate Melbourne after all, but I’m still not too keen on their baristas or Tiger Airways terminal.
- My blog temporarily exploded over that PR vs Waitressing thing (thanks guys!)
- I decided I would never ever be a waitress again… and then realised it’s a well-paying necessary evil.
I could leave you with one of those Flipstagram thingies, but my Instagram has more pictures of food and birds and books and that’d be a bit dull. Instead, here’s the slightly lame song (but gosh I love Train) that was playing as I moved into a new apartment in February and has stuck with me through all the stressfuly moments this year.
“I stopped believing although Journey told me “don’t,”
Before I call it a day,
Maybe this’ll be my year.”
Which I think it was. (: