Lessons From a Four Year Old #2 – Have Fun

Do you have enough fun in your life?

 

When I became a parent, I thought that I would be the one doing the teaching.  I assumed I would teach my children life skills – speaking and dressing themselves – as well as social skills – not killing each other, being kind.  So far mission accomplished. I have four reasonably well-mannered, kind children who make me proud every day.

 

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What I didn’t expect, however, was for them to teach me fun stuff too.  But they do.  Constantly!

Recently, I wrote about how my four year old daughter has shown me how not to have fear.  I have been trying to follow her (albeit inadvertent) advice, with varied results.  Then, lo and behold, another lesson!

 

We were at my son’s Sports Day back in July, and •terrible mother alert• I was bored.  Daughter number two was in her pushchair, and the four year old was roaming free, like a wild animal.

As well as watching my eleven year old trying his hardest to win all the races, I was also half watching daughter number one. Making sure that she didn’t disappear – as children are so good at doing in the millisecond that you take your eyes off them – or injure herself.

While watching her, I realised something rather extraordinary, she wasn’t bored.  She was having a great time!  She was running, and jumping and skipping, and rolling down a hill, then running up it and rolling down again.

 

Meanwhile, boring old me was checking my watch every six seconds, and wishing for the end to come. (The end of Sports Day, not the end of the world – it wasn’t that bad).  As I watched her, I thought, why can’t I have fun like that? Why can’t I be that carefree and joyous?

 

And then newsflash;

 ‘Wait, I can be!’

I know life gets in the way sometimes, and, let’s be fair here, my four year old doesn’t have to worry about paying bills, or whether the strange noise that the car is making means something is wrong (it did, and yes, it was expensive).

 

But really, we should be trying to enjoy our lives.  Who’s to say we can’t skip, and roll down hills as an adult? Just because we have crippling credit card debt, and other worries, doesn’t mean we should let it consume us.

Sometimes, we need to just let it go, and be silly.  So what if other people look at you and think you’re completely insane? They are just jealous that you can do 12 cartwheels in a row.

Laughter is the best medicine.  It relieves stress, and makes us live longer.  What’s not to love?

So sing, dance, watch a funny film, and just laugh.  Go and catch those Pokemon, if that’s what makes you happy.

I speak from experience when I say that a low mood can be a slippery slope.  When I made a conscious effort to climb out of the darkness, I saw a vast improvement in my life.  Yes, the problems are still there, and no, I don’t own a yacht yet, but day to day life is a lot less miserable.

 

I’m sorry for the cliche, but it has to be said: life is short. So please enjoy it!

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How to Make Jealousy Work in Your Favour

Jealousy, what a pain in my butt. Bizarrely, in my marriage, I’m not a jealous person whatsoever. I put this down to the fact that I feel secure, and I know that my husband would never do anything daft that would put our family at risk.  In other areas of life, however, it can be a different story.

 

It can be really hard not to feel envious of people that are enjoying their success, particularly when things may not be going in the direction that we want them to.

 

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Where does the jealousy come from? It is more than likely caused by dissatisfaction in your own life, whether you recognise it or not.  It’s human nature, we want more, and we want what ‘they’ have.  Remember, there is no shame.  Not if we use it to make ourselves better, not bitter.

For example, I don’t feel threatened when my husband can’t keep his eyes off the backside of the 20 year old that has just passed by our table in the restaurant. He can look, because I know he won’t touch.  (I realise this makes him sound like a lech, but he really isn’t).

When I see others having personal successes though, I find it harder to be quite so dismissive. That little voice will start, the one that reminds me there are many career goals that I still have not achieved.

So, what to do? How do we turn jealousy into a positive emotion? Well, like anything, it is a choice.

You can choose to let it consume you, and turn you into a bitter person.  Or you can celebrate the success of your peers, and utilise those feelings of envy.  Jealousy can be motivational, if we let it. Look at what exactly that person is doing that you want for yourself, then go out and get it.

Maybe you can get in touch with them and ask how they did it.  Will they be a mentor for you? Have they written blog posts, books, or do they offer teaching? Consume a bit of their brilliance, and use it to fuel your own success.

Make a plan, and write it down (or blog about it).  Choose that friend or family member who is always in your corner, and tell them. Find your own cheerleader, and check in with them. Tell them how you’re getting on, and get them to pester you about it.

Set mini goals within the bigger goal, and celebrate when (not if) you hit them.

Work harder, work smarter, and focus on the end goal. Instead of looking at what they have that you don’t, look at what you can learn from them.

 

Use their success to work out what you want from life. 

 

 

 

Now go! Get on it, and work towards your goals.

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