“Other people have shit lives; it’s not fair if mine is lovely.”
More than anyone your questions make me want to begin with dearie, dearie me. How did you get to be so complex? It isn’t clever and it isn’t funny. Stop it immediately.
Gentle Reader, I can only speak to this woman like this because I know her well, she has a robust GSOH, she knows she’s bonkers in quite a good and delightful way and some tough love is what she’s after; if we were on Skype together she’d confess this and we’d laugh at that alter ego of hers. She also knows how to provide me with good questions for my book, for which I am entirely grateful.
Let’s talk about a creating a lovely life first. And then fairness and what to do about it next.
Your job and my job is to create the life we want. End of.
There’s no shortage of anything in this world (except as manipulated by the human race for greedy profit purposes. Not that ALL profit is wrong or bad, please note, so don’t make that erroneous connection from this bracket’s worth of wordiness). There’s no shortage of the things we want anyway. There is a poor distribution of some things (food and money and mosquito nets mostly) and we’ll come back to that in the fairness bit. And fairness is, in any event, subjective.
So go ahead and create your lovely life, pour encourager les autres. That’s our job very definitely too. I’ve just enjoyed two lovely weekends back to back. I don’t know that I live in loveliness all the time because into each life a little rain must fall, but I live a lovelier life than many, for sure, or at least one to my own personal taste and that’s precisely the point I think. Employing myself for money is very much a part of my lovely life. Life in a job wouldn’t be lovely for me at all, quite the reverse, and I packed that in pronto. So did you, my squidgy little inquisitor.
We know how to eradicate the unlovely from our lives and we have some inklings about how to insert more loveliness in its stead, so let’s just crack on with that, our life’s work, which you can take a lifetime to achieve if you like or you could just Get It Sorted by the end of the week. Up to you.
Today a client wrote to me to tell me a couple of work-related things she was going to achieve this week, but the bit in her email which caught my eye said: “It is lovely working in the new house this week and away from the stress of X and Y.” And she added a smiley face. I replied Roger Rog to the business-y bits, as is my wont, but I bigged her up on the lovely bit because I often notice that we don’t put nearly enough store by that. We are driven by the results we think we must achieve before we can have a wonderful life, whereas, in fact, it works the other way around. Happier people are more successful. Be happy first. Be happy now. Make it lovely now in any simple easy quick ways that you can.
Let me look out of my window for things to be grateful for as I write this on the day of the Great Solar Eclipse which I won’t be able to see because it is in America, so I am not going to focus on that for starters. I’m focusing on the vibe, not the lack of being able to see it. Get me?
I can see lots and lots of lovely greenery and I’m not all that much of a fan of the countryside, totally urban moi. But I appreciate tall green trees with rustling leaves in the right sort of summer wind, and sometimes I can love even the rain. Of course, I am not creating either, but I am creating a lovely life if I will just choose to appreciate them. All I have to do is raise my eyes from my laptop. The more of that sort of appreciation, the better. And adding to my lovely life by thoughts and deeds and friendships and doing lots of the things I love to do (reading, writing and arithmetic, good movies and TV drama, a fantastic cup of coffee once a day, a salted caramel ice-cream on a stick) that’s just a little list, makes my life lovely and ever lovelier. Sunshine is always the icing on my cake. Sunshine. Warmth and summer.
- What makes your life lovely? Do more of it.
- What would make your life even lovelier? Do that too.
- Don’t stop till you get enough.
In truth, I was just being funny. Don’t stop at all because I can’t look out of the window and enjoy the trees just once, that’s medicine I need to keep taking daily for the rest of my natural for it to be efficacious in every way.
I’m not going to bang on (unlike you, Judith? You feeling OK?). You get what I’m on about. Go ahead and create that even lovelier life. You have my permission. Not that you need it as, to the casual observer, I know your life is pretty lovely anyway but puhleese do not put any limits on it because it’s not fair. The sky’s the limit when it comes to loveliness, for you and for everyone. You read these terrifically inspiring stories online about people who thrive through appalling circumstances which would finish us softies off, perhaps. But who knows? Perhaps tough times would be the making of us too?
Fairness now. There’s plenty of that to go around as well. In a certain light we do run the risk of sounding like the people on Overheard in Waitrose, I mean “But what about the poor people, Dahling?” And I think what we do either before, during or after the creation of our own loveliness, is we work out how we want to contribute to fairness with our effort, or our money, or our time, or our gifts, or our fundraising, or cake-baking, or marching on Westminster, or our volunteering in the third world or operating on poorly people in war zones, or whatever. Whatever we do to redress unfairness must also contribute to the loveliness, by which I mean I must make us feel better about ourselves and the world around us knowing we have done our bit in a way which is meaningful and satisfying. Do-gooding is one of the best things I have ever done when my life was low.
I’ve written to my MP today, coincidentally. About a terrible social injustice that’s going on right now in my life. It is impacting a lot of women my age, but would it even have flitted across my radar if I hadn’t been slap bang in the middle of the catchment for it? I doubt it. I choose my battles wisely. Personally, I am not so highly motivated as I know you are to make a Big Difference in the world. I content myself with helping those who want to do that. I focus on the ones I can help and I let them go forth and multiply with it. To me, it is the same difference and it is a distinction I joined up the dots to make when working with a lot of the entrepreneurs in Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics community. They are planet-changers. I am not. But I made a difference to that one and it gladdens my heart to know that that one will go forth and amplify our work together to make their own life lovelier AND the lives of others. It is enough for me. It is more than enough. One at a time, Sweet Jesus. One at a time. The ripples spread outwards.
Here’s my tip. Contribute to the fixing of what you can. Don’t take on all causes. I have two right now. Don’t take on everything, unless that would constitute a lovely life for you. Causes and dwelling on the awfulness in the world tend to make my life less lovely and how is that serving anyone? You know I do good. I know you do good. We have to trust that we do enough and if we do not, then we can simply up our game anytime we can find or raise capacity for that.
Just like self-employment, our efforts at making the world a fairer place are better if they are directed, targeted at fewer areas, those that are really important to us like say homelessness or hunger. Which reminds me that those are the sorts of things which John-Paul Flintoff taught me start at home. If you have an abundance of apples which have fallen from your tree, put them in a basket and knock on your neighbour’s door with your children and offer them apples. They think you are weird on your own, but they feel happy and safe when it’s you and your kids. All these problems need sorting right where we live, not necessarily in the third world, and it fosters community which is definitely a loveliness enhancer.
Over to you now, Beloved.
- What would make your life (even) lovelier?
When did you last make time for that?
How can you schedule in your regular tree medicine?
This is Question 11 from my book Your Biz Your Way, available from your fave local Amazon in print and on Kindle. You can buy all three digital versions in one £9.99 purchase at my Selz shop and/or bag yourself the first chapter “Bonkersness” for free here at JudithMorgan.com/book.