“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
Let’s set the scene.
I am sat writing this piece at my desk in my underwear. A Chantelle lace bra on top which makes me feel feminine and strong and if you were to cast your eyes south you would bear witness to some slightly dishevelled green pants from god knows where, lacking in elasticity and allure.
Sitting in the sun for four minutes this afternoon I felt like I’d rocked up in another country wearing standard English clothing. I undid one button of my dress, then three, then five and before I knew it, it was on the floor.
Is this acceptable? To be sat in my garden in my half unsightly underwear? Say my neighbours looked out of the window and phoned the police on the grounds of indecent exposure. Telling myself firmly, multiple times, it was no different to a bikini I decided to stay where I was, half naked, glued to my garden furniture.
It would not bother me to see someone else in their garden not fully clothed, but surely, it’s not right for me to do the same. I am twenty-five years old, a homeowner and a manager and perhaps I should not be in my garden in my green pants.
My Instagram is filled with pictures of the female form (mostly mine) because it fascinates me. It’s art and in my opinion, there is nothing in the world quite as beautiful as the curve of a lower back or the little lines around a women’s eyes when she smiles.
Photography is different, you catch a moment or a feeling that you’ve curated, you don’t stomp around jiggling, sprawling out in unflattering angles.
When I first started working if something went wrong, I would find myself in a state of panic, unable to see clearly and worried about what the next few days would hold. I remember telling my boss from one my first ever jobs something that I’d done by accident. I planned the conversation in my head carefully with each different outcome. Fired, disciplinary or embarrassment. Finally, I plucked up the courage to speak to her and she said something along the lines of “Kirstie, look at your face. It’s going to be okay. No one will get hurt, you will live to the end of the day. Don’t take these things so seriously. Of course, you need to try your best in all you do but you’re human. Learn from your mistakes. It won’t kill you so smile, call yourself a knob and think of a solution.” Or did I get fired? I can’t quite remember.
I spent hours of my precious life worrying about the outcome of something that was not going to stop the earth spinning and the sun from rising each morning. I forgot all about this little spiel until I was sat there half naked in my garden, wondering what people would think of me and if I really should be doing it.
Following my underwear fiasco, I realised that perhaps I have been taking myself a little too seriously. Yes, there are times in our lives we will all have to be serious. Funerals, signing divorce papers or listening to your boss tell you off but these are usually few and far in between.
When we take ourselves too seriously, we have our guard up, worried what Sharon down the road might say when we place our bottle bin out on a Monday morning. The thought of Sharon may be keeping you from living your best life. When we put so much weight onto the smaller things going on, for example, how many kisses at the end of a text is acceptable, whether that persons compliment was actually genuine or the birthday cake you made that looks like you ran over it and then reversed back on top of it, adds extra pressure to these really insignificant matters. Extra anxiety, stress and sadness when it really isn’t warranted from the likes of a Victoria sponge.
As we’ve discussed previously, we really do have little to no control over our lives and adopting this realisation can help us to laugh at ourselves when things don’t go our way whenever we can.
Floating through life with a more care free attitude would probably mean you’d have started writing that book by now because who cares what your partner will think or you would have worn that ridiculously huge hat even if your friend made a joke. Laugh with them, it’s funny, life is funny, steal the laugh back. It will make everyday problems turn from disasters to hilarious dinner time stories.
When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.
The saying “mountain out of a molehill” describes what a situation can turn into when we take ourselves too seriously. If your worried that you’ll look silly for dancing at the works Christmas party, you reword your text messages fifty times and feel embarrassed to take that well below par cake round to your Nans house you may find, like me, that you may be sweating the small stuff a bit too much. And if you are? Whip your dress off and sit in the garden in your less than appealing pants. It does wonders for the soul.
Lots of love,