Coco Made Me Do It.

Image via I’d Throw Glitter in The Air, Tumblr.

It’s funny; I’d like to think of myself as someone who thrives on learning new things.

I really want to learn how to play guitar, to speak Spanish, and to master the art of cooking rice without totally ruining another good ScanPan. I also want to learn SEO and how to use chopsticks like a pro and be able to snap from raw story-telling to intensely formal corporate email writing in a second. Can I also learn how to use MailChimp, and change a spare tyre, and bake the perfect chocolate soufflé? Please and thank you.

A lot like you, there’s a lot I’ll get to, one day.

Keywords: one day.

What I’m finding though, that learning doesn’t happen from a place of ‘really wanting to’, there’s no motivation, scorecard, satanic trainer, or authoritative accountability associated with such an aloof desire. Not for me anyway.

The day dream of playing chords like Taylor Swift for the pleasure of campfire banter and impression of a Matt Corby-esque, man-bun is just not strong enough. And learning how to make an app just because it could be useful one day, doesn’t have a rich enough timeline to meet.

I still haven’t learnt any of these things, and I probably won’t. Why would I? I don’t need to.

Herein lies the catch: necessity equals results.

I’ll have you know, I’m becoming an expert in Google Adwords because my job demands it, I’m learning how to cook the perfect Spanish dinners because I now live out of home, and I discovered how to pump up my tyre because Dad wasn’t with me when a dose of air was vital if I wanted to roll any closer towards Yoga class.

Only out of desperation I skilled up.

The lesson is blatantly clear then, that nothing will happen unless it’s forced, demanded and required. End of.

Now I think of one of my favourite proverbs, Parkinson’s Law, which states that, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

As a student, I know this to be supremely legit: you can either smash out an assignment in two weeks, or go from zero to hero in a record 4 hours with the company of a significant amount of caffeine if required.

Using old friend Parkinson to our advantage, there’s just one thing to do: get accountable.

And most of all, uncomfortable to the point where everything is new. Because by jumping over the edge the body has no choice but to follow, and live on. We hope.

The un-rave: Lessons I learnt from the ‘night-in’.

Image via We Heart It.

Image via We Heart It.

It happens to the best of us, whether it be a raging plan that never works out, a tribe of friends that have all conveniently decided to hermit-ize for the weekend, or an overworking job that leaves you feeling tired enough to willingly ‘bench’ this one out; it’s a sad truth, but ‘nights-in’ are an unavoidable reality.

For me, the symptoms of a ‘night-in’ are always the same: I pre-empt the night with a Nanna, rather than a Disco nap (the prefix succinctly defining post-nap activities, #nannalyf vs #discolyf). And this said Nanna nap, turns into a full-blown hibernation lasting almost 3 hours – it was supposed to be a NAP, c’mon Sheesh!

What this terribly timed slumber does for me is two things, two counterintuitive glorious things: It 1) rids me of being tired, and 2) Rids me of being tired just in time for it to be too late to make actual plans.

It’s in that moment of harsh realization that I really begin to ponder life.

I mean, a perfect, summer Friday ‘night-in’, is the perfect antidote for some deep and pensive thinking.

Everyone, well at least everyone except Mum and Dad are out, eating Huxtaburgers, drinking mojitos, mingling, dancing, making memories and loving it. Me? I’m scrolling through the TV programme praying for a roaring movie to be on and checking Facebook every 5 minutes to make sure I’m not missing out on anything too fantastic – I love when people don’t check in, I also love a lack of Instagram posts and no new Snapchat stories, STAY OFF THE PHONE PEOPLE, you are doing wonders for my ego.

After about half an hour of this self-mutilating surveillance of the world that exists everywhere but here, something changes. I’m totally lacking energy, totally detached from the fact that yeah, whilst it’s a ‘night-in’, it could be a great ‘night-in’ at that.

So I take it upon my self to reignite that TGIF splendor, even if it means I remain in my pyjamas for the entirety of it, because there is something about riding a Friday night solo, that is actually quite insightful. Here are the lessons I learnt from the nights I spent in.

Weekend-feel basics.

Sure they may not be heading out for a rager, but parents know how to tune those weekend feels even in the slightest way. While it’s not the most bikini-bod-friendly option, take-away of all sorts does wonders for the soul. No dishes, no meal prep, no worries. It’s the weekend, and that means chill time for all (except the Pizza Man, we need you!).

Windows are open, music is playing and the beers are on the house (literally). You don’t ever need to go too far to feel the weekend vibes.

I really needed this.

Weekdays are often so hectic we don’t notice the little things that need our attention, like:

How long was my room actually going to stay messy for?

That parking fine was almost over-due!

Wow, I totally forgot I left that rotting banana in my bag!

So my sister DID steal my skirt, AND leave it scrunched up on the floor, AND it has a stain on it. Note to self: Must. Kill. Her.

It’s quite bizarre the things you find, realize and do when you have the time to find, realize and do them.

You actually don’t mind Ben Stiller as an Actor.

But I guess, there’s something about ‘There’s something about Mary’ that can turn anyone’s frown upside down. I mean it COULD be worse, you COULD be Ted when he gets ‘stuck’ in the zipper. Poor guy.

When did staying in stop being cool anyway?

Slumber parties were literally the cause of my existence – until they weren’t. Remember the days when your sleeping bag was your best friend and pancakes were a Saturday essential?

Coloured popcorn and movie marathons with friends used to equal the BEST. NIGHT. EVER. I’m not sure when, how or why we decided that wearing short skirts in winter was a better idea than being cocooned in an arctic slumber bag that still smells like grade 6 camp #amirite.

I could do this again next Friday.

It’s the end of the week, FRIYAY! And after 5+ full days of waking up early and being a citizen who contributes to the world, it’s time for some ‘me-time’.

It’s an important trait to have: being okay with being alone. And it can totally be a hoot! Once you get passed the first half hour of wallowing in sadness, reaching for the block of chocolate you know you don’t want (but you’re not going out anyway, so you don’t need to wear a tight skirt, so it’s okay right?) you start reaching instead, for something nourishing, something good, and begin to find that it so easy to feel amazing and great and cool – without the additional extras of a dimly lit dance-floor, a good DJ, a group of friends, and pending bar tab.

Because for tonight, it’s just You + You.

You know You so well, You know what You love, what You feel like, what movie You want to watch, and which book You want to read – as well as everything else there is to know. Cultivate this relationship like you do with your best friend.

Because if there is one person you can truly rely on, someone who will follow you to every corner of the earth and never, ever leave you alone on any Fiday night. It’s you.

Here’s to the night-in!

Love, S.

 

 

 

 

Happy Little Vegemites: Secrets of the Grin.

Happy.

Happy.

There’s nothing like some down time to make you contemplate the things you really love, and on a recent bus ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru – which was just that little bit too long – I had just that sort of ‘me’ time.

Prepared for a three-hour journey through the Peruvian countryside, I prayed to my iPod to prepare the best, chilled playlist, turned up my earphones, lifted my legs onto the back of the seat in front of me (smelly feet alert!), and spaced out to the view from my window seat.

There’s something special about some old school tunes that really make me smile from the eardrums out, and as I bumped along to the beat – and potholes – I started thinking about the other, teeny tiny little details, which really make me happy.

I’m not talking big-ticket items like “winning the lottery”, “falling in love” or “landing a dream job”, because these are pretty far and few between. If I thought these big things were the only way to be a happy-go-lucky person, then happiness would always seem another Power Ball ticket, lover and promotion away.

So why not focus on the little things.

It sounds cliché I know, but think about these merry makers. Think of how simple yet totally rewarding they are (hopefully you can relate):

  • When Coconut water is on sale for no particular reason.
  • When a waiter brings a big, cold, jug of water to your table without being asked.
  • Big coffee mugs.
  • Hearing children speak in another language.
  • Perfectly made cordial.
  • Waking up to a sunny day.
  • Sand between your toes.
  • Smelling good.
  • Fresh bed sheets.
  • Hotel bathrobes.
  • Hot showers.
  • Telling a bad joke that gets laughs anyway.
  • Perfectly ripened avocadoes.
  • Finishing a book.

These are just a few of my favorite things, and with them, I am the happiest little vegemite in the world.

Sure, the big things are important too, but at least I can experience the bliss from any of the above daily, of my own accord, without relying on some outside source to bestow upon me a $2m prize pool, attention, or a new job.

So what little things ‘float your boat’?

Find a pretty place to sit, grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm the heck out of everything that reveals the cute dimples in your cheeks!

Conjure, remember, reminisce and revive every thing you love, every incy-wincy-teeny-weeny detail, use them and abuse them everyday.

I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Love S.

Why you shouldn’t date someone who does anything.

Image via We Heart It.

It seems that articles describing  “Why you should date a girl/guy who does this/that,” movement is taking over the world – or maybe just my news feed, but that’s essentially the same thing, right?. Without fail, the dawn of each … Continue reading

Have you got time to be happy?

Because every day is better when your happy!

Probs not, I mean with all the good series out at the moment, and the accessibility provided by Foxtel On Demand, not to mention the gossip sessions with pals and necessary winging over assignments and heat, I totally get that you more than likely don’t have the diary space to pencil in ‘happiness’.

Lol.

I don’t care if you have to get up before your first three alarms, or have to miss the entrée. You best make time for this essential activity. A smile a day. Two, three, four, a hundred. As many as you can in fact, winner is the best.

Today I will be gathering a camaraderie of troops to commence 100 days of happiness. 

Be an experimenter, a YES man! 100% money back guarantee!

The old you would do it, join me in the #100happydays challenge here.

The Barbie Belief System.

Image

It’s easy to be a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, if you’re not in a Barbie world though – which many of us mere humans are certainly not (Jen Hawkins my friend, you are an exception) – its pretty damn hard to be a Barbie girl.

My guess is that the same law of physics applies to the whole “happiness” thing. It’s easy to be happy if you live in a happy world complete with loving parents, cool siblings, a lot of shifts at a job you love, a cool car, an awesome place to live, crazy fun friends and a constant tan. I’m basically referring to the the Pounder Meal with chicken sauce on the side to dip your chippies in; the whole enchilada; or as my beloved year 12 Maths teacher would say, ‘the whole sha-bang’.

What I mean, is that, it’s easy to be happy when everything is going super well, our beliefs that “everything happens for a reason”, that “every failure is a lesson is disguise”, that “(insert whatever inspiring quote turns you on)” seem so solid.

For sure, why wouldn’t we believe that we were MEANT to land that internship, MEANT to make that new friend, MEANT to get a day off on the hottest weekday? Seems logical to me!

But how about when we crash a car, have a fight with a younger sister (who constantly wears your clothes without asking…I wouldn’t name names), fail that subject, or lose the job you love. Surely all that was 100%, NOT MEANT to happen. Surely.

How much would you want to throw eggs on the head of anyone who attempted to tell you that “crashing your car is certainly for the best”. Like, I think I would actually cut you.

No way am I “happy”, and I DO NOT believe that this was for the purpose of some profound “life lesson”.

There is no way.

José.

(This was getting too serious, so thought I’d invite my Mexican friend to join the post :D).

But seriously. When a winning streak collapses, what do you believe then? Do you still believe that you live a wonderful life? That Santa is still real and that the monsters won’t find you if you hide under the covers for long enough?.

(On this note, can I just say, WHAT is Rihanna’s deal with being friends with the monster that’s under her bed? She is one crazy gal!)

It’s hard. But in the midst of the most challenging, heart-breaking, spine-chilling and uncertain times, I think the only thing we can believe, is that life will go on.

Tomorrow the sun will rise, 9am will become 10am, we will get hungry, get thirsty, hear a song, see the stars, hug, talk, and soon enough, smile, laugh and believe in all those beautiful things again.

As we grow and see this cycle re-emerge with the same certainty as the seasons that pass, a new belief is borne, one which takes precedence over all others. And it is this: that something good will actually, eventually, one day emerge.

Not before bedtime, or before the weekend. Maybe not even before your 21st, Christmas, or before you graduate. But one day.

One day you will look back and smile at what you thought was the end of your world. Smile at your naïveté in allowing you to lose that ‘spark’, along with the happiness you vowed to always believe in.

We soon can appreciate that yep, they were right, it was for your own good. It was just, life.

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I would love to know which beliefs keep you sane in the midst of difficult times, please feel free to contact me and and share your recipe for lemonade when life gives you lemons!

The ‘not-so-chocolate’ ripple.

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Even though I clearly said “not-so-chocolate”, don’t pretend  your not already  frothing at the mouth as you imagine yourself devouring one of grandma’s guilt-ridden, brandy-soaked, cream-filled, peppermint-crisp topped chocolate ripple cakes.

But seriously, this post has nothing to do with your lovely Nanna, her roses, how good she is at knitting, or even  just being so adorably cute….or her famous chocolate ripple cake.

It has to do with this ‘ripple’ thing I’ve been experimenting with lately.

I am yet to determine the proper name for it, and it’s been the first time that old mate Google hasn’t been able to hook me up with a credible answer from his mate, wiki.

So ill try explain it.

Basically, I recently started working at a cute little cafe, and appointed myself a little mission to make every customer I serve smile – this was especially exciting when a stressed/rude/ignorant customer would come to the counter.

What I found is that, with just a little nudge, everyone: the run-down mum, the senile old man, the time-poor executive, the ambitious 20-something chick with the amazing windsor flats and perfect ombré (I must ask who her hairdresser is), are all capable of having an AMAZING day.

What got me excited, was thinking about how the course of their day had now been altered, by my teeny-tiny, one-dimpled, colgate-brushed SMILE.

I am a massive advocate for the whole “law of attraction”, “you are what you think”, “get what you give” etc., etc. movement, and it is profound to think about how circumstances, events and occurrences may have changed as a  result of an altered perspective.

Sure, I only gave Mark his weak cap in a latte mug with extra chocolate dusting and a side of a friendly grin, but I wonder if that little extra, just maybe, inspired him to do something nice for the next person he came into contact with, and then if that person did the same…… and then if that person did the same……and then if that person did the same……and then if that person did the same……and then if that person did the same…….

You get where I’m going with this right?

Moral of the story, start a ripple (it will fit your macros I swear!).

I challenge you to do just one thing nice for someone, and rest happy knowing that you’ve actually changed the world, albeit in a small way.

PS. For anyone who is not shredding for stereo, heres a chocolate ripple recipe.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/25207/choc+ripple+cake