Here are my Top 5 Life Lessons:
Speak Your Mind or You'll Never Be Happy
I grew up in a family of terminal sub texters - if there was a direct latin translation for "Never Say What Can Be Hinted At Instead" that would be our family motto.
It's taken many, many years for me to realise that life is far fecking easier when people just say what they mean, instead of saying a passive-aggressive, close approximation of what they mean, coupled with some facial expressions, and hoping people understand what it is that they want. I'm still guilty of it at times, as my poor, beleaguered husband will attest, but I am trying to be less internal with my communication and my life has improved for it, because if you never say what you want, you'll never bloody get it.
Housework Will Always Be There
As you'll probably know, I'm a self-proclaimed domestic failure. I have bugger-all interest in the majority of household tasks and I have to be prodded to get off of my butt and do things all the time. However, my main reasoning for that is that there are SO MANY more interesting and important things that I can spend my time doing. I don't want to be one of those mums who says "Yes, Sausage, we can go swimming, but just wait until Mummy's steam-cleaned all the skirting boards and re-grouted the bathroom tiles." I want to be the Mum who's already got one arse-cheek into her cossie before Sausage has even finished asking, because the washing up will still be there but my chance to make Sausage's childhood fun might not be.
Stop Eating When You're Full
This one is quite personal - if food were a person with a Facebook page, my relationship with it would read "Complicated". However, if I could give ONE tip to anyone who's struggled with their appetite, it's that you need to stop eating when you're full. I know that may seem like a no-brainer to a lot of people, but it's not always the case if you're a person who has food issues. In fact, if I could go one step further I'd say stop slightly before you feel full, because you probably are full, but your brain and belly haven't quite synched up yet. I wish someone had told me this years ago and I could have saved a lot of issues with gastric reflux, saved myself a lot of money on Gaviscon and ultimately not had to have had so many cameras shoved into so many different orifices (don't ask)
And by lots, I don't mean Tolstoy, Hemingway and Shakespeare, I mean bloody anything. I've always loved reading but I don't just read the books that people say you are supposed to read and my brain and soul are all the richer for it.
When I was a kid, I'd read literally anything I could get my hands on (which at times has even extended to sitting in the bath and reading the backs of every bottle in the bathroom) and now, as an adult, I love the escapism that a good book can provide. Obviously, the internet is full of awesome stuff to read; my husband recently introduced me to Reddit and if you can get past some of the odder subReddits, it's a brilliant source of knowledge, humour and general fun-ness. I've been known to just sit and read random Wikipedia pages too, and it should go without saying that I love reading other people's blogs. Yes, that might make me a bit of a nerd but knowledge is empowering and reading is the best way to absorb knowledge, even if it's Mills and Boon.
Rudeness is probably my single biggest bugbear, but the old saying that manners cost nothing is so true. You could be the most awesome person in the world, but if you lack basic manners, you'll always give a bad account of yourself. Saying please and thank you is like a reflex to me; if I'm out in the car and I think that someone is parked, then drive on before realising that they were actually giving way, I feel bad all day. I've genuinely contemplated driving around the block just so I can thank someone properly!
If you always remember to be polite, say your pleases and thank yous, be considerate, hold doors open, you may not always get the same amount of politeness in return but YOU will always come across well and you may just improve someone's day by being the first person who's shown them any human decency all week.
Jayne is a mum to a 5 year old girl and is expecting another little lady, due Feb '14. She currently works from home as well as studying for a degree with the Open University. She's domestically challenged and hates washing up, but makes an awesome lasagne and is a whizz with a sewing machine.
Blogs at: Mum's The Word