Seven cardinal rules for 2014

January 5th, 2014

happy new year.

in keeping with last year, im a little late to the party on the new years wishes. my long list of things to do and organize never fails to lengthen each time i blink and unfortunately, my loyalty seems to err on the side of crossing things off that list rather than to my blog (something i genuinely hope to change this year!).

never-the-less, here i am still tucked tightly under my bed covers bringing you a belated new years blog…which in all sincerity i hope is not at all similar to the thousands of other ‘new year’s blogs’ this post will undoubtedly fall next to.

this year i propose something a little different than the usual new year’s resolution, something that doesn’t require completion before the end of January…or the end of the year for that matter because in all honestly, no body ever sticks to the resolution they haphazardly made in a drunken state on new years eve. instead i propose what i like to call the seven cardinal rules for 2014.

for Christmas last year (feels weird to be calling it ‘last year’ since in all reality it was only two weeks ago…), one of the gifts i received was a diary from KikkiK. i ask for one every year – they are the key to keeping my life in check and without one, i strongly question whether i would have made it this far without having curled up in a dark corner and vowed to remain there in that position for all eternity. it sounds dramatic i know, but then you havent lived a day in my life, and if you did – you’d buy me the diary yourself and no longer snigger at my dependency on a small 52 page book (hell, you may even offer me a massage to boot).

the reason i tell you this is because in the first few pages of the diary, there is a space titled ‘resolutions for 2014’ and it made me angrily sigh and frown as i thought to myself.. ” PEOPLE – just give the new years resolutions a rest already, this is not singularly your year…it also belongs to about seven billion other people and unless you plan to be the first person who lives on Mars your name will most probably not make it into the papers or on the news. and yes while this year may be better than the last, you’ll still complain about a dozen different things including the inconvenient weather of all four seasons, politic decisions and what she posted last night on facebook. and you’ll cry almost as much as you laugh, vow to quit your job and by the end of the year even if you did lose those 10kg’s, you’ll be sitting at christmas lunch putting it all back on and stating i can’t believe how fast this year has gone in perfect harmony with half the world.”

we do the same thing each year and never realize that while we are so busy trying to make our lives better, we fail to improve the most important things in life which are incidentally not the house, car, bank account or a victoria secret body. real happiness in life is derived through a mental state capable of perceiving the world in a positive light no matter how little your worldly possessions are. happiness comes from learning how to develop from negative experiences and embracing what you have. if you are going to make a new years resolution this year, make it about personal growth. ergo, the seven cardinal rules for 2014.

1) Don’t let what happened in the past impact your present
Make peace with your past. Grieve for what was lost, and take from it a lesson about yourself and your ability to find the good in what is bad. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again because i think its important…what defines us in this world is how far we rise after we fall. don’t let your past failures stop you from pursuing new adventures.

2) Learn to not dwell on what other people think of you
If you are happy with who you are, or the choices you make – then it is nobody elses business to tell you that you’re wrong. you have to stand up for what you believe no matter how hard it may be, because there is always a reason why people want to tell you that you can’t do something or aren’t good enough, and it is usually a problem that resonates in them – not you. as my all time favourite philosopher said “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind” – Dr Seuss.

3) There is a cure to all that hurts – it’s called time
Time heals almost everything. sure it may still hurt, but you’ll wake up one day and start to realize that it doesn’t hurt as much as it did the day before and eventually it will only sting the smallest amount in the depth of your heart. you’ll be okay. slowly there are more good days than there are bad and you learn how to breathe on your own once again. give it time.

4) No one else is in charge of your happiness except you
One very smart man once held me in his arms as i almost drowned him in my tears over something trivial, looked me in the eye and smiled as he said “If you don’t like it, do something about it“.  i remember feeling gobsmacked. i mean it wasn’t as if the sentence he blurted aloud was deeply profound, it was simple and obvious, yet somehow it was an epiphany. you can choose how you respond to events in your life. you are the master of your own destiny – as cheesy as that sounds. you and you alone are responsible for choosing whether today is going to be a good or bad day. choose good, everyday and don’t let yourself run away rampart with your emotions.

5) Don’t compare your life to others
Where you are now in life is a result of the experiences you’ve had, the challenges you’ve overcome and the decisions that you’ve made. you’ve undoubtedly done the very best that you could and there is no right that any other human holds to judge you for it. nor should you judge others, this life is about your journey – not theirs for you have no knowledge of the trials they have faced. comparing your life to others is like trying to compare an apple to a banana, you’re not the same fruit…you were never going to look alike.

6) Stop over thinking everything
Perhaps one for the girls, because we all know boys rarely experience this problem, let alone have a thought that drifts far from food…but i mean it! stop over thinking everything. this is a big one for me, because i am a big thinker, i think about things that havent even happened yet and react to those thoughts as if they did. stop. it is okay not to know the answers, or where life is going to take you next. you have to deal with things as they happen and when you come to them. there is no use in preempting what is going to happen because the reality of it is that you just don’t know. one day at a time, think about dinner and what you want to watch tonight on tv… then stop at that.

7) Smile
Because you don’t own all the problems in the world.

so there you have it, my own little concoction of rules that i hope will get you through 2014 too! rather than resolutions, i like to think of them more as guidelines to reel you back in when the morning coffee just doesn’t cut it and remind you that next new years eve, you’ll be able to watch those midnight fireworks and smile knowing that you were a happier person this year!

ready, set, go.

d x


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