For Day 14 of our 30 Chic Days journey, Mme. Ferris suggests that we each “design the life of our dreams.” Here, she seems to be back on the beam, since she emphasizes that each of us is likely to have a different idea of what our “ideal life” will look like and I’m grateful for that reset after yesterday’s restricted view of femininity.
How do we go about designing our ideal life? Fortunately, Mme. Ferris has some practical thoughts on this matter. She suggests starting by getting ideas on paper in a form of brainstorming. By writing quickly, without worrying about what anyone else might say in reaction to your ideas, you’re likely to be writing from the heart and actually be tapping into what you think instead of parroting what other people may have told you to think. Are there particular words you are inspired by? If so, write those down as well. They can serve as touchstones for you.
Something she wrote in today’s entry that jumped out at me was “Don’t be swayed by others. This is your life and the only one who gets to choose the details is you.” So what if someone in the office thinks your new habit of bringing in crusty bread and fresh yogurt instead of mac ‘n’ cheese for your lunch is a touch odd? Or if you take ten minutes of your lunch break to switch your shoes and take a brisk walk? What do you like? And don’t worry if the answer isn’t the same one you had five or ten years ago. You have the right to change your mind! You’re growing and that includes change, by the very definition.
With that in mind, remember that it’s perfectly okay to change some habits, even if those habits have been years in the making. Change your appearance, cut down on the amount of time your spend watching television in favor of reading, planning a garden for the coming spring, or taking up some hobby you’ve always wanted to try, but have talked yourself out of doing. Try a new recipe, look over the course offerings at the local community college or arts council. Maybe it’s time to give up some group or club that you’ve been a long-time member of, but that no longer seems to fit the person you’re becoming. Remember – this is your life and it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself. If the choices you’re making upset other people, but those choices are what’s best for you – well. That’s their problem. Don’t make it yours. You simply cannot make everyone happy and trying to do so is guaranteed to make you miserable. That being said, change is still hard sometimes.
Take it from me – a femme d’un certain âge who has, in the last year, had flowing magical unicorn hair, cut it short, gone red-blonde with a fuchsia streak, trained for (and completed!) a sprint triathlon, left a job that I’d had for fifteen years (but that no longer suited me) for one that offers me wonderful opportunities to contribute to building something new and fine, all while occasionally wondering what the devil I was doing.
But it’s oh so worth it! No, I’m not living my ideal life quite yet – not in every aspect, anyway – but I’m much, much closer to “living by my own lights” than I’ve been in a while.
What would your ideal life look like? Now write it down. Next, start working on making your life more closely resemble what you’ve written.
Come back tomorrow as we mark the halfway point of our 30 Chic Days!