If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “Life is too short,” “We aren’t getting any younger” or “Kids grow up so fast,” well, I’d surely have a lot of nickels. Along with that bountiful pile of nickels, however, I’d venture to say I’d also have a heaping basket of emotions; there would have been a heart tug or emotional twinge of some sort, because those often recited words are indeed the truth, and each and every time they are uttered, I feel them, and I understand what they really mean. Life is short. I am getting older (and hopefully wiser, but the jury is still out on that). And my sweet little boy is already SIX, and oh so sassy (but still sweet, thankfully). Deep breath!
My point is, even though we hear these cliché phrases quite often in our lives, whether at work or with friends or family or neighbors…or in blogs…,we really need to soak them in and embrace how we can all live our best lives. Because we deserve that, right? So, I know some of you right now are thinking of the lyrics, “I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feelin’?! And YES, that’s precisely what I’m talking about…find and feel your happiness, because life is way too short, and we have no guarantees about the future, so offering kindness and choosing happiness is essential to being healthier individuals.
This list was compiled so you can get yourself on the path to your best life, or if you are already there, to maintain it. Remember, you deserve it!
Top 10 Things to Get Rid Of (Right Now):
1) Toxic people
Surround yourself with allies and positivity, not frenemies or unnecessary stress. The bottom line is we should always avoid those individuals who bring us down or do not make us feel good about ourselves. You want people in your life to enhance you and celebrate you, not to knock you down, create obstacles, or throw negativity your way. Avoid liars and narcissists; you know, the ones who are always right, never want to hear your side, and then try to convince you that everything is your fault. No thanks! Also, remember that people make time for what is important to them; if you are not made a priority, accept that and give your time and energy to the people and things who do treat you with importance. Don’t allow others to control your emotions and daily life. This can be hard at times, but if you make a conscious choice to love people more and care about their opinions less, and to remove toxic people altogether, you might find more peace.
2) The past
It’s good to reflect and learn from the past, but if you find yourself up at night being embarrassed all over again about something you did in college, or unable to shed guilt about something you did years ago, that is not doing anybody any good (in particular, you)! Remember the “good old days” and those embarrassing moments if they make you laugh, but if you are going to agonize over the past, stop that, and cut it loose! Remind yourself you are human, you survived it all and are still here, so it is ok to move on…it really is. And if others in your life are not able to move on, well, then that is their burden to carry, not yours.
Say bye, bye to the clutter, whether it’s clothes or toys or kitchenware! That closet is overflowing, so get to it. Those jeans used to fit, but they don’t anymore, so it’s ok to say goodbye and perhaps spare yourself some angst, too. (Remember, you’re a hot mama whether in size 8 or size 14!) The kids have enough toys, they really do. Start eliminating the ones with annoying sounds first, then make your way to the ones you always trip over. Oh, and remember to do it when the kids aren’t around, so they don’t whine and declare how they still play with those particular toys all the time. Embrace the chance to declutter and do a positive thing by donating to charities, dropping unneeded items off at Goodwill, or giving them to a friend or family member. Any way you do it, you will appreciate you helped someone else out, that you have extra space and that your kids can easily find the toys they actually want to play with, for real!
4) The notion you’re supposed to do everything
Trying to do it all is not always possible; it’s totally ok to ask for help. Repeat that to yourself when you feel like you are drowning. You won’t always get the exact help you need, but remember, it is ok to at least ask. I feel like women especially believe they are supposed to do everything. That is not the case! Once in awhile, delegate. Your body and mind will appreciate the break.
We have all experienced some type of guilt in our lives, perhaps about how we treated someone, about job performance, or about something we did or didn’t do. Or about eating an entire veggie pizza in one sitting while on a Netflix binge. Yet, it is ok to make peace with things…and then move on. We can all come to terms with how the past cannot be changed, but the future can; we can make apologies, do better, make changes, avoid hurting others, etc. It is so much healthier to not harbor guilt. Learn from it, let it go and smile.
6) The thought you are not strong enough
You are stronger than you know, physically and emotionally. Most of all, you are enough period. Chase your dreams; it’s never too late. Stand up for what you believe, and speak up if you are unhappy. Make changes so you feel fulfilled. It is inherent in women to be nothing less than strong; we care for our babies, our families, and ourselves. Plus, we carry 14 shopping bags into the house all at once because, hey, that’s what we do. Nobody has time to make two trips.
I read an interesting article a few years ago by a woman whose husband was divorcing her. She recalled, with pain, many incidents of her nitpicking him; the times he came home from the grocery store with the wrong type of hamburger meat (70/30 instead of 80/20, how dare he!) or him forgetting to schedule an appointment, or him not putting his clothes away in the right spot. The list could go on and on about trivial complaints. She regrets all those times she nitpicked and believes it ultimately led to the demise of their marriage. Things were derailed because she not only emasculated him at times, but she drove him away and made him resent her.
Obviously, we do not know all of the details or intricacies of their marriage. Nonetheless, the article was a good reminder it is definitely ok to have a voice and to express our emotions if we are not happy, yet, perhaps we all need to be mindful of what we are choosing to focus on, and ask ourselves, is it worth it to discuss? How valid is the concern or disappointment? How are we truly impacting others?
This could apply to everything, not just marriages…friendships, parent/child relationships, and job relationships.
8) Body shaming
Love others, and love yourself! Practice self-love. Body shaming never helps anyone; we need to stop being so critical of our own bodies as well as those of others. If you are not happy with your body, you can try to change that (I know a person who can help you if you are interested, wink wink). And yes, it’s totally ok to look in the mirror right after a good workout and think, “Skinnier!”
9) Your phone
Ok, so don’t get rid of your phone, but at least put it down more. Turn it off. Live and experience life; you don’t always have to record and share. You don’t have to check your work e-mail at all hours or respond to texts as soon as they come through. I remember growing up when we went to restaurants and families talked and laughed and interacted; now you go to a restaurant and see everyone on their phones. Even at church, I have seen people texting or even using SnapChat; it is so sad to me technology has taken over in this capacity. Put it away and see if that changes your mood or gives you more clarity…or creates an extra smile on your child’s face because they (finally) have your full attention.
Procrastination, in my opinion, can trigger so much stress. If you just actually do what it is you have put off doing, you can be done with it and not worry about it anymore. For some, this is easier said than done, but it wouldn’t hurt to just try it, right?
What would you add to the list of “things to get rid of” for achieving your best life?