Life: you’ve been doing it all wrong

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Life: you’ve been doing it all wrong. Except you haven’t. But there’s lots of people out there trying to tell you that you have. During this season of celebration and reflection, try to ponder on the stuff that is working and plan to do more of that.

As blighted 2016 draws to a close, our social media feeds are crammed with posts by people busy beating it up. We lost some heroes, there’s widespread global political uncertainty but particularly seismic shifts in the West. Conflicts are raging, people appear to be less tolerant, less understanding, less compassionate. We feel cheated, deflated and unlucky. But can a year be cursed? Lemmy died last December, so technically for those superstitious folk, it was 2015 who started the fire which kept burning through 2016.

The lifestyle media cogs continue to turn. They want your clicks, your cash, your data so they dream up ‘helpful’ articles on how to hack an easy life for you and the family. Thought provoking, resourceful and relevant. There are sites like Upworthy which are beneficial to have in your feed, spreading hope not fear. But often our daily comms are stuffed with fluff. We are crowding cyberspace with chatter. 21st century humans seem to love doing this.

What annoys me? Those articles which circulate with viral titles, “You’ve been peeling an orange wrong your whole life” Thanks for that but my mum taught me to peel an orange. Are you disrespecting my family? There’s a lot of smug on the internet (we’re not beyond it here but we try hard to avoid). And it’s this smug which bred the climate for Brexiteers and Trump voters.

No one likes to be told they are wrong. Even when you’re the sort of person who can admit when they are wrong. It still irks to be told. The defences go up and the thought process turns to how much you can justify your point of view rather than factually validate it. We spend far too much time lamenting the flaws of others rather than seeing what good still lurks out there.

It’s why I believe it’s important to reflect on what you firmly believe has gone well in your life. 2016 can’t have been all day, every day bad. There must have been personal triumphs and I believe even the smallest piece of positivity in your life can become a sapling of hope for 2017.

I’m not saying ‘count your blessings’ because although I like to do that from time to time, it doesn’t help understand where we have influenced the good things in our life. No, I prefer to boil it down to something I have worked hard on, something the  family achieved, something I created or helped build. Plus also remember who supported me, who helped and who I can rely on time and time again.

Try it. You never know what it could bring to the new year ahead of us.

About Claire Jones-Hughes

Founder and co-editor of BrightonMums.com, Claire has been blogging since 2009. She has posted on a variety of sites including The Argus, The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment Is Free. Known as The Contented Mummy on social media, she is dedicated to honest, unsponsored blogging so that parents can benefit from shared experience. Can also be found at www.fitfaband40.co.uk - sharing her journey to health & wellness.

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