Recent Posts

Miscommunication

Miscommunication

A fairly recent realisation for me is that so many of life’s woes stem from miscommunication. I strongly believe very few people are malicious by nature. We don’t usually go out of our way to make other people’s lives a misery – although I can’t […]

Giving it a second chance

Giving it a second chance

I mentioned the strength and wisdom demonstrated in giving up sometimes in this previous post. There was a caveat at the end of the article: to try other options before moving on. I’d like to expand upon that today. I want to stress the significance […]

100 per cent but no more

100 per cent but no more

A short 30 by 30 article today. Our temptation is to give 100 per cent and then some, especially when we start something new such as a job. Resist, resist, resist! Give 100 per cent but no more.

I’ve pushed myself to work faster, more efficiently, more diligently. At times I’ve gone out of my way to help others, even when they had people better placed. My parents have spent their lives doing things for people they don’t owe it to, with no recompense or recognition.

The problem with all this is that the bar is raised extremely high. You set it there yourself. A time will come when you don’t hit that standard. It won’t take long for others to punish you for what they see as a failure in this.

If you fulfil your duties but don’t shoulder any extra responsibilities, nobody can expect you to go above and beyond without asking. They also have nothing to reprimand you for, because you’ve done your part to the best of your abilities. This is what I mean by recommending you do 100 per cent but no more.

Ready to give up

Ready to give up

A good friend once said to me she admired my courage. This wasn’t because I was forging ahead. It was because I was ready to give up. I think a lot of us feel it’s a sin and shameful to “throw in the towel”. Often […]

Develop your own sense of validation

Develop your own sense of validation

A seemingly self-indulgent 30 by 30 lesson this time. The message: develop your own sense of validation. In no way whatsoever self-indulgent.   What does that mean? Several years ago I read a book detailing how girls are intrinsically motivated, meaning they work hard for […]

Develop independence

Develop independence

No, I’m not writing about politics. Push Brexit far to the back of your mind. In this post I want to mention my thoughts on developing independence.

 

How to develop independence

There are different means of developing independence. The method we choose depends upon our circumstances. Nonetheless, we should all aim to control our own affairs and know them inside-out. It can be easy in some situations to reach a particular age and not understand budgeting, banking and other such daily matters.

Instead, look at where you are in life. Perhaps you’re considering university. Can you afford to move away from home, to a different city? In this case, you’ll have no choice but to take mastery of your affairs.

Even if not yet flying the nest, you can still set up your own bank account, fill out your own forms, do at least some of your own grocery shopping. These will teach punctuality, money management and the ins-and-outs of bureaucracy (yawn).

The odds are even more in your favour if you’re leaving school straight for working life. You’ll have an income, and you’ll need to decide where to store it. Do your research and find the best accounts (try Money Saving Expert). Start saving – you might be in the best position to buy property earlier in life. Mortgages will blow your mind if you’re struggling with banking!

 

Never too late to learn

We don’t have to be young to struggle with developing independence though. I’ve heard people talk about a mother, father or sibling who never bothered managing their own economics and paperwork. When the person usually in charge was unavailable (death, separation, illness), the remaining individual floundered. Tasks dragged on, taking twice or thrice as long to complete. It’s easy in these circumstances to bury our heads in the sand and then things can really spin out of control…

There’s still light at the end of the tunnel. Sit with loved ones and discuss finances and household duties. Gather as much wisdom from those in the know. It’s never too late to learn, if you really knuckle down.

Developing independence – and critically, retaining it then – is one proven way to hold back aging and dementia. Who needs Sudoku and Countdown?

Work with your abilities

Work with your abilities

We’re all capable of learning new skills and knowledge, and should never be limited. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t do. Likewise, don’t inhibit yourself. However, over thirty years I’ve discovered that the most effective way of working and living is […]

Giving new things a go

Giving new things a go

In this 30 by 30 series, I’ve already discussed the importance of experience as well as the significance of never stopping learning. In addition, I can’t stress enough the idea of giving new things a go. This is tied into the previous two ideas. Through […]

Be open to everyone

Be open to everyone

It’s very easy for us to be prejudiced. As we get older and experience more, the tendency can be to grow cynical and more insular. Those we already have around us can become the walls of a fortress. The unknown is then kept at bay. This is a real shame, as we aren’t only locking out new friendships, but new opportunities too. We need to aim to be open to everyone.

My friends often call me a “snob”. I’ll admit, sometimes I am. I’m the first to declare a lack of surprise when someone from a certain location does something underhanded or malicious.

King Kevin

On the flip side, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised on many more occasions.

For years “the South” seemed like a completely alien place. I envisioned “its people” as arrogant, spoilt and out-of-touch with “northern realities”. If I were ever to encounter someone from south of Derby, I’d be sure to dislike them.

Be open to everyoneCharl Kevin Halloween

Well, what a complete shocker! I met people at university from further south and north who were lovely. They taught me things about myself as much as about others.

I made great friends with students from the south coast while I was in France who at first, hearing their accents, I was wary of. I had some of the best times of my year abroad with them. Even though the uni was on strike and we had no money and very little to do, we talked and talked and talked. We watched programmes and films we mutually enjoyed. We went on trips. Times I’ll never forget.

Since then I’ve made other acquaintances that have opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. During my time with Matt, I’ve had the honour of meeting a large selection of his friends. They come from all over, even Italy. They’re brilliant people, no matter the accent. They’ve welcomed me with open arms and invited me to so many events. Sam and Fabio’s wedding week was just one of them.

Sam Fabio and bridesmaids

Back in April, Matthew and Emma graciously asked me to accompany Matt to their wedding. I was made to feel a part of another family in both of these momentous milestones.

Matthew Emma wedding day Ruth

Other occasions are coming along too. A house party in the Pennines. A birthday party in Manchester. A Christmas meal in Stockton Heath. Another wedding in September 2018. I can’t wait. The most poignant thing is that, without the goal to be open to everyone, these things wouldn’t be happening.

Sharon

Money matters

Money matters

I try to keep a balance between materialism and spirituality, although as with all things in life, the focus fluctuates. Moods come and go, as do fortunes. What I’ve learnt by 30 is that money matters, despite what people may claim. Of course there are […]