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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

One year wiser

Today is my birthday, I am 33!

Being 32 was so great - I really had one of my best years yet (read this if you want to know why). I'm truly thankful for every opportunity that came my way during the past year and I feel very grateful to have had so many happy days and reasons to celebrate.

It wasn't all sunshine and roses of course but I feel like I handled all the little curveballs that came my way with a positive attitude and haven't let things get me down as much as I have in the past. When things didn't go my way I dusted myself off and found a way to move on quickly without indulging myself with a pity-party like I probably would have done not so long ago.

I always feel a bit reflective around my birthday as another year rolls by. Like most people, I don't exactly relish the thought of getting older and sometimes it feels like life is rushing past scarily quickly and I fear I'm not making the most of it by living the biggest, bravest and best life possible. One of my greatest fears is wasting my life on trivialities then waking up one day and realising I never did anything that really mattered or made a difference to anyone, or got anywhere near close to fulfilling my potential. 

Of course worrying is one of the most pointless time-wasters there is so I'm not going to allow myself to dwell on my fear of making mistakes and growing old, these are both completely inevitable anyway. The only alternative to ageing is death - when you look at it that way it doesn't seem so bad now does it?! All we can do is try and make the most of however long we have on this earth and enjoy all the riches that life has to offer.

So as I embark on my 33rd year I'm wondering what the next 365 days have in store? 

One thing I know for sure is that if I want them to be filled with positive change, exciting challenges and amazing moments there's only one way to bring those things into my life and that's to go out and get them myself. No one is waiting around to hand magical experiences to me on a plate. It's up to me to make stuff happen and sit in the driving seat of my life - even if I'm not always sure exactly in which direction to steer.

I always used to get so panicked wondering which turn in the road was the right one to choose (and to be honest, sometimes I still do) but I now know there's no sense in simply staying stuck just because I can't decide what to do next in life. It's always better to do something, to take action and move forward in some way, rather than sit around waiting for inspiration to strike while you're stuck in a rut feeling 'blah' and wondering where your mojo has gone. 

People often say "go after your dreams!", but if you're not exactly sure what your dreams are you can feel really down and confused. The important thing is not to fixate on this. Amazing things can happen when you put yourself out there and experiment with different things, take a chance and embrace a bit of uncertainty. 

This has been my approach to life in the past year or so and I've discovered that if things don't work out there's no need to worry, just move on to your 'plan B'. But when things do work out it's the best feeling in the world and you'll be so glad you gave it a go! 

Years ago, when people asked me what I wanted to do in the future, I would often say "all I want to do is have fun". I think those are the words of someone who still had a lot to learn about true contentment. As I get older I'm slowly starting to realise that the key to lasting happiness won't be found in hedonistic pleasure-seeking (shopping sprees, expensive restaurants, beach holidays...) but in appreciating the small things, savouring each day, and always endeavouring to be the best version of myself.

I still wonder what the future holds as it stretches out in front of me like a book of blank pages waiting to be filled up with wonderful stories and a life-time of treasured memories. And I'm still not sure of my place in the world, but that's ok because I know I will squeeze so much goodness out of life if I just fill it up with adventure, learning, gratitude and love.

Surely those things equal the elusive 'good life' we're all searching for?

If you would like to leave a comment below I would really welcome any thoughts or reactions on this post. Leaving a comment is easy. Simply write your comment in the box below the post (don't forget to write your name!) then select "Comment as: Anonymous" and click the "Publish" button. I moderate all comments so it may take a day or so before you see your comment published on the blog. 

Thanks, Celia x


  1. This is my favourite 'essay' you have blogged. Understanding the components of contentment is the crucial, first step in achieving that global goal called 'happiness'. As your mother I can want nothing more for you than that you like your life, are happy in your choices, excited by opportunities and emotionally resilient to meet life's challenges. And, of course, surrounded by people who love and care for you. Ten out of ten on that one! Happy birthday darling. xxx Mummy

  2. This was a lovely read and very true. Sorry to hear about your father in your recent post. Best wishes