Allow me to set up this post by telling you about a common scenario in our house;
It’s Saturday, and I am intending to publish a blog post on Sunday. I don’t have photos for it yet, so I need to take them today. I do my hair and make up then get into the outfit I want to shoot. I glance towards the window…and it’s chucking it down. The weather forecast says it will do so for the rest of the day. This, apparently, is not just an annoyance (and it is an annoyance, anyone who has ever had this happen can testify to that I think), it is, apparently, a disaster. Although thinking logically there are actions I might take (find somewhere sheltered, change outfit to suit the weather, try to style it out with some *edgy* rain photos, move the post to Monday and try again the next day), all I can do is focus on the image I had in my head of the clear, rain-free photographs, published tomorrow, and wallow in frustration that it won’t happen.
I know what you’re thinking – why am I always banging on about the bloody weather?! Well, I’ll tell you why; it’s because this is the situation that first brought one of my worst habits to my attention. Here’s another example;
I am in the car on the way to Sainsburys. I have allocated 45 minutes for the Sainsburys run, which seems reasonable as we live very close, and have made a to do list of all of the things I need to do after it – errands, life admin, blogging and tidying. Traffic turns out to be horrendous, and it takes me a lot longer to get there than expected. When I’ve done the shop I realise I need petrol. By the time I’ve got some and driven home it has taken me over 2 hours. I wanted that time to do other things, and I’ll no longer be able to fit them all in, but instead of prioritising and getting what I can done, I have a small meltdown because in my head I was ticking off a certain number of items from my to do list. Unable to accept that that will no longer be happening, I claim that the day is ruined.
So firstly… I sound like a spoilt brat, don’t I? I don’t blame you if you think that – I think it too. Perspective, Soph?! Secondly though, and the primary focus of this blog post; I really suck at adapting to the little nuances of life once I get an idea of how I want something to go in my head, and I feel like that’s a fundamental adult skill that ideally I need to address.
Instead of facing up to things that don’t go the way I’ve decided they are required to, I have a horrible habit of throwing a great big self-pity party, and everyone who is unlucky enough to be in my vicinity at the time is invited. I literally cannot seem to be flexible to life as it happens, and what annoys me most of all is that these things I apparently cannot adapt to are all entirely outside of my control.
Perhaps that indicates that I’m a control freak. That’s almost certainly true, and it’s almost certainly linked to perfectionism, but I also almost certainly need to change my mindset on it. Energy spent on wallowing or thinking about how frustrated I am about these ridiculous little things is entirely useless; firstly, because focusing on negativity is only going to exacerbate those feelings of irritation, and secondly because it distracts me from actually addressing the not-even-a-problem at hand.
There are a lot of those quote graphic things online about this – you know, pink background and white italicised text – and pretty much all of them are along the lines of this; if it’s in your control, you shouldn’t worry, because it’s in your control. And if it’s not in your control, you shouldn’t worry, because you can’t control it. A little twee, maybe, especially for some of the more serious situations in life, but if we apply it just to the everyday nuisances that I’m talking about it makes a lot of sense, and it’s something I want to keep in mind in order to roll with the punches (or prods) a bit more.
I do think that we (yes, we, I’m dragging you all down with me now…sorry about that) can sometimes have a tendency to do things the wrong way around. We let annoying little things affect us more than we should, and we don’t shout enough the little things that make life great. Instead, we should celebrate and enjoy life’s little positives without bothering to give the little things that don’t go our way equal attention. They’re annoying, I know, and lots of them in a row can be tiring, but let’s not allow them to be day-ruiners.
Life is unpredictable – that’s one of the best things about it. Next time it throws one of its little inconveniences my way, I’m not going to throw my usual pity party. Instead, I’m going to be a normal, functioning human; think about what I want from the situation, try to solve the problem, and focus on what’s gone right rather than what’s gone wrong.
Because while we can’t control the seasons, traffic, what other people think, delayed transport, the weather, stuff that’s already happened, or a million other things, we can control how we react. It’s time to stop letting little things ruin your day – you’re in the driver’s seat, so shrug it off, make it work, and drive.
Jacket – Zara | Shirt – M&S | Jeans – Zara | Trainers – Carvela | Bag – Mango | Umbrella* – Radley
There was no way I wasn’t going to include this yellow faux suede Zara jacket of dreams in a blog post again, and this time I wanted to pair it with jeans and trainers. I added a tie waist longline shirt which was a bargain at £6 for Marks & Spencer (M&S do THE BEST sales by the way) and my little Mango gold ring detail bag. And, of course, in the spirit of taking control of outfit shooting despite the weather getting ever-worse, an umbrella. When Radley asked if I’d like to choose an item from their new accessories range, I’d just spent an afternoon staring furiously out of the window at the rain after getting ready to take photos…so I thought yes, it looks like I’ll be needing one of these. I had this half-written post sitting in drafts, so it seemed like a good time to finish it, and get out into storm Brian to sit on some damp steps – I got my jeans wet, but my hair and jacket stayed dry, so it looks like I’m getting into this problem solving thing doesn’t it.
Photos: Rob Poor
18 thoughts on “Learning to brush off life’s little irritations”
THIS IS ME!!! I get irrational rage over the stupidest things! I throw my toys out of the pram all the time because of the weather, I threw a two day strop when we were on holiday just because the weather was a bit miserable and we weren’t having a picture perfect time! We are so similar!
I love your umbrella shots, so cute!
Love this post! I feel EXACTLY the same all the time! Especially when it comes to blogging and the rain. FURIOUS. What I tend to do is just think ‘Whats the worst that can happen?!’ Then just make do with what time I have got! I’m not exactly a perfectionist though I’m far too messy but I do feel your pain! Looking phenomenal as per usual gorge! Loving those trainers too!
I totally understand where you’re coming from. Bad weather has such an effect on my mood. That was how it was for me, but I’ve slowly learned to let go of little things that are out of my control.
Regardless of the weather, I am loving all these photos, and that jacket is amazing, I am obsessed.
As soon as I read your instagram describing this post I knew I had to read it straight away as it’s something I struggled with so much a few weeks ago. The bit about allocating 45 minutes for going to the shop was me down to a T and I got to the point where I had to give mys;ef a good talking to because it means half of your weekend is spent getting frustrated rather than enjoying it. I don’t think people open up enough about the behind the scenes of blogging either as it can look really glamourous from the outside looking in, thanks for sharing so openly!
Sophie your posts always just hit the nail on the head!! I’m definitely guilty of letting the little things ruin my day and get stressed out unnecessarily. I was getting so frustrated on Saturday when it was too windy to shoot my photos haha. Your photos look fab as always girl xx
Getting to pics done in time was always a challenge for me. Now I try to have pics for at least two post in advance. 🙂 This takes away so much stress and the pics are better two.
Have a great week.
Oh man, this is so me haha! I had a bout of this at the weekend, I had put so much pressure on getting a load of snaps for blog posts / Instagram over the week – but plans changed and I did manage it all. Despite having a really lovely, chilled weekend – these things till hang over me and create so much frustration haha! That is such a beautiful brolly, love loooove Radley. Immy x
Uhhh ma gad you are describing me, I’m such a child when it comes to little annoyances, I have a PROPER sulk (much to Nick’s pleasure I’m sure) but I should really put things into perspective more. Also I had no idea that M&S sales were so good, I am there!
This is so so true! I get so irrationally annoyed if I can’t tick off everything I had planned, and I make lists for everything. List of lists…! Lovely umbrella, I love Radley as a brand too! Alice xxx
I’ll admit that I can be that person where if I have a day planned out, (dedicated to blog photos/writing for example) if something throws a kink in my plan I throw up my hands, get irritated, and claim the day is ruined. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one and this has made me want to try harder to brush off the little things that go wrong and just go with the flow more. x
i’m such a perfectionist and used to get so irritated and sad about the small things and as i got older i really had to learn that as long as its no life or death situation its fine and i can sort it out and ask for help if needed.
This is 100% me! I always plan everything (I *wish* I could be more spontaneous!) and then if something doesn’t quite go to plan it sometimes feels as my whole day falls apart. It sounds so dramatic, but I think it has something to do with mental health problems and being an over achiever, which is why I think it’s so great that you’re talking about it. 🙂
One way I’ve learned to manage it a little bit is trying to allow extra time for everything when I plan. That way, if something takes a bit longer than expected, I’m still ahead the schedule and can keep the anxiety at bay. But of course I shouldn’t have to do that – I should learn how to deal with these feelings when they *do* happen! Please let me know if you figure it out..! xx
Laura // Middle of Adventure
This post speaks so loudly to me!!! (seems like a lot of your posts do though..!)
When I have an idea in my head, I get REALLY frustrated when it doesn’t pan out that way. And I was like this when I a little girl – I would ask my parents for the weekend plans and they would always preface by saying that it might change because they knew I would get upset if it changed. HA.
I’ve been trying to figure why I’m like that and I think I figured out a few of the issues (i.e. being attached to that schedule because I think it’s the best strategy to accomplish what I want to do; defining myself by my to-do list rather than who I am.. so if I don’t do enough, I’m wasting precious time which means I’m a useless human being. Yes, I know I sound crazy)
Oh Sophie, haha I feel your frustration in your words, but equally am loving it, and can read this for myself and my actions too. I sometimes feel I need to do EVERYTHING at once, but when it doesn’t work out… nothings really affected you know, and I try to give myself a break.
Maybe try not to pack as much in as a real easy win to ease it all too?
Great outfit – the yellow looks fab on you!
Holly xxx /// http://www.mrshollycrocker.com
Such a great post!
I’m loving your blog atm hun ❤
I found myself nodding at every line. I am completely the same. My bf is complaining all the time about that. He says that it seems like I have this perfect scenario in my head and if there is also one detail which doesn’t go accordingly I become a different person.I want everything and I want it right now!We need to work on this.. we can do it! 😀
I looove this blog post, as it’s such an important reminder that we all know deep down, but sometimes forget! Life is full of little hurdles but like you said, it’s how react to those very situations that build our character! Plus if you live in Britain, it’s the only way you act towards the weather, or life would be very, very miserable!
Thanks for that trip through irritation, and also for how you share your love of the visual through photos