How do you feel today?Jason Firmager
Someone asked me the other day if I was always cheerful and the simple answer is yes. Certainly there are days when I’m more tired from restless sleep or tired from dealing with inconsiderate people but I make a conscious effort to not let it affect my whole day.
I see red just like anyone else but I don’t paint my entire being with it. This hasn’t always been the case, it could be that I’m growing milder as I get older but I think it’s also because I have a very good structure around me. I thought I’d share with you some things that I do that I feel have definitely benefitted me so that I can spend time appreciating the people and things that deserve my attention.
Eat with the seasons Some people may say I’m being finicky here but with society rumbling towards a digital world of technology and statistics it’s even more important to do our best to keep in touch with the tangible, natural world. Now I’m not willing to give up double glazing and energy saving light bulbs but I feel my mind and body benefits from trying to calibrate myself with the seasons, especially when it comes to food and produce. It may be arbitrary nowadays when food can be grown in greenhouses or imported all year round from other countries, but there is a simple pleasure of eating with the seasons. Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to have strawberries in January or asparagus in November. Try this simple seasonality table from BBC Good Food magazine or use this fun guide from eatseasonably.co.uk.
Exercise your green thumb There is nothing more calming and rewarding than nourishing plant life. It doesn’t matter if you grow vegetables or flowers, or whether you have just a small balcony or a tiny radiator to balance one plant on, a plant always brings a smile and rest your eyes. Watching a tiny bud grow into a flower that may later bear fruit, or seeing a little green shoot unfurl into a strong and steady stalk with dark green leaves is something I look out for everyday. If you have a not-so-green thumb or travel a lot, then I definitely recommend getting a Zanzibar Gem, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, a plant virtually indestructible that only needs sporadic watering (I water mine about 5-6 times a year) and can survive in very low light.
Get rid of clutter Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) refers to his mind as a mind palace and the inverse is also true: your home is your mind. A comfortable living space is a healthy mind. Whether you are a collector or a minimalist, the key thing is to rid clutter on a regular basis. For me, I naturally find myself decluttering my home every few weeks or so. Sometimes it’s just a quick burst of sorting our paperwork that can be shredded or recycled. Other times it’s a whole afternoon sitting in my reading corner seeing which books I haven’t paid attention to for a while. If I’ve forgotten that something is there, then most likely I don’t need it anymore. This isn’t quite a spring clean and it should be pleasant but the aim is to make sure that everything in your home deserves to be there and has a place.
(Re)learn something new I’ve always had reservations about cycling in London, in fact if I’m not out in the open away from roads, street furniture, people, everything else, then I probably won’t get on a bike. This is a shame so I’m taking lessons to brush up on my cycling skills so that I can take advantage of the longer sun hours. It may seem silly to be learning how to ride again but it’s even sillier to not pursue something just because I may look silly.