4 July 2014

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Today was a real feet-in-the-grass, sit-by-the-brook, bask-in-the-sun, perfect summer’s day.

Change number 1: recently I’ve not been the best at getting up at weekends and on days off, not having masses of motivation or being able to find that much purpose to get up for. This weekend, finally, I wanted to get up and thought it would be nice to be up and dressed by 8am so I would have 12 hours of LIFE before HH gets back from work at 8pm. Day one successful! I thought I would need a nap after lunch but although I went to bed, I didn’t sleep – great sign!

Change number 2: Reading. I’ve never been that big a reader (since reading multiple massive difficult history books every week for my degree!) but one day last week on the train I was reading someone’s kindle over his shoulder and found I was reading much faster than him – surely a skill I could put to better use. Combine with a new reading list of massive and inspiring books and being calm enough to be able to sit back and enjoy reading again – this week I’m all over it. Lots of lying in sunny grass reading this summer.

One of the things I’ve been thinking over is values. I’ve always thought of values as some noble moral external standards that I could at best only hope to aspire to. It’s just sinking in with me now how necessary it is to find my own values, the intrinsically attractive priorities within me, the best of my inclinations that I can hope to embody in my actions and must express to be happily authentic.

So I’ve been looking inward and starting to sketch out what actually matters to me – so far I’ve identified things like being creatively expressive with every available moment, nature, learning and experience, celebrating life, and – although I’m under sufferance about being a people-pleaser so values involved with other people are up for grabs – doing what is in my power to be a positive presence in other people’s lives and doing it as a matter of course where there is absolutely no reason not to.

Setting personal values is tricky – defining the things that resonate rather than things I would like to change about myself. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s been through this process – what you came up with and how you knew.

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