The secret to life

The secret to life

Yup I have figured it out. Bold I know. And it’s awesome.

Now before I spill the beans…

I don’t want to come across all righteous and bitchy or full of myself. Well not today in any case. I am a Leo. It’s written in the stars that the world revolves around me the sun. I don’t want you to think that I’m too big for my boots, that I’m better than the next person or that I’ve put myself on a pedestal. I hope you don’t think that I am egotistical or know all the answers. No no no. I’ll dim my bright idea light so that it doesn’t blind anyone else.

Gosh all those judging eyes, watching, waiting for me to fall, mess up or even worse, point out a typo. (A side note. Mediocrity always attacks success)

What if I’m wrong? What if I misunderstood all of this and it’s not the secret? What if I make a complete fool of myself? I’ll be so embarrassed. I’ll be humiliated. Even if there is no right or wrong answer I know I’ll pick the wrong one. That’s life. I’ll fail. My life as I know it will be over.

Maybe I should say I-think-I may-have-possibly- sort-of-worked-out-a-way-to-make-life-happen for-me-at-this-stage-but-it-could-be-subject-to change-and-has-terms-and-conditions. Read-the-small-print. That should cover me while I sit on the fence, observing and keeping my thoughts vague and ambiguous just in case I need to flip flop depending on the mood in the room or if the other person has a louder more correct theory, if I want to be liked and accepted.

What happens if I offend someone, inadvertently of course? What if me speaking my mind makes someone else feel uncomfortable? Worst still, what if it hurts someone? Flip… Suzie could well think this is all about her and I could make her feel inadequate, unaccomplished, insignificant? Who wants that kind of guilt and shame on their hands? Not me.

You know what? Maybe it’s not worth it? Maybe I should keep quiet, for everyone’s sake, especially Suzie. I want Suzie to like me. She won’t if I do this. I want those strangers on the internet to think I’m kind and humble and gracious. Who doesn’t? I think I’ll just play it safe. Keep on the straight and narrow. Stay in my lane. Not rock the boat. Avoid conflict. Avoid confrontation. Plodding along, not upsetting people but trying to please them at the same time. That will work? That’s do-able, right?

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and strangers’ opinions right there in the epicentre of your self worth.

Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Or? Maybe, just maybe … wait hear me out for a second…

Stop letting other people’s opinions and judgements of you hold you back.

You love watching series TV, so much so that you even have ideas for your own show but worried others might think it’s lame?

You want to be a dancer even though you are a middle aged single mother and it’s not like you could make a living from it now so why bother?

You love writing and wish you could write a novel one day but maybe your writing sux and who would want to read it anyway?

You want to be your own boss but running a company is not something you have experience in. Maybe entrepreneurship doesn’t exactly run in the family and your life will be ruined if you fail? Oh and it’s scary as shit and way more work than you have time or ability to commit to?

Obviously these are all random examples.

In the very apt and succinct words of the famous Alecia Beth Moore,


Stop letting other people’s opinions and judgements of you hold you back.

Stop letting your self doubt and people-pleasing tendencies hold you back

Stop letting perfectionism and fear of failure hold you back.

The small print

There is always a but people!

Yes anything is possible but as long as your intentions are in the right place and you have a plan. If you think spending 8 hours a day on the couch watching tv is going to pay your rent or your kids school fees then you are delusional. But maybe with the right focus and effort and consistency, along with some training in tv production, interning at a studio some weekends, getting up at 4.30am every morning learning how to write a screenplay etc.. then those actions could result in you producing and directing a series for the next Netflix and bankrolling your Kardashian-esque life.

Maybe you don’t make a career out of exercising or running marathons but it’s a hobby you love and it makes you happy and healthier, it fills your cup, so that’s a good enough reason right there to do it.

I’m trying to encourage this kind of mindset in my kids. I think this should be taught at school. Last night, like every night during the homework fight, Aiden says

I suck, I’m stupid, I’ll never know this stuff” or “I’m not going to win the challenge, I’ll come last.”

It’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

My boy if you think you are going to come last, then you probably will. If you think you will come first, there’s a good chance you will.”

Aiden “oh oh really???? Really? So if I think I’ll go to space on a rocket ship then I can click my fingers and it will just happen??? Really? Look look am in space yet???”

Insert like a gazillion eye rolls and I’m pretty sure I heard one of those obnoxious click sounds. I have no idea where he gets his sarcasm from. I must look into that.

“Nope. Of course not. It’s not going to fall into your lap. It doesn’t work like that. But if you want to go to space, then you know where you want to be. You just left out some steps.

Learn. Study. Go to astronaut school so you can fly a rocket ship.”

Listen by this stage it was 7pm. “We” were still on homework task one, “we” were talking very loudly as “we” are trying not to shout and that’s the best I could muster up in my blind rage passionate parenting coming from a place of love and caring. (I’ll talk about reframing another time)

Funny thing is, Mr obnoxious, cheeky “I have a retort for everything my mother says” was silent, for a few seconds. He didn’t have a smart- ass comeback. He had a look on his face that kind of said

Oh, right, ja, ok. That makes sense. So that’s how it’s done?”

See, the secret to life.

Well, at least that’s what I’m hoping.



I took this photo the other morning in a rush, between getting back from the gym and changing for work. I hadn’t been having great workout sessions of late, and I thought it was perhaps because I didn’t have a goal in place. That morning I focussed on core work, and when I got home I decided I would keep my goal pretty straight forward and simple for the next few months, considering nothing else in my life is straight forward or simple.

I want a 6-pack.

Of the muscle variety, not of Savannahs or Smirnoff Ice. Although I could do with some right now of those too.

My son is so “ripped” it is not even a joke and often tries to compare his 12 -pack with my, well let’s call it a 6 pack of croissants under a dishcloth maybe ok? It’s there, if you feel, it is there, but not so obvious when you first look. It looks perhaps a little lumpy, but that could be the texture of the dish cloth or the lighting. But it is underneath, it’s definitely there, promise. So, I took this photo as a “before” shot. Something to compare to down the line.

Later that night, after the kids had finally gone to bed, I was checking Instagram, (apparently I was told it’s a thing.. an Instagram break) and I clicked on the button for add photo instead of the search and my abs shot came up. I had taken a few shots from different angles. I swiped right for the filter option, a bit of cropping and then, when it came to writing a caption I stopped. I stared at the photo and the words were reflecting back to me “Write a caption…”

This morning, this was my “before” photo to spur me on. But with a different angle, the right filter, some careful cropping and, most importantly a different attitude, this photo could be someone’s “after” photo. It could be their “best ever” photo. It could be their “This is me, take me as I am” type of photo.  Or their “I am happy with me” photo. Depending on how you look at things, this could be my “after” photo. If I look back on the photos of me after I had my daughter, this photo could be the crowning achievement of the last 3 years of working out pretty much consistently day in and day out. It was meant to be the photo to show the start of my 6-pack goal. I could pin point so many flaws in this pic. But then again, I have seen a lot worse staring back at me from that very same dressing table mirror, a lot worse.

So here is what stumped me. What stopped me from adding this photo to Instagram…. I didn’t know what to write. Was this a post about me saying I am not happy with how I look right now? Was this a post saying how happy I am with how I look right now? Neither was accurate.


What you see in the mirror is sometimes like Instagram. There are filters. Perhaps not Lark, or Gingham or Amaro.  Sometimes what we see in the mirror is completely different on a different day, depending on the mood, how positive or negative you are feeling about yourself, hormones, your reasoning, thought, attitude, your past, your future… the comment from your friends, partner or gym instructor –  good or bad. Perhaps you just scoffed 6 crackers with cheese and balsamic caramelised onions, or are you on your third glass of wine? These are all filters of some kind. Are you standing with your head held high or slumped over? I was told if you hold your arms up your mid-section looks better. Did you take the photo in the morning or the evening? That’s at 1-2kg different for me right there folks. Time of day. Always important.
So after a lot of reflection on this photo, I have decided to Write a caption….

Me, content and embracing what is staring back at me in the mirror, flaws and all, and about to embark on a 6 – pack challenge to keep my mind as well as my workouts focussed.
#selfmotivation #smallgoalsbigwins #reflectionisgood #reflectionisintheeyeofthebeholder