Tag Archives: positive thinking

If it is to be, it’s up to me

6 Aug

Last week I was having a long overdue coffee catch-up with a friend. As we sipped our lattes in the  winter chill, she revealed that she’d broken up with her boyfriend after realising she had some things to work on. She’d also bagged a working visa, so she can stay on in Sydney, and moved into her very own studio apartment.

Now if that’s not an advertisement for taking charge of your life, I don’t know what is! My friend refused to sit around and expect the good things to come to her. She realised (and she told me this) that she has to create her own reality, and that if you feel like you’re waiting for something to happen, that’s your gut telling you to make a change. But you have to make that change yourself.

As I mulled over her news and congratulated her on creating a fun new phase in her life, a smiling face appeared beside me. It was a woman, bent down, waving and grinning at me. It took a few moment to place the face, but I realised it was my old hairdresser who had left the salon I went to 14 months ago. As the hairdressers code goes, if a stylist leaves, they can’t take their clients with them (or tell anyone where they’ve gone). So for the past year-and-a-bit, I’ve been struggling with a big mop of badly-coloured, frizzy hair, wishing I knew where my stylist had gone.

As it turned out, she’d opened her own salon a few doors down from the cafe. In the suburb that The Lad (my partner) calls home. When I stay at his place, I pass her new salon without even realising it. I had my hairdresser back!

After I bid goodbye to my friend, I dashed down to the salon to check it out. My stylist greeted me with a big bear hug and showed me around the space she’d recently taken over. Lured by the image of having smooth white-blonde tresses once again, I asked for a few little highlights (just a few, I swear) and we got chatting.

She told me about how she’d bought the salon on a whim. A series of events (similar to my experience that day) had led her to notice the salon was for sale and hand over a sizable deposit.

While she works to build her business and win new clients, she’s downsized from a pricey pad in a trendy part of town, to a granny flat that barely fits her furniture. It’s a sacrifice, an investment in her future. She’s putting in the hard yards because she has a dream to own a successful salon. One day, she said, she’ll have a nice big home.

And I truly believe that she will. Because she has that fighting spirit.

In one morning, I caught up with two inspirational women who have decided that their fate is theirs to guide. They’re taking charge. They’re holding the reins. They’re setting their future, and grinning widely in the process.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Never has this mantra inspired me more!

P.S. If  you crave gorgeous hair at a reasonable price, using organic non-chemical products, skip down to see Erica at Chic Hair in Lane Cove (name to change). Phone (02) 9427 5088.

Looking on the bright side

4 Dec

During the past week or so, anything that could go wrong, did.

Here is a sample of shitzer shiz that rained heavily on my parade:

1.       Someone (who shall not be named) accidentally spilt water on my beloved pink Vaio laptop. Now when I type certain keys, it adds another letter into the mix. So if I were typing on my Vaio now, tyiosd sdremntyremncver wweioklsd lkiooilk lkioklew tyiosd (this sentence would look like this).

2.       The Head of the Yarra rowing regatta, for which my crew and I had been painstakingly training for at ungodly hours for months (and each saved over $1000 to attend), was cancelled when wild weather caused the river to flood.

3.       When trying to force a Christmas present for a Perth friend into a pre-paid Post Pack, the whole thing split open. I responded by chucking scissors at the floor.

4.       I left my new camping tent in the boot of a GoGet car. When I raced out at 6am to fetch it, in the midst of the storm and wearing my PJs and sporting bed-head hair, the car was booked.

5.       Our fridge door was left open and the food went off.

6.       I loaded up my brand new washing machine, excited to be taking it for its very first spin. When I took the clothes out, I realised I’d accidentally added a new green cardigan. The result: lovely new pale-blue clothes that were once white.

7.       I found out my big brother, who I miss dearly as he is based in the US, can no longer make it to mum’s for Christmas.

8.       In response to all of the above, I snapped at my boyfriend – the one person who remains calm, caring and kind when I do things like throw scissors!

In isolation, each of these things would be just ‘kinda’ annoying. A miniscule ‘meh’ in an otherwise seamless week-and-a-bit. But the punches just kept on rolling and I was left with a bloody big black eye!

It got to the point (somewhere around the fridge door and washing machine incidents) where I was both laughing and crying at the same time. Ever had one of those moments?

In an effort to pull myself out of the slump and shake off the mishaps, I attempted a little positive self-talk:

‘It’s not what happens to you, Kat. It’s how you respond to it that matters.’

‘This too shall pass.’

And so on.

I also got guilty, telling myself, ‘Snap out of it! You’re lucky to even have these problems. Many people in the world don’t even own a fridge, or food to put in it. Or a washing machine and clothes to fill it.’ Which is, of course, absolutely true and incredibly grounding.

Then I stumbled upon an article about happiness. Not one of those silly ‘Top 10 Ways to Be Truly Happy’ pieces that tells you to drink eight glasses of water a day and meditate on your head. This was actually a really useful article (and as soon as I can find it, I’ll post it on here!) It said something like, ‘Happy people aren’t affected by their external environment. If the weather is bad or they are inconvenienced by a traffic incident or someone else’s error, they remain calm and don’t let it affect their mood.’ Basically, these peeps are a walking ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster.

Unfortunately, I read the article a little late. Those scissors were thrown (and thrown rather well, might I add) and there was not a moment of calm in any of my responses to the above list of ‘inconveniences’.

Though it’s something I’m going to work on.

The article also said that whenever something ‘bad’ happens to you, you should attempt to put a positive spin on it.

So here goes:

1.       Someone accidentally spilled water on my beloved pink Vaio laptop. Positive spin – I was getting sore wrists from the old un-ergonomic ‘puter anyway. Perhaps it’s time to get a new one.

2.       The Head of the Yarra rowing regatta, for which my crew and I had been painstakingly training for at ungodly hours for months (and saved over $1000 each to attend), was cancelled when wild weather caused it to flood. Positive spin – We turned the trip into a girls’ weekend away and I had a nice mini break from Sydney.

3.       When trying to force a Christmas present for a Perth friend into a pre-paid Post Pack, the whole thing split open. I responded by chucking the craft scissors at the floor. Positive spin – I found sticky tape and taped that little guy together so well, he was reinforced even better than before. 

4.       I left my new camping tent in the boot of a GoGet car. When I raced out at 6am to fetch it, in the midst of the storm and wearing my PJs and bed-head hair, the car was booked. Positive spin – I realised I don’t need to be dolled up to step outside my front door (Ok, I’m really struggling with this one!)

5.       Our fridge door was left open and the food went off. Positive spin – At least I have a fridge. And food.

6.       I loaded up my brand new washing machine, excited to be taking it for its very first spin. When I took the clothes out, I realised I’d accidentally added a new green cardigan. The result: lovely new pale-blue clothes that were once white. Positive spin – I now have a new wardrobe, featuring the latest Kat Collection of blue hues.

7.       I found out my big brother, who I miss dearly as he is based in the US, can no longer make it to mum’s for Christmas. Positive spin – more Christmas lunch for me! (Though I will still miss having my brother there).

8.       In response to all of the above, I snapped at my boyfriend – the one person who is able to remain calm, caring and kind when I do things like throw scissors! Positive spin – I got a nice big hug out of it. And I have an amazing partner who would do anything to make me happy.

I’ll be honest, that was a really hard thing to do!

But next time everything seems to pile up and cause me stress, I’m going to try to do three things:

1.       Be thankful for the good things in my life.

2.       See the positive in the negative. Shine a light at the darkness.

3.       Lock up the scissors.

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