The bad day. They are, let’s be honest, horrific. And we all have them, despite what social media would have us believe. We are NOT alone in the plight of the bad day, it’s an epidemic sweeping the nation. The whole world infact. And yes, admittedly my bad days are absolutely nothing compared to those poverty stricken in third world countries, or even people closer to home, suffering from bereavements or the homeless living in cardboard boxes. No, if I put my troubles into perspective then they dissolve into insignificance and I promptly feel silly for complaining, moaning and feeling down when I have nothing in reality to really fret about. Yet, still they remain real to me. Still, I endure *moderately* bad days, from time to time.
I’m talking about the kind of day where nothing goes to plan. The kind of day full of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The kind of day that starts off small and inconsequential until you stumble downstairs to make a cup of tea, but upon opening the fridge you realise that you’re all out of milk. And then somehow the traffic is jammed beyond all reason, your car is sandwiched behind a large delivery van and you can’t see what the holdup is and your irritation grows and you’re exceptionally late for work. All because of the absence of milk and caffeine in your morning routine. Yes, these days always start off small and they sneak up on you, unexpectedly, unforeseen, latching onto your peripheral and capsizing any existing good nature.
And somehow before you know it, everything spirals out of control. You feel fat. Grotesque infact. Your hair looks bad. You notice a spot lurking beneath your eyebrow and wonder ‘How the flippin’ heck did that get there? I exfoliated only yesterday!’ But nevermind the spot, where did all these crazy, wild stray eyebrow hairs come from? And while you’re scrutinising your face, you begin to notice precisely 67 things wrong with it.
The kettle takes ages to boil. People are rude to you. Even walking is hard work. A child tells you that the mole on your nose makes you look like Nanny McPhee. You cry in the toilet. You sigh excessively. You think it’s a good idea to spend your lunch hour on the internet coveting other people’s instagram accounts, wishing that you knew the secret to achieving the perfect flat lay, cursing the day that you ever decided to keep your iPhone 4s for three years. Because that was a stupid idea. You find KS2 Maths embarrassingly difficult and have to ask for clarification about the bus stop method. You have casserole for tea, when you hate casserole and all that was getting you through the day was the prospect of McCains oven chips accompanied by a mountain of full fat mayonnaise. You feel inexplicably sad. Overly fragile and likely to crack, or explode or spontaneously combust all at the same time.
These days are dark. And it’s really hard to shake off the bad day, however minute our struggle may appear to the outside world.
When the bad day strikes, I cut myself a just a little bit of slack. And at the end of the bad day, I treat myself. I try and coax myself back into positivity. I eat some chocolate. I run a bath. I buy myself a bunch of flowers or a new candle. I switch on my fairy lights. I crawl into bed. I binge watch my favourite TV programmes. And I surround myself in words of wisdom.
La quotation, has saved me many a time. Which is why everyone should have a pinterest account because there is a plethora of golden nuggets on there. Believe me. Here are some of my favourites:
‘You are not as fat as you imagine.’ Baz Luhrman’s, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen. In fact this whole song is just the perfect thing to listen to when you feel empty and fed up and just done with ‘today’. Listen to it in a place where you are free to ugly cry, safe from the judgement of other human beings.
‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ – John Heywood. According to Google the rest of this quote is, ‘…but they were laying bricks every hour’ which I quite like actually. Whatever project you’re working on – be it desperately trying to write a book (like moi), losing a certain amount of weight, working in a horrible job to save enough pennies to travel the world – remember that good things, beautiful, worthwhile things, they take time. And quite often a lot more time than we would actually like. But whatever you’re doing, the progress you’re making, the bricks you are putting the effort in to lay, they will lead to the finished product, one sweet day…soon.
‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt. I love this one, I first heard it when watching one of my very favourite films The Princess Diaries when I was a young and impressionable teenager and it’s stuck with me ever since. That aggressive man who honked his horn, gesticulated, swore at and intimidated you on the way to work, don’t let him have the satisfaction of making you feel inferior. Don’t give him the consent. Don’t allow people to rob you of your self worth and happiness. YOU are equal. YOU are enough. You are not inferior.
‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ – Theodore Roosevelt (clearly you should trust anyone with the surname Roosevelt, they are undoubtedly wise folk.) I lean on these five words a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. I am extremely guilty of always, and I mean always, comparing myself with other people. Comparing everything. And believe you me, it is bloody exhausting. Oli always reminds me of this quote when I begin to slip into self destruct mode and it’s such a helpful phrase to repeat over and over in your head, as your mildly mad episode subsides. Because comparing yourself to others, for whatever reason, really does rob you of (and hijacks) your joy. How can you be happy when you’re constantly berating yourself because a) you’re not as skinny as so and so b) you’re nowhere near as pretty as so-and-so c) your clothes are so rubbish next to so-and-so d) you will never be as successful as so-and-so, look what she’s doing now, for goodness sake? It’s unhealthy. And I don’t know whether it’s a female thing but we need to stop with the comparing, for it will only bring you down.
‘Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.’ – Frances Hodgson Burnett (this legend is the author of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess) What a wonderful thought, eh? It is quite amazing how things can suddenly pick up, after a period of waiting or mourning, or even after a series of bad days. All of a sudden everything CAN change. Quite often, when you least expect it and all at once, things get better and actually become quite wonderful.
‘A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ – Roald Dahl. I adore Roald Dahl, he is a literary genius and his stories are just…WOW. I did my dissertation at University on Roald Dahl, so any quote from him is always appreciated. I particularly like this quotation because we live in such a beauty obsessed culture and it’s hard not to get bogged down in your appearance. I’m not boycotting make-up at all, it hides a multitude of skin sins and I wouldn’t be without it. But in a generation obsessed with physical perfection, precision eyebrows shaped like punctuation marks, pouty lips and the idea that skinny automatically equals great beauty, I relish the idea that beauty is about your soul and is more than just skin deep. It doesn’t matter that my face is a dot to dot of moles, or that my nose is larger than I’d like, because as long as I smile and surround myself with good things, good people which will lead me to think good thoughts, then that is what makes me beautiful. And that’s a lasting kind of beauty.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ – Jeremiah 29:11, The Bible, NIV Translation. As a Christian, I believe that God has my life in his hands. The knowledge that He has a plan, just for me, a plan to give me hope and a future, is such a comfort on the happiest of days, and also the bad days, when I seem to lose sight of the bigger picture. This verse is my favourite in the Bible and it has been and continues to be such a comfort to me.
So there you have it, some quotation inspiration to help bring yourself out of the bad day funk. But remember, we all have those days, where everythings seems and feels lack lustre. It’s allowed, it really is ok. We’re not all red lipstick smiles and valencia filters all of the time. Such is life.
Cheer up chickens.