How many hats do you wear in a week? Not the cap or fedora kind, but the invisible ones that represent you stepping into a different role. I have different metaphorical hats for my work as a therapist, coach, marketeer, entrepreneur, wife, friend, daughter, sibling… the list goes on. I’m not a different person when I wear each of these hats, but I do play a slightly different role as different skills are required to be the best version of me in each. I’ve found it’s not a popular thought that we are different versions of our self around different people as that sounds like we aren’t being authentic, but I think there’s a balance to be struck between being adaptable to the needs of situations, whilst still remaining true to our self and our values.
Most days we unconsciously flow between roles and adapt seamlessly, but when there is significant demand from more than one role at a time it can be difficult to make the switch.
Many of us have a lot to be grateful for. A secure job, people who care about us, somewhere to call home at the end of each day. When others don’t have so much, we can feel guilty for wanting more. But if it’s possible for us to live even more fulfilled lives, why wouldn’t we? If we’re only going to be on this crazy planet once, why would we not strive to make the most of it? What is the point in settling for existing, when we could be living?
I’ve been there. On paper my life was great and I was grateful for my lot. But there was just something inside me that wasn’t satisfied. I went to bed each night disappointed with what I’d achieved and woke up already dissatisfied with how my day was going to turn out. I let everything external to me decide the kind of day I was going to have and was then surprised it hadn’t turned out better. I knew, if I wasn’t careful, the fire in my belly that I called drive was going to go out for good.
Now I wasn’t quite around in the summer of ’69 but when I was a child the summers certainly seemed to last forever and I do fondly look back on them as the best days of my life. So whilst on the packed and sweaty tube this morning on the way to work, I got to wondering what it was about childhood summers that made them so great and so stress free.
Here are a few ways to reclaim those happy days to make more of the summer of ’17 (not quite so catchy!).
The school uniform
As a 30-something, one of the stresses of summer is the colourful, skin-bearing, accessorised, never ending wardrobe that we (and the magazines) expect us to own. Summer mornings are therefore spent surrounded by mountains of unsuitable outfits as we scorn the sunshine and declare for the 3rd time that week “I have nothing to wear!” As a primary school child, that was never a problem. That little checked summer dress or grey shorts and polo shirt were thrown on, accessorised with a dashing pair of bright white socks and, if you were a girl, and a really lucky one at that, a pair of those patent Clarke’s shoes with the keyhole in the sole.