I love picking up random books at the airport. This is one of the things I am missing most with coronavirus and not travelling.
My rules for selecting the books are simple:
- They can’t be chicklit or a new fictional release.
- Or the book has to be one that I generally would not pick up. When you go away on holiday you want to escape and so I do that with the five books I have pre-packed in my case, but the airport purchase has to challenge me in some way.
These are some of the books I have picked up over the years:
I have found that the books I choose usually fall into three categories.
- Positive recounts. Henry Fraser’s The little big things, takes you through his journey of recovery of a 17 year old on his first adult holiday with his friends who dives into the sea and crushes his spinal cord and his prognosis and treatment and the life he went on to build. Billy Connolly tells of his life and love for making people laugh, acknowledging the difficulties and hurdles but not letting negativity rule.
- Developmental books. The subtle art of not giving a f*uck is a misleading title. This book is not so much about not caring about anything but about choosing what you want to care about and letting the other stuff go. Marie Kondo kicked off a total declutter of my house. Looking around my desk now I think I need to have another overhaul, but each book is about reducing the mental and physical noise that you are surrounded by so you have time to enjoy life.
- A classical recount.
My most recent read was The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins which tells the tale of how Mel used a 5 second countdown to get her initially up and out of bed on a morning and then how she has used it overcome anxiety, to help motivate her children and one of the sentences she wrote jumped out at me; Mel wrote of asking the universe and the universe will provide, which triggered a thought because throughout the majority of the books I have picked up from the airport book shop, this is an underlying message. Visualise in your mind where you want to be and what you want to achieve and the Universe will provide it for you.
Being a Yorkshire girl I have been brought up with the belief that you do not get anything in life for free.
The Yorkshire man’s advice to his son sums this up:
“See all, hear all, say now’t … Eat all, sup all, pay now’t … And if ever tha does owt for now’t, allus do it for thisen.”
And after working in London for a spell I learnt there was no such thing as a free lunch. So the idea that you can ask the Universe for what you want in life and it provides kinda leaves me thinking…. “Yeah, right!”
But these books keep finding their way into my bag.
At the beginning of June I started reading Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning which states that first thing on a morning you get up drink a glass of water and then go through six steps to frame your day for which he uses the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S. (Silence, Affirmation, Visualisation, Exercise, Read, Scribe). You can spend as little as 6 minutes or up to an hour, it is your choice and you don’t have to get up in the early hours or even the same time everyday as long as you give yourself the time to set up your day. The book recommends that you do a 30 day challenge and so in the heat of the moment I thought why not.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I flit from interest to interest and so committing to a 30 day challenge is pretty long term for me. Armed with a new Best Self Journal and an “I can do this” resolution I started the 30 day challenge. The first evening I set my alarm for 6am and when I woke I told myself “Just do it.” and jumped up and out of bed. I set aside an hour before I needing to wake the girls for school so I could go through the S.A.V.E.R.S steps. The first week I had to reset my self and break out of the habit of Netflix binge watching, instead going to bed at a decent time so I was not too tired the next day. I found I was needing afternoon cat naps to get me through the early evening and dinner. The second week I started really valuing this time first thing on a morning and would sit outside in my garden enjoying the silence. I found I was calmer on a morning and things went smoother from getting the kids breakfasts and heading out of the door on time and seeing the increase in my productivity. This is when I first started thinking about writing a blog.
I completed the 30 day challenge and as I have found with all of these book there are elements that work for me and some that don’t. I enjoyed the feeling of peace and I got out of that hour before the household began to stir and the calmness which stayed with me for the rest of the day. In term time when I have to be out of the house for the school run this plan works pretty well. Since the summer holidays has began I have been getting up and going out walking, I will plan elements of my day that I want to achieve but leave gaps to allow me to just go with the flow if the girls want to do something.
From each of these books I have taken gems of wisdom which I have incorporated into my life but I do not buy in to the one size fits all mentality. Is the Universe sending me a message? Maybe… or it could just be the the publishers of these books have paid a higher price to have them displayed prominently in-store.
Either way I have found that these snippets I take away are supporting my Captain-America-like plucky optimistic disposition. (I have had complains first thing on a morning when I am chirping away like Doris Day).
They are giving me tools to be able to beat off the trolls in the world. I do not have a vision board or a five year plan but I am focused on just being me and enjoying life and all it brings.