“When did you give up on life?”
Not you, me… well, yeah, you too.
When did you give up on life??
It’s a confronting question.
Especially when it’s asked by one of your closest lifelong friends over coffee stood in your kitchen.
But if they’re not gonna ask it, then who will?
Well, my lifelong friend asked me, and if no ones asked you yet, then this is me asking. Right now.
I felt myself constrict as soon as I was asked.
I felt put on the spot (I was)
I felt slightly defensive, why wouldn’t I?
I hadn’t “given up” I was still going.
I was still waking up every day
Getting up every day
Sorting out the kids
Getting stuff done
But what stuff?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you.
It’s easy for me to say I was super busy all the time, but what was I busy doing? I couldn’t tell you.
I really couldn’t.
Browsing Facebook? Keeps you busy, but you’re doing nothing.
Posting shit on Facebook? Playing games? Keeps you busy, but you’re doing nothing.
Moving stuff around the house, without actually cleaning? You’re not doing anything.
Sitting and watching TV? You’re doing nothing.
Taking a mid-afternoon nap thanks to lack of sleep the night before? Doing nothing.
Checking the bank knowing there’s nothing in there? Doing nothing
Checking the bank knowing you haven’t done anything to bring anything extra in? Doing nothing.
Checking emails and just scrolling through? Doing nothing
You get where I’m going, right?
You’ve given up.
I’d given up.
That’s pretty much how I spent my days. My most “productive” time was sending the kids off to school. Get up, get dressed, get stressed, rush out the door, drop them off, come home, take 5, then another 5, then another 5, and d’ya know what happens after a whole bunch of 5s? You waste your entire fucking day, then go pick the kids up. Where you fall back into rush mode because you haven’t done a whole bunch of shit that you were supposed to do – stuff you wanted to do, but you were too busy giving up on life to actually do.
That’s why, when your bestie is stood in your kitchen, with a cup of coffee in one hand, a concerned look on their face as they survey all the shit that’s everywhere; kids toys, dishes in the sink (when you have a dishwasher), the overflowing laundry basket (next to the empty machine), and the empty pizza boxes that just prove you didn’t cook (again) and the infamous words “when did you give up on life?” fall out of their mouths, you know you’re really fucking yourself up.
And it’s nothing to do with them. You’ve not given up by their standards, no. You’ve given up by your own standards and they can see it. More importantly, they love you enough to actually point it out. To bring it to your attention, make you really look at it, and accept the reality, then they let you talk about it.
And that’s when you realise, that actually, Yeah, despite the “always got stuff to do” that you’ve not been doing any of it.
Despite being someone who gets up and gets on with it, you’re not actually putting any effort into any of it.
Then, to make matters worse, you’re now at such a point where you don’t even know where or how to begin undoing the fuckery that is your current life.
It’s not fun, is it?
That’s where I was back in December 2018. It’s now August 2019, and honestly, I’m still undoing the fuckery.
It’s taking its time. I expect nothing less, it didn’t end up this way overnight, in fact, it took years, so there’s no way it will be fixed overnight.
There’s a lot to be undone.
Yeah, some of it’s easy, wash the dishes, do the laundry, put shit away, but it’s more than that.
It’s the habits behind doing that that need to be looked at, re-formed.
I can clean sweep the kitchen in no time, have it looking all good (it’ll never look great in that knackered old kitchen, but it can look done) but then it’s keeping it that way; put it away instead of down; put everything where it needs to be; clean as you go… all really simple basic things you’ve known how to do since childhood, but when that lethargy, that apathy takes over, there’s no fucking way can you be bothered to wash that plate up from breakfast, cos you’re only gonna be washing it again in an hour, it may as well wait.
And that, that right there is where the problems lie – it’s the little things that make the difference. And by not doing the little things, you’ve taught your kids that it doesn’t matter.
There’s no wonder they never pick up after themselves, and then get shitty when you demand it of them – look where they learned it from! You, you who doesn’t want to. You who will get to it later (that’s not an actual time though). You who does one thing, but says another even though you know kids learn by example, not words. It’s never words. And you know that because you were one, and you remember clear as day the “do as I say, not as I do” and knowing in your heart and your mind that that was absolute bullshit. A double standard of the highest degree – an adults copout of the epic proportions. And in your mind, you always thought “how is that even fair? no. If I’m to do it, then why aren’t they? How does that even work?” yet here you are, as an adult, reeling off the same bullshit.
It doesn’t work like that though, does it?
When did you become one of them?
Oh, I know. WHEN YOU GAVE UP ON YOUR FUCKING LIFE!!!!
So when was it?
A few years ago?
You just one thing slide, then another, then another, then after a while you stopped counting, because you were tired, didn’t have the energy, were too busy doing all the other things – which were actual things that needed to be done back then! Not scrolling social media and pretending like you’re doing anything.
And now? well, now you’ve just kept it going instead of picking up the slack. You’ve just it keep spiralling out of control, downwards into the black pit.
So what are you gonna do about it?
Well, to start with, you need to let go of the excuses – they’re all bullshit anyway, and you know it.
Then you need to look at what’s REALLY going on.
Then you need to need to get tough on yourself.
And by tough, I don’t mean “asshole drill sergeant” and calling yourself a useless piece of shit; you’ve done enough of that. You’ve spent all your time doing that since you gave up on life, in fact, that’s probably what caused you to give up on life in the first place (let’s face it, anyone would!)
No… by “tough on yourself” I mean set the expectation, then hold yourself to it!
Simple stuff – empty the sink every night.
Simple stuff – one laundry load per day.
Simple stuff – put your phone down for an hour and do something OTHER than scroll social media mindlessly.
Simple stuff – don’t turn on the TV until something important’s been done.
Simple stuff – unsubscribe from those emails you waste hours deleting but never reading (do it as they come in, before long you won’t have many emails left coming in)
Simple stuff – take your ass outside and go for a walk – it’ll do you more good than sleeping (probably)
Simple stuff – cook dinner instead of ordering in.
It’s simple, but it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy.
I still suck at a lot of it!
This is stuff you’ve done, or not done, regularly for as long as you can remember, and it’s not going to magically fix overnight, but do one thing.
You only need to change one thing to change your whole life.
So pick one.
The easiest are the dishes and the laundry (if they’re your thing) – you need them daily, so it makes sense to start with them.
Clear the dishes from the sink every night.
Get them washed and put away, ready for the next day.
It’s gonna suck, and it’s gonna feel tedious for the first few times you do it, but it’s gonna be worth it.
You just need to stick at it.
Once you’ve been doing it every day for a few weeks, it’ll start to feel natural; it’s a new routine.
Once that one’s kicked in add the next one; one load of laundry, washed, folded, put away. (putting away is the bit I always let myself down on)
Just one load, put it in – put it away once it’s done.
The longer it gets left, the more there’ll be to put away.
Doing one load every day, there won’t be much to do.
It’ll take a few minutes (the machine does the rest!)
Every day, until it’s done until it becomes just part of the day. And before long, you probably won’t even have enough in the basket to do a full load every day, that’s all good, but keep up with it.
Just do this, for one thing, then the next, eventually you’ll start to feel better.
Eventually, you’ll start to notice more things that you’ve “given up on”
Then you’ll WANT to start improving on those too.
Maybe you’ll do what your mum always told you and wash up after every meal.
Then you’ll be cooking a proper meal every night (no takeouts, or a hell of a lot less)
And before you know it, things will look more like they’re supposed to – not by anyone else’s standards, no, fuck them, they don’t matter. Things will start to look better by YOUR OWN standards. The ones you set for yourself. The ones you always saw in your mind’s eye but weren’t showing up in real life.
THIS is how you undo the work of giving up on your life.
You stop letting it slide by, one day, then another, then another.
You start LIVING it.
You start pulling it all together.
You stop dying with nothing to show for it.
“It’s not the years in your life that matter, it’s the life in your years”
So… with that said…
When did you give up on life?
This isn’t you.
Are you gonna fix it?
What are you gonna do?
I get it. We’ve all been there, so let’s sort this shit out
It sucks, right?
That shitty low feeling where you just feel down, deflated, pissed off with the world for no reason, and you’ve just had enough.
You’re not particularly angry, or sad, or maybe you are, maybe you’re just feeling “ugh!” (yes, that’s a real feeling) that kinda nothingness where you know something’s up, but you’re not quite sure what.
Well, how about we get right in there and sort that shit out?
This is my personal 5-Step Reset that I go through to get me from Feelin’ Like Shit to Rockin’ It!
I’m not saying it’ll be fun n easy, there’s no magic cure, but this works, every time.
I come back to this all the time, and I’ve shared it with my closest friends when they’re having a shitty day (or a week, or month, or however long) and it works for them too…
So how about it, are you done feelin’ like shit? Are you ready? Let’s go
Drop your details into the form, and I’m gonna send you over a quick audio that talks you through the 5 steps I take, that are going to help you go from
Feelin’ Like Shit to Rockin’ It!