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Read our life-change column which is published bi-monthly in the

Carlisle Living Magazine

          March 2009

Look for the good and feel the benefit



How many times have you heard folk describe themselves as glass-half-full or glass-half-empty people?  In my experience those looking at a full glass tend to be much more cheerful!

How do you feel when someone bumps into you? – Is it an idiot not looking where they are going, or someone with poor eyesight or perhaps tears in their eyes?  Whatever the truth, if you think you’ve been jostled by an idiot, you will feel as though you have.  Look at it again.  If this time you believe there is a reason you can just let it go.  Choosing how you see things can really make your day.

A friend once complained that they couldn’t stand one of their staff.  They were untidy, missed appointments and never smiled.  I asked what this colleague would have to do to make my friend’s life better “Oh, just get in on time, make an effort, smile a bit, get stuff right, ANYTHING!”  So I suggested that for a week my friend just notice the good stuff.   After a week she was amazed “What a change! He seems to have turned a corner, really getting things done!  He’s been in on time, done a few extra things with me and was all smiles on Friday!” 

Who had changed?  Before, my friend was just seeing the bad things.  Now she was seeing some good things.  Maybe my friend started smiling first; she may have said ‘thank you’ a couple of times – this would have got a return smile – it is self-perpetuating.

This works at home too.  When you start to see untidiness, thoughtlessness, rudeness or impatience of a partner, parent, sibling or offspring it can be very hard to see anything else; but if you look for the good, you will see it.  Try it for yourself, look for the positive in situations, look for the good side in people.  You just might find yourself smiling more…

Georgina Perkins and Jo Hampson


         January 2009

Procrastination Stress

Finding anything to do other than what you should be doing is easy, isn’t it?  Coming up with a good excuse to put off that difficult job can be such a relief!  But whether it’s a displacement activity or a delaying tactic all you are doing is adding “procrastination stress” to the postponed ordeal.

The hardest thing about doing something you don’t really want to do is getting started – after that it becomes easier.  It may be very important or it may not be but whether it is cleaning out the garage, having a difficult conversation, writing a report or going to the dentist; all the time it is waiting to be done you are building your stress levels.  

So why do we do it?  It must be some sort of madness because what a great feeling you get when you can tick the box that says “job done”!  The world can feel like a better place, there is a real sense of achievement and even liberation. 

I don’t think my house had ever been tidier than when I was studying for my exams. I would do anything rather then get down to studying – I even ironed my socks!  And all the time I was washing the windows and cleaning the oven I was feeling bad about the revision that wasn’t getting done and worrying about the exams.  When I eventually did get down to studying I felt so much better – why had I put it off? It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! 

Maybe that’s the key.  When you find yourself fretting about something you are putting off remember: it’s unlikely to be as bad as you’ve imagined and you can’t put it off forever, so get on with it, get it done and start feeling great!

Georgina Perkins and Jo Hampson



November 2008

When was the last time you had fun? 

Go on; think about it… if you can honestly say that you’ve had a really great time quite recently, congratulations, you are in a happy minority!  Usually, asking someone when they last really had fun brings them up short.  It suddenly can seem that life is flying by.  Sometimes we are so busy keeping up with the pace of life, change and technology, rushing around doing the chores as well as comparing the prices of electricity and sliced bread that we forget to take time out for the important things - such as having fun. 

Having fun doesn’t have to be selfish – but it can be.  Having fun doesn’t have to be active – but it can be.  Having fun doesn’t have to be play – some lucky folk have great fun at work!  When Kath Smart asked if I would be happy to write a column for this new magazine my first thought was “that sounds like a fun thing to do”. If I had thought it would be more hassle – I wouldn’t be doing it!  I know that we can’t all choose how we spend all our time.  But I also know that if we don’t actively choose to spend a bit of time on fun – the moment will be gone. 

We timetable dental appointments and we work around other people’s schedules all the time.  If you read the first question and couldn’t remember the last time you had a good laugh, timetable some fun into your life!  Promise yourself that every month or every week you will do something that you enjoy.  Book a pedicure…  watch a movie…  Sit down and finish that book you’re reading…  Catch up with that friend you keep meaning to call!  See how you can turn everyday work or chores into something a bit more fun – or make sure there is a precious moment each day to look forward to and enjoy – you deserve it! 

Georgina Perkins and Jo Hampson


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