I am going to start with a story about my grandparents who I loved dearly and spent time with during holidays. Thursday was the day that I spent with them whilst my parents were at work and my dad would come to have lunch. Every week we had the same lunch which I (naturally) assumed was for my benefit because I loved the pudding that we had. It turns out, that that was what was served on a Thursday. Every Thursday in fact, and it had been the same since the menu was fixed around the time that my grandparents married. In fact, each week day had a set menu that had not changed in over 50 years. Same food, same shopping list, same preparation, same time. Every day.
Now, that in itself may seem inconceivable to us, but apparently this practice was quite common amongst our grandparents. (This in itself has forged a path in my life that has my parents throwing their hands in the air at my ‘crazy’ ways – the ‘rule-breaking buzz’ blog is on its way).
On one of these summer holiday Thursdays, we were all sitting around the table and the weekly portion of egg pudding was served. As always I took a massive helping and then it was offered to my dad. He didn’t look so keen and decided to pass. My nan looked a little affronted and said “Don’t you want any?” to which my father said, “No, I don’t really like it.” There seemed to be a moment of silence in the room, only broken by my grandfather saying “Neither do I.” For the first time in my father’s lifetime (some 46 years), two men, who had been served this dessert week in week out confessed to not liking it.
‘Why didn’t you say?’ was my nan’s (obvious?) response.
Well, why didn’t they say? There were probably a myriad of reasons. They didn’t want to offend her; they didn’t have an alternative; it didn’t cross their mind that there was an alternative?
I have reflected on this chapter in our family history many times. I think the most profound part of it for me is that my dad and grandad put up with something that they didn’t like for a vast proportion of their lives. Not only that, they did not consider doing something that would have improved their lives. Now, I appreciate that in the grand scheme of things, eating something that you are not keen on once a week is not going to harm you, but the principle is the same.
Why carry on doing something that you do not enjoy when stopping doing it would make your life better?
What about you?
Is there something in your life that you could change that would make your life that little bit better? Make it small. A different route to work that takes in the countryside? A more expensive brand of tea that tastes great? A different radio station instead of that annoying presenter that makes you cross? Maybe it might mean speaking out. How many years have you put up with something you don’t like?
It’s up to you.
The small change that you make will take you from a life less happy to one with a bit more smile.
Try it and see what happens.