Romanticise Your Daily Life
Live as though you are a Netflix Original. But good.
Of all the types of life out there - Sea Life, Alien Life, Afterlife - this is the last one you'd invite to your party. What does it even bring to the table? No fish bowls full of alcohol. No stripy packets of flying saucer sweets. No bloke dressed head to toe in a black veil wielding a scythe.
At best, Daily Life would rock up (early. Way too early) still in his work uniform, looking overly stressed and if he did manage to swing by the petrol station on his way over then his only contribution would be a plain tuna sandwich and a bottle of sparkling water. He'd tentatively step in, avoiding eye contact with everybody, but after half a sip of Kopparberg (bloody lightweight) he'd be moaning about that time Pauline spilled her latte on his paisley handkerchief in the staff kitchen until somehow he's digressed back into his teenage years in which he's now ranting about the time he sat in chewing gum whilst wearing his favourite plaid trousers and man, he's killing the vibe.
Daily Life, as we define him, is a loser. Boring, dull, mundane, drab, tedious, long, exhausting, whiny, obnoxious and yeah, a little bit lame.
That is, until we give him a makeover. This is the moment in those Netflix films when a banging 90's tune begins to play (Mambo Number 5, I'm thinking) as he enters a montage of seemingly tiny cosmetic adjustments in which he emerges from the changing room after mere minutes or perhaps spanning the course of several weeks, looking like a rockstar.
And just like that, Daily Life is living what you kids call his best life.
I Cannot Stress This Enough
(Which is why it's a heading).
Romanticise your own life.
Every little aspect of it. Every small, routine habit. Every tiny fragment, even the ones that typically go by unnoticed. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do this (which is ironic considering I'm never not hauling an excess of stress around in my galaxy print backpack).
Because daily life is our only life. Think about it.
We have a tendency to romanticise The Big Things™, these extraordinary events of our lives that belong to a faraway future or a distant past. We hype up the image of our wedding days, the notion of our European holiday homes, the idea that one day we'll have it all. We reminisce about our first loves, our university days, that time we bumped into Michael Caine outside Asda. We relive how far we've come. We think fondly of the good ol' days and we dream of the possibilities brought by the better days to come. And don't get me wrong - this is ace. This is important. Taking the time to reflect on the past and express gratitude, to imagine the future and express hope.
But, you know, what about today? What about this very moment? What about now?
We separate these events from what we label as daily life because they're these standalone experiences, either things we have lived or we might live but not what we currently are living. We focus on them only because they're these once-in-a-violet-moon (blue is so 2011) occurrences, like a shower of meteors zipping across the sky. But why do we attach value to duration? Why does something have to be fleeting to be worthy? Instead of staring so intently at these chunks of space rock tearing through the atmosphere, notice the stars that are already there. The ones that have always been there.
We live life day by day, present moment to present moment, and whatever unfolds between those sunrises, that's what embeds itself in that specific page of our story. Whether that's our conventional routines or a thrilling experience, it is still a day of our life.
So instead of glamourising only the larger, more iconic moments of life, obsess over them all.
Oh ho ho I'll show you how, my friend.
This is Me, Stressing This Point Again
Romanticise every aspect of your day. I won't tell you again (no, yeah, that's a lie, I probably will).
Wear a beret whilst you brush your teeth. Unravel a red velvet carpet from your front door into your hallway. Wear heels whilst you iron. Pretend James Cordon is sat beside you, filming for his latest (and greatest) edition of Carpool Karaoke on your commute to work. Buy a first class train ticket on your five minute journey into town. Upload a selfie with your sink to Tumblr using that filter app you paid 99p for. Attach a line of your favourite Shakespeare sonnet as one of the tags. Act as though there is a live studio audience watching you at all hours of the day, even whilst you wipe. Celebrate your birthday three months and nine days in advance. Celebrate your neighbours sister's Hawaiian bartender's birthday (that could literally be any day. So stock up on cake). Caption everything, every instance, every moment, stick a headline on every choice you make and then Tweet it, because even if your twelve follows don't care, the universe sure does.
Every individual second of your life might appear as only a single sentence in the lengthy novel of you, but each one is a tiny story, in and of itself. Your life is poetry. So live like a poet. Romanticise the crap out of your life, make each day the spellbinding day that it has every potential to be because one, you deserve it you superstar. And two, it truly is the only day that matters. It's the only one you have. Yesterday? Gone. Tomorrow? Who knows. Today? A showstopper. If, of course, you allow it to be.
You see, the sun doesn't beam a little less brightly just because it's a Tuesday. She doesn't get colder just because it's bin day. Her light doesn't diminish just because it's 3:14pm and Countdown is on. The sun's shine does not dull just because it is a normal day, so don't make your normal day dull. Make it shine.
One Last Time for The Fella at the Back Busy Snacking
Don't worry kid, I get it. Save some for me.
Romanticise your daily life.
Now I'll be honest, I don't do this enough (despite what any who have suffered through my excessive Instagram stories might believe). I do it in spurts here and there, blasting Livin' on a Prayer through my headphones whilst I strut along the road towards Sainsbury's. I follow my cats around like we're documenting for a new MTV reality show: The Real Housecats of Catlanta. I make highly inappropriate noises, like a pornographic soundtrack, with every spoonful of Biscoff straight out the jar. I mean, I even bought a cute collection of vintage lunar-themed stamps from Etsy and man, I haven't slept in weeks. I'm obsessed.
But I do need to do it more. I need to play audio clips of people applauding every time I get dressed. I need to accept more Oscar awards using shampoo bottles in the shower. I need to recite more haiku's to the courgettes in my garden and choreograph interpretative dance routines to the incessant beeping of the microwave.
I need to romance myself up more. And you know what? So do you.
Because your life is not a sequence of condensed and edited movie scenes, with all the best, most thrilling bits hand selected and backed by a Cher song. Your life is a collection of every passing moment, as and when it passes, no matter what it might be passing. It's every minute and memory and mistake, including all the "boring" ones. So make them less boring. Your life is not a Netflix movie, but you can sure as Hull treat it like one.
Romanticise your life. Host a premiere screening in your living room, invite round all your pals, maybe even hire a catering team for the evening. Tell them to dress up all nice and fancy, take tomorrow off work because it'll be a party alright, and seat them in those fold out garden chairs from your shed. Then? Then just let them watch you, going around, simply living your life. Often defined as "normal", but it's not, not really.
Nothing is normal when it's wholeheartedly you.
Oh hey, whilst you’re here: why not put the “em” into your “emails” and lob your name onto my mailing list for weekly em-bellishments on my rose-tinted, crumb-coated lens of life. It’s the equivalent of the reduced section in the supermarket (low value Weird Crap™ that you didn’t know you needed).