When Life Knocks You Down…


I follow several hundred blogs, and of those I would put most of them in the ‘Lifestyle’ category. Perhaps it’s because this is the same area that my own blog falls into, perhaps it’s because I enjoy seeing and hearing about the experiences of others, or perhaps it’s because I’m a little nosy, but I have spent the last thirteen months getting to know some of the blogging community a little better. I’ve met their families, travelled the world with them, listened to their favourite music, salivated at their favourite foods, jealously admired their art and/or craft capabilities and been inspired by things that they’ve had to say.

Unfortunately, and all too often, life is cruel and unjust, and recently I have found that my online friends are experiencing things that they don’t deserve – loss, grief, illness, financial troubles, worries – 2014 appears to be testing kind and good people to the limit to see how much a human being can take before they snap. Indeed, the last six months have been some of the toughest I have known in a long time.

Regardless of the individual troubles that a person faces, the message within the blogging world remains the same… You are not alone. I am beginning to lose track of the number of times I have witnessed acts of kindness to make the lives of others better, and the last few days have been no different.

Remember, we’re here. While life may try and kick you down, there are always those who will pick you up and dust you off. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hard times will always reveal true friends, whether they are in person or not.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

Advice For Life

Baz Lurhmann’s ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’ is a musical version of “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut. Both its subject and tone are similar to the 1927 poem “Desiderata”. (This source and it’s links are from Wikipedia).

The format of the song is simple – words of advice are spoken by actor Lee Perry over Luhrmann’s sampled, remixed version of the song “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” by Rozalla. I remember the first time that I heard it – it was so effective and motivational, yet the advice that is given is basic common sense.

I thought I would take my inspiration from this format and create my own list of advice for life.

1. If you are lucky enough to have good parents, take the time to appreciate them.
2. Choices in life will always have consequences, whether they are good or bad.
3. Don’t eat garlic the night before a job interview.
4. Only tell others things that you wouldn’t mind the rest of the world knowing unless they have consistently proven that they are trustworthy.
5. Don’t let others be responsible for your own happiness.
6. Chances of winning the lottery are increased significantly by actually buying a ticket.
7. Remember that life isn’t fair – good things will happen to bad people.
8. Use deodorant.
9. Accept that you are allowed to fail.
10. Friendships and relationships should be based on mutual respect, trust and easy communication, not on monetary gain or status that can be made from it.

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12. Never be afraid to ask for help.
13. Sometimes, it’s important to mind your own business and keep your mouth shut.
14. Don’t take on the responsibility of owning an animal unless you are fully prepared and financially able to support it for the rest of it’s life. If possible, adopt from a shelter.
15. Deal with small problems quickly, before they become big ones.
16. Have manners. Use them.
17. Regardless of where you live, make it homely and a place where you feel safe and at peace.
18. Never apologise for or be ashamed of your interests and hobbies.
19. Avoid playing mind-games with others. Be honest, up-front and let people know where they stand.
20. Pursue your passions, even if there is no money to be gained from it.

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22. There is usually another option.
23. Look after your teeth and your feet.
24. Accept your body size and shape and dress appropriately.
25. Trust your instincts.
26. If you day that you are going to do something, do it and do it to the best of your ability.
27. Don’t proclaim your love to someone unless you absolutely mean it.
28. Try to forgive.
29. Know your alcohol limits. Stop drinking when you’ve reached them.
30. Don’t promise when you’re happy, don’t decide when you’re sad and don’t reply when you’re angry.

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32. Apologise when you’re in the wrong.
33. Understand that some may not always be willing to accept your apology.
34. Share.
35. Do a favour because you actually want to, not because you are expecting something in return.
36.Don’t lend money that you can’t afford to lose completely.
37. Smile as often as possible.
38. Give time some time.
39. When feeling overwhelmed by problems try to ask yourself: ‘Will these problems actually matter in a year’s time?’
40. What others think of you is none of your business.

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42. Shut down your computer, go outside and meet people.
43. If you need to delete messages and emails so that your partner won’t see them, you probably know that you shouldn’t be having that particular correspondence to begin with.
44. If somebody confides their secrets in you, keep them.
45. Never respond to other people’s rudeness – that is a representation of their character, not yours.
46. Turn up on time.
47. Don’t do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily upset.
48. Wash your hair regularly.
49. If you want to eat pizza, eat pizza. Just don’t eat pizza every day.

And finally…

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What about you? Do you have any that you can add to this?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and on Facebook facebook.com/suzie81speaks


21 Little Pleasures in Life

This morning I received a beautiful bunch of flowers from my colleagues at work, along with a lovely card that read ‘Hope you’re feeling better soon.’ It was a lovely gesture and really cheered me up. Consequently, it also got me thinking about the little pleasures that happen in life that make things so much more fun and worthwhile. Here are twenty-one things that make my life better.



1. Lying in a bed that has been made with freshly washed linen at the end of a long day.

2. Sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying a beautiful meal and each others company.

3. A cuddle on the sofa whilst watching a good film.

4. Driving to work without having to stop at a single red light.

5. Finding a £5 note in your pocket that you didn’t realise you had.

6. An Amaretto Sours cocktail.

7. Receiving an unexpected handwritten letter or card from a friend in the post.

8. My mother’s homemade vegetable pie.

9. Swimming in an open air pool on a hot day.

10. An attractive man, wearing a suit and nice aftershave.

11. A spontaneous and unexpected fabulous night out.



12. Making someone laugh.

13. The expression on somebody’s face when they love a present you’ve given them.

14. A student informing you that they really enjoyed your lesson as they are leaving and genuinely look like they mean it.

15. A pampering session at a spa.

16. A film or book that stays with you for days afterwards.

17. Finding something that you have been looking for over a long period of time… At half price.

18. A sleepy cat that cuddles it’s own tail.

19. Looking at the refrigerator after you’ve just been food shopping.

20. Singing loudly to your favourite song when there is nobody else in the house.

21. Finishing work on Friday, knowing that you don’t need to work over the weekend.


Can you add to this? What are your little pleasures in life?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog