Curating your life
A lot of what we see online is carefully curated.
is to select, organise, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition).
or select, organise, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.
People pick and choose the moments they want to share and they edit the photographs to fit within the aesthetic they have chosen.
I know that this curation of social media feeds can lead to people striving for an ideal of perfection that doesn't exist. Having said that, I also find curation to be liberating.
Curating our lives
You don’t get to select all the moments that come to your life. There will be challenges that come our way regardless of how we live and what we choose to keep in our lives.
However, we need to be more intentional about how we create our life. We do this by setting goals, by working out where we want our lives to be and discarding from our lives the things that prevent us from achieving those goals.
We look at the things that make us happy and intentionally include more of that in our lives whilst minimising the things that bring us down and prevent our happiness. We select, organise, and look after the items, experiences and memories within our life.
By becoming more intentional about what we allow in our lives we are curating our own collection of experiences, we are curating our life. We can choose to include the things we love.
Be intentional in our planning.
- Where do you want to be in ten years?
- How are you going to get there?
There's a saying that has stuck in my memory ever since I first heard it:
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Do you set goals? I have goals jumbled around in my head somewhere and I am rubbish at writing them down. They remain in my head somewhere even though I know I am more likely to achieve these goals if they are written down. The act of putting pen to paper makes me accountable.
My days are more productive if I write down a to-do list. They are more productive still if My Handsome Man asks me what's on my to-do list and I feel I am accountable to him as well as the tick boxes in front of me.
Be intentional about our diary.
- How do we prioritise our time?
- Are we run off our feet with no time for ourselves?
- Do we say no to events to ensure we keep our priorities straight?
If you're someone who schedules too much and find that you have no time for yourself, try writing into your diary one day a week as "me time." Write it into your diary or it won't happen. If someone asks you to do something when you’ve planned "me time," apologise, explain you’re busy then and suggest an alternative time.
Be intentional about our finances and our purchases.
- Are our purchases planned?
- Do we spend money on things we never use/wear?
- Are we in debt?
I wish we lived in a world where there was less mindless consumption and more mindful choices. I have definitely been guilty of in-the-moment purchases which I later regret.
Before purchasing, ask yourself:
1 Do I need it?
2 Can I afford it?
3 Do I want to maintain/clean/store it?
If you're not sure, go without it and think about your end goal for ten minutes and whether this purchase gets you closer to that goal.
Your big goal might be a beautiful wardrobe where everything is comfortable and fits just right, every day you wake up and put on an outfit that you love!
Thinking about this dream wardrobe before purchasing the item that fits (but there’s something just not right about it, however it’s a great deal because it’s 70% off) will make you realise that actually the item is not such a great deal and you’ll hang it back on the rack waiting for someone else who LOVES it.
If your big goal is to be debt free, you’ll think twice about buying all those books that you want but don’t really need because your to-be-read pile is turning into a to-be-read bookcase.
If your big goal is to eat healthy meals and lose weight, you’ll think twice about the items you put in your trolley on the food shop, buying ingredients for the healthy meals that you have planned and foregoing the snack food that is your weakness.
If your dream living room includes a beautiful sofa from a high-end retailer and you have been saving for weeks to buy it, you’ll be confident in your decision when you spend the money. Buyers guilt will be reduced or even become a thing of the past.
This attitude and these choices have a knock-on effect.
If we’re focusing on cultivating our lives to become what we want them to be by being mindful in our choices of what comes in and out of our lives, then our photographs hold in themselves the memories of the life we choose.
For me that includes the man I chose to marry, the experiences we had in Vancouver on our year abroad, a life that will always be connected to Albania. It includes family, friends - the people we want to share our life with.
It includes games nights, outdoor adventures, special occasions and at-home lazy days. Our life is made up of so many beautiful memories and a future full of potential and memories in the making.