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What Are You Waiting For? Why NOW Is The Time To Give Yourself Permission.


At the age of 45, I’ve just bought a pair of beautiful white ice skating boots I coveted while watching the figure skating on TV as a little girl.


Am I going to become a professional skater?


Chances are that ship has sailed.


Do I regret this purchase? Absolutely not. 


Read on to find out more about my ice-capades and why you should make this the year you do something purely for the joy of it!



Oh, the glamour of figure skating!

Why the boots?


Growing up in the 80s and 90s, the glamour of professional figure skaters was like nothing I’d ever known before. I wanted to become one and that’s how I imagined my life panning out. Don’t you just love the sheer optimism of childhood dreams?


I never did much skating though, which was sadly the first flaw in my bold career plan. There wasn’t an ice rink very close to us, so I only went a few times in my childhood.


Since having children myself, that dream stayed with me (although with admittedly more realistic expectations of how far my ice skating could take me) and we started going to the nearest ice rink a little more often. It's still quite a drive, so although I’d love to have lessons, it hasn’t happened for me yet.


But something did happen on a recent trip to the ice rink with my family.


As usual, I was gazing adoringly at those beautiful white boots I saw on the few people who had their own, then glaring down at my rented boots. You know the ones. They’re bulky, not very comfy, and an extremely unglamorous choice for any aspiring skating icon.


I looked at the white boot squad thinking how much I still really, really, REALLY wanted a pair!


About a week later, a thought hit me: what am I waiting for? 


Whose permission am I waiting for to buy the bloody boots?


So that's exactly what I did!



Waiting for permission


Isn’t it interesting how we feel we have to wait for permission from others to do certain things?


Is it that inner child hearing a voice in our ear from a parent or older sibling asking: “Is that really necessary?” or “Are you sure that’s sensible?”


That nagging voice can prevent us from doing stuff just for us that’s actually going to be of benefit.


Taking that a step further, it’s almost like we’ve trained ourselves to ignore our intuition or gut instinct and depend on external validation of what’s right or wrong for us.  When actually, who better to decide that than ourselves?! 


It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to realise.... we can simply give ourselves permission! 


No matter how frivolous, unnecessary, or even silly some of those decisions might be, it doesn’t matter! If it brings us joy and doesn’t harm anyone, it’s worth doing in my book.





Waiting for the perfect time


As well as that notion of permission, I also started thinking about timing, and how we often feel we should wait for a perfect future moment.


But guess what? It might never arrive.  


My logical brain told me I shouldn’t get the boots until I’m a professional figure skater and - at this point in life - chances are I’ll never be (sadly, I am gradually and very reluctantly coming to terms with this realisation).


And in reality, I’ll probably only wear them a handful of times a year.


But so what? 


I love them. 


They’re absolutely beautiful. 


And every time I lace them up and step onto the ice I’m going to feel amazing, like I’m living out that childhood dream and doing something purely for the joy of it, and purely for myself.



Moving away from all-or-nothing thinking


I’m coming to see that I’m someone who really falls into that black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking without even realising it’s happening.


In my head, I’m either going to do something to the extreme or I shouldn't do it at all. So, going back to the skates, I told myself I couldn’t have them unless I would use them enough to be “worth it”.


But who says it’s not worth it to feel that incredible on the times I do make it onto the ice? 


What about doing something in between a) never buying them and b) ditching the day job to try out for the Olympics?


Now I have my prized possession, I feel like I’m scratching that itch and elevating the pleasure of those occasional trips to the rink. And to me, that feels like a success.



What would that look like for you?


Is there a childhood hobby (or something brand new) you could pick back up, even if you’re really bad at it? There’s a lot to be said for being a beginner at something. It releases a lot of that self-imposed pressure and unlocks a childlike joy that you may have forgotten existed at times.


Or what about treating yourself to something just for the hell of it? Why wait for that special birthday or milestone moment, when you could permit yourself to do it for no reason other than the fact that you can, and you deserve it?


As a jewellery maker, nothing fills me with more joy than the concept of a luxurious self-gift. Often - especially as women - we put ourselves at the bottom of the list, so it’s empowering to know one of our pieces is going out to a woman who will feel incredible joy and independence every time she slips it on. 


Of course, most of us can’t spend huge amounts on ourselves all the time or indulge in every childhood dream or spontaneous whim. 


But often, treating yourself doesn’t have to be something huge or drastic. It might be a day off to yourself, an extra couple of hours in bed on a Sunday, or a solo afternoon cinema trip for the hell of it. 


I’m realising it’s all about finding the right balance in life.


Sometimes I get that right, sometimes I don’t, but all we can do is try, right?


I don’t ever do New Year’s resolutions, so I’m making the effort to make better decisions throughout the year. 


I’m delighted to start this year with my new ice skating boots: they will go down in history as one of my best decisions in life!


I can now clearly see the different factors at play that initially came between me and my beautiful boots. From waiting for the perfect time (there will never be one) to that pesky all-or-nothing attitude, you may have the same beliefs percolating whenever you have the urge to do something a little different.


From now on though, I’m giving myself (and you) the green light to do more things without waiting for permission.



Taking the boots out on their maiden voyage (before I fell over)


Going for gold


You might now be wondering how my ice skating career is progressing now I look the part and in fact, over Christmas, I took them out on their maiden voyage.


Did I fall over not once, but twice?


Yes.


Did one of those falls turn out to be fairly spectacular, and result in a gigantic bruise on my thigh?


Also yes.


Do I mind?


Definitely NOT! 


I was having so much fun while I was doing that, so I consider their first outing to be a resounding success. 


Jane Torvill definitely isn’t quaking in her (equally pretty) boots, but I’m feeling a million dollars in mine, so I’m counting that as my gold medal moment. 


I’d love to know your thoughts on this idea of allowing ourselves to do the things that bring us pure joy in life, without waiting for someone’s permission.


Do you ever do this, or has it got you thinking that you might start?


What would that purchase or pastime be for you? Or what kind of things do you indulge in to scratch that itch if you’re already one of life’s joy-seekers? 


I would genuinely love to hear your stories on this subject because honestly, it feels like a bit of a lightbulb moment for me!


And on that note, I’m off to plan my next day out at the ice rink - anyone fancy joining me?!


Kate x



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When I’m not at the bench creating jewellery or sitting at the laptop writing my next blog post for you, I can usually be found cuddling our fluffball of a cat, Kenji, watching Tottenham getting thrashed with my eldest son, or playing table tennis with my youngest at the kitchen table. Oh, and I happen to be married to the most supportive man, who still makes me giggle after all our years together. Yep, I lucked out there didn't I?

 

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Solitaire twist 0.80ct diamond gold engagmement ring by Kate Smith, Jewellery Quarter. UK.
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