…one minute it’s there, the next minute it’s gone. Only five minutes ago I had a tiny baby girl, and then a little boy. She is now a card-carrying professional, and he is a head taller than me and still growing! I have no idea where those years went. It’s scary, but here are three ways to make the most of your blink-of-an-eye existence…
1.Make Real Friends
Put down your phone and make an effort to talk to people. Our fractured families and constantly busy lives mean there’s a growing epidemic of loneliness. You can stop the rot and make a difference—and making an effort will make a difference to you, too. If you grew up surrounded by a loving family, it’s easy to take the good times for granted. Make sure everyone in your family circle knows exactly how much you love them. If you can’t say it out loud, a meal, a kiss, a smile or a silly little gift will say it for you.
2.Plant A Tree
You don’t need to make it a forest giant like an oak. An apple tree will fit into the average garden, and is the perfect choice. They live a long time—the original Bramley apple tree is over 200 years old—have a beautiful structure in winter, gorgeous flowers in spring and fruit in autumn. If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry. The Woodland Trust is making Britain a better place by caring for existing woodlands and planting new ones. Like all charities, they rely on donations and volunteers. Giving your money or time is another way you can make your mark in a good way, and other people will benefit from your generosity, too.
3.Write A Book
Keeping a journal is a great way to hand your thoughts on to the next generation. If you can turn your life story into fiction, as the great Catherine Cookson did, you will really make your mark. History can be captured by every one of us. By preserving our own memories and the ones of those around us, we can make sure the fascinating little details of life—what we ate before takeaways, and how we found things out pre-internet—can be remembered forever. It was discovering the stories of ordinary people that inspired me to write Struggle and Suffrage In Bristol. I’m really proud to have created this book, and I hope everyone—not just the people of Bristol —enjoy reading it. You can get your own copy here.