Friday, November 11, 2016

Chic Technique: Opposite Day

Did you ever do Opposite Day as a kid?  I don’t think I did, but I saw it in movies and on tv programmes from time to time and it looked like fun.  Good, silly fun – and don’t we all need more good, silly fun in our life sometimes?

I’ve realised I do Opposite Day as an adult and I think I will make it more of a habit now that I am aware of it.

One of my fears is that I get stuck in a rut.

Singing the same old song.

Being in a rigid routine day after day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my simple life and can’t imagine myself doing anything that radical, but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up.  Let people – including yourself! – wonder if they really know you at all.

It could be big things and it could be little things.  It could be doing something that is not ‘appropriate’ for your age.  Here’s what I mean:

You can watch Coronation Street (even though you loathed it when your mum watched it when you were young)

You can spray on a Britney Spears perfume and like it (even though you are not 14)

You can look into an at-home weight-lifting routine (having not been to a gym in years)

You can start reading entirely different genres of books

You can have a 180-degree change of opinion on a topic

You can decide that life is short and you’re going to like what you like, doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks

You can be inspired to become a clean eater and be in the best shape of your life (even though you thought your ‘sweet tooth’ was permanent)

You can think about doing something different to your usual and your first thought is ‘but I don’t do that’; then you realise you would like to try

You can feel excited at the wide-open possibility that is the rest of your life

I was going for a brief 20-minute stroll before work today and I could feel the goodness of life and anticipation of what is to come bursting out of my chest.  It was almost a physical feeling.

Yes, we have a big life change coming up – selling our business and leaving the city for the tiny town where I grew up – ‘life in the country’ – but the more I read and learn and inspire myself with my thoughts and questions and listen to what I really want, the happier and more excited by life I become.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Do you ever find yourself feeling constrained by your own ‘this is how I’ve always done it’ thoughts?  I am getting less and less tolerant of restrictiveness in the way I think.

We all know, we’ve been told enough times, that we are capable of pretty much anything; it’s just our thinking that holds us back.  But that dampening voice in our head can be a most powerful thing and I know it can be hard to overcome at times.

It can be done though, and here’s how:

By asking questions of yourself and writing down the answers

By going after what sparks a germ of excitement inside you

By following the breadcrumbs on what makes you happy

By being around people who light you up

Who’s up for Opposite Day then?  What do you think you might do on Opposite Day?

I’d love to hear,

PS.  My book ‘A Chic and Simple Christmas’, which was previously only available on Kindle, is now out in Paperback, with a beautiful new cover.  You can order it from the publisher CreateSpace here, or from Amazon here.  CreateSpace is often better value shipping-wise if you don’t have an Amazon in your own country.


  1. Your routine also can open your mind: reading a newspaper from cover to cover is a great way to find out about things you might not usually be interested in. Reading only your newsfeed that uses algorithms to give you only stuff it knows you like is a rut.
    Talking to strangers is another way. Most people are good. Crazy criminals are few and far between. So chances are you're going to learn about somebody nice.

    1. Great points! I often talk to strangers if they have a dog with them...

  2. How exciting to be embarking on a new phase of life! That's a dramatic way to shake things up. I've been feeling in a rut lately and don't know how to make a change. What can I do differently? I'm really stuck. Hope your readers have good "opposite" suggestion that I can try.

    1. I know, we are totally remodelling everything in our life!!!

      Ask yourself to come up with 20 answers to the question 'What can I do differently?' Don't worry if they seem unrealistic, you will get some great ideas.

  3. My day of "doing something different" consisted of a visit to the physiotherapy dept of my local hospital (actually a local hospital due for closure under NHS budgetry 'cuts'). But even though it was something different, I think the young physio who attended me has been able to recognise the problmem in my shoulder, give it some physio, and demonstrate me some exercises, so actually, although it wasn't exciting, it was beneficial to my health.
    I've never heard of an 'opposite' day. But really, I'm happy with my life, I don't think there's anything I would wish to change except have it all over again with my husband. When you get to your 70s and have been married for more than 50 years you know you have fewer years ahead of you than behind you, that is the only sad part, but it's a fact of life. Other than wishing I had my time all over again, I'm happy. Lovely husband, two lovely sons, two great daughters-in-law (well one a daughter in law, one the partner of our younger son, but she's a daughter in law in every other respect) and a gorgeous grandson, a nice home, enough £s to pay the bills and a little cache for a rainy day, no debts, no outstanding bills and although we've had health problems and there are some on-going problems, nothing insuperable.
    I do wish you all the very best with your move to the country. How exciting to be embarking on a new phase in your life.
    Margaret P

    1. I think that finding a solution to a health issue is totally exciting, Margaret! I know for myself, that I take good health for granted until I don't have it.

      Even something such as a bad headache, once it is gone, the world seems even more beautiful than before the headache, if that makes sense. Just like your shoulder, I bet you are so happy to have less/no pain and more movement after physio, whereas before your shoulder had a problem you probably didn't give it a thought.

      Thank you for your good wishes :)

  4. This sounds fun! I like discovering new hit songs to listen to and usually, one is enough to get me dancing and humming all through the day and the following few days.

    Saying everyday things in French or a non-native tongue spices things up too. So instead of hello/good night/bye, I would say bonjour/bonne nuit/au revoir to family and friends. Such an easy yet sexy change, don't you think?

    Using a different color pen (pink, purple, orange, azure, etc. over blue or black) to write my to-do list or notes offers a surprisingly satisfying change too.

    Another idea is changing my laptop's wallpaper and/or color scheme to provide a refreshing feel to something I use frequently.

    Your post sounds so optimistic and joyful, Fiona, it's positively contagious. It makes me feel happy just reading it and I want to say "merci beaucoup" for sharing your words with us. Bringing magic back into our daily routines and rituals can be done with petite tweaks. :)

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas, Natalie. I love to change my laptop wallpaper too, and a catchy new song zazzes me up as well.

      I like your pen idea, I usually buy 'sensible' colours :) I'm going to change that.

  5. Taking a different route to work, wearing a different style that you don't usually wear, parting your hair on the "opposite" side, wearing bright red lipstick if you don't normally, going out for Indian food, breakfast for dinner are some things I think would be fun....

    1. Yay Carla, I love them all. I've been wearing slightly deeper coloured matte lipsticks lately. It feels daring :)

  6. Thank you so much for your posts. Your outlook on life is very calming to me.

  7. Your energy and enthusiasm is infections and joyful to read. This sounds like fun.

  8. Hi Fiona,
    I hope you and your loved ones are safe - I just read about the earthquake...

    1. Hi Amy, thank you for your sweet thoughts. We are fine, but it is a different story further down the country :(

  9. Hi Erina, I feel so sad for the damage that Christchurch has sustained over the years.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  10. Dear Fiona, I just heard about the earthquake and thought of you. I'm glad you are well.


  11. Congratulations on the move. Sounds like a wonderful new door of possibilities opening up for you! Also congratulations on publishing another book! I have this "try something new and break a rule every day" thing. When I say "break a rule" I don't mean break the law, haha, but I mean do something different, do something I wouldn't normally do. Kind of like the opposite day. It really does help you get unstuck and out of a routine. xo Deborah

  12. You are right! The Britney Spears perfumes are suitable for every women doesn't matter how old they are and many many congrats for your book.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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