Surprised by what you really want? Cut and paste your perfect life

August 27, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 7 Comments
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I read a really interesting article in the September issue of Red magazine called Cut and Paste your Perfect Life.

The article is inspired by Martha Beck, Oprah’s guru.  She says that a mood board will ‘catalyse something beyond your mind’s capacity to calculate or imagine’. Sounds a bit pink and fluffy, but always worth a go.

So, basically the idea is that if you go through a magazine and pull out images of the perfect life; the life you think you’ll want, you’ll end up with something similar to me, which was:

– An advert for a trashy women’s novel; probably owing to my desire to write, as me, full-time.

– A LOT of glitzy high-heeled shoes.

– Celebrities sitting at dressing room tables, surrounded by lights, makeup and glamour.

– Exotic holidays; beaches, beds adorned with tropical fruits and flowers, crystal clear waters and a friendly dolphin or two.

– Bronzed and bikini clad bodies; slender, effortless and sublime.

– Legs as long as long can be.

– Fast cars; in my case a red BMW (strange because I hate red cars, and I’m not particularly keen on BMW’s).

– Stunning dresses, pale, puffy and chiffony – as well as very expensive.

So if I take this to be my perfect life, it suggests that I want luxurious holidays, fast cars, an amazing body, a book deal and basically, yes the celebrity lifestyle…and a pet dolphin.

Do this yourself, and do this next step too.

Go through the magazine again and don’t purposefully pick out images that appeal.  Just pull out things that appeal for no good reason.  Don’t give it any thought just do it.  Choose slogans as well as images.  Beck says that the images we pick initially constitute culture’s idea of a good life.

So second time round I have picked a slightly odd collection of images including:

– A Milka advert depicting cows wearing beaks and wings.

– An image of a mother holding a baby in her arm and a mobile phone to her ear.

– A simple silver necklace with the letter ‘F’ in the middle.

– A woman with her mother.

– A happy lady carrying apples in her upturned dress.

– A courgette filled dinner

– A child getting messy cooking

– A old-fashioned Fairy Liquid advert

– A funny fat farmer type man

– A messy bed and some gaudy rugs

– Nicky Hambleton-Jones in her signature glasses

– An eccentric lady with a huge dress and headwear

– A sewing machine

– A fab ice lolly

– A child reading

So what does that tell me?  I haven’t finished dissecting it yet, I might sleep on it.

But much like the author of the Red article (Viv Groskop), I think I just want to have more fun.

I’m pretty sure that the images of eccentric and individual ladies are about me being confident to just be myself and show off my own style (something I never did as a child, or teen, or even young adult).  The image of the woman with her mum definitely signifies how strongly I value time with my mum –  as well as other female family members.  I think I’d do well to spend more time listening to them than talking about myself.

The ‘F’ on the necklace stands for friend (ok is this getting a little hippy-dippy?!), but I recently told a friend (drunk at the time yes) how much she means to me, and very much meant it.

I think it comes down to time.  A lavish lifestyle seems appealing to us all, but actually more than anything I think I’d just like the time to sew, not juggle baby and phone call, cook more with my son, build dens, roll around on a big rug and just tickle and laugh together.

And I’d love to know who the jolly fat farmer is and what he means too….

Off to see if there are any Fab ice lollies in the freezer, or even a Tangle Twister.



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  1. It looks very happy and cheerful and fun-packed! I love doing things like that.

  2. Yes a very eclectic collection! I have realised lately that I want more time with my kids and time at home to make my home a home and not a house and I want to help the kids read at my kids school, etc etc. Not the tan, long legs, exotic holidays etc that I thought I wanted 6 years ago. I found a note pad from a holiday in 2004 and those were the things I listed as goals for life. How things change….

    Great post, Mich x

    • It’s so true – the image I had of a child reading made me realise that I used to read two or three books every night before bed with my son; tonight it was one. That’s got to change. Their education is going to be so important, and in the early stages, I think the parents account for the majority of learning.
      Thanks for posting! xx

  3. What a great post. I think I will do this with an old magaine when the boys go back to school for my craft room. I love it

  4. Oooh what a fab idea! I’m going to have to give this a whirl!

    • If you do guys, tweet me the links, would love to see what your cut and pastes reveal!

  5. I will have a go at this too. 🙂 I love your second lmage. There is a deep satisfaction in being able to keep a house homely. In being here for the kids and not torn.

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