Occasionally, you just have to eat ice cream for breakfast.
In her second book, Laura Jane Williams encourages us to find and embrace our inner child to make us kinder, calmer, happier and, perhaps most importantly, more fun! Taking a break from her career as a writer after experiencing burnout, which led to a period of depression and anxiety, Laura spent nine months as a nanny for three (frankly brilliant-sounding) children. She learnt a huge amount in those nine months and this book is a collection of life lessons, advice and general silliness based on how the children taught her to live.
Here are some of my favourite ‘life lessons’ from the book:
1. Make everything into an occasion!
Our lives are so full of routine that it’s easy to get bored and feel your week, your month, your life is slipping by without you even lifting your head up to notice. Make the ordinary more extraordinary. Be like a child looking forward to ‘Gardening Time’ with grandma and getting excited about how being good at the dentist means they will get to watch TV for a whole hour. Make Friday ‘Fishcakes Day’, make doing that horrid job at work mean you get a treat from your favourite bakery, make bedtime an event with a bath, a book, a candle and your best pyjamas.
2. Shout about the things you love.
Be enthusiastic! If you are obsessed with books about falling in love on holiday? Tell everyone! If you love trying new recipes even if they go terribly wrong? Make time to do it! If you know everything their is to know about 80s sci-fi? Embrace it! Love the things you love as much as children love dinosaurs and trains and LEGO. (Also, learn to love dinosaurs and trains and LEGO again, because they are all pretty goddamn cool.)
3. Don’t be scared of failure.
Children don’t worry about falling over when they first get on a skateboard. They don’t worry about not being the best. They simply decide they want to do it and just do it. If they need help? They ask for it. If they don’t manage it first time? They don’t immediately tell themselves they are rubbish and a failure. Identify what you would do if you weren’t so scared of failing. And just do it.
Ice Cream for Breakfast: How rediscovering your inner child can make you calmer, happier, and solve your bullsh*t adult problems is published by Hodder and is out now.