Wednesday 6 June 2012


Today I felt a bit sorry for myself.

The glorious long weekend was over.  The once jolly bunting was now hanging all limp and soggy. My beautiful sweet smelling peonies were browning and stinky. My head hurt, my tummy hurt, my back hurt. I had no energy whatsoever. The weird poorliness I'd noticed creeping in over the weekend was making a final bid to take over.

I hauled myself up and out and into London, only to realise it had been a mistake and carted myself back off home again.

Where I sat in the cold and dark and stared at the wall wondering what to do next.

My options were: feel sorry for myself. eat things. go back to bed.

I tried all of those and got bored of each in turn.

I stared at the wall a bit more, just in case the answer was written there and I just hadn't noticed it before.

Then I had an idea.

I used to read. A lot. I have a Kindle onto which I have downloaded a multitude of books, from frivolous fancy to downright dry. But over the last few months, since I've become more and more interested in all this happiness chat and have been buying more and more books on the subject, I've also, paradoxically, been reading less. I can't seem to make myself read all these books I've been buying. They just sit on the shelf staring at me, reproaching me for bothering to buy them in the first place. Do I think their wisdom will transfer by some kind of osmosis just by being in the same room as me?  Or am I just rebelling against things I think I should do rather than what I really want to do? I read so many blogs and articles and reports online that actually, what I really want to read in book form is pappy nonsense. The kind of pappy nonsense you fill your suitcase with for a beach holiday. The kind of pappy nonsense that concerns itself with cupcakes and cocktails, where cliches abound. But I've stopped reading that too recently. I think I feel guilty reading such vacuous rubbish when I have a shelf full of terribly interesting sciencey type stuff to read instead.

There's a certain irony in there, that a little treat I used to enjoy, that acted almost like my sanctuary, has been dropped in the muddle of this happiness journey of mine. Which just goes to prove the old adage that you cannot search for happiness, you just have to realise where you had it to begin with.

Well reading nonsense was certainly a happiness of mine and I'd let it slip. But now I'd realised it, it was time to put it right.

So today, I gave myself a break. I dug out and dusted down my kindle and downloaded a suitably dreadful sounding book called "Through with men". And then I sat there and read the whole thing in one day. It was rubbish. And I loved it.

And feeling buoyed by this I took myself off to the Chinese Doctor who told me my Qi was too low because my meridians are all bunged up and proceeded to stick all manner of needles and weird cups all over me and then left me to fall asleep under a nice hot lamp listening to whale music. He then prescribed me some funny herby things and gave me some herbal plaster things to slap on my achey bits.

And now I feel much better.

Better because I gave myself a break.
Better because I allowed myself what I wanted and needed rather than what I felt I ought to be doing.
Better because I've picked back up an old pastime I used to enjoy but had let slip.
Better because I forced myself to stop moping about and to focus on solutions instead.
and better because this weird herbal plaster thing is actually working.

So today turned out ok after all.

And tomorrow is another day.

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