So, here’s today’s truth. I feel good. Really, properly good. Grinning like the Cheshire Cat good. Not much has changed, in the grand scheme of things. But yet everything has … I’ll try to explain.
Throughout the recent few months, with all the changes that I’ve been through, I’ve often felt really low. When I’m feeling really miserable and fed up, I talk in absolutes. Everything is awful. Nothing goes right. My whole life is a mess. I’m always getting it wrong. This is when my resilience struggles the most, because I’ve made everything seem insurmountable. It can feel like a big weight to carry around; one that I cannot get out from under.
These days when I catch myself doing this, I have learnt to question the thoughts that I’m telling myself. Argue with that little voice in my head that’s telling me Everything Is Always Bad. It helps me to untangle things. Usually, when one bit of my life sucks, another is doing really well. I’m still living in a spare room. But my kids recently got an amazing school report. (So proud of them, and of the parenting that I do with their dad, despite our divorce: it will always be my biggest success.) I’m not earning any more, but I’ve worked out some financial improvements that will help me with my budget. I’m still single. But I have the BEST friends in the whole world who fill my days with adventures.
By recognising that life isn’t just one thing, but rather a collection of smaller events, activities, relationships, failures and, indeed, successes, I start to see details, where before I have only seen one giant mess. There is lots to be happy about in amongst the challenge. Recognising all the smaller successes – the individual elements of my life that are going right – can actually make the whole of my life seem sunnier. Hence the grinning.
Recent things that have brought me joy? An email from a blogger that I adore, inviting me along to join her somewhere. A night out with friends that was so much fun I got the wrong train home with a carriage load of drunken Hallowe’en fancy dress superheroes. A friend who bought me a novel he thought I might enjoy. Planting tulip bulbs on the allotment. Buying cheese from the local cheese shop. The purchase of a travel guide for Iceland and a fun night planning our adventures there.
There is plenty of success here. Plenty of things to really show me that I’m not always messing it up. I just need to recognise the smaller successes, let them gather into bigger ones, really see them instead of concentrating on the failures. And to say yes more. Yes is bringing me a lot of happiness at the moment. In the absence of a grand plan beyond 40, I think that “yes” is my new best friend. Yes brings successes – failures too, but failures make for good stories, the lifeblood of my blog at the moment! All of the things I mention above? A result of me saying yes. So, yes to spending time with friends, yes to opportunities, yes to dating. Yes to being the best parent I can be. Yes to my life.
Did you read my post about rethinking 40?