Kids find happiness in the rain
I read this great post by Valerie Alexander on her Speak Happiness blog today about our inalienable right to pursue happiness (well, for the Americans anyway, I’m not sure anyone has told us Brits. Complaining is a national sport!) and how there is nothing noble in suffering.
It came at a good time. The combination of rain and illness over the last few weeks has completely stolen my fairly fragile mojo. It’s good to be reminded that happiness costs nothing, and that “suffering and happiness are not mutually exclusive. You can survive immense difficulties and still remain a happy person.”
Not that a family full of cold and coughs, a few sleepless nights, and the most miserable weather count as immense suffering. I can see the ridiculousness in that idea. Still, there is something horrible about shuttling small children through puddles and mud, angry parents and umbrellas, twice a day that leaves me grumpy.
Actually, it reminds me of the phrase, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.” I don’t mind the rain so much when I’m walking the dog, in (mostly) waterproof boots and coat (although the sea of mud around us at the moment makes walking a treacherous thing.) But walking to school, juggling umbrella, school bags and – at the moment – pushchair for poorly child, with my feet slowly soaking in my long-since lacking in waterproofness shoes, and with my drag-in-the-puddles jeans drinking up rainwater, I am only reminded how long it’s been since I afforded myself the luxury of new clothes or footwear (have you seen the price of kids’ shoes these days? None left for Mummy!)
Grrr there I go again, full of misery and self pity. So I’m going to try and follow Valerie’s excellent advice; “I will embrace and grow my happiness, regardless of what challenges the world throws at me.” And I will start by buying myself some new shoes! Who says money can’t buy happiness? 😉
This is what I want to do today
Okay, I finally admit it. I’m ill. I went to bed at 8pm last night and slept until hubbie came to bed at midnight. Then I popped a pill to make sure I’d get back to sleep. And didn’t. There’s nothing worse than your body being asleep when your mind is wide awake and all around you the house is coughing like every occupant smokes 40 a day. (We don’t. We’re all ill.)
I would have written a post then, but I was drugged so could only lie awake and worry about life and fume that I’d had a fourth failed delivery from the crap company I had the utter misfortune to choose to deliver my daughter’s new bed.
So this morning I’m taking time to be ill. After the school run I’m heading back to bed. So I am utilising the blog network for today’s post. Here are five great articles to help with writing and life:
1. 10 Foundational Writing Practices – Charlotte Rains Dixon: the importance of getting the basics right. My favourite three are Move your Body; Calm your Mind; Stay Positive
2. The Simple Joy of Slogging Through to the End – Speak Happiness: an old post on the satisfaction of finishing a difficult task. I’m hoping I’ll feel like that when (if) my daughter’s bed finally arrives and I’ve managed not to break anything or anyone in my anger at the company’s sheer incompetence.
3. “Days are Lost Lamenting over Lost Days” – another from Speak Happiness: this explores a quote attributed to Goethe. A very interesting read. The full quote is:
Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
4. Why Doing a Jigsaw Puzzle is a Bit Like Writing A Book – Debbie Young: looking at the ways assembling a jigsaw puzzle is like writing a book. As I’m in the difficult stage of redrafting Class Act, trying to make sure all the pieces fit together and the whole picture looks right, this struck a chord. Especially these points:
- No matter how carefully you prepare the component parts – the corners, the edges, all the pieces with blue sky or Persian carpet or Delft tiles or pink flowers – the assembly of the puzzle never goes entirely according to plan.
- When daunted by what seems like an insurmountably difficult section, you realise that if you only apply yourself, one piece at a time, you really can conquer the challenge.
- Sometimes it works best if you switch your conscious mind off for a bit and let the subconscious take over.
5. In Defense of Pantsing – Jami Gold: because Pantsers can write novels too, as long as we remember to apply structure and story beats during redrafting. Enough said!
Right. Back to bed.