This post was supposed to be an upbeat one about happiness, but I have not been at my happiest this week.
It has been a frustrating and pretty crappy week, but hey, silver linings, it’s almost over. Nobody is happy all the time, even though Facebook would like you to think so. It’s normal to have highs and lows, and it’s normal to stay low for a while longer sometimes and dedicate solid time to a good mope. Considering my obsession with Thomas Hardy novels, I should be a lot more mopey and morose than I actually am.
Despite all of this, and despite my less than ideal week, I’m going to go ahead, and share this list of things that have brought smiles into my life over the past month (partly because I don’t want to rewrite this post, and partly because I want to help bring shiny, happy moments into your lives. I do take time to appreciate the beauty of little, everyday things, and there have been some good moments over the past few weeks. So here goes…
- Reading Passion: Americanah
This book is seriously interfering with my ability to do anything. It is so good that every time I catch sight of it, I need to read a few pages. It makes me think “yes!” after every page. I know that there is going to be a serious hole in my life when I finish this, so I definitely need to have another one of Adichi’s books on hold and ready to pick up at the library.
- Drawing Every Day
My favorite mood enhancer. Drawing and reading have always been my favorite things to do. I treat drawing like a form of meditation and get antsy and worried if I go too long without doing it. Most of the time, I start without any idea of what I want to draw, and just let things unfold on my page in their own way. It’s cheaper than therapy! Try it
- Warm Weather
Okay, it’s not warm, it’s sweltering, but I don’t care. I grew up in England, so any sunshine is a good thing, and a reason to open doors and windows to let in the outside, while other people get annoyed. Also, how great is it to not have to put twenty pieces of outerwear on your kids before they leave for school? My mornings are much better.
- Sharing Interests With My Kids
My kids are getting to that golden age, where they are fairly independent but still love hanging out with me, and they are getting into stuff that I like too! We have been crafting, biking, coloring, and watching Anne of Green Gables, and reading The Hobbit together. The eleven year old shares my dark sense of humor, and does a nice line in sarcasm. My birthday comes up in a couple of weeks, and I know that all of us will have a good time this year.
- Plaza Arts
Okay, this store is seriously addictive, and way too close to my home. I go in for a canvas, and come out with a handful of newfangled markers. There is also something nice about seeing other artists shopping for materials, and knowing that they exist nearby. I think I actually saw a rainbow over the store the last time I walked towards it!
- Mastering a new method of screen printing
I’m so happy about this!!! I have finally been able to put aside the time to figure out how to expose screens properly with photosensitive coating at home.Didn’t you study this sh#% at college? Aren’t you a professional screen printer? I hear you say. Well yes….but at college, we used premixed screen coater, and had big, professional exposing tables, and time! Putting aside time to figure out the logistics of how and where can I do this was something that took me longer than it should have. But finally, I have figured it out and the world is my screen image! I can put any of my drawings on a screen, woo hoo!
- The Hand Maid’s Tale
One of my favorite books is a TV series, and it does not disappoint me. I know it is dark, but it tackles issues close to my heart, head on, which is actually soothing.
- Planning For A Vacation
I’m going to my original hometown, London, in a month’s time! Wait, I need to put this laptop down to do the Snoopy dance from Charlie Brown ………………………………………………………. okay, I’m back. Yes, I still have one fair and three weeks of summer camp to deal with before this happens. But when I feel down, planning details of my trip is an instant happiness boost. Just thinking about seeing my parents, and childhood home makes me smile.
- Unexpected Meetings
I bumped into the Mayor of Vienna last week, while having my hair cut, and she offered to visit the kids at my camp, and look at their town planning projects! I also, met the owner of a boutique, while working at a market in Alexandria, who was interested in my products. Last night, I caught up with a parent at my children’s school, who I haven’t seen in a year and had a really nice chat. Sometimes, I forget to connect with other people because I work by myself, but it is always lovely when I do.
- Remembering All Of The Above
Writing this blog sometimes forces me out of a rut, because it forces me to look back and take stock of my life. It is so easy to stay bogged down, and forget about good aspects of your life when you are having a bad run. And sometimes it feels good to wallow in sorrows for a bit, but when I want to climb out of that pit, the blog certainly helps me stay thankful for what I have. I think everyone should have an equivalent, be it a diary to write in, or a friend to vent to. Do it, get that stuff out of your system when you need to.