Today I am having what we call in our home a Me Party – a term inspired by a song from The Muppets, but for all good purposes literally means a day that is spent not doing things that need to be done, but rather doing things you want to do, alone, and just for you. For me this started with a coffee and some reading time at a café, followed by a visit to a Spa to use a voucher I was given many moons ago for facial and a massage. The time spent lying there under soft light with quiet music while your skin is tingling at the softest touch is really quite a moving experience, and I will admit to bursting into tears when I left. I think that sort of focused sensory deprivation opens up all sorts of doors in your head – how often do we stop for quiet contemplation, or just to feel? My life in particular seems to be filled with things that need to be done, and does not seem to contain enough things I just want to do. The “to-do” list always seems to win in my case – I make that list every day and never complete it. I actually write “read” on the list in an effort to make some time to stop, yet that is one thing that absolutely falls off with all of those things that have to be done taking priority.
This year for me has been a roller coaster, both mentally and physically. Right from the very beginning I have questioned what next, and this is still something I do not know the answer to. I have been hospitalised with a ruptured appendix which has knocked me for six and left my health and fitness at an all-time low. I have struggled with feeling depressed, and seem to have spent more time this year feeling low than happy (this can also be an after effect of the anaesthetic). But to be honest, the most challenging aspect of the year so far has been the fact that I do not like to be seen to “complain” about my lot, so don’t want to go on about these things. Right now I am fighting the tendency to apologise to anyone reading this for my being negative. As I lay there today, my mind buzzing with thoughts of what I want to do, and how I would do it two words raced to the forefront of my mind, and I think they are not only the crux of the situation but also the answer – choose happiness. If this year has taught me only one thing, it is that I need to listen more carefully to the signs. My piles of unread books from the library sit there like a list of intentions. The things I need to focus on are the topics I continually return to – reading, writing, creativity, health, spirituality, happiness, and a job I can feel happy at. But the most important thing is being happy. I believe it is a choice, and one that matters on so many levels. For me largely because I am responsible for the way my children see the world, and the choices they make about how to approach life will begin with the examples they have been set at home.
So, no apologies, except to say that I am sorry this is so long, or possibly that it has taken so long to say. I’ll leave choosing the which up to you.