100 Days to be Happy: Sunshine

I live in the UK. Yup, that’s right, I live in lovely, rainy Britain.  In fact I live in Wales and for some odd reason, the rain here is an awful lot wetter than it was when I lived in Plymouth or even when I lived in Suffolk. There always seems to be a lot more of it as well.

You remember that bit in MIB II? Where K is talking to Laura? This bit:

Agent K: When you get sad it, always seems to rain.

Laura: Lots of people get sad when it rains!

Agent K: It rains because you’re sad, baby.

Anyway, the amount of rain we get here during the autumn, winter and spring tends to knock my mood right down. So when it’s sunny, my mood picks up.

Right now, it’s cool and breezy but it’s also bright and sunny with a blue sky that seems to go on forever. It’s the sort of weather that I love, that I deliberately keep my computer next to the window for, that makes me want to just laugh and celebrate.

The colours of the world brighten and the music of nature is louder when the sun is out. I can write more; I have a longer anger fuse and a thicker skin and I eat less. Everything and everyone seems happier. There are more smiles and laughter on the breeze.

So #3 on my 100 days to be happy list? Sunshine.

Why? Because when it rains, sunshine brings out the Rainbow.

100 Days to be Happy: Breathing

Breathe in... Breathe out... Repeat.

Breathe in… Breathe out… Repeat.

Yes, I know it’s an odd thing to be happy about, but it’s very much on my mind today.

It’s raining, which always puts me in a sour mood, the baby keeps screeching no matter what I do and I’m so tired that all I want to do is crash out for a couple of hours… but I can’t because every time I try, something wakes me.

So I remind myself to breathe.

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT…

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT…

IN…

Hold it… one…two…three…four…five…

OUT...

And reminding myself that I can breathe calms me down and makes me a little happier.

…I’d be happier still if the sun came out, but any port in a storm…

I’ve done this exercise five times today – it’s been one of those kinds of days!

 

The Qualities of Silence.

Have you ever been somewhere that is so quiet that you can hear your own heartbeat?

Have you ever just sat outside and listened to the world breathe?

When was the last time you turned off all the electronics in the house and listened to the house move?

Silence.

It’s an odd place.

Your own words echo inside your head and every movement or shift of your body feels louder than the world around you. The slightest noise is more emphatic than a shout and can make you jump, heart pounding before you realise that it’s not going to hurt you.

I don’t think we really appreciate silence properly.

Our lives are full of sound, a cacophony that is unrelenting and often well meaning. If you’ve ever experienced true Silence, then you’ll understand what I mean.

I’m an introvert. I can put up with the sonance of the modern world, but every so often it gets to me and I need to find Silence again.

I know that sounds odd coming from a woman who is pregnant and already has two children, two cats and a partner to look after, but that is who and what I am. If I don’t get the chance to find Silence then my mood very quickly slips and I get ratty with everyone, even my children.

reflection

Sometimes I go down to the beach and sit listening to the waves. Or I might walk up into the woods and feel the wind on my skin, the same wind that blows the leaves of the trees.  I reconnect with the natural world, but I also draw in the silence that comes with it.

I pull it in and wrap it around my heart to shield it from the eventual requirement to go back into the pandemonium of life.

My favourite kind of silence, the one that builds my defences and holds me tight against everything that tries to penetrate them is the sort of silence I get at home.

I have it today. For the first time in six months, the house is quiet. Yes the cats are still here, but they are off doing catty things (probably sleeping or eating) and they do them softly. My partner is out at his new job. The children are at school and wonder of wonders, Sprog (the one I am carrying) appears to be asleep and hasn’t kicked me for at least an hour.

I have no music on. The heating has just gone off, so the boiler roar is muted and all there is to hear is the tap of the keys as I write this, the beating of my heart and the hushed hum of the PC.

Later I will have to go back out into the world. I am going away this weekend and that means I will have to be sociable and talkative. I will draw in this Silence and use it to keep me calm when I can’t get away from people and the clamour that goes with them.

I enjoy socialising and chatting. I know that the first thing that anyone is going to ask me is “When is the baby due?”, followed swiftly by “Is it a Boy or a Girl?” (as if I have a choice over which is born!) I will answer and smile and be pleasant.

But this Silence I have now will sustain me. Until I can find it again.