In recent times I have lost some part of myself. In the words of Maya Angelou I feel as though I am “being pecked to death by ducks”. I have, however come to a point where I don’t want this feeling any longer. I want more; more of the goodness and the happiness that seems to be eluding me. I have everything that should make me happy – a life partner, independent adult children, a close family, reasonable health, a new career that I enjoy, a home, my garden, books. Yet here I am feeling that those metaphorical ducks are tearing pieces of me away.
I have been thinking about my friend Lavender and her quest to declutter her home and her life in recent times. I envy her strength and courage. I have been reading academic articles and popular books such as Rubin’s Happiness Project . I read back over an old blog entry I wrote in 2008 that was titled You shouldn’t get to 50 to learn this [ Things Learnt page] and somewhere, even though life is much, much better now and full of promise, somewhere, something in me has gone astray and I have lost connection with my own happiness.
So, I had a rare moment of introspection and realised that it was not happiness I seek, as I have happiness, and it was not more happiness that I seek as can happiness really be measured in quantities? Surely one is either happy or not happy? No, it is more that I need to recognise and honour my own happiness, enjoy it more and make the most of it.
As Colette wrote: What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner. It is time to reassess and appreciate what I have before it is gone. Kabir wrote:
My inside listen to me, the greatest spirit,
The teacher is near,
Wake up, wake up,
Run to his feet –
he is standing close to your head right now,
You have slept for millions and millions of years
Why not wake us this morning?
My inside listen to me. Me? What do I know? I am not sure how I am going to achieve this. Can I find happiness in happiness? As I wrote earlier, I have been reading widely this week; over many years really, and I don’t think there is an easy answer to this. Gretchen Rubin suggests creating your own 10 commandments so maybe that is a starting point? No harm in trying I guess.
Flamingo Dancer’s Top 10.
1. Do Something EVERY DAY. Don’t waste the day.
2. Keep a grip on reality and keep it in proportion. Check my perspective is balanced.
3. Act as I would feel. Even if I have to pretend for awhile.
4. Commit to what ought to be done and Do It NOW. Procrastinate no longer.
5. Enjoy the process. Live the moment, this may be as good as it gets.
6. Recognise my ghosts. Check the emotional baggage.
7. Stay calm. Some days all you can do is remember that the day will end, and to keep breathing.
8. Get physical. Give up the couch.
9. Do it with my style. My style is better than anyone else’s. Let us not forget that I am Flamingo Dancer!
10, Make time for passions, dreams and desires. Walk the talk.
Now what? Commit to what ought to be done and Do It NOW? I guess this is it.
Goodnight, dear diary. Tomorrow is another day.