So, a few things have inspired this post.
1. I’m facing the fact that I *am* going to win NaNoWriMo and will have written a novel in a month. Earlier this month, with big bad happening, it didn’t seem possible. I didn’t give up. I had to figure out what my plot gaps were that needed filling in my last 10k, so a post-it party happened near the dresser:
This piece of procrastination pleased me
2. Moving into my dream house has already had its catches and I was reminded on the weekend that life isn’t always fair. We even made movements to leave Arcadia (how I love the X-files), but were convinced not to by people who reminded me that human beings can be angels in disguise – kind, considerate and caring, even if they are near strangers.
3. I had a phone call with conscious branding company Thought Cloud‘s founder, Kat Kinne, who has already done so much for me, personally and professionally.
4. I had an email from Be Free People – a ‘Truth of the Day’ that read: ‘What are you sleeping with? What feelings are you taking with you into your bed, what feelings are you waking up with? So much is still being processed in your mind while you are sleeping, be very aware of how you feel before you close your eyes. What if it was the very last time you were to close your eyes, would you be happy with what you’re closing your chapter with? If not, change it, by changing your mind about things, end every chapter of the day and start the very next chapter of your life with gratitude.’
5. I read a guest blog post from the amazing Aussa Lorens, at Black Box Warnings: This Can’t Be My Life.
Now, I’m not always in the right mood to receive a ‘truth of the day’ or a ‘moment of happiness.’ (I’m always in the mood to read anything Aussa Lorens has written). Some quotes and platitudes can come across empty and meaningless when you’re going through a bad patch. You have to be in the right place for some things to speak to you.
However, when you’re off-kilter, there are people who can bring you back into balance; bring you back into yourself.
Often, when I feel stressed, I feel sick. My mind and body are very in tune. I posted something of the sort on Facebook and as usual felt awful when people commented, offering comfort and consideration. Sometimes you can post self-serving statuses and deserve it when people remind you they care! Why did I feel bad about it, really? Because I know deep down that life is good. I shouldn’t be complaining about it.
On the worst of days, whatever’s happened, if someone stopped me still and asked, ‘But, are you happy to be alive?’ I would halt, probably feel bad (it’s a habit), and realise that yes, I am. Always.
Many would agree there are key elements to a happy life: your love life, work life, and home life. There are more things to life and variations on the themes, obviously. Not everyone needs or wants a partner, but relationships with other people, be it family, friends, or lover, are commonly a source of happiness. Not everyone cares about a career, but what is done to earn a living, and what is earned to sustain a lifestyle, can be a big focus. People disagree on the definition of home. It can be about location, or about family, or about who shares it with you. It doesn’t have to be one place, or a house, maybe just where you hang your hat. I heartbreakingly read it described today as perhaps, ‘just wherever you end up when you get too tired to run anymore.’ However, as I responded, to me, home can be anywhere, but it’s the place where you’re loved, where you’re at peace with the fact that you deserve to be loved. I felt humbled reading what I’d written, because I’m lucky enough to have it. Overall, love life, work life, and home life are all wonderful.
Bad things happen. It’s a fact of life. I’m writing a novel for NaNo in which a lot of bad things happen. And I try and put myself in my characters’ shoes. One of them, who’s been through unutterable trauma, comes to realise that she is still happy to be alive.
If I can imagine someone who’s been through so much being happy to be alive; if I can meet, as I have, people who have been through so much in real life being happy to be alive – then the least I can do is gain some perspective. I’m going to make a push to remember how happy I am to be alive, and start and end each day with gratitude.
Life is good, even when it’s not.
Who’s going through a terrible time and feels awful? But who feels even worse with guilt when they realise other people are going through even worse times? It’s ok not to cope, but please ask yourself, despite it all, am I happy to be alive? Things can change for the better as much as they can change for the worse. Don’t give up. Be happy just to be alive.