So, I’ve been thinking about life lately, looking at the changes in my life and what they might mean for the future.
On Valentine’s Day, I performed with my favourite jazz pianist for a small crowd in a restaurant. The gig went really well and has me looking forward to more.
I’ve been working on my photography skills as well, trying to be better. I hope it’s working. Also, I’ve been learning my developing programme so that I can use it more effectively. When you have thousands of photos to work with (which I do from our last holiday … more about that in future posts) there’s lots of room for practice and improvement.
Soon, I’ll pick up my painting again. I’ve been sketching a bit this Winter, which blew my sweetheart away because he didn’t know I can do that. I’m not great to my mind, but I guess being able to do it at all is a miracle to some.
But a couple of days ago, we had a fabulous sunny day and my girl and I went for a long walk.
We’ve had some pretty cold weather for these parts and the frosts have been incredible at times. Still, the Winter and early Spring flowers all bounce back as soon as the sun hits. I love the touch of glamour that the frost adds to last year’s leaves.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how I want my life to be. Mostly, I’m content to let the days be what they will. Then I realise that I actually am content, happy. Oddly, I catch myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then I start worrying about it. Worrying and anxiety are familiar and don’t like to be left by the wayside. The more I move away from them, the louder they become in my mind.
Each new bend in the road of this life we are building promises sunshine and warmth. For so many years, it felt as if we were chasing that sunshine. We’d reach the bend in the road, only to find that the sunshine had been overcome by clouds. But not lately. There’s sunshine everywhere!
Sometimes, you have to look off the path to find the sun and there it is, pooled and waiting. And its promise is true.
This is Dundrum, an Irish grey who is a friend of ours. Only horse my pup ever befriended. I call him Handsome because he, well, he is. He’s such a lovely fellow. Also, it took years for me to remember his real name. He’s covered against the chill in the Winter, in his cheerful blue blanket. Kind of like the Spring flowers that are now beginning to join the Winter blooms that have cheered us through the cold dampness we have endured since November.
And that’s kind of like happiness, isn’t it. The flowers that hold the promise of warmth later are reborn each year, like contentment after a stressful time. You cheer them on and seeing them gladdens your spirit.
Unbridled happiness is utterly unfamiliar. Sometimes, I catch myself saboutaging it, mentally trying to pull myself into the more familiar state. But I’m aware of that, now, and that’s half the battle.
Acceptance is the next step; no matter how shy you might be, how tentative it all feels, acceptance that you have reached the sun and it’s just fine to luxuriate in it. Happiness, like the sun, warms you, encourages you, fills you. Slowly, you realise that it’s becoming easier to live it.
Live in happiness; choose happiness and sun in your spirit. Stress will come and go, as will sadness. But whilst you have it, wrap yourself in happiness from the inside out. It will become more familiar, easier to live. This is good.