I have always said I love blogging. There is a freedom in being able to go from topic to topic and allow inspiration to feed the flow of words. At times I wonder if I might be a more successful blogger if I stuck to a particular theme, but my mind is quick to reject the idea. It likes genre-hopping. I follow cooking blogs, fitness blogs, literature and history, book reviewers and other authors. I don’t limit myself at all. There is so much of interest out there and it serves to sharpen creativity, leads me down paths of thoughts I don’t expect.
Suzanne from Happily Decluttered for instance, generously shares her happiness highlights every month as well as her normal blog post. For December 2021 she spoke of simple things like driving around to enjoy Christmas lights with her family, making homemade hot chocolate and learning to knit and she found the space to mention some of her favourite bloggers. Those moments are ‘feel good’ and stay with you.
So why not, I thought, start the new year with some happiness highlights. My best moment in December was helping my eldest daughter buy a dress whilst face timing. It was hilarious. The change room was small, the phone bounced from corner to corner, I saw arms, legs, ceiling lights and heard passing comments that had nothing to do with the parade of dresses Ms T was trying on.
It made me miss my daughter less pushing Covid aside for a few minutes. Then I received a beautiful review for Unexpected Obsession followed by speaking to everyone in my family for Christmas including those overseas. I also perfected almond cookies, the Italian kind.
However, January burst my bubble. Caught up in the concept of happy, I allowed my window to fog up and the not so pleasant knocked at my door in the form of friends I thought I knew. The first instance two longstanding friends (in different states) spoke up strongly about rights in the current climate. I don’t want to discuss what was said. What I will say is that I respect the right to differ in opinion. What I don’t and will never respect, is the belief that personal entitlement overrides the welfare of others. Such blatant disregard for the global community leaves me cold whether it comes from the person on the street, friends, or superstars in the sports field.
The second instance saddened me. Another friend who really is more of a family member and I spoke for the holidays. Five minutes into the conversation and I realised that this person had progressed and now wore the ‘mantle of the expert’. At least, in the arena of holding grudges. We had a disagreement twelve years ago, the first and only one in fifty-five years for which I have apologised many times. Yet it winds itself into the discussion every single time as does offences done and said to her from so many others. Slights are counted and recounted like a miser might count their money – with precision and often.
Happiness highlights took another back step when (I guess things do come in threes) a tone in a friend’s voice alerted me to what I knew instantly knew was not a one-off. I’d heard that tone before. As annoyed, angry, frustrated I get, I don’t hide it and I don’t do nasty. I am the classic ‘temperamental Italian’ – bark but no bite but it doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the opposite.
The irony of my thoughts do not escape me. Happy moments led to the contemplation of unhappy moments. Ridiculously, I found myself at the computer. As a consequence, I also found myself voicing questions to the room. Carrie from Sex and the City came to mind. (Don’t ask why). Does it matter that people hold different views? Do I walk away from a lifetime of memories with a friend who has let life defeat her? Do I accept that even in good friendship we can discover things we don’t like? Do we let it go? Should we? Ignoring/accepting is enabling, isn’t it?
I don’t know the answer. Yet if we dwell on things we don’t move forward. As a result we may risk losing good moments. Later, watching television I caught the episode of The Big Bang Theory when Howard’s mother dies. Sheldon has been misusing a certain phrase as he often does and his decision to speak and ease Howard’s grief horrifies the others. To everyone’s surprise the words are comforting but nevertheless Penny turns to Leonard and whispers, “I really thought he was going to say let it go.”
Unfortunately, this is not the film Frozen, and life is not and never will be simple. My last happiness highlight is realising I have a choice in how I behave and in what I accept. Hasty may start with the same letter as happiness but it is capable of checkmating happiness at every turn. What do you think?
Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. And a like and a comment will keep me working hard. if by chance you read my books or a book I have featured on here then remember to leave a review either on Goodreads or where you originally purchased the book. It’s the way a writer improves.
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