Tag Archives: balance

Approaching the equinox

I’ve never been very good at equinoxes in terms of celebrating the wheel of the year. Even when I was doing ritual regularly, they were the ones I found hardest to honour. It’s curious, because these are distinct events marking key shifts between the light and dark halves of the year.

There’s a disconnection for me in the way we talk about equinoxes  as times of balance, and the way I experience them. At the equinoxes, we have the fastest day by day change in the balance between light and dark. At this time of year, heading towards the equinox it becomes most obvious that the nights are drawing in and the dawn is later. I feel the shift, not the balance.

This may be one of those cases where modern Paganism has come at something intellectually not experientially. Somewhere in the midst of all this change there is indeed a balance point, but in terms of how we live through these days, that moment is almost invisible. It’s only really there to experience because we’ve agreed that it is, and that agreement may be taking us away from the experience of equinox.

I’m feeling the change and the shift into autumn. I’m feeling the changing length of days, and how different from summer the light is now when I get up in the morning. I’m feeling sleepy earlier in the evening. The smell of the air has changed, the nights and early mornings are colder. It’s a period of intense change, soon to be amplified as the leaves start changing colour and the woods around me shift dramatically from green to golden and brown.

I don’t feel balanced in myself, either, I feel the rush of change, the scope for everything to be different. If I am still now, it is because I’m being tugged in a number of directions and am waiting to see which pulls are the strongest.

Hypnotised by swifts

Swifts are summer visitors to the UK. Last night I was out watching them over the river and in the fields beside it. I am unsure as to how many there were, but I think there were dozens. They move so quickly that counting much beyond three proved impossible.

It struck me that there are many balances involved in what swifts do. The balance between calories in from catching bugs and the energy needed to keep hunting the bugs. The physical balances in the air as they turn, swoop and dive, making what to me seem like very fast decisions about where to be. Several flew right past my head. For birds there are always balances around having enough weight to survive and not so much weight as to get in the way of the flying.

They flew close to each other, constantly in motion, their patterns of proximity changing all the time. It was hypnotic to watch.

Gratitude and Druidry

It’s Thursday, and on facebook a lot of people I know will be posting Thankful Thursday pieces, acknowledging the things in their lives they are glad about. Practicing gratitude is something that happens across a range of traditions, but like everything else, some ways of doing it are more helpful than others.

Taking time regularly to recognise the things we should be grateful for helps keep life in perspective. I have so many things that others do not: A roof over my head, enough to eat, I can afford to heat my home, I am not subject to violence or bullying, I am not in a war zone, a flood zone or anything else threatening. In these things I am fortunate, and acknowledging that I must also acknowledge that others are far less fortunate than me. Much of the difference is just plain luck, and in gratitude for what I have, I can reach out a hand to try and make things a bit better for those who are worse off.

Too much gratitude is not a good thing though. When you become grateful for the pathetic scraps from someone else’s table, gratitude becomes part of a process that strips away your humanity, if you aren’t careful. I used to be so grateful that the guy I used to live with put up with me. He seemed such a saint for tolerating all my shortcomings and inadequacies. I was so grateful, for any small gesture of kindness, any moment of warmth, any time he could be bothered to spare me some attention. When what you are given dwindles steadily, and you are required, or require yourself, to maintain the same level of gratitude, all of reality starts to distort around this, and the consequences are damaging.

Practicing gratitude needs to go alongside a process of really thinking about entitlement. What should we be able to take for granted? Physical safety, perhaps. A safety net in the form of the welfare state. Rights to life, liberty and freedom of conscience. If you start feeling grateful for these things, their place in your life is not as secure as it ought to be. There’s a world of difference between being glad of good friends and being grateful for the people you feel are generously putting up with you, even though it’s clearly very hard for them.  With enough mental effort, a story of gratitude can be built around anything: He only hits me because he loves me, is a classic example. Therefore, the degree to which there is violence is the degree to which there is love, and therefore a person learns to become grateful for violence inflicted on them. These are not good lessons to learn.

A person with a sense of self-worth, is better placed to judge where gratitude is called for, and where it is not. A person with an inflated ego can readily fail to notice the things they should appreciate. So much of Druidry is about finding a balance, and this is no exception. The balances around gratitude involve the balance of self-esteem and developing a sense of entitlement that is fair. This is quite a process, but I think the best place to start is by asking not what we, personally should be entitled to, but what we think everyone should be entitled to.

Working time for gratitude into your Druidry is a really productive activity. It changes how we view our own lives and is all about our relationships with the world around us. Gratitude is a response, to people, to luck and opportunity, to beauty. It calls into question what, if anything, we should be able to take for granted. It requires us to ask what entitlements life might have, and in this way invites us to respect the sacred in all things. Ideas of gratitude are tied up with ideas of worth and appreciation, and with a sense of joy and delight as well as the needful stuff. Exploring it helps us become more alert to the good stuff, too. There is much to be grateful for, but it is essential to be grateful for the right things.

Balancing, wobbling, sometimes falling over

There are days when I have a keen sense of direction. Most days, I do not. If I can concoct a grand plan to get me as far as lunchtime, I’m doing fairly well. There are days when this worries me, and days when I feel all live-in-the-moment, and it seems ok. Most days I worry about whether I’m making the right calls, or balancing things wisely. There are a number of variables to consider, and if I get one of them badly wrong, nothing is going to work at all.

Much as I would like to live in a world where resources are distributed according to need or merit, this is not the size of it. Trying to find things I can do that make sure we’re viable financially, is an ongoing one. Every project I take on, I have to consider the time involved, what I can’t do if I’m doing it, and the chances of it paying. There’s a popular assumption that published authors earn decent money, but the truth is that the vast majority of us do not. Do I spend today selling books, or writing them? I have do both, and I need to get the balance right.

I’ve tried doing work purely for commercial reasons. I’m better off doing that over stuff I do not feel strongly about, rather than trying to take my inspiration and bend it repeatedly into money-making shapes. Again, there are hard balances to strike. I strongly believe that good art is also entertaining and accessible. I’m no kind of elitist. However, pop culture seems to be full of reboots and revisits, with little room for innovation, and pressure to produce new things that look just like the old things, only with more explosions. It didn’t used to be like that. Once upon a time innovation sold, and exciting new ideas found a market. I feel like we’ve gone badly wrong somewhere.

There are more causes out there than I can count. More things that need doing than I can contribute to, much less fix. There are more people who need help than I can reach out to. I see more problems than I know how to tackle, and sometimes the biggest problem is picking a place to start and maintaining the belief that there is a point. Small differences matter, but the more time I spend on the politics, the more aware I get of the enormity of all that is wrong in the world. There are times when what I need is to retreat into some safe and comfortable place – a good book, an engaging film – somewhere to escape to where I do not have to do anything. I can see why some people seek oblivion in a bottle or a needle. I don’t do it, but there are days when I can very definitely see the allure.

I’m sure life didn’t used to be like this. Partly it is because we all have too much information now. Crusading grandmothers had one or two causes, and some idea of where they fitted in the world. They did not live under constant bombardment from advertisers, nor were images of international misery pumped into their homes on a daily basis. They had plenty of other problems to contend with, no doubt. However, there are days when the idea that it would be enough to have clean laundry and dinner in the pot, is very appealing. It no longer feels like enough to raise a child and keep a home, I must do a lot of other things as well and even so, I have no sense of direction. No idea of what I need to be doing, or where to push. No sense of what would be sufficient achievement on any front. That may be a symptom of something that goes far beyond personal experience.

I’ll pull on the press officer hat for an hour or so. Then I’ll see about audio recording. I don’t know beyond then. Back to domestic work perhaps. A thousand causes and no place to start.

The Druid balancing act

Which may (as a title) conjure mental images of stacking up Druids in humorous ways… but sadly no, I am not poised to offer amusing photographs. The idea of balance as a virtue is nothing new. The Greeks had it (forgive me, I am rubbish with names, can’t tell you who). The middle way, the median, avoiding excess on both sides – it crops up in all manner of traditions and philosophies. Generally speaking, balance gives you something more viable and sustainable than the absence of balance will. Sometimes there are issues around the scale of the balance as you consider it – what may seem out of balance close up may be part of a bigger and wholly balanced picture, after all.

I’ve become increasingly conscious of the need for balance in my own life. Right amount of sleep balanced against right amount of food and right amount of activity is critical. Get it right and I can do a great deal. Get it wrong, and I plunge into bodily pain, exhaustion, depression and become more vulnerable to anxiety. I got it wrong a bit over the last few days, and am rebalancing now, in a very deliberate sort of way. I need some time with no drama, to get re-centred. I also know that too much time with nothing exciting happening also drags me down. I need a balance between stimulation and reflection. I need social time and quiet time, active time and time to be still, and I need that in ongoing cycles from one day to the next.

I can work off-balance for a while, and there are times when that is necessary, productive or interesting. Living there isn’t viable. It’s so easy though, to be sucked in to a mind-set that accepts excess. From surfeits of food and alcohol, to overwhelming noise, and excessive consumption, the opportunities for gluttony are many. The pressures towards sleep deprivation, starving yourself, not getting enough exercise, and other forms of damaging insufficiency are also many. With more people finding themselves pushed under the bread line on a daily basis, the scope for not enough is huge. People who are overweight from too much carb and cannot afford fresh fruit, veg and good proteins, who are both starving and swelling at the same time. Such is our modern culture.

Balance is so much more important than growth. Balancing the economy, balancing the personal chequebook – matters. Getting the money straight is good, but in that balancing act things like health and well-being need to be given a value and added to the scales. We are too quick to place no value on that which cannot be converted directly into cash. Mental health. Happiness. Quality of life. These are not cash issues and often cannot be sorted out by throwing money at them.

Balance is not about avoiding excess, it’s about not having too much of one kind of excess all the time. Some fasting for spiritual work is fine. Fasting all the time, isn’t viable. Some staying up all night dancing and drumming is fine. Doing it all the time takes you out of other aspects of life. Some pain, some rapture, some madness, some office banality… in balance with other things, a great many extremes are visitable. We can have wide and wild experience without burning out. It’s just a matter of knowing when to stop for a while, when to step away, when to do the other thing instead. Today, a little quietness and drawing breath, a little domestic work, a lot of resting. Tomorrow, some other thing…

Druidry and Drunkenness

There are some for whom the image of Druidry is inexorably linked to excessive alcohol consumption. I’ve heard plenty of comments, and also Paul Mitchell’s wonderful song ‘I’m a much better Pagan when I am pissed’ but I’ve also never been in a Druid gathering where there’s been anything beyond merriness. It could be that I’m too obviously sober to get invited to that sort of gathering in the first place, of course.

I have no problem with drunkenness as a life experience. Most of us do it some time or another. It’s very hard to discover where your natural boundaries are without testing them. I’ve tested mine. I’ve explored what inebriation does to my mind and body, and seen what it does to other people. I’ve never been prepared to use it as an excuse to behave in ways that I wouldn’t the rest of the time. My suspicion is that many people who claim they were so drunk they didn’t know what they were doing, are lying, to themselves as much as anyone else. I’ve been falling over drunk. I’ve never done anything voluntarily that I wouldn’t have done when sober. Failures of co-ordination don’t count, I think. Starting fights, getting off with people you claim you wouldn’t normally go near, vandalising stuff… if you’re together enough to do any of these things, you are choosing.

I use alcohol in ritual. I particularly like the more Heathen tradition of passing round a mead horn and making toasts. It’s a very easy thing, so long as the horn goes round a couple of times even the most nervous and inexperienced person usually manages to say something. A simple toasting of the company, the gods, the ancestors… it doesn’t take much. I think getting everyone actively involved is an important aspect of ritual, and a little alcoholic toasting can make this happen. It’s also very communal and bonding, sharing the cup, and the diseases… there’s an intimacy to it that has a value. I’ve been in plenty of toasting situations where the non-drivers have become merry, and this has not detracted from the ritual at all. Group rituals, especially open ones, are not the place for very deep and very quiet introspective work anyway, so there’s nothing to lose.

The Greeks had Dionysus, and I’m sure his equivalent crops up in many other cultures too. The God of the vine whose blood is quite literally wine, and who is celebrated with excessive consumption. The traditions of my own lands include periods of misrule and mayhem, a collective letting down of hair and venting of whatever you need to get out of your system. Drunkenness has a place in misrule, in celebration, ritualised rule/taboo breaking. More modest degrees of merriment have a place in social bonding and let’s face it, being slightly drunk in the right context is a lot of fun.

Falling over drunk is not very amusing, although the spectators can get a few laughs at your expense. Yes, I once got so drunk that I fell off my high heels into a book case, and was covered in bruises the next day. I learned from this. I don’t wear stupid shoes any more. I also don’t get that drunk anymore for the very simple reason that it isn’t fun. Throwing up isn’t fun – not done that one, but have helped enough other people deal with booze induced spewing. Being unable to protect yourself from sexual predation isn’t fun and while the onus should not be on anyone to avoid becoming a victim, the sad reality is that when you are off your face, you are desperately vulnerable to violence, theft, sexual abuse and really evil practical jokes.

Changes of perception and brain functioning can make for spiritual experiences. I’ve never felt moved to try and use alcohol this way, but assume it’s feasible. It is after all a manifestation of nature to take within the body, and it has been deemed to be the blood of Gods, so there is justification for exploring the spiritual impact of booze. However, a thing is what you make of it. You’re only likely to get an alcohol induced spiritual experience if you set out in search of one. Rolling out of a bar to vomit in a back alley is unlikely to give you a moment of numinous wonder.

Of course there’s no one tidy answer here. There are times and spaces for all things. There is room in Druidry for times of excess. Balance is not about just holding the safe middle ground. You can create balance through extremes as well. The question to ask is, do your actions serve you? Are you getting something out of them? If alcohol brings merriness, social lubrication and a warm fuzzy feeling of connection to everyone else, then why not? If you are in the business of poisoning yourself and acting out, then there are problems. There’s a Roman motto, that comes out as ‘in wine, truth’. It isn’t the truth of the vine that counts here, it’s the truth of who you are and what you do with it.

Managing the energy

It’s all gone mad. My whole life. Not in a bad way, I hasten to add, but this is the kind of crazy rush that ought, in theory to happen at midsummer, and didn’t. This is not normally a ‘rush’ time of year for me. Some years when I’ve been pickling and preserving, it’s been busy, but not like this. Part of it is a direct consequence of my shout out earlier in the week. The response has been amazing – as a consequence I’m writing two or three articles a day plus this blog, trying to meet demand. It’s stunning, humbling, inspiring to find so many people are willing to put something of mine into the world. (And, do keep them coming, I’m holding pace, I will get articles to everyone who asks, and each article will be unique).

I’ve just been asked if I’ll read a book with a view to putting an endorsement on it. This is a first. A gobsmacking, overjoying first. There is no greater validation as a writer, than some other writer liking you and your stuff so much that they want an endorsement. Sales are lovely, fans are lovely, and startling, but this is a whole other level and my head is reeling.

I’m talking to a review site, that I want to work for and that may be interested in me. Things are moving for Tom as well, with all kinds of glorious chaos potential there too.

This morning I wrote a gothic short story, destined for an audio project with some great people. I have a series to write, and the creativity is flowing.

At the moment it feels like hurtling down a slope on a tin tray. It’s all going very fast. I have some semblance of control, but probably not as much as I need. Stopping could be messy…

Many of the creatures I love most are absolutely adept at harnessing the natural environment. Buzzards ride the wind, and I watch them most days, soaring effortlessly, using what is there. It’s so easy to get buffeted about, blown off course, thumped into trees though, for creatures like myself who are not adept at flying. My Druidry of the last few years has been so much about a quest for balance, peace and stability. I’m caught in a tidal wave of awen, a tsunami of potential, and am quite aware that it could crush me. I need to become the sort of creature that can ride the currents, harness the wind.

I know from past experience that the crazier the rush, the harder the crash, but I want this life, and I want the many things that are opening up before me.

The power of expectation

One of the memes that crops up in many New Age lines of thinking is that we get what we look for, and like attracts like. Certainly, you are going to have a hard time seeing something you don’t believe is there. Yesterday I was exploring the way in which negative people are often acting in ways intending to reinforce their own world view. I want to follow on from that today. Not thinking so much about the implications of believing, or not believing in fairies and angels here. More about what we believe of ourselves and the world.

It’s so easy to manufacture the experiences that confirm expectations, without necessarily being conscious off the process. Back in my teens there was a boyfriend who had been through some awful stuff and didn’t really think anyone cared about him, as a logical consequence of this. If anyone got too close, he’d become increasingly demanding, difficult and challenging until he forced them (and in my turn, me) to give up and walk away. Thus he kept confirming his belief about his relationship with the whole of reality. Eventually, I gather he got his head straight enough to give someone a chance. There’s nothing like believing you are unlovable to make it hard for those around you to manifest care.

How many such beliefs are we all lugging around? I’m conscious that I may be viewing the world as more hostile than it inherently is. I don’t see the New Age reality of benevolence and love, I see something that is at best, neutral. As a consequence the odds of me recognising an experience of benevolent angels, for example, are pretty slim. I probably wouldn’t notice them until they bit me on the bottom, by which point they wouldn’t seem quite so benevolent anyway… What else have I got? I don’t know, but I’m looking.  I don’t want to be at the mercy of my own unconscious misapprehensions if I can help it.

How much conflict in life comes from the clashing together of stories and beliefs on this personal level? The person who assumes they won’t be believed, and who consequently stays silent. The person who believes they are inherently unacceptable and so has to keep acting out until they find what you can’t tolerate. The person who cannot believe anything good, kind, altruistic or generous really exists so will keep imagining terrible, hidden motives to explain the compassion their reality has no space for. How many people are lugging round a unique reality and bludgeoning other people with it as a consequence?

None of us has a perfect view of self or wider reality. We all have blind spots and illusions, and I suspect that’s just one of those things about being human. We also have differences of opinion such that my functional reality may seem like crazy fantasy to other people. It’s just as dangerous to assume you are right as it is to default to the assumption that you are wrong in this.

We find out where the issues may be when two incompatible realities are banged together. How to tell which is real? Am I the ungrateful, demanding, unreasonable one, or is what I want normal, and is the other person a lazy slacker who does not know what decent behaviour looks like? We won’t ever figure that out by looking just at the two people involved. Wider context tells us a lot about how we fit in elsewhere. I’m wary of taking ‘normal’ as a measure for anything because it’s so flawed. In a room full of killers, the mass murderer is pretty normal, after all. But if only one person finds us wildly unreasonable and nobody else does, that’s certainly indicative.

The more diverse a pool of people we can draw on for this, the better. How does my work self compare to my social self, my parent self, my pagan-gathering self? Am I getting the same kinds of responses across the board? How do I feel about the people I clash with? Do I respect them and want to respond to the clash, or do I think they are idiots? Where do I want to fit? These can be useful measures, although if we are the killer in a room full of killers, metaphorically speaking, conforming to peer standards may be letting us stay in a crappy place and resisting opportunities to grow.

Someone too entrenched in their own sense of self importance will never be able to make a good assessment in this regard. Someone who cares more about seeming right than being right, will never be able to explore to see if their relationship with reality is faulty. If you can ask, and seriously consider whether you’re going the wrong way, there’s every reason to think you can also consider the issue well. Doubt and self questioning are vital tools. Self belief is also necessary to sanity. There’s a balance to strike, but if you aren’t looking for it, you won’t find it.

Of work, time out, balance and crotchet

Technically you can spend your every waking hour working on something. I’ve tried, I’ve watched others. Mostly what happens is that inspiration, energy and efficiency decline in a steady and dependable sort of way until you’re left exhausted, miserable, thinking you should be working all the time, not knowing what to do if not working, and essentially unable to work. In terms of getting anything done in the long term, working yourself into a hole is no kind of answer.

Working on a computer, where most of my ‘product’ is virtual, I find I need regular doses of real stuff too. It’s nice when the physical versions of books turn up, that feels real, but it’s not the same as working hands-on. Balance is increasingly important to me, and I find I need to strike those balances over longer time frames, not just on a daily basis. There has to be time for play, time to do nothing, time to seek inspiration, and time for doing.

One of the things I’ve learned it’s useful to do, is to draw breath between projects. Often projects are overlapping so that when one ends, it can be tempting to just carry on, transferring attention to others, but it’s not been a good strategy for me. I’ve often got a piece of fiction or two on the go, as well as the graphic novels (admittedly, Tom has most of the work there) and the Druid writing. But, the end points need celebrating. And it’s important to stop. So, I’ve finished a thing this week. It’s verse, light hearted and aimed at children, a huge departure from anything I’ve done before. I love striking out into new things, I hate being in a rut, the diversity I like in my work is definitely part of my sense of balance. Still running… words for a joint novel writing project and a poetry collection that could be assembled soon, and a story I’m still typing up. I’m in research mode for the next Druid book, and I’ve got the title of another project on my list, waiting for me to start. But not this week.

Having finished the verse collection for now, I’m having some days off – just doing email, editing and blogging, which are the things that give me structure. I find I need a little structure to offset the chaotic ways in which I work, and that these three things are enough to give me that. Another exercise in balance there. So, tomorrow I shall spend some time with some ducks, I think. Today, I have started a crotchet project. This is wholly different from having a writing project on the go, as its mostly restful for the brain rather than taxing, gives me time to daydream or listen to the radio, or chat, and results in a thing I can hold. I’ve always found a kind of soul satisfaction in making things I can hold in my hands. Tomorrow, I may get the paintbrushes out and make colourful splodges with the child.

I know, that through doing this, I will be able to write more effectively when I dive head first into the next project. Working with my hands gives my brain time to ferment ideas and brew things into new combinations. The daydreaming is essential. A life that is just work leaves little room to daydream, and soon there’s no aspiration, no longed for destination, and no content for stories. I also find a lot of inspiration in play, mucking about with friends and family, letting ideas and jokes build and roll. Some of my best writing ideas have come from just that.

I like the zen saying: before enlightenment, fetch wood, carry water. After enlightenment, fetch wood, carry water. It doesn’t matter what spiritual or intellectual, or emotional thing we’re doing, it’s vital to stay balanced, to be earthed by something real on a regular basis.

Before fiction writing, crotchet. After fiction writing, crotchet. At least for this week.

The nature of happiness

When I talked about how the gods may challenge us, Helgaleena made some great comments about not wishing distress on anyone even for the sake of learning, but that happiness exists as part of a bigger cycle. I want to jam on those ideas a bit today.

Much of human understanding depends on knowing things in comparison with other things. When we make subjective judgements, a great deal depends on what our context is. My idea of luxury will be very different from the ideas held by a millionaire, and from the ideas of someone in a war or famine zone. However hard we try to be objective, we experience the world in the context of what we have already experienced. Thus there is a relationship between my knowledge of joy, and my knowledge of pain. I might appreciate things less if I had more. Experience of bad relationship makes me count my blessings in this good one. A great deal here has to do with what we choose to believe about our experiences and what we choose to focus on. Some people can find the good in anything, some people always see the one thing that isn’t perfect. Recognising that as a choice, and seeing where other choices can be made, can radically change life experience.

Familiarity may well breed contempt. If we eat cake every day, then cake seems like a staple, not a luxury. We may enjoy it less as a consequence. We may even grow bored with it, or we may balloon in the midsection and become miserable as a direct result of too much cake-related happiness. Excess of indulgence can lead to both desensitisation and misery. Excess of pain or horror can also desensitise and is equally miserable. Happiness lies in the balance, and requires things to be less than perfect some of the time.

It’s only after slogging my way up the hill in the rain that I feel the exhilaration of pushing my body to its limits. Only in learning how to jump from a moving narrowboat have I become confident in my judgement and physical abilities. Only in confronting the anxieties of the court room could I have come to this current place of confidence in dealing with my ex. My fear of him has reduced, my confidence in the system increased, but only because I’ve gone through a thing. The celebration of success, the joy of achievement, the knowledge of being better than you thought you were, only comes by taking on a challenge. The challenges themselves may well be fearful, may include risk, cost, pain… to be meaningful they cannot be easy. The challenge of climbing a mountain or learning to swim is no different from this.

We only learn and progress by taking risks – the bard risks public humiliation if they muff up the words or forget the tune. The Druid risks satire and public attack if they get on television and defend their faith. But until we act, express, step up, we cannot fully be ourselves. Being happy requires that self expression. It’s a lot easier to be happy, or at least upbeat and optimistic when you have a sense of your own strength and potential – a sense that can only come from being tested.

Of course when there’s no respite between tests, it can be harrowing and exhausting. The places of respite are vital. Otherwise there’s every chance of being worn down. When we’re picking our own challenges, that can be managed, but life dishes it out with little consideration of whether we can take another blow. There is always a far side, or a moment when things ease off. It helps to know that on the far side you will have greater confidence in yourself. At the very least, you will know you were the person who was tough enough to survive. You learn to trust yourself, and you learn how precious all the small things are.

The person who needs adulation, wealth, material possessions, cheerleaders and all the rest to feel happy, is going to spend much of their time being sorely disappointed, or trying desperately to get on some reality tv show. The person who knows how to relish the small things, can find little pockets of happiness in almost any day. A person who knows how to cherish the little things can get out there and make those moments, put on the song that makes them dance, play with a dog, call a friend. Happiness is not something mysterious that happens to us, it’s what we make out of what we get. Life is life a box of chocolates… leave it out in the sun too long and it gets sticky and unpleasant.

Today happiness is not being rained on too much. Happiness is a warm cup of coffee, and sitting next to a very lovely man. If the sun comes out, I shall be ecstatic. I have chosen a life in which it does not take much to make me smile, and so, I smile a lot.