Have you ever ignored that little voice in your head? The one that says “slow down, I can’t keep up”. Now I am not the most athletic person but I feel like I have run my body ragged. Over the past few months I have been getting sick, just little things, colds, sore throats, migraines, ear infections. What I haven’t noticed is there has been about 14 days in the last 2 months that I haven’t felt sick. I think it is about time that I listen to that voice.
Today (8th March 2016) I was supposed to blog about starting a new job and how excited I was, how everything is fine and dandy, but last night I discovered that I have conjunctivitis caused by an allergic reaction. My body is about ready to pack itself in. Now, there are two options, I can have a “pity party”, eat junk food and cry into my pillow about how rough I feel, or, I can write about the things that make me feel happy. Can you guess which option I went with? (Warning there are many sentimental phrases ahead.)
1) Books: It seems appropriate to begin with what encourages me to write. Reading. Specifically, reading books that inspire me. Authors are a clever breed, they can en-capture you into their world of make believe through highly descriptive language. Some that are worth a mention are Harper Lee, F Scott Fitzgerald and most recently Patrick Rothfuss. After a recommendation from a very good friend I began reading Rothfuss, I have now read both of his books from the Kingkiller Chronicles twice and I fall more and more in love with them each time. Rothfuss is a spectacular writer, words cannot express how much adoration and respect I have for him. He is possibly the best author I have ever read. (click here for a link to Rothfuss’ Blog)
“…It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”– Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear.
2) Trees: Ok, so not trees in particular; from previous entries I think you may have gathered that I love being outside. I have an affiliation with nature. I feel most myself when I am in a forest or gardens, by mountains or a river. To sound corny, I love the way the light catches the trees and cast shadows, I can spend hours outside, it never ceases to amaze me. When something is bothering me I tend to walk out to one of my favourite places by a river to think. Being outside calms me and brings me back to my happy place.
3) Music: I remember what it felt like the first time I sung, I was around 8 years old and in a primary school choir. I can remember standing in the back singing as loud as I could, unconcerned with hitting the right notes, rather, I was feeling the pure joy of expressing myself. Music for me has always been a way that I expressed my innermost feelings; be it when I play the piano or when I sing. Every single time it is full of emotion and self expression. It is a release and something that is very personal to me. Now I have sung in festivals and in church on a Sunday, but that is different, that serves a purpose and is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the times when I get wrapped up in the music, that is my happy place. I’ve always been guarded about my voice, only letting a few people really hear me. I can only explain it as allowing yourself to be completely bare, when I sing everything is on show and I am utterly vulnerable.
4) Friends: Another thing that takes me to my happy place is spending time with awesome people and I am surrounded by them. When I get the chance I try and hang out with the people that make me laugh. I am so thankful for these people, they are there, rain, hail or shine; precious people that speak into my life and allow me the privilege of speaking into theirs. Whether it is a quiet night at the pub or a beach day with a picnic, whenever I am with these people I am making memories that I will treasure forever.
5) Being Creative: It could be baking, writing or colouring, the art of creating always brings a smile to my face. I enjoy the challenge and freedom of it. I am no Van Gogh and everything I try and do could not be further away from a masterpiece, but, I do try. I have decided that it doesn’t matter how good the end result is, being creative is good for me and I enjoy it.
6) Adventure: There are fewer things that make me smile than discovering something new. I love travelling and exploring, if you have read my previous post you will see that I have just been to York. This was a liberating trip and has encouraged me to keep exploring. I also feel happy when I am trying new things. This could be new food or getting a little bold with the clothes I wear, or, it could be trying Yoga for the first time (boy did that hurt). It could even be taking a chance and standing in front of the crowd, opening my mouth and letting the music flow out. Adventure for me is taking the risk to do something new.
7) Running: Exasperation. Heavy breathing. Fiery lungs. The first time my feet hit the road it felt like I was flying, my head was held high, my eyes wide as Fletcher Moss passed me by. I took it all in, the colours of the trees, the sound of the river, the puppy that ran beside me making me chuckle. The days turned into weeks, summer into autumn. The trees looked different now, slightly barer but still beautiful, the colours more vibrant. I felt invincible. I have had a love-hate relationship with running since I began back in January 2015, but it takes me to another place. When I run I feel accomplished and free; it’s time out of my week to focus on me, to take in my surroundings and give myself time to think. Some of my best decisions have been made whilst running.
I think that is an appropriate place to finish my list, I already feel better. There is something healing about remembering all of the things that make you happy. What’s that quote? “Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” I hope that today is full of things that make you smile, you deserve it, you’re awesome!