Last week was not so great.
However I am forced to conclude (with the benefit of hindsight) that the fault largely fell at my own feet.
When my mood dipped there was no sudden event that made it happen. What’s going on with work has been going on in one form or another for ages and I’ve handled it ok before.
After reflecting this weekend I’ve been forced to concede that what had changed was simply my lack of willingness to see the positives, and also a minor resurgence of my world class ability to hibernate.
I can think of at least 3 moments last week where I also actively became a cloud of doom that probably dragged others down around me. That’s not a nice thing to admit to myself.
So, this week – in line with my weight loss goals – I’m going to continue trying to do and think things that make me and others feel positive.
My physical and mental future well being is in my own hands and only I can make a difference. It’s also vital just to be nice to people and try to spread that energy out into the world.
I was reminded wonderfully last night when I went to the pub with a friend how important this is. As we exited the beer garden we both noticed this fantastically selfless act of parking.
In an almost empty car park the owner of this delightfully understated and conservative automobile had parked diagonally over not one but two disabled spaces.
To make matters worse while my friend and I said goodbye and chatted by our cars (less than 10ft away) he and another socially challenged companion both proceeded to enthusiastically rev his insanely loud engine right next to us for several minutes.
There are also flats close by, where there were probably children in bed or people trying to sleep. I’m betting he didn’t make a good first impression with them either. This guy spread all the wrong messages to people he’d never met by essentially shouting at the top of his lungs that he cared about no-one but himself.
He’s definitely been framed in my memory as a complete idiot, even though he may be (for all I know) a pro bono civil rights lawyer or a champion puppy rescuer.
However, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone reading this thought ‘I’m NOT going to do anything like that today. Instead I’m going to bring a more positive message to the world.’?
I think it would be just great if the guy with the miniature genitalia and the big green car became an unconscious force for good – just because he acted like a colossal tool.
In fact the idea of that makes me quite happy.
It’s 7am. I’m awake early and in his honour I think it’s high time I went for a walk around the park.
If I meet someone (and it doesn’t make me look like some kind of grinning mugger) I’m going to say hello and smile at them.
(Goes for walk)
I have already said hi to a happy looking Chinese guy on a bench with lots of balsa wood model aeroplanes (he had about four of them!) I’ve also used one less bench than last time already and I’m about a third of the way round.
He smiled back and said he was ok when I asked how he was doing. That’s one person I’ve been nice to in memory of the idiot with the green car and its not even 8am.
Dammit. My walkmeter app has failed and I was doing so well!!!! Nuts!
Oh well who cares! The sun is shining and I’m covered in factor 50! Time instead for a hairy selfie!
(I think we can all agree it’s time for a bit of beard maintenance!)
(Continues walking to the next bench)
While I’ve been sitting and walking an insanely quick oriental pensioner with neat dark hair has been power walking laps of the park in a brightly coloured tracksuit top. She’s passed me twice already in the opposite direction. I can hear loud music on her headphones and there’s a faint scent of fabric softener in her wake.
On the third pass I grin broadly and say ‘lovely day!’ She smiles back at me and nods politely, looking like she can’t hear me – or doesn’t understand me.
Maybe later she’ll wonder what the funny looking beardy man was saying when he tried to talk to her and laugh a little.
That’s two positive interactions.
I moved on – hopefully she wouldn’t lap me a fourth time.
(strolls through a small wooded area in some delightful shade)
The sunny weather has highlighted the beautiful wild flower meadow in the park, which has started to blossom since I last visited. It’s covered in bees, all happily pollinating and busily going about their daily tasks.
It really enhances the view, and I couldn’t help but stop and go for a closer look.
While I was crouched down looking at the flowers a lady with a large black and white spaniel stopped and we talked about how pretty they were, and how lovely the morning was.
Her dog was panting and a bit damp. It looked like it had been in long wet grass or water.
When I bent over and started fussing it the spaniel quickly confirmed my suspicion that it liked being scratched behind the ear and wagged its tail. As I continued doing this the dog’s tail and bottom swayed faster and faster and the wagging took over its entire rear half.
It was a cheerful pooch that clearly loved attention.
‘She saved my life’ the lady said matter of factly, without any prompting, as she watched me petting her dog. ‘I’m retired and she keeps me going. I have to get out with her twice a day and look after her.’
‘Dogs are great!’ I agreed and started to walk slowly alongside the lady. I also started talking about dogs and how I’ve always wanted one but the time never seemed appropriate. She nodded in understanding.
‘I’m worried if I get one now that it will cause a problem when I’m looking for a new job.’ I said.
‘You’re right.’ She replied. ‘I’d love to spend the day in Birmingam, but I’d need a dog sitter. You always have to think about their welfare.’
She smiled again, looking at the slightly damp spaniel. ‘But I wouldn’t be without her.’
I said goodbye to her as our paths diverged, gave a little wave to her and the dog and carried on.
That makes it kind of two all – she cheered me up maybe more than I cheered her up, and her dog just smashed it out of the stadium. Maybe that lady was trying to do the same as I was?!
Either way it was a great walk around the park. By the time I was coming to the end the paths were filled with children of all ages and chatty girls with their friends on their way to school, talking about boys they liked or what was on TV as they passed me.
The world was full of life, and I was in it. Not lying in bed, feeling glum.
On top of that I’d absolutely hammered my previous walk time (although my app failed to record it I was well under my usual hour despite blogging along the way – and I sat on only three benches.)
Now all I have to do is go to work, be positive for the entire day, repeat that five times, and then do it another three weeks in a row.
There is no way to happiness internet. Happiness is the way.