I’m easily pleased.
Silly silly little things make me really really happy – and I’m thankfully not alone in this.
Today I was at the recycling centre in Leamington. I always pop in as I pass – and whilst browsing at the Age UK shop I saw a young girl. She was around 10-12 years old, wearing a fluffy pink parka with a warm looking fur collar and some matching woolly ear muffs. Both she and her mother were checking out the used bikes near the entrance.
One by one they went through the frames, colours and conditions. The quality of the bikes there often varies wildly – but there are usually diamonds to be found amongst the rough.
After a while of earnestly considering her options the girl had selected one that she liked. It looked sturdy and had purple handlebar grips which she clearly approved of. There was also plenty of tread on the tyres, and she had tested them over and over by pressing her tiny thumbs repeatedly into the back and the front.
No punctures. It looked like the one.
Her mother agreed with the choice and paid for the bike at the till.
Afterwards the small family (two little brothers were also in tow) left together, walking in the same direction as me.
As they made their way past Morrisons the girl (who had been trying unsuccessfully for around 200 metres to lift herself up into the high saddle) finally managed to get upright and pedal a few metres in front of her mom and past her (clearly impressed) siblings.
Her mother and she had smiles from ear to ear, and both were giggling. As I peeled off in a different direction I realised that I too had a big grin on my face.
Something that the last two years has shown me is that it’s possible to reset your life, to change your viewpoint, to want less and enjoy the smaller things in life.
Whereas in the past I thought nothing of buying a £1000 TV to take my mind off my problems I now find happiness in my 99p beanie – purchased from globalcare yesterday.
It keeps my head warm, saves me money and benefits charity too – just like the little girl’s bike.
My blog happened for a similar reason believe it or not.
I don’t do it for profit and instead I began to write it purely because I needed to feel like I create something rather then endlessly devour the output of others.
Maybe by being less of a consumer in my every day life, and putting something (anything) back into the society in which I live I’m making the world a bit of a better place in my own small way.
I remember that as a child my first bike was a collection of parts put together in secret in the loft that eventually became my Christmas present. To me it didn’t matter that my family couldn’t afford a new one.
It was the bike I wanted – and for the time I had it I loved it.
Over the years I learned to want new things – mostly because I saw other children with them, and unconsciously I began (in almost every aspect of my life) to become a consumer instead of a creator.
I forgot about the drawings I used to do all the time (mostly because my mother became jealous – and angrily said again and again that art was her thing not mine – that my creativity served purely to undermine her) and I stopped writing poems and stories.
I used to create a lot to excise negative feelings – but (partially because this seemed to antagonise my mom) I found it was easier to drink – and so bit by bit one activity replaced the other.
Instead I retreated and the more I consumed the less I created. Without realising what I was doing I ate and drank away the pain of many aspects of my childhood.
I did it for so long I ceased to realise that I was doing it any more.
Today though, watching the cheerful little girl, I remembered that little boy with his recycled bike for Christmas and the happy feeling it gave him to ride it back and forth outside his house.
If you want a new year’s resolution internet then maybe you can’t go far wrong with ‘want less and give more’.
It’s what I’m going to do – along with constantly trying to be a better version of myself.
Happy New Year’s Eve everybody. Have fun and stay creative x