Pinterest tells me on a daily basis that happiness comes from being grateful for what we have – but sometimes that’s easy to forget.
Like yesterday morning.
Admittedly, in comparison to some peoples jobs, mine is pretty cushy and flexible and when Kurt Cobain is your progeny, that flexibility becomes more and more useful to cater for all those last minute emergency therapy sessions, brown-nosing of school Principals and urgent dashes to guitar shops for life or death ‘parts’.
But I do have to work Saturdays (sigh).
Nevertheless, yesterday morning I had attempted to swallow that bitter pill and was trying to visualise happiness. It was pretty easy to be fair – not only was it a beautiful Sydney morning, it was also a reasonable hair day and I think I might even have had a spring in my step as I collected my clients and began meandering out of the CBD towards Potts Point, chit-chatting inanely about the wonders of the city. I remember thinking to myself at one point, that although it was indeed a Saturday and the rest of the world was obviously having a fucking awesome time without me, life wasn’t too bad.
Then I got a flat tyre… with clients in my car…in the middle of the CBD…and with a schedule of back-to-back appointments lined up for the day.
To add salt to the wound, I was driving a hire car whilst the local smash repair place attempted some state of the art (very expensive) plastic surgery on the superficial wounds incurred by the old man, who these days can’t seem to navigate walls when reversing in car parks.
Needless to say, the hire vehicle was not covered by my personal roadside assistance.
I can admit now to experiencing an emotional implosion as I stood there looking at the saggy back tyre while my clients fretted behind me, anxiously waiting for me to wave my wand and get us out of this awkward situation.
(An emotional implosion, as opposed to an emotional explosion, is where you become so anxious that you almost lose control of all physical faculties but have to carefully conceal this state because you are supposed to be a consummate professional, while you try to ascertain the best way to handle a truly fucked up situation. Your inner voices may well be hollering FUCK! WANK! BOLLOCKS! SHIT! I’M JUST NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THIS LEVEL OF SHIT! but you must feign calmness and find a solution).
I knew the professional thing was to remain calm, but all I wanted to do was kick that fucking hire car, desert my clients and march off to the nearest café for a double shot coffee with a Whisky chaser.
But I didn’t. Professionalism prevailed.
Twitching only slightly, I managed to pack my clients off in a cab with vague promises of meeting them in a couple of hours time, once I had miraculously mended the unreliable fuckmobile.
Surprisingly, I managed to orchestrate the repair quite quickly, as it appears that I can still hold my own with semi-retired, short-sighted NRMA men, even though I have become invisible to men with working penises between the ages of 0 and 55,
But of course, that two hours of stress had to present itself physically in some way – everyone knows that you don’t get away that easily with ‘life shit’, and of course it did – in the form of the most ginormous, throbbing and weeping blister on my little toe that reduced me to walking like Detective Columbo for the rest of the day.
So when I finally dropped my clients back at their hotel at the end of the day and looked at the blood seeping through my new orange suede shoes, I sat in that pile-of-shit called a car and I cried until I had proven that my waterproof mascara was not in fact waterproof and my eyes were as red and puffy as my little toe.
Until I remembered how I had started the day – visualizing happiness.
I buoyed myself up again with what I have learnt from Pinterest – that shit only happens to people who can handle it, and how shit makes us stronger, and all that inspirational crap about life that I normally chuckle over psychotically – and I decided that I would not let a little flat tyre beat me and that I would change my attitude to life.
Because I’m middle-aged now, and frankly I might be running out of time to find the meaning of life and real happiness. Sometimes I admit that I get bogged down by my own cynicism. And anyway, you’re far more likely to live longer if you are insanely happy, rather than when you moan about everything. Just look at Tibetan monks and Hari Krishna people.
Not that I ever allow my wine glass to be half empty, but I have decided to make it half-full ALL the time from now on. I am going to be positive and happy and try to see the best in every situation, and above all be grateful for the wonderful life I have. Because according to Pinterest, ‘happiness’ doesn’t cost anything, (although obviously in my case, it might constitute a radical personality change).
So I spent last night thinking about all the truly awesome things in my life.
I thought about what a beautiful day it was in Sydney yesterday morning….although the flies were particularly irritating while I was waiting for the NRMA guy to change the tyre, dressed as I was in my corporate attire in 27 degrees heat.
I thought about how much I missed the old man who is away for the next ten days…..although fortunately he has left his credit card and I am sleeping better and they are ten hours behind in the UK.
I thought about Kurt’s recent attempts to give up smoking…which would be great if he wasn’t ‘dancing on the ceiling’ with withdrawal symptoms and replacing tobacco, (I suspect), with something else.
I thought about how wonderful the other day had been when NC and I had sunbaked together around North Sydney pool…until I remembered catching a glimpse of her pert breasts in that barely-there bikini and looking at my own flattened baps in comparison in my burqa-style Speedo.
But then I did only gain 1kg this week and I suppose that I don’t have to worry about STDs, pretending to be interesting, shaving my legs or pregnancy anymore…
I’ve decided that the secret to visualizing happiness in middle-age is defining the macro from the micro first…
‘When I was five years old my mother always told me that ‘happiness’ was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them that they didn’t understand life.‘ John Lennon