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9 nice things | March & April

It is tricky typing this post out today, a) because I massively over predicted how much of a spring day it is, and definitely should not be writing this from the garden armed with an iced (what was I thinking) tea and therefore my hands are going numb making it physically hard to type; and b) because I am not feeling so nice, so writing about nice stuff feels fake and silly and makes this emotionally hard to type. See what I did there.

My crazy irrational panic attacks have definitely made me say no to things and stopped me doing stuff. Sometimes, this can be the right thing to do. Sometimes if I say yes to too much, and rush around too much, all the attempts to be in 2 places at once and not enough time catching up on life admin/sleep/ just doing nothing can mean that too much cortisol (the stress hormone, not as I first thought, a mouthwash brand) pumping around me makes me more likely to feel jittery, and make me more likely to have a panic attack. One of the first things I was told to do when I first started getting help was to just do less. Learn to say no, and put less pressure on myself.

However, sometimes I say no to things because I am scared. Because they take me out of my comfort zone, and make me afraid of being afraid. I always like to tell myself when I say no to something, when I opt out of something that could be fun that it is the former reason and not this one. That I say no because I am looking after myself, I am making my anxiety better, not giving into it and making it worse. Well this weekend I struck out, and there is no way I could argue it was because of the former reason, it was hook line and sinker just me being scared of what might happen in my own head. And I missed out and I let people down and meeurgh.

So today, I don't feel so good about that and I just don't want to type about it anymore. (And tbh you probably don't want to listen to it if you clicked on this post like "ooo nice things" and have been met with, bloominec this is depressing). But basically as crappy as I feel I am still going to write this bleeding gratitude list. We can't feel happy all the time, and we shouldn't. Not every moment is worthy of an instagram capture, not every thought and feeling is a good one. That is ok. One thing I am really trying to keep in mind at the moment is what Hugh Mackay - a self help author - says about the pursuit of happiness vs the pursuit of wholeness. I won't write out the whole thing as I have already been waffling on too long for a post which is meant to be a list but here is a meaty excerpt:

"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness... Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!”... Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

I think Gratitude though, is different from happiness. Being able to be grateful for what you've got when you lose something is important, being grateful that a bad experience will make you grow as a person. That is important. So this is sort of a list of happy things, written by me on a sad day, but it is also a list of things I am grateful for, memories of times which were lovely on a day when there is a little bit more power in them.

That is my bit done, you are over the slightly depressing waffling on hurdle, and it is all carefree lists from here on out! Phew.

3 lovely things I bought in March -

1. I bought this embroidered smock dress from Zara in Miami beach, and am trying to not think about how it may have been more in dollars converted than if I had bought it here in pounds (but who cares anyway as I obviously really needed it for the last week of my trip)

2. A sequinned rattan beach bag with the words "hey y'all" on it. I am so Louisiana now.

3. A ticket to see Get Out at the cinema. Definitely recommended, a scary film people who don't like scary films (like me) can watch.

3 lovely things on the internet -

1. A shine from within meditation. Omm.

2. This is not actually a new post, but I tried it for the first time this Monday, and oh my gosh. So easy, you really can use any leftover and some gosh damn delicious. Leftovers Casserole Mondays.

3. 8 ways to style a mantel. (They are always so tricky).

3 things money can't buy -

1.  A man watching antiques roadshow on the tube on the way home. Don't you think it is nice to see someone in their own world, enjoying a simple pleasure?

2. Tulips

3. Getting home from work and having light, glorious light.

And 9 things to look forward to in a fresh new month, April -

1. Even more of the above mentioned light.

2. Rhubarb is in season. Vow to make this with the fresh, and this with any frozen leftovers.

3. Bank holiday season begins

4. A  holiday, to celebrate, drink champagne and play board games with way less pressure than Christmas (aka Easter)

5. Remortgaging. This is less of a fun thing and may go wrong, but I was just thinking about how I've done all the life admin and prep work, and feeling pretty good about it.

6. Creme eggs. (Go big or go home)

7.  A chance to fight the fear I gave into yesterday again (mysterious, sorry).

8. Summer and spring weddings to RSVP to, choose dresses for, and start getting excited about.

9. An easter egg hunt with my favourite 5 year old, followed by fingers crossed, Beauty and the Beast.

PS. Oh yeah, my last gratitude post was a bit of a ride through old unhappyville too. But if you liked this, you may like that.

Photo via @mynewroots on instagram


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