It isn’t always like this, mind. There’s are also many days where I still feel like all I want to do is wear my old elastic track pants and hide in a dark room.
People who have been where I’ve been (not literally and geographically, but emotionally etc) have said that it took some of them years to get back to normal. I’m starting to understand that a bit now. It’s been over 4 months and there are still mornings when I wake up feeling rotten and sad.
But then, like today, there are moments where it feels like I’m starting life all brand new, wheee! Jump up and down in a bright orange dress!
It’s like this really, throughout all our lives, at every stage, for everyone. The ups, the downs and the moments which suck you so far in you feel you can’t breathe. You’ll get a chance to surface but even when you do, you’ll find that sometimes you’ll still feel like sinking and sometimes, you’re able to just bob peacefully in the water and enjoy the view of the horizon.
It’s been a draining few months (years?) for me and I’ve decided that I’m tired of sinking. The heaviness comes back now and then, but when I find myself just bobbing about, I’m going to hell enjoy it for all its worth. It makes it easier to face the heavy moments.
So here, a little guide for seizing the happy moments.
Force yourself to go out and meet people you haven’t seen in ages. It’s amazing to find out just how many people you know and love (and who love you back!)
I’ve recently spent a week with an old friend who’s visiting from Australia and because she was here, I had the chance to reconnect with other old friends (who live here but who I hardly ever see – my fault entirely for being so antisocial). It’s made me realise just how many absolutely amazing people I actually know, not just in KL but from everywhere. Have also been meeting new people and realising how big and wonderful the world is. There really is just so much to see and do and meet and play!
Give whatever it is you love a boost – if it’s cooking, buy yourself a fancy new rolling pin (or whatever); if it’s sports, find new places to play or get some new Nikes (absolutely loving the new runners! see pic!); if it’s fashion, start a whole new trend. You get the idea.
Since I’m so mad about writing (and vanity) I’ve spent the morning fiddling about with this website and trying to do new, cool things with it (might not be that impressive to you, but oh-so cool to someone like me who hasn’t a clue about techy stuff). Looking to facelift this whole gig too for something even shinier and prettier.
Have also been getting lots of writing job offers – enough for me to be able to be a bit rah about the whole thing and pick and choose, accept what I want and turn my nose up at what I don’t. My CV’s looking plump, the freelance jobs I’ve got going are fun and my options are plentiful. Enough to make me go wheeee and jump up and down in a bright orange dress.
I think most of us don’t realise how much of a difference good food and proper exercise can do for our happy hormones and I can’t go on about this enough.
I’ve sort of binned the restrictive diet thing now (follow the TRA palaver here) and am now just eating what I like, when I like. This is about seizing the happy moments right? And when I’m happy, I want to eat ice cream. So why not? Am trying to follow what my body wants and feels like – am becoming a firm believer that if we just listen to our bodies, we’ll get exactly what we need. It’ll tell us when to eat ice cream… and (perhaps more importantly), when to stop. So get the best of it all – you eat the things you like, but not so much that it makes you sick (and unhealthy).
Same with exercise. I have a tendency to want to overdo it, or not do it at all. So I’m also just following what my body wants. Feeling happy? Then I go for a double / triple sesh at the gym. Feeling knackered? Then I stay home with a DVD that day. All good.
Do what your body likes and honestly, it’ll reward you with plenty of lovely jubly good feely things.
I stole this one off Shirley Maya’s post on changes because I think it’s brilliant. Such a simple, easy method for massive happiness.
Schedule it in if you have to, but make sure you’re doing something you really love every single day, something self-indulgent and *gasp* even frivolous and which doesn’t contribute to world peace (although I do think that if you’re doing things you love, it makes you feel happy; and when you’re happy, you’re generally nicer to people; and when people are nice to each other, it spreads outwards until, ta da! you get world peace).
Don’t count work as this one thing you love to do. If you’re the sort that love your work, then all the power to you and I’m really supremely glad to know it (life’s too short to do shit work). But make sure you do something else, completely outside your working world – that change of scenery, perspective and energy makes all the difference.
I’ve been mixing it up a bit. Some days it’s reading a good book (nothing more indulgent than lying in bed with a book, everybody knows that); other days it’s going for a snoop at Shu Uemura; or having a really oily lunch with my dear mum; or digging out a really old CD for a listen; or stalking hot Belgians on Facebook (and hope they don’t read this).
Whatever rocks your world! Most important in all this is to not rush. If you’ve given yourself an hour to read that book, enjoy the whole hour. Don’t keep looking at your watch. Let yourself go over time – it won’t kill you.
Also stole this from Shirley Maya (sorry! I hope you don’t mind! It’s that imitation is the best form of flattery thing!)
For me, it’s been the running challenge. I had thought about doing something really ambitious and impressive like teaching myself to play a Rachmaninov concerto, or play golf, or read a Zola book in French (to impress the Belgians, d’oh!). Then I decided that just thinking about all this was giving me a hernia, i.e. not very happy and fun. So I’ve decided to just do one thing at a time – the running for starters.
Oh, and trying to be a kitchen goddess again. Been making chocolate chip cookies, experimenting with vegan recipes and toying with the idea of baking a treacle tart (well c’mon, I need something delicious to look forward to after the running).
So there it is ladies and boys. Everything you need to know about seizing happy moments and making the most of every day. Like one of my friends in university once so eloquently yelled in my ear: carpe fucking diem. And aye to that!
Pix from Tobyotter, Nike Malaysia and me