Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What makes YOU happy?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...
Maria van Trapp knew what made her happy.
One of the most played songs on the radio at the moment is one that has 'spread the happiness' as a chorus.

It's the end of the year, the festive season is upon us, and many people are evaluating their lives. So am I. It is a default mechanism when the last days of 2013 are speeding by.

What makes me happy?
Writing.
Eating.
Listening to music.
Singing, always.
Watching my children.
Cuddling my pets.
Laughing with people (not at them.)
Watching the birds in our garden.
Exchanging smiles with the teenagers at school.
Marrying folks.


Seeing the faces of dolphins. Dolphins always seem to smile, don't they?

hard times

I'll let you in on a little secret. After all, we've been on intimate terms for weeks now.
2013 Has been one of the shittiest years of my life.

When you've hit rock bottom, the only way is up, someone said (I forget who. Story of my life. My head is full of quotes which are doomed to be nameless). There wasn't just one cause, there were many. An endless chain of things going wrong, frictions, friends dying, friends leaving, people getting awful illnesses, losing the job I adored doing, and fuck me the economy crashing around our ears didn't help either. And to top it all an ancient trauma, long buried, suddenly surfaced and demanded attention. 

Now, we in the Wetlands are living a charmed life. We have plenty. Stuff. Things. Even if you lose your job over here, you get help finding another one and you get money (the fact that I've been paying into this benefit bank since I was 17, which means I have been paying for 38 years, is neither here nor there). At least for a while. Compared to, for instance, Rumania, we are filthy, decadently rich over here.
And yet almost everyone I speak to these days is complaining. Everyone is tired. A lot of people are worried. They tell me they are looking forward to the holidays but with the same breath fret about having to do all that shopping/cooking/partying and who will take the old folks this year?

(Photo by Wibe Koopman)

Plan B
'I have a plan, I'll never plan again', is the opening line of a popular Dutch song from 2013. 
As an obsessive planner, I will take this to heart. For 2014, I have a plan: I will heed the old lesson my long-departed beloved Grandma taught me when I was a little girl. She told me two things:
1. a human suffers most from the suffering he fears
and
2. always count your blessings.

In 2014 I am going to face my fears. And count my blessings.
And do the things that really make me happy.
Let me know what makes YOU happy??