FAQ: Potential Now List Problem #2 – “My {insert Now List activity} was a complete failure!”

floatation tank

So your recent Now List activity didn’t go as planned eh? I’m sorry to hear that. What happened? Really? How awful. Allow me to share with you a similar story.

Shortly after releasing the book I decided to start blogging about some of the items that I’d added to my Now List and succeeded in ticking off. One such item was this:

Try a Flotation Tank experience

A ‘flotation tank’ (for those of you who are new to the concept) is a large bath filled with warm salt water and a sound proofed lid. Once the lid’s closed the lights go off leaving you floating in the dark, and the silence. The fact that most of your senses are deprived (you can’t see anything, hear anything etc) allegedly allows your mind to enter a deeply relaxed state. One hour in the tank, so they say, is akin to several hours of fabulous relaxing sleep.

Unfortunately, on the day that I tried it I had a small paper cut on my thumb. Man – you do not want to get salt water on a paper cut! Neither do you want to thrash about in an effort to  keep your thumb out of the water. You might end up splashing salt water on your face. Man – you do not want to get salt water into your eyes either!

That thirty minutes in the tank (I got out early) felt like several hours of torture. If I’d have had any secrets to tell I’d have spilled them after the first few minutes.

Not to be deterred, and determined to have something good to write for this blog, I booked a second flotation experience. This time I took up the offer of some optional ‘relaxing’ music. You know the sort of thing – pan pipes played softly against a background of waves bubbling over rock pools.

Unfortunately there was a problem with the CD player. Instead of drifting into the best sleep I’ve ever know, I lay in the dark, floating to a series of irritating clicks and buzzes.

I lasted fifteen minutes.

Finally, determined to make sure I got the best ‘experience’ possible, the flotation centre gave me a third, complimentary session, booked me into the most spacious state-of-the-art pod they had, and double checked everything.

I lay there for fifty minutes.

Nothing hurt.

There was no buzzing.

But my god, I was so bored.

I did have plenty of time to think though, and as I gently tapped the side of the pod and floated from one side to the other I bath2began to realise that actually, flotation might be over rated. My own bath is pretty darn nice. It sits under a huge window. And if you open that window on a summers day there’s really nothing better than lying up to your chin, in soapy bath water – that won’t irritate your paper cuts – whilst looking up at the puffy white clouds, and listening to the sounds of the birds chirping and generally being terrorised by my cat.

I got out of the tank, went home, and did exactly that.

Was my flotation tank experience a wash-out?

Yes. Yes it was.

But does that mean that my next Now List activity will be a disaster?

Of course not.

But then I’m sure you realised that.

What makes us happy? It’s the simple things!

take a smileAccording to an article in the Daily Mailfinding a £10 note in an old pair of jeans came top in a study of 3,000 people and the things that make them happy. Other items in the top thirty included getting into bed with freshly washed sheets, hearing a baby laugh, and finding a bargain. Which prompted me to wonder what would be on my list. And you know me – I can’t resist an opportunity for list making.

Here then, straight off the top of my head and in no particular order, is a my list of happy-triggers – and sure enough they’re more ‘simple‘ than I would have thought.

  • chocolate
  • Great food
  • Sunny days
  • CJ behaving like a kitten
  • Growing my own food
  • Good movies
  • Good wine
  • The sound of the sea
  • Reading to someone
  • Being read to
  • Good, easy going, pub nights out with pals
  • Taking photos
  • Flap jacks
  • The Kids (my niece & nephew)
  • Early summer mornings
  • The Theatre
  • Great music
  • Audio books
  • Writing something I suspect might be pretty good  – and then finding out it is!
  • Baths
  • Being surrounded by trees
  • Animals
  • Expresso coffee
  • Italy
  • Teaching
  • Close friends
  • Creative people
  • Being warm
  • Getting loads done
  • Spices
  • A really amazing night’s sleep
  • Coming home
  • Making Lists
Would love to read your lists. Feel free to share them with the world using the comments box below.