Following her recent review of How To Do Everything And be Happy (you can find that here), I asked Freelance Journalist, Mum and Avid Reader, Kirsty Higginson, if she’d like to do a guest blog post for us – and here she is, sharing what happiness means to her, why change is good, and why she’s no longer a day dreamer.
Let me introduce myself – I’m Kirsty, a freelance journalist, blogger, wannabe author, mother to one husband, two children, an English Springer Spaniel and an all round day dreamer. Okay, that last bit is a bit of a porkie pie.
I was a dreamer.
I’m no longer a day dreamer.
These days, I’m an all round, all day DO-ER.
But let’s get to how I became a DO-ER later, first of all I want to ask you what the hell is happiness anyway?
The Oxford dictionary defines ‘happy’ as:
- Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment
- Fortunate and convenient
To me, the definition of being happy can come in many formats & ideologies. What makes you happy, isn’t necessarily going to get the world raving & rejoicing – I know my Dad is petrified of heights & so flying a plane, which is one of the many items on my NOW LIST, wouldn’t really be his cup of tea. And, in all honesty, he’d probably end up being carted off to a mental institution if he tried it (seeing as my teenage years drove him exceedingly close to this, I know it wouldn’t be a pretty sight). So, take a look, deep inside yourself to find what a personal definition of happiness.
Hard isn’t it?
To be very brief and sum it up quickly, (because I’ve been known to go on) for me, happiness is a sense of calm inside, you know the type – when you’ve just reached the top of a mountain – or in my case probably a small to medium sized hill, which has breathtaking views. It doesn’t mean that I can’t be anywhere where music is blaring or where there’ll be hundreds of people. It’s about feeling complete.
And since reading How to Do Everything and be Happy, I seem to have glimpsed into a happier side of myself that is beginning to fill fulfilled and calm much more. I’m not saying that the book solves the meaning of life and in the words of Monty Python, Peter is “not the Messiah”, but his points on happiness are valid and, as he has seen the dark side, you know he’s actually experienced a depressive state similar to your own.
Following the book, I found loopholes the size of, well, one of Saturn’s rings, in my life and what I define happiness to be. I can easily lay blame on external forces (if so and so had done this I could have actually finished a project, completed x,y and z much easier or better) but isn’t that just wimping out on what good fortunes lay ahead?
If you miss a bus to work or school do you throw your hands up in the air, go home and crawl under the quilt everyday? No, you bloody well walk/get a taxi/ring boyfriend/girlfriend etc.
Your happiness HAS to be perceived in exactly the same way and this is how I now look at life. We need to carry on with our dreams, albeit positively. Is there a rule that says because we’re (urgh – I hate this term!) ‘grown ups’ we HAVE to live by a strict set of rules, whereby we leave our beautiful and colourful childlike dreams behind? No, there isn’t. And yet most of us live and work within a cycle or rat run, and want some give or take every now and again. My childlike dream has ALWAYS been to write a novel. Published would be preferable but a first draft of around eighty to a hundred thousand words will suit me just fine. Even if it’s a bit pants, I will have written those words. Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, they are my written words and I will be rejoicing once written.
I think the key point to remember is that most of the time we just get taken on a different route to the one we thought we’d be taking. I don’t know why but I had never looked at it like that before, which is quite ridiculous when you think that I was leaving happiness to chance.
You can follow Kirsty on Twitter @KirstyHigginson.