Thursday, 20 November 2014

Five happy things for five days...

Jimmy smelling the roses, while they were still there to be enjoyed.
A month ago a friend invited me to take part in a "5 happy things for 5 days" challenge that was doing the rounds on Facebook. I gladly took part, especially as I was enjoying reading what my friends were putting up for their 5 happy things each day. How hard could it be, right?

Well, it wasn't always easy to find 5 things every day to be happy about. It might have just been that week, but for some reason I felt rather down, kinda flat really. Whether it was highlighting the good when we're so far from family and friends, hormonal shifts as Jimmy breastfeeds less and less, or that I'd abused my sourdough starter so much that it basically wasn't going anywhere, I don't know. It could have been all of those things.

During the following week my sourdough starter picked up again, thanks to some tender care and double feeding (more later?), and my mood improved too. A friend who was also doing her 5 happy things pointed out that now, this day and age, is actually a really good time to be a woman: we have so much more control over our lives, so much more say in what happens, so many more rights, so much more freedom, than any of our female ancestors (collectively, and yes, there are still improvements to be made in the general standing of women, but we have come along way and being reminded of that made me happy). And the weather improved.

I also made an effort to get out a little more with Jimmy, whether it was just the two of us or with friends, and that helped too. So did contacting friends back in Australia, some of whom I hadn't really spoken to in a few months. 

So, here are my 5 happy things for 5 days:

Day 1:

  1. Having a little boy who was happy to play with boxes, laundry baskets, and a doona all day;
  2. Michael. This guy rocks;
  3. Not having to worry about how I'm going to get the nappies dry on a cold, wet day (yay for tumble driers!);
  4. A special group of mummies for oversharing, venting, and support, even if we're separated by the Pacific Ocean;
  5. Having friends in Manhattan who found today just as cold and dreary.
Day 2:
  1. Seeing Jimmy interact with other small children at playgroup;
  2. Turning lovely wool, from my lovely sister, into a (hopefully) lovely beanie;
  3. Homemade sourdough bread, with blue vein cheese;
  4. Watching Michael and Jimmy together. The joy is immense;
  5. Ice cream at the end of what turned out to be a long day.
Day 3:
  1. Baby hair;
  2. Baby smell;
  3. Knowing that baby smell and baby hair make Michael happy too;
  4. Nursing my baby to sleep;
  5. Being physically exhausted from babywearing, because my baby is growing big and strong.
Day 4:
  1. A healthy child;
  2. Having a doctor agree that Michael and I have a healthy child;
  3. Vaccinations to help keep my child healthy;
  4. Coffee and monkey bread to make up for an early start;
  5. Living in a complex that hosts dinners for its (warm and friendly) residents (read: not having to cook dinner after a long day, and chatting with locals). 
Day 5:
  1. My family and friends, here and around the globe;
  2. Knowing how to knit and sew, because I learnt these skills from family members - thanks Mum (aka Granny)!
  3. Eating waffles while playing Worms - thanks Michael!
  4. Having friends around the world who care about our planet enough to spend their lives looking out for it, working to improve our environment through conservation or sustainable agriculture or education;
  5. Reading what friends have said in their 5 for 5, especially when they remind me that now is a really good time to be alive, especially as a woman - thanks G!

Reading these happy things I can pick the days that weren't so great (Day 3 in particular), but I think Day 5 was pretty good. It was an interesting exercise, and enjoyable too. It also marks our halfway point - 6 months down, 6 months to go... We're over that hump, but our future is not clear and I may yet to another 5 happy things for 5 days, when I need to remember to enjoy the now and distract myself from uncertainty in the future.

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