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Wednesday 2 February 2022

You're Probably Happier than You Think - and Link-Up

Dear friends. How do you define happiness?  I've been mulling it over after seeing a spate of "lived a long and happy life" obituaries. 

I've always defined happiness as a sense of joy, of being in the moment, of being spontaneous. But clouding the issue for me was the fact that I was rarely truly happy at times at life events when it should be expected. Let me explain.
I wasn't happy at my first wedding.  I wasn't happpy on the Queen's Silver Jubilee when I was the local carnival queen with my own float.  I've rarely been happy at any of my leaving do's, and  left one early.

The reason for not enjoying myself when I should have done comes down to anxiety. My dad was volatile and it made my mother anxious whenever there was a social occasion or outing involving the car. It rubbed off on me, because although I seem pretty calm and relaxed most of the time, certain situations make me edgy and I fail to enjoy myself.

At my first wedding, I was thrown into panic on the big day when my soon-to-be-husband rang me to say he was already in the pub, having set off early with his best man from Exeter to Plymouth. The best man was opposed to the wedding, so I feared he wouldn't even turn up. When I saw him in the church he was glassy eyed and staggering a little. No-one else suspected, but I knew and I was tense for the rest of the day.

My second wedding was totally different. I was in a London hotel and Mr Mutton was at home;  he rang me early in the morning to say he was ready and looking forward to it, and then a bit later to say the taxi had arrived. I had nothing to feel nervous about and enjoyed everything about the day. 

One situation where I had the most fabulous fun was when I went on a singles holiday in Greece, a few years ago, based around activities.  There were only 7 people, and we were all quiet as we were driven from the airport. But by the next day, we were all firm friends and developed lots of rituals, like singing out of the hotel windows every morning to let each other know we were up.  

We threw ourselves into the activities - banana boats, snorkelling, walking - and had the most amazing time.  

The Small Things Make Me Happy

When I think about the last two years, I feel joy that I discovered that the most humble activities make me truly happy:
  • Early morning walks when the sun rises and a beautiful day dawns;
  • My weekly treat of a glass of sherry (!) which signals the end of the working week;
  • Anticipating the moment when finally I will step out of the plane in Greece and feel that warm air on my face;
  • The first shoots from bulbs, clematis, phlox and the anticipation as the growing season gets under way;
  • Getting the Christmas decorations down and seeing the treasured ornaments;
  • Boxing up winter clothes and shaking out the summer wardrobe;
  • Ringing my mum to tell her I'm 10 minutes away when I make the long drive to Plymouth
  • Relishing a book and looking forward to getting back into it each day.
  • My old cat running down the stairs to greet me when I get home 

Shades of Teal and Blue 

As for the big events, where happiness is expected, I realise now that my expectations are usually too high, and I'm tense because I'm anticipating situations that probably won't arise. Now that I know my triggers, I'm going to consciously practice deep breathing and relaxation. I won't air any worries when we're on our way to a big social occasion, or very long drive.

How do you feel about happiness? What makes you happy? Do let me know in the comments. 

Today's outfit: shades of teal, blue and green for a restful combination. Long navy boots Boden, true teal v-neck top, Rachel jacket in alpine green; Chloe jacket in blue jewel, infinity scarf in aquarius, all Kettlewell Colours.  Nothing was gifted.

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette #TheWednesdayLinkUp at Claire JustineFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Traffic Jam Weekend aLife as a Leo Wife Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Stylish Monday (first Monday of the month) with Ask Suzanne Bell, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the weekly link-up where readers find new blogs to read, and bloggers find new readers.

Last Week's Favourites

Cobalt Blue Maxi Coat + Chunky Chelsea Boots by Ashley from Le Stylo Rouge

Is This Mutton Favourite

A Weekend Trip to Miami Beach by Cheryl from Cheryl Shops

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  1. Great post.

    It's the small things that make me happy these days. Naps, fresh flowers, a scented candle. All things I love and the small things really do make a huge difference.

  2. What a recognizable post! And what a sad story about the first wedding day. Are you a very observant person? I think so, I'm too. I see every thing and hear everything. And I'm talking about the things I shouldn't have heard or seen. I cannot enjoy fun things to the fullest because I always see our hear something. It's not easy to explaine in a different language but I hope you know what I mean.

  3. Sorry I missed the link up Gail. So chuffed to be featured though.
    I loved reading this post, you are so interesting. My happy place is on the slopes and of course always with my family. I love to dance too, not that the body movement is the same.
    The garden in summer is also a happy place, can’t wait for the spring to arrive so I can get it looking good xx Jacqui x


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