It is not often I blog purely about another blog.
But today, the blog’s the thing, wherein to catch the hearts of all reading.
That headache? The one I railed at yesterday, and seemed to be on its way out? It crept over the right side of my head and gave me an afternoon’s peace before returning, a painful little gecko, on the other side. It is sitting there now and feeling rough is a way of life.
I woke knowing I was in for a day of discomfort: but I have a mother who had already offered to take my children to church. Blessing number one; I was able to turn off the night’s story and tune into the robin singing enchantingly outside my bedroom window.
The children returned from church and my husband took charge, bringing painkillers and buttered toasted teacakes and hot tea. And I reached down a box of toys I had bought second-hand for Felix, and said: you can rifle through these, son: there might be something of interest somewhere.
And the robin continued, and was overlaid by the sound of a happy seven-year old boy playing with Superman and someone from Thunderbirds and some great Hot Wheels cars. It had the same effect on me as when I was very small, and tucked up on the sofa, listening to my mother pottering in the kitchen. These tiny domestic sounds, they can be infinitely beautiful. Blessing number two.
My husband ambled in to rotate refreshments and I said, can you spare five minutes to sit with me?
Well, he said, I don’t know….I’m cooking the dinner….
So I bartered and got him for two.
I waited for the intelligent conversation which he does so well, but he had got wind of Felix’s box of toys. In his hands were two metal tanks, and within a very short time a battle re-enactment scene was being played out using the earthy tones of the duvet as the rolling hills of the setting.
Next came Superman, with whom Phil matched a model of Scott from Thunderbirds. A short dialogue took place which had very little to do with either intelligent conversation or reality. Just for reference, the man is in his forties.
So: no intelligent conversation, but high comedy as I watched the incredulous face of my seven-year old observing Phil and his son’s toys. This took at least ten minutes: it seems Superman has special powers of spouse-retention I will never possess.
It was chicken pie for lunch, which I did not make. Blessing number three.
After a rest I decided we must all get some fresh air. We hitched the dog to his extendable lead, donned coats and wellies and pottered off to the local sweetie shop.
The sun was shining. This won’t have much of an effect on anyone except the British, who have been living under a blanket of oppressive grey since the snow left us weeks ago. But those in the UK will be impressed. That half-hearted Winter sunshine was out to play this afternoon, and we made it all the way to the sweetie shop and back in an extremely favourable light. Blessing number four.
And when I arrived back I checked a couple of the sites which have sprung up since new year in WordPress’s hallowed corridors.
The most effective, and the most moving I have found is a blog called 1095 things, which, if you do the maths, means three things a day for a year.
It is written by a someone who has a good job and runs a life which – on the surface – seems to be a successful and happy one. I love his description of his Christmas, which was rendered secure by a bonus from work. I could identify with that feeling of relief that ,when one filled the car up with petrol, one didn’t have to worry. There was plenty of money for visiting and presents.
But New Year came and he realised: he is not, right now, happy. And he knew he must do something.
What he has chosen to do, to get to the bottom of the whole thing, has made me think quite a lot.
Somewhere in the deluge of New Year pop psychology out there in the cyberworld, he stumbled across a list: five things one can do to increase one’s happiness.
One way was to write three things,for which he was grateful, every day. Another was to find some time, simply to be him. And a blog fitted both bills.
And so his blog was born. It is in its infancy, and plain speaking, but every day its author finds three things to celebrate. These range from enjoying mince pies and custard, to fixing the remote without having to pay for help or order a new one. They are the stuff of every day, which slip past our notice unless we stop and clock them.
And you know when you get a sixth sense about something? My gut reaction is that this approach really will bring this man, who has decided to reflect on the simplest things in life, happiness. And I have no idea why I am of that opinion.
So for me, this blog was the fifth blessing of the day, and a big one. Thanks to him I found five things in what would have been a grim day indeed.
I shall pop in every day, I expect, to see how he is doing. And if it only lasts three weeks- so be it. Whatever its future, I wish with all my heart that happiness lies waiting in each post for its author.
Have a look: and be inspired. I was.