As I start writing this post, I genuinely have no idea what I’m going to call it. The title you see above will be added when I finish, as this time I’m writing with no idea of where this is going.
A few weeks ago, I turned 39. My sister was 39 and almost a couple of months when she left us with no warning. She never got to experience the last year of her thirties. She never found out if the saying “Life begins at 40” is true. I will soon be older than my big sister. A fact I’m struggling with. I can’t talk about it, but somehow it helps to put the words out there. Jo would be 41 now, 42 this year. On my birthday I made a vow to make this year count, the year leading up to my own 40th birthday is in honour of my sister, and I strive to find happy moments in each and every day, even the most mundane, routine days.I have set myself a 100 happy days challenge. Every day I will post a picture or a status on social media highlighting these happy moments. Some days there will just be one post, other days, several. The fact of the matter is I will find good in every day. Even the hardest days. For some reason, hard days are in abundance at the moment. Eighteen days after my birthday, I hit a stumbling block as to what had made my day happy. I didn’t post anything. That’s not because I didn’t smile when my son walked into town and met me halfway home after work. I’m not saying the goodnight text from my own personal Mr Amazing didn’t make my heart flutter in the same way it always does. It was just the one day when everything seemed to get on top of me. I’m angry with myself for it. I should’ve snapped a photo of my boy walking towards me. I could’ve screen shot the text. I just wasn’t feeling it. Work was hard going, we had all the difficult customers out in force that day. Maybe my mood was a magnet for it. There is a reason for my mood. I’m just annoyed at myself for not taking my own advice and choosing to be happy regardless. I guess the point of this garbled blog will be that we all have bad days.
On day 18, I uncovered some truths about a situation that angered me, but, if I’m being honest, didn’t shock me. I also found out that lies had been told about me, to people I hardly, or don’t even, know, but still, those people believe that I have done something I haven’t. Finding that out made me feel sick, even more so than discovering the truth. I’m not revealing details, as, quite frankly, I now am back to a stage where I don’t know who I can trust. Maybe more people than I know about reading this right now already know what I didn’t. The fact remains that I could walk past several people in my home town who think that I am the scum of the earth. It shouldn’t bother me. It really, really shouldn’t bother me. Like I said, I don’t really know them. It does bother me. I am a proud person. We are all guilty. From the moment we wake up every day, to some degree we care about what people will think of what we wear, how we’ll do our hair.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner” – Lao Tzu
I’m just here, trying to get on with my life quietly, yet without my knowledge a whole other life is being created for me. At first, finding this stuff out made me angry. Then, I was kind of relieved. Relieved because I can now longer be reduced to tears by carefully chosen words intended to break me down, because I know the truth. Yes, it still hurts that there are people out there that believe lies about me. Though it is very true, those that matter to me know the truth. That’s what is keeping me going. Opinions matter to us as all humans want to be liked, accepted. However, no one likes everyone. Just like some dogs don’t like other dogs, yet some dogs are overly friendly with its four legged species, humans don’t get on with every other human. If the people that believe the lies about me haven’t yet made it onto my list of friends, then they probably never will and I shouldn’t give the proverbial rats backside what they think of me.
So, for one day, and one day only, I confess I was grumpy. I challenge anyone of you reading this to put a smile on your face and choose happy when you’ve just discovered what people have been saying about you. Trust me it’s not easy. I let my sunny persona slip for one day and gave in to the picture that was being painted of me in a “parallel universe”. The person who started the lie doesn’t know that I’ve discovered what has been said, because I’ve not reacted. I’ve not responded. I’ve not defended myself. Why? Because there’s really no point. They have told it so many times they believe it, so they will stand their ground and try their hardest to turn it round on me and make me feel crap all over again. That’s never going to happen again. It has become their truth, presumably because the real truth is the one that shows them to be the one in the wrong. Other people play a role in these lies for so long it becomes second nature. Hey, even I did it for a while. Not as such lies, but overly exaggerated truths. It was just easier, and yes, second nature, to just say “yes, that’s right”, when asked “didn’t it/didn’t I/wasn’t it ?”, after telling an over embellished version of a story. Ultimately though, we can not expect someone who lies to themselves and others to be honest with us, so there’s no point in trying. I just know that, if I ever need to, I can prove what I know and watch to see how they lie their way out of concrete, black and white, hard evidence.
Worrying about what people I don’t know think of me will be a waste of my time, energy and thoughts. If they don’t know me well enough to see through the lies, then they aren’t important. I wasted a day on it. My life, right now, is wonderful. I don’t regret my past and I feel absolutely no need to smash the happy memories I do have into unrecognisable smithereens. My past, my loves, my losses, my challenges have led me to where I am today. There most definitely is happiness in every single day. I am happy. Yes, I have down days, but if you can’t lean on your nearest and dearest on those days without being called a miserable cow, then they don’t deserve to be near or dear to you. If the only time you let your mood slip is behind closed doors with those who should, in all fairness, be there for you, then, you’re doing alright.
So I stand by my 100 happy days pledge and let day 18 slip away like a hiccup. My son is awesome EVERY DAY. My other half is amazing EVERY DAY. My friends are wonderful EVERY DAY.
I won’t struggle to find those happy moments.