Dude, where’s my anxiety? #ImAHappster

I love the Happster movement (if you’ve not come across them, visit http://www.happster.com – they’re like hipsters, only happier). The idea that you can make someone else’s day a bit cheerier, just appeals – especially when it’s a random stranger.

The other thing is an insight into how I can meander through life appreciating the hear and now. This weekend was lovely, and I’m left at the end with a sense of calm. Why? Because I’ve gone with the flow, and appreciated that there are certain things that allow me to feel peaceful:

1. Routine.
Everything we did this weekend was planned. Not to the letter, but I knew it was coming and I knew what to expect. I am most comfortable in the familiar.

2. Skating
It’s one of those things that removes about 17 years from my life and all of a sudden I am skating at full pelt playing tag with other parents and kids, all of whom are just having fun. We’re getting better and I can’t wait to swoosh my way down the seafront in the summer (if summer ever comes). Instead of thinking about all of the usual to do lists, you have to think about skating, if you don’t think about the here and now, you fall on your bum. I don’t want to fall on my bum – I run a very real risk of knocking my pelvis back out and no one wants that again!


3. Water
And by this I mean deep water aquafit. Not aquarobics where you bounce about waist height in water, but treading water in 12ft deep water whilst trying to do synchronized swimming moves, or in today’s case, the can can. I can wholly confirm that my Sunday evenings are hugely happier by the inclusion of a 45 minute attempt at not drowning. Partly due to the need to be focused on what I’m doing otherwise I will drown and as such, ending the weekend with a clear head; partly due to the endorphins from exercise; and partly due to the company of friends.


4. Being crafty
At the moment, that equates to working on my crochet blanket. But this could be anything from knitting, to sewing, to sticking and making with the kids. Just seeing something that I’ve made grow and take shape (and I’m not including the kids in this – although I did technically make them….)


5. Sleep
Nothing works better to lighten the general mood than sleeping well and for long enough. As the mornings are strong to get lighter, I am waking up in less of a fog and much more rested. I am designed to hibernate in this revolting dark winter weather. Frogs don’t like winter, it’s freezing my tadpoles. I need the sun to warm my blood. Or at least a heated blanket for my bed!



Ducks Don’t Hold Grudges. Oh, and watch out for the ninja.

I’m all up for freedom of expression, but sometimes my girls manage to leave me totally lost for words.(ok, this blog post suggests otherwise)

It’s been an awfully long day and I’m very tired, so when I wandered bleary eyed through the door 11 1/2 hours after wandering out bleary eyed this morning I wasn’t expecting to be greeted by this!


Umm… Yeah. So apparently she’s now a ninja.

I guess I shouldn’t expect any less. After all, I decided to be a frog yesterday (which continues to go well. I left today with stuff still outstanding and instead of being stressed out, I realized that it will still be there tomorrow and no-one will die – for those of you who are raising an eyebrow at this point, it all becomes clear in this post).

It just reminds me that the girls have developed the quirky sense of self that I always wanted them to have. Being girly is fine if that’s what you want to be, alternatively wear a top hat and monocle, or nab daddy’s hat and become a ninja until its bedtime.

I’m writing this sitting with them as they settle down for bed and the pair of them have opted to read to themselves instead of a story from me. It’s just another sign that they’re growing up and learning to love the world of imagination that books let you get lost in. I hope they never lose that and by adulthood, beanpole will be just as inclined to dress up like a ninja for the day on a whim.

But on to what I had originally intended to blog about before I was confronted by my eight year old assassin…

Ducks. They don’t hold grudges (technically, neither do frogs, but for the sake of this metaphor lets stick with the feathery pond creature). Having started to let things go, it’s become quite addictive and I was thrown another literary curve ball today with the statement “ducks, they don’t hold a grudge”. Are ducks very stressed? I have no idea, I guess they might be if you started to talk about hoisin sauce in a threatening manner to them… But in general, they swim about, occasionally have a jostle with another duck who’s barging in on their bread time then they swim off as if nothing had happened. They don’t actively avoid the bread stealing duck. They don’t shun the other duck for being a bread pirate. They quack their piece and its done.

I’m not a duck today. I’m still busy being a frog. I’ve been sitting on my lily pad contemplating the ducks though.

I realized that actually, this ability to step back from my racing panic thoughts isn’t something new. A while back when I was in a less than pleasant place, I had a bit of an epiphany whilst driving the car. I remember it clearly – I had just turned onto a roundabout and was freaking out about something that was worrying me and I just heard myself inside my head tell me to calm down and stop worrying as it can’t possibly be so bad that I need to crash the car and the panic went away. It felt like an hour going around that roundabout, but when I turned off I consciously realized that I was actually capable of coping with more than I gave myself credit for.

Within six months of that epiphany, I had got my life more together and whilst I have still been prone to fits of panic and self control to the point of insanity, I have maintained an inner monologue that means I can carry on for the most part. My goal is now to keep calm while I’m at it. Calm? Ok, no not calm, that suggests just suppressing everything. Pragmatic.

So, a pragmatic frog who seeks to let go of grudges.