One, two, three….
There are three things that I’d particularly reflected upon today. I wasn’t sure which to write about, then realised it’s my blog so I can write about all three if I choose! But I promise, dear imagined reader, that I’ll try to be concise.
1) I’m currently reading an amusing book called Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant – it’s an account of Okrant’s year-long project to live her life according to Oprah Winfrey’s advice. A passage that really spoke to me today relates to the tiredness that Okrant experiences, the fatigue that results from her constant effort to alter her life. Okrant, who appears to be as fond as navel-gazing as I am, observes that there is a fine line between the desire to ‘live your best life’ (apparently this is an Oprah phrase; I also use it a lot, but I came across it in Psychologies magazine) & simply feeling that your current life is inadequate and that you are inadequate. Her own efforts to balance the two (“It’s healthy to desire growth and change, of course, but not to the detriment of our own self-acceptance”) is a struggle that I recognise. When do attempts to create a life of my own become simply another burden, another expectation that I place upon myself?
2) Further to yesterday’s reminder that simply pleasures are abundant (as the girl who had to stop writing gratitude lists because the list became too excessive, the need for this reminder suggests that I have a very short memory!), I was determined to be attentive to today’s pleasures. Reading a chapter of Living Oprah before I got out of bed was one of them. Others included: cake; lunch in the garden; an oak sprig with acorns on in my windowsill; a letter from an aunt containing a knitting pattern. As I enjoyed photographing my fruits yesterday, I considered snapping today’s pleasure to post here then I realised – as if answering my own question above – that this was actually just another pressure upon myself. Instead I’ve uploaded four pictures that I already had of things that have bought me pleasure during the course of the year; I picked them randomly from the list – without thumbnails – so what they show will be of interest to me too! I may add a postscript if they require explanation.
3) One of my biggest pleasures of the day has been going to the pub with some friends this evening. While there, I had one of those moments where you suddenly become hyper-aware & feel like an outside observer of the situation. I looked at the scene & felt a surge of happiness. I felt happy because it is a group that I could never have envisaged calling ‘my friends’. Its is comprised of five of us who are involved in producing a spoken newspaper for blind people in the county. The others are all considerable older than me – I think they’re all older than my parents. But sitting in the pub after the recording was ‘wrapped’ (or whatever the technical term is!), it occurred to me that they are indeed my friends. The common activity bought us individuals together but this did not necessarily mean that such team spirit would emerged. I love my ‘co-presenters’ – we are definitely developing the kind of dynamic and chemistry that you see between local newsreaders: the giggling & poking fun & assuming certain stereotypical roles within the group. Having friends who are in such a different place in life to me is interesting. It’s also fun. A real pleasure indeed.