It’s 6pm on Saturday and I’m freshly bathed, in clean pyjamas, already in bed (albeit working on my laptop) and listening to James Blake’s ‘Wilhelm Scream’. Living the dream people.
It also happens to be Valentine’s Day.
Now for many of you this might sound a little sad (it is), but I wrote earlier this week about my love of sleep and one thing being without a Valentine has made me appreciate, is that you don’t need a Valentine in your life! (Although one wouldn’t say no to some one on one Fassbender time.) And yes, cocktails at the Shard are all well and good, but there’s a lot to be said for doing things that only you want to do. Going to places only you want to go to. Doing things that make you happy.
You get my point. I’m a great believer in happiness coming from within, but it’s taken me a long time to come to this realisation. A lifetime of putting other people first I guess. And I don’t mean to come across all zen-like, although I actually quite like the idea of meditation after seeing my good friend Rachael try some in Rhodes last year (and she has always seemed like calmness personified to me!), but I just mean that I am at the point in my life where I make sure I do things to feed my soul.
You’ve seen me mention how much of my time I spend ensuring Dexter can enjoy his No.1 hobby, football, and I did become a little resentful of that at one point in the beginning. I was spending Friday night, Saturday morning AND most of Sunday at football and those parents amongst you will appreciate that we do it because we love the little blighters, but surely there had to be more to life than me sat in the car praying for the match/training to end?
It doesn’t look much, granted, but the club has a great community spirit about it … and it’s a whole lot better when the sun is shining!
And so I immersed myself into the whole idea of being ‘part of the team’. I don’t mean I got my pom-poms out and cheer-led from the touchline (as fetching a vision as that would have been), but I put the effort into making friends with the other parents. Instead of sitting in the car, I stood on the touchline and chatted with other (suffering) Mums. And it made the world of difference. Going to the football club didn’t seem like a chore anymore and then one day, I decided to start walking around the pitch when he trained. And now I really look forward to him going to football because it gives me the opportunity to put my headphones in and go off on my own for an hour’s R&R.
This is what I normally look like …
Don’t get me wrong, when it’s raining or snowing, it’s not the most fun I could be having on a Saturday morning, but I don’t really have many other better offers so I’m making the best of what I do have!
I came across this lovely scene on a walk two weeks ago and it stopped me in my tracks. Bearing in mind I live in Gillingham, not the Lake District, it’s not often I get to see the countryside or stunning views, so I took a few minutes to appreciate it.
Another thing I love doing that really makes me happy, is going to my local café for a coffee. But as you may have seen me mention, my napkin/love letter stalker has now made that impossible. However, he’s done me a massive favour because I have found THE most adorable little café that is so much better. In fact, I went there this morning with my best friend Jo! The coffee is great, and she had a pot of tea that came with the cutest little bottle of milk (see above pic) I’ve ever seen! It has such a lovely atmosphere, all the waitresses wear the same blue and white spotted tops and the manager even came and fixed our wobbly table … without me even complaining! Customer service right there! We haven’t tried the cakes out (yet), but let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time.
Costa and Starbucks have their place, but I would much rather spend my money in a little tea-room that is personal, pretty and pretty much perfect!
So there you have it … two places that make me equally happy – a football field and a tea-room.
What are your happy places?
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