Siobhan Harper-NunesDevelopment, The Simple Things

For the past few days I have felt decidedly low. The New Year which I was so excited to herald in brought none of the thrills I was expecting. Instead I felt a profound sense of loneliness – an omen of despair. I locked myself away thinking surely this would pass but when on the third day I still felt melancholy, I took myself off (ridiculously early) to my bed – my husband sensing my doldrums had prepared a heart-warming stew, so provisions in hand I retired.

Nothing seemed able to shift my mood so stuffed with stew, I began to rifle through my books and journals until I came across a “Little Book of Happiness.” I’d started this tiny monologue in 1997 and its pages were filled with entries from 1997 and 1998.

In it I’d written about taking possession of the keys to this house, about being broke but happy, about my children’s laughter and their faces as they played in the vast emptiness of this new but dark territory. I’d written some of those amazing comments children made and about their kindnesses towards each other. I’d written about my son Alex who at the age of 12 was already wise and insightful. I’d written about how hard my husband worked to protect and provide for us and I realised one very important thing…

For a few weeks I’d forgotten to be grateful. I had also not seen my granddaughter for 2 days and even when I don’t consciously write about my gratitude, seeing her delightful little face, automatically trigger those thoughts of abundance.

So pen in hand I started a new entry – 20 years on – about how much our lives had been filled with happiness and abundance in this house. I looked at my magnificent creation: the silky textures of my bedroom curtains, the brightly coloured walls, the opulence of my bathroom and immediately my mood shifted.

When I snuggled down to sleep I thought about the warmth and security of my duvet, the bliss of those freshly cleaned sheets, the fact we had heat and hot water and food in the overstuffed fridge. I thought about how much love there is in my home: my children – all grown now – and how their lives are brimming with possibilities – as is mine.

When my husband woke in the night unable to sleep, I felt gladness that he was there, breathing and tossing and instead of being irritated by the intrusion, I rubbed his head till he dropped off again.

Gratitude is the key to everything. I have so very much to be grateful for and whist my heart and mind are filled with this sense of plenty there is no more room for loneliness.

So today I bounced out of my bed, feeling like a fox.

I too have a life ahead filled with possibilities, the excitement of new experiences, the satisfaction of all I have achieved and the blessings that fill my daily life.

So thank you to the “Little Book of Happiness” and the gigantic life of happiness I have created with the help of those around me who love me and who would miss me dreadfully if I wasn’t around.

What thrills will I fill my 2017 with? I’m not sure yet but there will be many, enough to fill the new journal by the side of my bed which is called “My Big Book of Happiness.” I intend to fill every single page with joyous moments so that when in 2047 I feel a little low, I can open its pages with joyous anticipation and obliterate any sadness.