Day by Day

I have a Facebook page, and every day I post up little memes or quotes that catch my eye. On Monday I posted the quote below. It seemed to hit a nerve.

Day by Day

I posted it because we’re just starting to hit the Christmas craziness. We’re bombarded by ads that paint a picture of the perfect Christmas dinner, the perfect Christmas tree, the perfect Christmas family…you get the idea. We take in all these messages, subtle and not-so-subtle, telling us what we should be aiming for and we start to run around trying to make that happen. We contort ourselves into all manner of uncomfortableness in an effort to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas. More often than not though, we don’t end up with the perfect Christmas. Mostly because our Christmas isn’t aided by soft-focus, soft-glow lighting, or set-dressers. It doesn’t have an immaculately dressed fake family sharing smiles and crackers over fake food painted to look deliciously deletable. 

No.

What our Christmas seems to include is frazzled nerves from the strain of shopping for a sackful of thoughtful, personal and unique presents for our loved ones. It includes headaches and worry as we try to be everywhere and do everything. And it includes disappointment when we finally stop to look around and we realise our Christmas looks nothing like the one we’ve been aiming for, the one promised to us if we just buy ‘X’ and invest in ‘Y’ and spend money on ‘Z’. What we actually end up with is a REAL Christmas.

And that’s ok. It’s more than ok.

We don’t have to feel the disappointment. We don’t have to believe the hype. Just ’cause they’re selling ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean we have to buy it. I’m not saying don’t bother making any effort. I’m just saying there is only so much you can control. Your time and resources are limited. So work out what is most important to you and your family. Then just focus on that. Forget the rest.

Here’s something my family changed a couple of years ago (I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing this little tradition). We don’t have any young children in the family. We’re all adults and whenever we need something we go out and buy it. Which is as it should be. It used to make things a bit difficult at Christmas though, because we always ended up getting each other things we didn’t need, and didn’t even necessarily want. Two years ago we decided not to do that. Instead, we all agreed on an amount that we were comfortable spending, and we used it to buy an experience. We bought something we could all enjoy, something we wouldn’t normally take the time to arrange, and it became our Christmas gift to each other. And it’s proved to be a present that keeps on giving. We relished the initial pleasure of choosing the experience, we loved the anticipation of the day out, we truly enjoyed spending time with each other having tea at the Ritz, or whatever we chose, and we now have some very happy memories to cherish. We didn’t have to hit the shops once. There’s no extra ‘stuff’ cluttering up anyone’s cupboards. The downside is there are no physical presents to open on Christmas morning. But that feels like a very small price to pay in comparison to the joy we get from our days out.

That’s just an example though. You don’t have to give up on presents if that’s what makes Christmas feel more Christmassy for you. Maybe you settle for a table haphazardly laid by little hands, so you have one less thing to do. Maybe you just say no to an invitation you don’t really want to accept, and spend the time doing something you enjoy. Maybe, just maybe, you go for it and day by day you do what you can, with what you have and you let go of the things you can’t control. But I mean really let go. Let go of the stress and the disappointment and the regret. You look at your lopsided tree and accept that it’s ok, just as it is. You look at the badly wrapped presents and accept that they’re ok, just as they are. You look at your messy, argumentative wonderful family and you realise that they’re imperfectly perfect, as is your imperfectly perfect, REAL Christmas.

Big Journeys and Big Magic

Big Journeys and Big MagicThis week there’s been a very distinct theme to the conversations around me. Journeys. Everyone has been talking about journeys. Some have talked of actual journeys being taken or being planned, but others, the ones that have really stayed with me, have been where people are talking about their personal journeys. I will never get bored of hearing about someone’s personal journey, their path to finding what they’re looking for – whether that’s love, or work or happiness or fulfilment.

I’m also in the middle of a wonderful new book – Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. In the book, I’ve just got to the part where she talks about the journey to true creativity, and it’s making me itchy with excitement and hope. (It’s also making me yearn to to go back and read Eat, Pray, Love in which she documented her own journey back from the wilderness – if you haven’t read either of them I highly recommend both). And of course, all this talk and reading got me thinking about my own journey to something I love.

My journey only truly started when I acknowledged that I wasn’t happy with my life the way it was. And it took some huge signs from the Universe (like two bouts of cancer within twelve months of each other) to get me to stop and really think about where I was going in life and whether that was a destination I had ever even aimed for.

It turns out I hadn’t aimed for it, and once I’d worked that out, I could set about trying to change course. Unlike those cheesy Hollywood movies, my journey wasn’t rags to riches, despair to delight or gloomy to glorious. It wasn’t easy or a linear path either. I’m quite impulsive by nature, and as soon as I realised I wasn’t happy in my career I jumped straight into another one. One that at the time felt perfect. When that still wasn’t quite right eighteen months later, I jumped again, into a completely different direction. Finally, when I’d run out of money and options I dejectedly shuffled back into the career I’d started in and wanted to escape from. It was worse this time, because I knew I didn’t want to be there. The problem was, I still didn’t know what I really wanted to do. And then, through a series of circumstances which at the time I raged against (including the contract from Hell that I had to endure for six months and was so awful I needed to share the experience it to purge it), I stumbled back into writing. And I knew I’d discovered my thing. Or to be more precise I’d rediscovered it after giving up on it the first time around.

Wonderful, right? Kind of. There’s a little bit more to it. When you find your perfect thing, the one that makes you feel like you’ve come home, please take a moment to accept that it won’t necessarily and magically fix things. It won’t make life suddenly perfect. But it will make the struggle worthwhile. That’s how it was (and sometimes still is) for me. I know what I want to do. In fact, I’m actually doing it. Sadly it hasn’t magically made my life instantly perfect. Instead, it has brought me joy, satisfaction and hope, and that’s pretty good, isn’t it?

Here’s what I’ve learned from my journey so far:

  • Sometimes the biggest win is recognising you are ready to go on a journey,
  • Sometimes it’s about embracing the search without worrying about the outcome and,
  • Always it’s about knowing that it’s ok to start again and try something new.

Finally, there’s an aspect of the journey that I’ve struggled with myself, and I’ve also seen others struggle with. And that is acknowledging that your ‘perfect thing’ right now might not be (actually, accepting that it almost definitely won’t be) your perfect thing in ten years. My perfect thing was writing. It’s always been writing. However, that perfect thing had never been in the shape of a non-fiction personal development style book. But that’s exactly what my first book is – a non-fiction, personal development guide to coping with working life. I’d survived the contract from Hell and I needed to share my experiences of the Horroffice. And so Coping with the Horroffice was born. I’m working on my first fiction book right now, which feels perfect for me at this particular moment. I also know that whilst I will probably still be writing in the future, that may be a different version of perfect to the one I’m pursuing today. I might choose to write screenplays or song lyrics or poetry. I might even be studying for a Literature degree. Who knows? The point is, there is no end point and no certainty. My search will continue and so will yours. As it should.

That’s the final thing I want to share that I’ve learned. It’s ok for your perfect thing to change – and for you not to know what’s next.

So if all that’s true, could it also be true that the trick, the magic ingredient, the way to create big journeys full of big magic is to find happiness in each step?

“Big dreams create the magic that stir men’s souls to greatness” – Bill McCartney

Let’s go out there and look for our big dreams, enjoying some big journeys as we do it – what do you say?

Light and Hope

Light and HopeI don’t know if you’re aware of this, but every week I write a newsletter to my lovely subscribers. In addition, every week, I write to you via this blog. Sometimes the theme of the newsletter and the theme of the blog post are similar. But each piece of writing is unique.

 

I’m changing that today. I wrote a newsletter on Sunday that I found really hard, but I felt I needed to share it. After this morning’s events, I feel strongly enough to share it again, in its entirety, with you. So, for the first time ever, here’s the newsletter I sent out on Sunday.

 

(If you’d like to hear from me on a Sunday evening, just drop your email details in the form on this page).

Here’s the letter…

“I’m going to be honest with you – I wasn’t sure I could write to you today.

Earlier on this week, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment, and scribbled it down – I thought it would make for a great letter. But then Friday evening happened, and I wasn’t so sure anymore.

I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and going back and forth on it. It feels wrong to stay silent on those events. It also feels wrong to keep going over something that I know has been filling your newsfeed, and timeline and TV screen and thoughts just as much as it’s been filling mine.

So I went back and looked at what I’d scribbled midweek, and actually I think it’s even more important now to say it – so here goes…

This week I’ve been celebrating Diwali with my family and friends. Celebrating Diwali mostly consists of spending lots of time cooking the most delicious food with my mum, and then spending lots of time sharing that food with those that I love. It means lighting candles and bringing out the twinkly lights, and it means enjoying that happy, ‘fresh-start’ vibe that’s ripe with hope and joy.

Diwali is the Hindu festival of light. At Diwali we celebrate the triumph of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of love over hate, and the triumph of light over darkness.

One of the things I noticed over the course of the week is how kind everyone has been to each other. We’ve been more tolerant of those little niggles that family members are so good at honing in on. We’ve been keener to make an effort. We’ve been more willing to laugh. So the thing that I scribbled down was this. ‘How can I be kinder at work? How can I keep this feeling going?’

I know that I’m sometimes so focussed on getting the job done that I cut corners elsewhere – I spend less time listening to my colleagues, I isolate myself a little, so I can clear my workload. I’m not the only one. My colleagues do it too. It’s become normal. We’re all busy, we’re all stressed, we’re all working to impossible deadlines. So we all disconnect a little bit. We have less patience and tolerance. We’re more easily irritated. We might get the work done, but it makes for a less happy, more miserable work environment.

And actually, a little kindness can go a long way. What’s more, it doesn’t have to cut into my precious time too much either. So here are a few ideas I’m going to play with when I go in to work tomorrow – I’m going to pick up some coffees on the way in, I’m going to save the link to the funny cat video for a colleague who loves cats, I’m going to go out of my way to say thank you and compliment a colleague on making that extra effort. Probably not all at once. But every day, I vow to do something.

The way I see it, that’s how I can keep the light turned on. That’s how I can keep the underlying message from my week of celebrating Diwali alive. I know it’s not much, but it’s something, it’s a start, isn’t it?

In our darkest time, when we may feel that we have no control over anything, we can choose not to give up or give in. We can choose to find that one tiny spark of hope and we can nurture it. We can treat each other a little more kindly, with a little more patience, with a little more love.

 

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King

Wishing you a week ahead full of love, light and hope.

Love,

Heena.”

I hope you find a way to keep the lights turned on in your heart and your world, not just today, but every day.

Happy Diwali!

HAPPY DIWALIIt is that special time of year when I get to wish you all a very Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, the end of the current Hindu year and the eve of the New Year. It is one of the biggest, brightest and most joyous festivals in the Indian calendar. Diwali signifies and celebrates the triumph of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of love over hate and of our own inner light overcoming spiritual darkness.

It’s this aspect of Diwali that I was thinking about today. We are all of us, always, either working towards or away from those things – goodness, knowledge, love and finding our inner light. We may not necessarily see it in those terms, and very rarely is it a big, dramatic, all-guns-blazing kind of fight.

Instead, I think it’s the myriad ways in which we live our lives on a daily basis. We all have darkness inside us, just as we all have a beautiful inner light. And throughout our lives, throughout our individual journeys, we are making a choice – we are choosing to allow either the dark or the light to guide us.

We demonstrate those choices in a million different ways, the choice to nourish our souls with laughter, with meditation, with music that makes our souls sing. Or to go the other way and drown in the bad news the media are so keen to push, to become irritated by the annoying habits of those we purport to love, or to deprive ourselves of the things that bring us joy. The choices we make with our food, are we nourishing ourselves or making ourselves ill? The choices we make with our time, are we devoting it to making our lives better, or spending it watching other people living their lives instead?

Each of these tiny, seemingly insignificant choices are in fact part of the path we are walking, and on each occasion, at each decision point, we are either choosing to move forward towards the light, or shrinking back into the dark.

Darkness in itself isn’t a bad thing. If it were daylight all the time, we’d struggle to get our bodies to rest and we’d never be able to appreciate the beauty of the moon. Life is all about contrast, about light and dark.

For me, the last few months have been particularly dark, as the light of one of the most precious souls I ever met has flickered and faded away. But he has left love, and the memory of good times. Having enjoyed that light for so long, the darkness of his death is bearable because it’s the natural effect of the light of his life.

And so, this Diwali, I choose to appreciate the beauty of the dark, whilst turning my head towards the light.

I hope the lights of Diwali illuminate your path, allowing compassion, knowledge and love to flood into your life. I hope the brilliant colours of Diwali colour your days with love, laughter and wonderful memories, and I hope the sparkle of Diwali showers you with joy, health and happiness.

Happy Diwali!

Pinches and Punches

pinchesDo you remember the saying ‘A pinch and a punch for the first of the month’? I thought about it on Wednesday when we hit November, and I’m grateful the 1st of the month doesn’t mean a having a sore arm as it did when I was at school!

Apparently the saying goes back to the time when people thought witches existed. The pinch refers to a pinch of salt, which was thought to make witches become weak. Once the salt had done its job, all you needed to do was give them a good punch to banish them completely.

Anyway, back to the first of this month (with no witches). It was a Sunday, and for me it was a symbolic new beginning as well as an actual new month kicking off. I spent the day travelling to and from Wales, visiting a breeder with someone who is potentially ready to become a pet parent. We weren’t checking out Golden Retrievers, so I thought I’d be ok. And I was, most of the time. I spent two hours playing with, cuddling and walking four gorgeous dogs (two sets of potential parents). It took every last ounce of control not to add my name to the breeder waiting list for the new puppies though. I hadn’t realised how much I missed this particular type of company, and for a little while, the idea of a new puppy felt too exciting to walk away from.

But now is not the right time to make another twelve to sixteen year commitment. Simba is still the only dog I really want. Until my heart has learnt how to remember him without falling apart, and how to live with the joy of his memories rather than the sadness of his loss, it wouldn’t be fair to bring another dog into the equation. It hit me hard on the way home on Sunday evening – the stark physical ache of his loss. I will never hear his paws clattering on my floor, I will never smell his particular doggy stink, and I will never be able to wrap my arms around his furry neck and give him a cuddle again. 

The absolute finality of his loss feels sharper at the moment precisely because of the contrast – because on Sunday I saw someone who was at the beginning of that particular adventure. It made me ache for what I had lost, even whilst I was excited for them and their new incredible journey.

But we can’t live in the past, can we?  And I’m not. I’m moving forward. After a few months of letting myself go, I’m finally taking a few small steps to a healthier lifestyle. I’m eating a little bit better (or rather, I’m not eating quite as much rubbish as I have been), and I’ve started finding ways to add back some of the exercise I’ve been missing out on the last couple of months. The new book is also slowly starting to develop and take shape. There have been days when my house feels more like a hotel, as I enjoy my new unwanted freedom. Ever so slowly, I’m adjusting to this new chapter in my story, and I won’t lie to you – there’s an element of excitement beginning to blossom too (I think Simba would have approved – I choose to take the two actual new buds appearing on ‘his plant’ as a sign that he does).

I don’t know what the future holds, and I’m starting to come to the realisation that I don’t need to know. I’m learning to accept that things change, to acknowledge I can’t control it, to trust that I can handle it and to hope that I will enjoy it. I’m learning to allow myself to go with the flow. Some days will be harder and some will be a breeze. Life moves inexorably forward whether we like it or not. We can never go back. So forward is our only option. Which means it’s not about the actual moving forward. It’s about how we move forward. Can we do it with style and aplomb and our heads held high? Or are we going to throw a tantrum, dig in our heels and fight a battle we’ll lose? I’m learning that fighting the flow is exhausting. I don’t want pinches or punches to get me moving. I’d rather just do it willingly, in my own way, on my own terms and preferably in a sparkly pair of shoes.

Supermoons and super starts

Supermoons and Super StartsTonight we’ll see the last Supermoon of 2015. I’ve mentioned Supermoons, New Moons and Full Moons in previous blogs. I’ll undoubtedly mention them again as they come and go. Why do I keep coming back to them? I think it’s because I’m slightly fascinated by the power of the moon.

If the moon can have an effect on the seas and the tides, then does it have any effect on us, given that we are around 55%-60% water? I don’t know, but I think it might. That’s my belief anyway, and because of that I like to pay attention to the changes in the moon.

What’s this Supermoon all about? We’re experiencing our usual monthly full moon, but the moon is also the closest to the earth that it gets during it’s orbit. So it looks larger than usual.  I noticed it as I was driving home this evening – the moon looked huge, it looked beautiful and it looked full of promise. I’m taking that as a good omen and a great time to think about where I am on my own journey, where I want to be and how I’m going to get there. Maybe this final Supermoon of 2015 can be a super jump start on that journey.

There’s a lovely quote that reminds me of this…

“We may go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.”

Charles de Gaulle

So this week, let’s both see if we can embrace the power of the Supermoon and move a little further forward in our own journey.

I Promise…

I PROMISE (1)Last week I wrote my blog post a day early, trying to get ahead of the game a little and prepare for my crazy busy work week.  This week I’m writing it a few hours late, wrapped in a blanket, with paracetamol and tissues to hand.

It hasn’t happened for quite a long time – I think it’s been at least eight or nine months – but I’ve come down with a horrible cold.  It started last week – I was rushing to and from my crazy work week, and I hadn’t quite caught up with the change in weather.  Which meant the change in weather caught up with me.  A summer top combined with a cold windy autumn day, tiredness and stress equalled a runny nose and a sore throat.  I half-heartedly listened – I wrapped up a little warmer and took some cough sweets.  Then I carried on with my week – long hours at work, then a couple of evenings out.

On Saturday morning, my body shouted a little louder and I spent the day shivering in bed, with a full on cold, hacking cough and feeling feverishly phlegmy.   I also lit a candle for my Simba – it was exactly three months since I’d lost him.  I was no better on Sunday but I was determined not to miss out on Discover Dogs – after three months without my boy I was desperate for some furry cuddles.  So I wrapped up warm, dosed myself up with cold medicine and ignored my body’s plea for more rest.  I cried like a baby as I met and cuddled Blaze and some of the other Southern Golden Retriever Display Team pooches who were there for the day.  Their owners were amazingly kind and understanding, not at all fazed by my tears, all of them having lost a beloved pet themselves.  By the time I got home on Sunday evening I was absolutely done in, emotionally and physically and all I wanted to do was sleep for a day or three.

But we still had some final reporting numbers that needed to be in this week, so I ignored the message from my body that I needed to rest and I dragged myself in to work, against my better judgement, and armed with yet more tissues and paracetamol. Yesterday, more than one person at the office told me, in the kindest way possible, that I looked awful.  As well as wanting me to get better, I think there may have been a desire to get the maniacal coughing,  spluttering and general germiness out of the office and away from them.  But still I wasn’t listening. I needed to get through the reporting and I wanted to get back to working on my book too.  I’d already missed a week because of quarter end at the day job.  I was all set to splutter my way through my session yesterday evening with my lovely book coach, Deborah Taylor but as soon as she heard my voice, she kindly but firmly moved the session to another day.

With nothing left to do, I was finally left with silence broken only by the sound of my deep croaky coughs. And that’s when I finally allowed my body to be heard. So today’s blog post is a bit of a confession.  I always promised myself I wasn’t going to be one of those people who carried on working regardless of their health.  And until this week, I haven’t been that person.  I don’t know why it was different this week – maybe there was an element of not wanting to be ill at home, feeling alone without Simba.  Maybe there was an element of not wanting to be seen as being weak at work, seen as giving in to a little cold.  Whatever.  It didn’t work though.  Because I now feel worse than I did last week, and it’s taking me longer to get better.

So I’m reaffirming my original promise to myself, with you as my witness – I promise not to ignore my body when it tells me it needs rest.  I promise to listen to it.  I promise to learn from my mistakes and my experiences.

Be Your Own Best Friend

BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIENDI usually write these blog posts on the day that I publish them.  I like writing in the here and now.  Although I’m a bit of a planner in other ways, with my blog posts and my weekly newsletter (if you want to see what that’s about, use the sign-up box on the right) I never plan.  I like the idea of you reading what I’ve written ‘hot off the press’.

But this blog post was written a day early.  Why?  Because at the time that you’ll be reading it, I’ll still be at my desk at the day job, bashing out numbers for our quarterly reporting requirements.  I will be very lucky to get home before 10pm. But it’s important to me to write this blog post and (I hope) connect with you too.  So I’m writing it today, when I’m home a little bit (but not much) before 10pm.

I’ve known for a little while that this week is going to be pretty awful – long hours, stressed colleagues, impossible deadlines and brand new software do not add up to a happy Heena. There’s nothing I can do about  the first four of those – the hours have to be long, to cope with the glitches in the new software as well as meet those impossible deadlines, and that means stressed colleagues.  But I can do something about keeping Heena as happy as possible under the circumstances.

Normally, even when I’m having a tough time I try to keep it all going, in every area of life.  Not this time.  This time, I’m focusing on getting through the tough time at work without attempting to be Superwoman and keep it all going at home too.

I’ve accepted it’s going to be a tough week so I’ve tinkered at the edges and tweaked everything else – I’ve made everything else as easy as possible. Clothes are ready for the week, lunches have been bought already, I’m giving myself the week off from working on the new book, and I’ve even booked in a couple of treats over the weekend – all of this is designed to make this week as easy as possible, and give me something to look forward to.  I’m writing this blog post a day early, so that I’m still doing a little of what I love, just not when I’m exhausted. I’m accepting the biscuits and chocolates that my boss has been bringing in, the coffee has been upsized, and you know what?  Given we’re about halfway into our horrible week, I’m doing alright.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, I’m guessing you may well have had tough times at work too.  Or tough times at home.  Possibly both, and possibly (although I sincerely hope not too often) both together.  So here’s my tip for those tough times – don’t make them any tougher.  Go easy on yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Treat yourself to the cupcake if that makes you feel better. I’m not advocating letting go of all responsibility all the time – there’ll be plenty of time to pick up all the other loose ends later.  For now though, give yourself the consideration you would to your best friend. Be your own best friend.

Being Here Now

being here nowI wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today.  I haven’t really had time to think about it until right now, until I opened up my laptop, logged in to my website and hit ‘Add New Post’.

I haven’t thought about it up until now because I’ve been so busy.  For the first time in years, I was out every single evening from last Friday through until yesterday.  My evenings have been filled with friends, family and watching an excellent film adaptation of ‘that Scottish play‘.  My days have been filled with work.  Work that has been getting busier and busier as we make our way through our mammoth quarterly reporting requirements.

Three months ago, being this busy at work made me grumpy.  I resented every single extra minute at the office.  Each shortened lunch hour also shortened my temper.  Six months before that I was nervous and stressed because I had no contract and no money.

This time around I’m busy but I’m happy-ish.  (The ‘ish’ is mostly to do with insomnia – I haven’t quite cracked that one yet, although I’m getting there).  The happy is a bit more complicated.

It’s partly because, even with all the sadness I have within me and have seen around those close to me, I still feel lighter and more hopeful than I have in a long time.  Life has a way of showing you the way – in amongst dealing with my own melancholy and sharing in the heartbreak of close friends, there have been new arrivals. That feels like hope to me.  Tenuous, fragile, unpredictable, exciting hope.

The happy is also partly because I don’t think about the past as much – it’s still too painful to remember what I had, what I’ve lost, what I will never have in quite the same shape again.  But it’s also too soon to look into the future and daydream – that feels like I’m tempting Fate, and I don’t feel strong enough to do that either.  Which really only leaves here and now.  Being here now is about as much as I am prepared to deal with right now.

So when I go into work, I don’t think about the hours I could have spent writing if only I was already a financially free and successful author.  I don’t think about the walks I would have taken Simba on if he was still around.  I just focus on the task in hand, and do the best I can.

I’m grateful to have a great contract that keeps me busy.  I’m grateful that I still write during my lunch hour, and I can start to see my story and my characters taking shape.  I’m grateful that my work is being appreciated.  Being grateful and focusing on the now are keeping me happy-ish.

And that’s enough for now.  Because actually ‘now ‘is all we have, isn’t it?  So if I’m happy now, then I’m happy.  Full stop.

 

Leaky Lunar Eclipses

halfwayWhat a momentous week.

We’ve seen (or slept through) a Supermoon Lunar Eclipse – the last time we saw that was in 1982, the year of Miners strikes, 3 million unemployed and the Falklands war.  The next time we’ll see a Supermoon Lunar Eclipse will be in 2033, and for all we know Kanye West may be President of the United States, we may have started living on Mars and the mullet might have come back into fashion.

But what about this Supermoon Lunar Eclipse, this week – what’s that been about?  Supermoons and Lunar Eclipses can be seen as times of high emotion, times to let go of the old, so we can make space to usher in the new. I’m not sure it’s felt exactly like that for me.  Although, this week has definitely felt a like a turning point of sorts, albeit a very small one.  If you were looking at your SatNav it wouldn’t even be a turn, maybe just a gentle dip or curve.

Nothing has happened to make me feel that way, except maybe the slightly momentous (for me) fixing of my leaky shower and leaky bathroom taps.  The shower has stood unused and unloved for two years, but I suddenly found I couldn’t live with it like that any longer.  And after two years of not working, it’s only taken two days to tear out the old broken fittings, and put in shiny new ones.

Apart from the shiny new shower, nothing has changed. I haven’t suddenly won the lottery, I haven’t been given a three-book deal, and I haven’t met Mr Right (or even Mr Alright for Now).  I’ve been doing what I’ve done for the last two months.  I go to work, I come home, on rare occasions I see friends, I cry when I think about Simba, which is almost all the time and I still miss him, more than I will ever be able to explain.

And the insomnia, which was pretty bad before, has shifted up a gear. If I get more than four hours it’s a reason to celebrate.  Coffee has become my new best friend.  So there have been no visible improvements in my life.

Despite this, and for no reason in particular, I feel lighter, more hopeful, and…well, happier, than I have for a very long time.

So at this Lunar Eclipse I am very glad to be letting go of the leaky old shower, and letting go of some of the heaviness I’ve been living with.  And with a slightly lighter heart, I’m ready to embrace change, whatever form that change comes in. I’m not going to waste any more time looking for the reasons why I feel more optimistic, I’m just going to enjoy that feeling.