It would be stretching the truth to say that every single one of the last one hundred days has been twenty-four hours of unremitting happiness.
It is, however, amazing just how happy you can be when you put your mind to it. As some of you doubtless know, I have been engaging in an initiative called 100 Happy Days. The idea is that every single day, for a hundred days (that’s
more than three months, just think of that!) you have to post on Facebook a picture that sums up the happiness of the day. When I started out, 100 days ago today, I have to admit I wasn’t sure I could complete the challenge – or even whether
I should have embarked upon it in the first place – but here I am, posting my very last Happy Snap and wondering what on earth I am going to do with the rest of my life.
You would, indeed, be quite exceptionally fortunate if you managed a whole 100 days without ever feeling sad, or ill, or just a bit fed-up. Such is life. The idea behind the 100 happy days project is that, even on the dull days, the sad days or the
Just Plain Awful Days one can always somehow manage to find a happy thought to share. Amazingly, it does actually work. Let me provide you with a few examples from my own experience:
Example 1: I wake up feeling like Death Warmed Up. I have a streaming cold and a hacking cough. I feel totally, utterly miserable. But, wait, what is this? A bottle of Covonia carried to my bedside by Mr B who has an “If
this doesn’t kill you, it will cure you” look on his face. How happy I am that somebody invented Covonia.
Example 2: I miss the bus into town.
It is raining and I have come out without an umbrella as my last umbrella turned itself inside out in a fit of rage against the elements. My hair is hanging down unbecomingly in wet strands. My left shoe appears to be leaking. I am not, all things taken into
account, a Happy Bunny. Then, behold, a second bus comes along, just two minutes behind the bus I missed, instead of the scheduled ten minutes. “Come along in!” says the bus driver, cheerily, greeting me as if I am a long-lost friend in need of
a cup of cocoa and dry towel. I feel suddenly cheerful again.
Example 3: It is one of those days. I can’t seem to get started on anything, even though
I know there is lots to be done. For some reason I feel lazy, listless and lacking in energy. I can almost hear my dear Mum say: “Who’s got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning?” (I never understood this saying as a child,
mostly because one side of the bed I shared with my Little Sister was pushed right against the wall. There was no wrong side of the bed to get out of, as far as I coud tell.) Then the telephone will ring and it’s one of the Darling Daughters on the end
of the line – or My Boy will text to say: “Shall we Skype?” Suddenly the dull day brightens up. By the time I put down the receiver or log off the computer, I’ll be raring to go again.
I have to admit that there have been some sad times over the last 100 days. The deaths of dear friends or learning about the losses suffered by others close to me, which makes me sad just thinking of them feeling sad.
I have been to no fewer than four funerals over the period of my happy days photographs. On these days I have had to dig deep into my Memory Bank, to remember the happy times we have shared, the lost ones and I – the love, the laughter, the fun,
the experiences. Always, but always, I am happy to say, I have found something to make me smile through the tears.
Occasionally it seems as if there is nothing
picture-worthy to mark a particular day. On those days I have resorted shamelessly to the past, posting photographs of myself as a child (with assorted siblings) or my own Foursome as littl'uns in those Seventies clothes which will have them squealing:
"How COULD you dress us like that?!" As I said, it is perfectly possible to frame a happy thought, even on a dull, a dreary or a downright sad day. For anyone who feels their life would be improved by thinking
positively, I can thoroughly recommend 100 Happy Days.
At cribbage this afternoon, we were talking about the TV coverage of the anniversary of D Day and wondering
whether today’s young people are watching the inspirational Old Soldiers on our screens telling their stories of long ago battles and lost comrades. Can our youngsters see beyond the wrinkled faces and the quavering voices to the brave, vital, patriotic
young people these heroes and heroines once were? Someone started talking about prisoners of war and how those imprisoned by the Japanese were never able to talk about their experiences. It was all getting very, very deep,
Delia came to the rescue: “Would someone like to pass the biscuits?” she asked.
what I call the Happy Knack. Delia has it a-plenty.
So, I like to think - with thanks, at least in part, to 100 happy days - have I.