Today I had arranged to go into the city. It was raining, then it began to sleet and then snow. My husband advised me to be careful as there’s people out there who don’t drive according to the conditions (he may have been slightly less polite than that). We debated on the best route to go, the busier but straighter main road way or the back roads, and decided on the quieter back roads; like in the Walking Dead where the other humans are often more dangerous than the zombies, as long as I drove carefully I reasoned other drivers probably posed more of a threat than the roads.
I met my friend and we went to a lovely little cafe in St Benedict’s Street, Norwich. I can’t remember what it’s called but it has a black cat on the door or window. To go to the loo we had to take a key, go outside, down an alleyway and to one of a little row of outside loos backing onto a row of terraced houses. I was confused at first, as there were loads of doors, to houses, flats and loos, and as usual I hadn’t really taken in the directions given, but luckily there was a big black cat stencilled on the door. Inside was decorated in cool posters. I reflected on how rare outside loos are nowadays and that in 10 years time this quirky little place may not exist as the whole courtyard may have been gentrified.
Prior to that I finished my Christmas shopping; everything this year has been products or massage vouchers from Neals Yard or locally made consumables, to be topped up with cash for the ‘kids’. Luckily we get paid early so this can come out of next month’s payday as I seem to have spent quite a lot in a few fits of generosity, but no matter, I have much to be grateful for.
Prior to that, I had a chat with my son and was able to dish out some well deserved and specific praise, which I sometimes find hard to do, due more to awkwardness than anything. I am the same at work, often needing to remind myself that what I say has an impact, and that just because I think something doesn’t mean people know it, unless I say it out loud.
Also we have sorted out Christmas Day, which as it is for many people, can be a time of second guessing what everyone wants to do, no one saying what they want, feeling dissatisfied and/or guilty, etc etc. The plan is for me, my husband, stepdaughter and my mum to go to the local Indian Restaurant for lunch. My son and his girlfriend will either come with us or come later on and have tea with us, which can be a kind of edited version of Christmas dinner; depending on her work rota which she will get in the next few days. Boxing Day we’ve been invited to/invited ourselves to visit three lots of relatives on both sides, and have had the idea to just go and see all of them but just for an hour or so each. This means we can get to see everyone’s relatives but not get stuck for too long anywhere, mindful of young person getting bored. So now there’s a plan, I actually feel much more positive about it. I might even find myself looking forward to it.
This post is essentially about being happy right now. The piece of paper in the photograph contains my instructions to myself on how to ‘get into’ the present moment, written at the height of my first wave of awakening.