This week I have been outside without my coat.
It’s a small thing, but a blue sky and a warm breeze makes all the difference to how I feel on any particular day.
If you don’t take time out to focus on what makes you happy, it is all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tedium of parenting alone. Washing, cleaning, cooking – admittedly I don’t do a huge amount of any of those things, but the responsibility is still mine, should I choose to accept it.
Sometimes I worry that the things I enjoy are rather dull. I don’t do any kind of extreme sports, or have a secret part-time job as a lion tamer. I don’t drive fast cars or jet off every weekend on exotic city mini-breaks – my life is much more acoustic folk than rock and roll. I did once jump out of a plane, but to be honest I found the whole free-falling thing quite boring – you just hang there after all, and not much else happens.
But do we really need all this high-tech, extreme-impact entertainment to make us happy? Exactly when is it that we become such discerning thrill seekers? As children, we could entertain ourselves for hours in the garden with a few sticks (I don’t actually remember how this works, but I’ve heard it’s true), so how come we forget this and become so demanding, desperately looking for more and more extravagant ways to escape the boredom and reach that elusive state of flow?
As a single parent, with time and money in short supply, being able to enjoy simple stick-based pleasures is crucial. Especially if you can play them outside without a coat.