Tag Archives: personal

Stages of Happiness

I know there are seven stages of grief, but are there equivalent stages of happiness?

Fog on the Thames, september 2018When I first moved to Oxford, it felt like golden bubbles rising in my chest; a happiness that swallowed everything when it exploded, and I could always feel it simmering.

Then an Autumn; partly being on some medication that made everything dark, but partly also everything settling – the knowledge that yes, I was here, and I hadn’t screwed it up immediately – so everything could grow, and settle; but I was also aware of how shallow my roots were, and how small my branches. I was growing, but not yet rooted.

And now?

I feel grey. Disassociated. Not caring, unable to process; I’m putting down roots, seeing just how far they are spreading, but the earth over them feels so shallow. It’s all going to be taken away again, and I’m just waiting for that to happen. Waiting for the hand to lift me out and tell me that I have to start again somewhere else; waiting for the earth around me to scorch. Waiting for another start and another set of memories to live with.

I feel resigned to loss, although I’m not sure anyone ever gets totally used to it; so many things have moved or changed or gone in the last few years that I think it’s all caught up, and I don’t have any expectation of longevity.

But then I don’t think anyone really can, either; everything always changes. So it also seems normal.

Anyway.

I hope there is a next stage of happiness – acceptance? The blending of sheer joy with the cut that says everything does end, and move on, and change. The sweet scent and bitter taste of a memory, because it will only happen once. The knowledge that this is only a life lived once, and we can only live the best one we can.

5 Happy Things: April 2019

April April April April. Happy things!

1.Books, manuscripts and amazing stories!

Specifically – that moment when you come out of a story and don’t even realise you’ve been sucked so deep into it; when you’re looking around, blinking, wondering which world you’re in…

(Yes, I am trying to convince work to buy it!)

2.Oxford

Otter and I went to a lecture at the National History Museum – which was good, if a little alien for me; microbiology is not my field! I already love the Ashmolean late nights, and have just started looking at what else I can do; I unfortunately missed a talk by Emily Wilson at Blackwells, but we have a couple of other events lined up already…

It’s also been great exploring Oxford itself – we took the cut-through next to the Lamb&Flag, which Otter hadn’t been through before. It’s great fun to find the little nook and crannies, or be introduced to the good places to sit above the High Street, or find where does the best milkshake (G&Ds, by the way).

3.Carcassonne

Carcassonne app loading screenI’ve got the app for Android, and have been playing with my partner, and also with friends. It’s been fun to stretch my wings with it – for the past year it’s been an off-and-on game with the games group at work, and they’ve been playing for so long that they know all the tricks! But – they’re also incredibly supportive, if only in the name of helping you so that you can screw over another player…

And it’s very satisfying to see that translate into game knowledge when I’m teaching someone else, and also seeing them win!

Re. the app, I am mostly liking it; the graphics are nice, you can turn expansions on and off, and the interface shows moves and possibilities very nicely (eg. it shows your fields!) The major frustration is how slow the AI is. I’ve had points where I’ve been doing something else in addition to playing the game, which doesn’t make for a snappy session! But overall, mostly a positive experience.

4.”Hello, Murder Phone? Please hold, your furry black nightmare will be with you shortly.”

Jodie looking surprised

“Prrrrrrrrrrrtt? Prrrrrrrrrrt?”

“MEEEAW.”

Jinglejinglejinglejingle THUD.

“Hey, kitties. Having fun?”

Via Joel.

Ps. go check out the Campaign Trail podcast! The Campaign Trail is a Dungeons and Dragons podcast where the quest is to win a general election! Join our team of fantastical adventurers as they head to marginal constituencies and face puzzles, monsters, intrigue and maybe even a dungeon and a dragon. Exit polls. Sorcery. Economic policy. Ancient curses. It’s like no other D&D game you’ve ever heard.

5.There’s no such thing as too many books, just not enough shelf space

Woman putting a book on stacked shelvesWe’re currently trying to work out how many bookshelves are needed to fit my partner’s current book collection into their flat…

I mean, obviously more are needed, but it’s good to get the current books in for a start.

And I have had to reassure them several times that they don’t have too many books, just not enough shelves!

(Image unfortunately via Tumblr so I can’t find a source)

A Friday Update – April 2019

Still in a bit of a slump at the moment, really! Struggling to get through my home reading, still got writer’s block, absolutely zero motivation, and everything’s a little grey. Nothing that I can put my finger on as a cause, but the anxiety knot hasn’t eased for a week or so. I’m hoping that a day of getting organised this weekend will help.

sheep in a field

Things Wot I Did On My Holidays

For my Easter holidays I went to Norfolk with my family. We stayed in a big cottage. It was sunny. Things wot I did:

Image of Thornham boathouse via Andrews Walks
Image via Andrews Walks

Paddled in the sea.

Took various arty photos.

Napped.

Got drunk on very good white wine.

Didn’t get sunburned despite the beautiful weather.

Started learning Norwegian.

Chased a dog.

Didn’t see any Saxon churches.*

Took over several castles.

Called my partner a wide variety of names, mostly because they stopped me taking over even more castles.

Picked up On Chesil Beach. Read a chapter. Put down On Chesil Beach.

Ate too much, repeatedly.

Discussed microbiology, Nelson’s love life, book covers and the importance of foil, trust law, how to get to Ostia, wine regions, windmills and wind turbines, the Parthians and happy sushi… amongst a variety of other topics.

Went for various walks.

Ate quite a few chocolate eggs.

Overall, a rather nice holiday. Now back at…well, nearly full force, but I think I need some motivation! Back and here, anyhow.

 

*In comparison to last time I was in Norfolk, when I saw seven in one week. They’re apparently quite rare; my opinion after that week was that they’re not rare enough!