The happiest days of my life used to leave me stranded in a cloud of gloom. All those milestones, marriage, having kids, being given a mink coat: they were fine but far from being profoundly happy. The media would have you know that if you’ve missed happiness by the time you’ve retired, you’ve had it, the slippery slope of grim old age is for you. But it is not so.
I can’t run any more, just totter feebly – not that feebly come to think of it. My balance is poor but I still struggle over gargantuan fences of barbed wire, railings and more barbed wire, sometimes jumping down four feet or more and keeling over in an undignified heap. In case you wonder why I’m perched on top of a 4ft fence, I’m pursuing one of Oscar Wilde’s more famous quotes. The thing is I’m growing old and drive more slowly, walk more slowly. I can’t read hair raising accounts in books after lunch. I’ve got one on the go, all about Japanese war atrocities, it’s a strictly before midday book or I fall asleep. I digress.
Monday was nothing unusual, I spent the morning pretending I understood about some computer technology, completely beyond me. Something to do with editing my books in to different types for publishing. What is wrong with the type writer I used to use? It felt a bit like long multiplication, tedious and my concentration ran out long before we reached the end. I then remembered I needed milk and apples on my way home.
Coming out of the Co-op car park I was suddenly aware of feeling utterly happy, no caveats, no need to justify or apply some reason, just walking to the car was a supremely happy sensation, requiring nothing more than delight in the moment. I’m carrying that chalice of happiness with me as something very precious in the knowledge that it came from me. It doesn’t have to happen again it was enough to know that I, LIL, can be utterly content with herself. I want to share it because we all spend too much time justifying day to day activities and, above all, people contrive to bug us with that threatening feeling of if we miss out today, tomorrow is too late. Rubbish, it’s never too late to be happy.