Today, I've attended not one, but two courses in the search for self-improvement, and jolly good they were too. Ye gods, but I've actually had a good day. The age of miracles is not dead. And speak it softly on the street corners but I think I might actually feel happy - it's hard to say as I can't really remember what the feeling is like, but I've heard rumours ... But (being me) I have to ask: how long will it last?... Pessimist that I am.
The full day course of today as organised by work was Coping with Change - and bloody hell but I got a lot out of that. Various highlights spring to mind, including: drawing a lifeline for ourselves to note key points in our lives and times when we were happy or sad. I seem to have spent a lot of time being unhappy, with key high times being academic success at school or university and getting married to Lord H. It was especially interesting that being married to said Lord H has given me the longest running bout of general happiness ever in my life. Three cheers for the man indeed! It also struck me that even the bad times didn't last for ever, so the three key points which came out of that particular exercise for me were: (a) Everything changes; (b) Bad times don't last; and (c) Marriage is nice. Okay, not the deepest revelations ever, but they suited me. We also watched a video about how to find where our happiness lies and how to keep up with where it is, as what makes us happy changes too. Which isn't something I've thought of before. So I have to learn to keep an eye on that, so I'm not doing something just because it was okay in the past - as it has to be okay now too. Simple ideas, but effective. I think I'm going to spend some of my weekend going over my notes again and taking it in more. Self-awareness and planning for being on an even keel - somehow! - is perhaps the key.
Also astonishingly, I also managed to do some writing networking which ended up with the course presenter asking for my personal and Goldenford (http://www.goldenford.co.uk) business cards. I even had them on me - which is another marvel. Sometimes, even I can look vaguely like a professional (but don't panic - I'm sure it won't last).
And straight after work, I've gone to my first ballroom/Latin American beginners' dance lesson - with a friend, Keith, from Woking. Neither his partner, Brian, nor Lord H were keen so it seemed like the ideal solution! Though there were some scuffles as to who would wear the glittery frock ... I picked K up from home and we had fun poring over his naked rugby calendar before we set off - verdict: not as good as last year's but what the heck, it's still naked men and you can't go wrong with that. And, hey, but the dance class was genuine fun, and we weren't bad at all, in my opinion. I think we might be able to discover our inner rhythm before too long at this rate. You never know. Tonight's dance was the waltz - which is more exhausting than you would think, and goodness me but my right arm was very tired indeed by the end of the lesson - all that keeping it straight out sideways, you know. I'm not very strong - obviously ... And it was only for an hour! Yes, I am a wimp.
Have just finished reading Maggie O'Farrell's "After You'd Gone". Ye gods, but it's bloody marvellous (though I could have done with a slightly stronger ending). I was gripped for 75% of the time and in tears for the remaining 25%. Which meant it didn't matter at all that the plot was obvious and could be seen coming from several miles away at all points - as I was so swept away by the power and emotion of it. I can definitely recommend it.
Today's nice things:
1. The Coping with Change course
2. Going waltzing
3. Catching up with Keith & Brian.