Hello, this is a few days late because I was having too much fun. Sorry not sorry.
What is happiness? My problem with happiness, I think, that no matter how content I am about one aspect of my life, there is always something else that is not going well that I am prone to concentrate on. I have been talking to lots of people recently about this, and the general consensus is that I am too negative and this is why I am having that problem. I definitely am too negative, that is a true fact. I sort of do this thing where I am like I am poor and I am sick and so I am allowed to be negative. BUT I was also negative before I was sick, and also before I needed to worry about money so this is not really a valid excuse. So, for me, part of my happiness project is trying to be less negative. I am going to try and see the best in situations, and in people, and get over negative attitudes I have towards things. And people. We will see how this works out!
This weekend I was helping volunteer at a truly wonderful place in the Barras called “On The Corner”. We were having a market (cleverly named “Market on The Corner”, do you see what they did there?) and the goal of the market was to raise awareness about the social enterprise businesses that were selling their wares at the market, but ALSO to raise awareness for On The Corner, which is going to be this fantastic community centre space for the Barras, and is entirely volunteer run and funded by donations. The funding for community centres and projects in the Calton area, and indeed most of Glasgow, has been massively cut and so the only way for something like this to exist is for people to take the initiative to do it themselves. And that is just what the On The Corner team have done. The are renting this massive 5 story building off their own backs, and turning it into an amazing space for the community to come together and be happy. Happy. That is what the whole thing is about. Making people happy. Even the WiFi password is ‘BeHappy’! And the people who were coming through the doors on Saturday and Sunday were so glad that someone had decided the happiness of the people of Calton was something worth dedicating time and effort to. There was one man who came in to the cafe part of the market (There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch Cafe). He had no money, he had said this when he came in, but he was asked to join a table and sit down and then was brought coffee and cake anyway and told “it’s okay”. He sat back amazed. He couldn’t believe it. “It’s nice to be nice!” he said, as though suddenly realising this for the first time. There was something really powerful about that. Maybe people aren’t aware that it is nice to be nice? I wondered at the time how we could get the word out about this. By being nice, of course. Niceness is catching. Well, is it? I hope it is.
It was a long weekend, and everyone was super worn out afterwards. When we were done on Sunday and all of the members of the public had gone home, a few of us sat on comfy seats and ate some food while watching Netflix and chatting. That was rather lovely, especially since I introduced a 5 year old to Aladdin and she was utterly hooked (Same 5 year old taught me my new favourite song, “Shut down Dungavel, They are people and you are people, shut down Dungavel, Nobody is illegal!”. She was pretty brilliant!). We then had a Dream Machine Session, a part of a project by Matt Lygate, where he puts all this trippy music on and projects moving coloured shapes on to big screens hanging from the sky. There was also a bubble machine. Everyone just sort of lay down on the floor on loads of cushions and bean bags and just chilled out. It was at this point I realised how difficult it is for me to chill out. I was lying there thinking about everything and everyone in the whole world, when i was supposed to be thinking about nothing. I kept having to move because the music was too loud, or the lights were too bright, or I was too warm, or I needed to check to see what the noise was in the other room, or I needed to get someone in the other room a glass of water because they have a migraine and I realised that is the best thing for a migraine, or I left my socks a bit close to the fan heater and I should move them before they go on fire. Lots of reasons, none of them very good, kept me from “chilling out”. Everyone else seemed to manage fine, which made it even more annoying. Am I super uptight? I think I might be! Maybe this is standing in my way of happiness!
But then, after this chill out time, a spontaneous pillow fight erupted and my uptightness seemed to be gone. Two teenagers and about ten adults started just pelting each other with cushions, pillows, duvets, beanbags, what ever was mostly soft and lying around. We then took to climbing on top of chairs and then launching ourselves off of them into a big cushion mountain. It was so much fun, it was like being a child again. Maybe happiness is being a child, or being able to be childlike, or just having fun. Just fun on its own with nothing else added on, not fun for the sake of anything, not fun to make anyone think you are cool or to show someone else a good time. Maybe happiness is just pure, unadulterated, fun. Maybe happiness is… pillow fights.