Tag Archives: Glasgow

Happiness is… SORTING YOUR LIFE OUT!

It is easy enough to say you are going to sort your life out if you feel like you are in control of most aspects of your life. If you are not, or if you do not feel like you are, then sorting your life out can seem like an insurmountable mountain of a task which you spend all your days attempting to climb, but you keep tripping over the metaphorical rocks of circumstance or slipping on the figurative ice patches of situation and ending up at the bottom of the mountain again. Really this mountain imagery can’t stretch much further, because the whole point of sorting your life out is to feel more in control and more grounded, and you don’t feel like that if you are at the top of a mountain. You feel like your fate is in the hands of the elements, a strong wind could blow you right off of there, a sudden snow storm could leave you stranded, rain could flood you out. Maybe this metaphorical mountain isn’t such a bad thing to use to describe getting in control of your life after all. Maybe the whole thing should be about climbing down the mountain, from the unorganised and chaotic peaks of existence to the ground where everything is comfortable and safe. Or it? At least when you are at the top of a mountain you can see whats coming. Who knows what dinosaurs are waiting round the corner to eat you! Yeah, no, sorry, the imagery had gone to far. I am sorry.

All I am trying to say is that maybe not know what is going to happen next, which way is up, where your favourite pair of scissors are (I really don’t know, they are lost in my room! I need them for my washis!), or when you will next be to say you have nothing left on your to do list, is not so bad. Maybe it is adding some variety to life? Maybe if you had your life all sorted out then you would be bored, or thrown completely off if something terrible (like a dinosaur) comes along. At least if you have no idea what is going on, you know to expect anything at any time and so can handle situations that might seem chaotic more easily than if you lived a comfortable and safe life… Maybe it sometimes pays to not have your life sorted out, because you are never REALLY in control of it anyway, so at least when you are used to things being rocky and slippery you are more equipped to deal with it.

Maybe happiness is sorting your life out, or maybe happiness is just sorting your head out to realise that your life will never be completely “sorted out” because there will never be a time when you are in control of every single thing in it.

Advertisements

Happiness is… #YOLO..?

I was saying to someone the other day that I find it difficult to understand how people can be happy when there is so much horrible stuff happening in the world, and I don’t know how people can just switch it off. They said that it is hard but that if you went around avoiding terrible things all the time then you would never leave your house, and you have to just learn to live with those things because you only get one chance at this life, and you only live once. That reminded me of #YOLO. You. Only. Live. Once. Remember that, on every tshirt and every facebook status from last year? Hands up if you hate YOLO? Hands up if you think it is kind of silly? I am going to guess a few people think that it is silly, and honestly I thought it was silly too, until I realised the other day that like MOST PEOPLE live their lives by the rule of YOLO! Think about it next time you order expensive chinese food even though it is a Tuesday and you have loads of food in the fridge, the next time you spend far too much money on a holiday, or the next time you skip doing chores so that you can spend time with your friends. What are we doing? We are making ourselves happy, and why? Because why not, because you only live once and you better make the most of it. Right?

Different people have different degrees of sticking to the YOLO way of life; to some it might just be neglecting a fast decaying veg drawer in favour of Salt and Chilli Tofu, but to some might be more extreme, like climbing up Mount Everest, deep sea diving, or bungee jumping out of an aeroplane. To some YOLO is about making sure that you are doing your best on this planet, giving back to it and making sure other people are able to live their lives to the full as well. To others YOLO is a reason to do what makes them happy, even if it has negative effects elsewhere. For example some people will say the only reason they still eat meat is because it tastes good and you only live once so you might as well do what makes you happy. They say this because they personally will have no negative repercussions because of their choice to eat meat, because society is perfectly accepting of people eating meat and they will never actually have to see the animal suffering in any way. Similarly some people buy terrible products from terrible companies, even though they contribute to the arms trade, or are responsible for a significant amount of deforestation, or have pretty much murdered babies in Africa, because it is easier to just buy those things, society dictates that it is normal to buy those things, and you might as well take the easy, normal, road and enjoy yourself because… well because #YOLO. #YOLO. #YOLO. #YOLO. Ahhhhh. Is it #YOLO, so live life to the full, do what ever you want, have a great time… as long as nobody will judge you or treat you negatively as a result? Or is it just do all that regardless? Where does this attitude end? How do people know when to stop? Should a the #YOLO way of life mean you compromise your morality? Is that what murders and rapists are doing, are they just saying YOLO? What are the rules of YOLO? WHO DECIDED THEM? IS YOLO SAFE?

I am really concerned about YOLO all of a sudden.

1. Happiness is… pillow fights.

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.