Welcome to the thirty-fifth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.
This morning, we enjoyed slowly waking up and adjusting to the day. We made a breakfast of oatmeal and bagels, with a cuppa tea for me and coffee for the American, and switched on Fox Soccer. It was Bolton v Tottenham game from White Heart Lane. Little did we know what would happen next, live on television.
The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder, Fabrice Muamba, had a heart attack. Right there on the pitch. The looks on the faces of the players from both sides said a thousand words. Muamba had apparently stopped breathing and they were resuscitating him on the field. It was horrendous.
Part of hearing terrible news is the about-face you encounter in terms of perspective. It forces you to face your own mortality, to rethink what you’re doing, how you’re treating people, how you’re living. What does it all mean? Why am I obsessing over my bank balance when I can’t take it with me? Am I living in a way that is true to myself? What does this all mean? It’s the intimation of life.
Living here in San Francisco is not bringing me the satisfaction I imagined it would. It’s physically stunning in parts, but the beauty (and my patience to seek it out) is fading.
I work in a place where people stay. For decades. We just farewelled a woman who had been there 39 years. And next week, we’re saying farewell to two more who have stayed 37 years. It’s just bizarre. A colleague gave this piece of advice to me the other day, as she approached her 20 year anniversary there,“If you want to do anything else with your life, just go do it. Inertia will take over and before you know it, you will be celebrating 20 years in this office”. The thought petrified me. This is not at all what I want, and it’s just not making me happy. I love some of the people I work with, and I really believe in what we’re doing, but the time is nearing for me to move on. My feet are restless, but now is not the right time to push on to the next adventure. But soon. So I am trying to focus on my own happiness and building a work structure in my off-time that will hopefully serve me well in the future.
I think a lot about happiness, and about choices I can make to make myself happy/happier. By living a life in which I strive to be the happiest version of myself, I have thought it rather selfish. Selfish is so often used as a negative word – but no one else is looking out for my happiness. They’re looking out for their own. And that’s the way it needs to be. With the events of today and after reading this, I should not feel bad about wanting to be happy. And neither should you.
Sometimes it’s not about the big moves (packing a bag and setting off around the world is not a practical solution for everyone), but about the little things that can bring you enjoyment. So I try to focus on the small things:
- Seeing the American work it on stage last night, and have his family understand what he does (he got third place and went through to the next round!)
- Catching the end of the St Patrick’s Day Parade down Market Street
- Spending some quiet time in my apartment as the rain falls outside
- Listening to some Irish trad music as I write this
- Dinner plans for tonight with a DVD double-header: The Big Lebowski and Encino Man
- Lunch and Lightsaber Choreography classes tomorrow with the Canadian
- No designated bed time tonight, and I have only two episodes left of Downton Abbey.
Today, I’m thinking of the family, friends and teammates of Fabrice Muamba. Hoping for the best.
What are you doing each day to make yourself happy? Are you taking the time this weekend to do something you enjoy?