Finding happiness ingredients Part 2: What don’t I need?

So, everyone, sorry for the delay in producing Part 2 of this post. My life suddenly became full to the brim with the task of moving (from a largish 2 bedroom house with a garden) into a smallish flat, with all the associated hassles that entails. Including: fighting our ex-landlady for our owed deposit, and speaking to lots of call centres to change addresses and pay ‘transfer fees’ for our insurance and so forth (grrr). Yes, there was a spreadsheet. Yes, it was colour coded. No, it was not fun.

Plus, given the reduced space, my partner and I have had to fairly drastically reduce our stuff. Basically what this process looks like is me saying brightly while holding up various items (mostly his, if I’m honest): “What about this? Does it….. SPARK JOY?” and being met with a raised eyebrow, a muttered ‘Fuck off’, and a rapidly disappearing back. (Life lesson: Don’t try and KonMari your life partner’s CD collection.) I’m currently typing this sitting surrounded by the ‘things we have to get rid of’ pile, which despite all the stress, is satisfyingly big.

Anyway… I was talking about happiness.

In my last post, I examined the factors that I thought I might have contributed to a feeling of joy I experienced on a recent overseas trip. I was focusing, then, on what I’d added to my life that might have contributed.

But I think it’s just as important to look at what I took away– what wasn’t there on that trip, that created space for happiness to thrive. Here’s a brief list of the biggies I’ve come up with.

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Finding happiness ingredients: what makes up happiness?

Last week, I talked about identifying ‘happiness ingredients’- the things that I think led to me waking up happy every day while on a recent overseas trip. What, of those ingredients, can I salvage for my life here in the UK? It’s important to me that I work this out, because I’m unemployed, and I need to start building my working life from scratch- I want that life to be a better one.

As an exercise, I wanted to think through in more detail the trip- which was a volunteering placement on an organic farm/homestead. I wanted to identify what I added to my normal life during my stay that hadn’t been there before, as well as examining what I took away from it, to see if it gets me any closer to understanding what happiness is for me.

Here’s the list of what I added, first of all (I’ll look at the stuff I removed from my life, in a future post).

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Well, I’m unemployed.

Montage of scenes from my average day this week

I got up at 8am when my partner left for work. “Have a good day.” he said, brightly. “I will”, I responded, equally brightly, then spent a good five minutes looking at the wedding photos of someone I haven’t spoken to in six years on Facebook.

I rolled out my yoga mat and did some yoga in my pyjamas. I alternated between trying to breathe slowly and regularly… and accidentally forgetting and holding my breath in for minutes at a time (while I replayed a conversation in my head with our letting agent, who is infuriating by the way). STOP. AGH. BE IN THE MOMENT. BREATHE.

I finished yoga and stared at the ceiling, thinking about different recipes for risotto, until my bare feet got cold and I remembered I had to actually get up off the floor if I wanted my day to continue. While NOT getting up off the floor would result in me being found lying on the living room floor by my partner when he returned after work several hours later. He would be startled by a limp ‘hello’ emerging from somewhere in the gloom, the room having darkened around me in the hours that had elapsed. It’s a scenario that seems unlikely but I can’t quite discount. This thought, luckily, jolts me up off the floor.

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5 things the internet is telling me to do today, that I will not be doing

Hi, everyone, it’s Saturday.

This is a list of things that I, after careful consideration, will NOT be doing today.

  1. Applying contouring makeup.

“Highlighting and contouring are two crafty li’l tricks that you can use to enhance your bone structure and make it look like you’re constantly under the most flattering movie lighting possible. Even if you’re not going to an event, it’s fun to experiment with elements of ~drama~ in your makeup.  Let’s get to it!


I mean, we all know this isn’t happening today. Or ever. Right?

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Brexit: The Musical

The slightly sing-song cadence and rhythm of Theresa May’s catchphrase when she says these words…

“Brexit…means…Brexit. (Pause) And WE’RE going to make a success of it.” (1.10, this video)

…has been rattling around in my head for a few months. It sounds like she’s about to break into a full-on jazz hands number.

Waiting around in an airport with my partner, sleep deprived, this idea became a quite lengthy synopsis for a very terrible production of ‘Brexit: The Musical’.

Waiting now for this to catch the attention of some big players in the West End and at some point I’m sure the royalties will come pouring in.

Opening scene

Dark, empty bar with just one barman silently cleaning glasses. An old man sits alone in the spotlight at a table, nursing a pint. He wears a tattered shirt, no jacket and a Union Jack tie.

Another old man, better dressed in a posher suit, enters. The spotlight follows him as he slowly approaches the other characters. 

Posh Man: I say, is anyone sitting here? [does double take] Oh. Farage. [pause] It’s been a long time. How…are you?

Farage: Cameron. Well, I’ll be damned. How have you been? Continue reading

Suffering from Post-Brexit brain fever

Here are some lyrics the Killers wrote and then crossed out:

I’ve got Docs, but I’m not a doctor.

I’ve got a neck, but I’m not a necrophiliac.

I’ve got legs, but I’m not a legislator.

I’ve got plums, but I’m not a plumber.

I’ve got mince, but I’m not a minstrel.

I’ve got toes, but I’m not a toaster.

I’ve got soup, but I’m not a supermodel.


Today I heard Donald Trump described as looking like ‘the guy who would play the president in a porno’.

I don’t know who said it, but I like it, and am therefore making a note of it.

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Am I a ‘Cool Girl’?

Evolution From an Unexpected Source

By now you may be familiar with the ‘Cool Girl’ speech from the hit book and Hollywood Blockbuster, Gone Girl:

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend…

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