I’m on a retro music trip at the moment. I was a teenager in the 80s, and the music of that period holds a special place in my heart; so I’ve been listening to Culture Club (on vinyl, don’t you just love that crackle when you put the needle on the record?), and last night I dug out my favourite Talk Talk album, The Colour of Spring.
I have fairly mixed emotions around this album. It reminds me of a difficult emotional time, where I suspect I was having a nervous breakdown at the age of 17 (20 hours of sleep a day, that kind of thing); but it also reminds me that I have a deep love of music and a musical background that I’ve worked hard for; this album has really stood the test of time. The first track is called “Happiness is Easy” and it sounds sparse, empty, sad, although the lyrics insist that Happiness is Easy.
The thing is; that’s entirely correct. Happiness IS Easy. It’s a choice, the same way we choose whether to take the red pill or the blue pill, wear the red top or the blue top. Yes, life is traumatic and tough sometimes, but we have the choice the rest of the time, when things are on an even keel, to smile and go for the path of least resistance.
So why is it, that so much of the time, we don’t do this? I’m thinking back to my time at 17, knowing that there was really a problem there, but most of the time, I was a fairly happy and (typical) cheerful teenager. I look at my niece’s tweets and Facebook status updates and they’re full of negativity about her daily life and the trauma of not attending the One Direction arena tour after being able to go to all the others…yawn, sorry kiddo, it’s true.
I’m not Pollyanna-ish, I’m very aware of trauma, emotional pain and hardship. I also understand how simple it is to look at what you have when you are in a stable position, to smile, and enjoy. Regular readers of my blogs know that Trevor (the hubby) and I spend most of our time apart, and it’s not easy….but we have such a lovely life when we’re together. I smile so widely my face could split in two. We don’t have loads of money, we don’t have a house that we own, no kids, no dog….but I am so happy and I know it. Maybe I should clap my hands here.
So. Knowing that happiness is easy and that it’s a choice, what can you do to make sure you’re feeling it? Well, here’s my favourite strategy. If I wake up worrying and with a face like a smacked backside, I give myself 5 minutes to indulge in the worry, and no more. Worrying perpetuates the problem and solves nothing. I then plaster a smile on my face. If I can’t do this I don’t let my feet touch the floor; and I’m not 17 any more, so I can’t spend 20 hours in bed. So, I keep going until it works; it doesn’t take long, and then I get out of bed, have my coffee, address the issue I’ve been fretting about and go about my day feeling better.
After all, as Talk Talk also said, Life’s What You Make It. And our own Bird Linda has said we are responsible for our own thoughts. Absolutely true. Take responsibility for your life, and don’t just let it happen to you.
Enjoy some Talk Talk.
Until next week…..
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