#DailyWritingChallenge – Happiness

I struggled writing this! Not because I’m not happy, but because there’s a lot of things that can make me sit back and say “Yeah, I’m happy.” And for someone with a chronic anxiety disorder, it’s pretty great to be able to do that! When I sat with my blog notebook today, this is what came: a list of things that bring me happiness in varying degrees.

Freshly painted nails that haven’t smudged.

A book with a satisfying ending, or particularly warm and fuzzy moment.

The colour yellow. This is thanks to a very close friend who pointed out that it is not only a good colour and a happy one, but that it wouldn’t kill me not to wear pale colours and blend in, just for once! Since then, I’ve gravitated to yellow and held it dear as my own little symbol of hope. Call me crazy if you will!

An outfit that brings confidence.

Colour-coded notes. Granted, this love emerged from a need to control things when I couldn’t control much else, much less the antics of my misbehaving brain, but there is something so satisfying these days, about taking the time to colour-co-ordinate stationery. (I know of at least one reader who will no doubt roar with laughter over memories of my mildly obessive highlighter days!)

Keyboard clicks until the next thousand words of my novel are complete.

Classical and instrumental music that just hits the spot.

A cup of tea at the perfect temperature.

Neat handwriting.

Knowing I matter to my class.

A sunset on a beach, where small clusters of people have dispersed on the rapidly cooling sand, sharing this moment in their own languages with their own loved ones.

Ice cream with sherbet. Specifically, ice cream with sherbet on Otterspool Promenade, on the day my mum and I moved me out of Halls at the end of my second year at university. It was a tough year that seemed like it would never end. Ice cream has never tasted so good.

Break duty when the sun’s out, no-one falls over, no-one needs teacher intervention in an argument that is the end of the world when you’re six, and it’s the end of term so the end-of-break whistle can be put off just a little, to spend five more minutes outside, suspended in this moment.

Returning to my favourite book, again.


Pens that write smoothly without compromise.

A message that drops into your inbox and makes you smile before you’ve even opened it. Just a couple of words is all you need to feel happy.

A puppy snoozing on your lap.

Staying level for more than a few days in a row.

Playing games with mismatched children that make you all laugh so much that you forget how grimly socially distanced the classroom has become.

I didn’t expect so much hilarity to come from this, I really didn’t, but it was an innocent joy that crossed from Reception up to Year 4 up to a twenty two year old teacher who wants more than anything for life to be normal again.

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