It’s quite rare to get a really decent summer in the UK…Wimbledon (starting week after next) is invariably marked by torrential rain…that’s how you know it’s July.
The national mood is sombre…we have Brexit, where we walk away from the safe and familiar and into the largely unknown; terror attacks in London and Manchester and now the terrible fire in a tower block which has left 79 dead (so far) and others injured. But today the temperature will be 30+ degrees C…and the weather, in the south at least, has been absolutely superb. Lovely. Relentlessly sunny, blue-skyed and chirpy. So, Londoners are out of sync with the world around them, unsurprisingly. So..I’ve been trying to think about how to get back into a good mood..a better mood. Nothing and no-one is as good at doing this as animals and children. I remember looking after niece H (8 or 9? at the time) (plus her brother and sister) while their parents went to their uncle’s funeral..why is everyone still sad? asked H, Uncle T died a whole week ago!
Does it help anyone if I’m miserable? Am I cold and unsympathetic if decide to feel good? I don’t know exactly why anyone is here on this planet, but I have concluded we are all here to shine. If we shine in every way, we show people something great, something better. When we are truly shining, we smile; we are kind, we be our best. By shining, we help other people feel good. So..feeling good is our absolute duty if we want to make the world…feel good. So, my unasked-for advice is to do stuff that makes you feel good. An easy one is to smile at EVERYONE – this is the best and fastest buzz you can get..you smile and a small piece of heaven arrives when they smile back – you get to see that person at their most beautiful and the payback is greater than the effort you put in. Another thing that helps me is to take a deep breath every now and again during the day. Take a deep breath and look around…if I’m outside looking at the world, it feels like a conversation with my creator – I breathe him in and give myself out. This is not impossible whilst driving, but it’s better when walking. Oh my gosh…I remember driving with my near 90 year old Mum in the passenger seat and hardly paying conscious attention to driving at all…we were both looking around, thanking God for the beautiful hanging baskets on the lamp-posts, the clever designers and engineers who made the car in front of us, the traffic lights that keep us safe, the white lines on the road, the guys who laid the tarmac, the people who invented tarmac, bus drivers, road signs…yes it’s weird. It’s truly weird that gratitude makes you feel good.
I’m seeing my sister, S, today. As a toddler she had beautiful dark hair that my Mum styled into ringlets. She is the most kind, generous and sympathetic of my sisters…I often think, what would S do? She loves our cat Troy (who used to holiday with her when we went on holiday) and will be coming mainly to see him. He’s 21 years old and has done that thing that old dying cats do…confined himself to living under our dining table… made his territory smaller. S was there when Troy arrived at our flat in 1996 – she was helping me wrap Christmas presents. A normal kitten would be scared and run behind the sofa..Troy took a look around and decided that the best thing to do would be to chase the scissors as my sister cut the wrapping paper on the living room floor. Now Troy calmly snoozes under the table or looks out of our glazed back door to the garden. Even though we give him a supplement, he is extremely unsteady as the medication he takes drains fluid from his heart and lungs but also drains him of potassium, which weakens his muscles. He is the ideal cat. He had a few scrapes when he was young (which left him with small nips out of both ears) but none since. At 5kg, we used to call him ‘fat boy’ Troy …but now he has become scrawny and unkempt. Still, he commands such authority that even today when 2 younger invaders dared to approach the back door, a good wobbly stare from Troy saw them scampering off. Thank you God for this gem of an animal. An exemplar of calm when his health has been failing for the last 5 years…he’s not afraid. Ooo… and I must refer you again to this superb video of another fearless and heroic cat…previously posted in blog no. 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy097s5t8Pc