A younger, male friend of mine, texted me Friday evening with the words ‘You about?’ I knew he was planning a boys night out, boozing and clubbing in London and probably wanted to catch up before he went out. I, on the other hand was curled up in bed with my book – 10pm. I responded with the words ‘Yup, reading in bed, oh the life I lead!’ I wrote this half mocking myself, half feeling a bit miserable to be in bed so early on a Friday evening (well alone in bed so early at any rate!) and on the other hand if I’m honest rather enjoying the fact that there was nobody to tell me that I was a saddo to be happy doing so! The following morning I read a message he’d sent me at stupid o’clock whilst no doubt still out. He wrote the following words ‘Not a bad life to have in my opinion‘.
Boy, did those words pull me up. Yes, life is good and I had been totally oblivious to what I had around me. I had spent the evening with my son, cooking supper together, starting a new jigsaw puzzle I’d bought for us to all do over Christmas and we’d watched some tv before both heading off to bed early. Not a bad life indeed. Shame on me for missing the little things. How many times are we more focused on what we feel is missing from our lives that we miss what’s right under our noses?
Life is good as a very dear friend and I appreciated on Saturday evening as we had the privilege of attending an intimate gig at Union Chapel in London’s Islington with Dan Reed, just him and his acoustic guitar and keyboard. Music and venue to touch the soul. The heavy traffic that plagued us on our way there forgotten in an instant as he sang. And then a drive through Central London, Theatreland, Chinatown, South Kensington and home. Life is indeed good when we appreciate what we have.
And isn’t that a sentiment so very relevant as we enter the season of mad gift and food shopping, Christmas card writing, dashing to the Post Office, Christmas parties, mince pie eating and Carol singing, late night present wrapping and stress over what is still yet to be done……………..Remember to have some fun along the way!
It’s the time of year where radio ads and tv commercials are encouraging us to spend spend spend, that time of year where TV celebrity chefs are making us feel utterly miserable with our lack of expertise or perfectionism. That time of year where magazines are providing us with images of “The fantasy Christmas we read about with gloriously dressed Christmas trees and tables groaning under a veritable feast of goodies, smiling children, husbands helping out and cheerful mothers-in-law all dressed in beautiful jewel coloured cashmere and velvet are all there not I feel to inspire but to make us feel even more insecure” which I wrote about last year………….Remember to have some fun along the way, make sure you enjoy the little things.
Remember this too that our friends and family come to spend time with us because they love us. They don’t come to score us out of ten for our cooking, our table decorations, our choice of Christmas music, our beautiful Christmas tree……..and if they do then might I suggest a severe editing of friendship lists in the early New Year!