A Happy Memory [or a few…]

As I feel myself sliding, down, down, down again, I want to make a really concerted effort to focus on ups – not downs.

I went for a walk after gym this evening, and for the first 20 minutes I found myself falling into heavy, dark, unproductive thoughts. Then I remembered I’m supposed to be retraining my brain to think of a positive future. So I tried remembering happy times in my life – peaceful, simple times, with family and friends.

A month or two back I went on a couple of camping trips with a good friend. It was quiet and peaceful, and there was beautiful companionship and the revitalising energy of being out in the bush, inhaling tantalisingly fresh air, seeing beautiful native flora and fauna, and listening to the huge surf crashing with almighty power against black cliffs. We ate great food, drank baileys, went walking late at night, and lay down on the jetty to look at the stars. We talked and walked a lot and it was really lovely. I felt peaceful. I felt alive. I was happy.

At the crack of dawn every morning, my devoted husband brings me a cup of tea and breakfast in bed, then kisses me goodbye before he goes to work. I get to start the day feeling relaxed, cared for and loved. I get to lounge in bed for an hour or so before work, doing recovery work, catching up on emails and Facebook, reading, watching the morning news, all while enjoying my breakfast. Once my feet hit the floor, I’m running for the day, but that one hour in the morning is therapeutic and recuperative. It’s my time and it’s peaceful. I treasure it every day.

Every year since 1988, I have gone away for a girls’ weekend with my three closest friends. That’s 29 years with a group of wonderful women who are more akin to sisters than friends. We’ve had so many fantastic trips away together – usually filled with shopping, eating and drinking. There was one memorable night a decade or more back. We were staying in Adelaide at the fire station hotel and went out for a meal then dropped into a local pub for a drink. I don’t remember the meal. I don’t really remember the pub. I’m sure it wasn’t fancy though. We were a group of four middle aged women having a girls’ night out. We decided to play pool – even though none of us had the first idea what to do. Four lovely young gentlemen decided to come and offer us some advice and ended up spending an hour playing pool with us. There was nothing sleazy about the evening. It was just hilarious. I can’t remember why – but I do remember I laughed so much I literally wet my pants. Thankfully not so dramatically it was a major problem, but it was a night of hysterical laughter and it was cathartically fantastic.

Looking to the future, I hope one day to spend time welcoming all my beautiful boys home, with their partners and kids. To keep spending time together as a family and watching yet another generation grow and thrive. I can’t wait to hug and snuggle with my grandbabies and to read stories to them and teach them to play the piano. I want to go for walks with them and bake cakes with them and just generally spoil them rotten. I want to feel their little arms around my neck and be smothered in little toddler kisses and hand them back to their parents when the tantrums begin. To feel that unconditional love and to have my heart just swell with pride and joy.

And lastly, looking into my future, I hope to lead a life of peace and quiet at home, growing old with my husband as we quietly travel together, read together, and revel in the joy of our extended family. Intermingled with episodes of glee as I spend time with friends on nights out and trips away, or feelings of productivity and purpose as I contribute in the workplace.

My dreams of the future don’t involve obsessions with weight or what to eat. My dreams of the future don’t revolve around food – they revolve around people. I am blessed with amazing people in my life and I want that to be my future focus – not the food. One day… One day I’ll have a happy memory and the food won’t be in at all. I will have forgotten about the food…

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