Thursday, 7 August 2008

Human Wellbeing

I went to a short seminar last week on Human Wellbeing, what does it mean to be healthy in mind, body and spirit? It was rather good. Interesting. Three presentations by three university professors, a doctor, a psychologist and a poet.

There have been studies done on happiness and the measuring of it. Who is happiest and why? Does it come down to genes and your genetic makeup, twins have been studied in this regard. Does happiness depend on the way you were brought up, situational happiness? Are the happiest people those who are "dispositionally" happy? A numerical value has been used to measure happiness, the "correlation" ????? And although I was not paying much retentive attention to this part, what was interesting were the following points that came out of that research.

People who report being happy pay attention to the following things:

To attain happiness they choose what to invest in - the purchase of material things does not give happiness, the investment in a holiday, for instance, is a much better proposition as it is possible to remember it, mull over it, think about it fondly, talk about it, etc. It is an experience rather than a thing. It is a better investment of money and time.

They choose an interpretation of events. Bad things can happen but it is how we choose to think of them that determines how well they are dealt with and how happy or unhappy they make us.

By choosing to forgive transgressions (I hate this word, it smacks of religion and I am very irreligious!), this too make us happier. By giving up the anger, it is possible to move on and deal with that situation better. This has a direct impact on myself to do with my daughter. It tells me to just move right along and not harbour any resentment or hurt over this breach. It also is what I knowingly did after my break-up with my ex. I knew I was handling it well and one of my favourite sayings was/is "It's not what happens to you, it is how you choose to deal with it" or something similar - I am going to have to go and look that one back up again. We need to choose to savour the good stuff, which is a known fact of the positive impact of gratitude. This fits in rather well with my "counting my blessings" of the last blog entry and certainly set me up for the day.

Also, another point was to make a decision that is good enough, it doesn't have to be a perfect decision. Just one that is good enough to live with and work with. And people who have low levels of introspection are happier. I know when I am doing a whole load of navel-gazing I am not a happy bunny at all. Once all the thinking is done though, and the decision is made, whatever it is, is when happiness comes. Sometimes I get stuck in introspection for longer than is healthy, certainly. The Goffman is very good at getting me out of that loop. Human beings are happiest when they have a sense of purpose and satisfaction. No doubt this is where we fell prey to the priests! Anyway, all of the above came from the psychologist. And here is the link to the paper it was taken from:
http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~sonja/papers/ATL2003.pdf

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Oma's advice

Oh! How mellow I am feeling this morning. When I first wake up I lay here trying to part the curtains of fog that insist on enveloping my pre-pre-menopausal brain (after a conversation with a friend yesterday we have both decided that there is such a state. It’s the state before pre-menopause, when there is no medical reason why you are feeling so peculiar on a regular basis but real none-the-less, and definitely hormonal. But that's not what I'm writing about today - there's plenty of time to gather all the data before I write about that one!) And back to the fog-parting.

After remembering what day it is and what is happening today (mid-week, must get out of bed - that's the level of cogitation) I then run over all the nice things that are happening in my world. Goffy is back being uppermost. A gentle perusal then reveals, like shiny stones glistening through running water, the events that are to come.
Next week for instance is Goffy's birthday treat - I would put the link here to the concert that it is - but it is a surprise birthday treat! Which of course I am getting the most amount of pleasure out of, thinking about it. And then there is the birthday party.....which will be a BLAST!
A bit further away, although the way time is FLYING in this pre-pre-menopausal world, it will arrive tomorrow, is Christmas. This will be the first Christmas we have been properly together.... and I am looking forward to it so much.

Then there is diving,
I haven't wanted to dive all year but yesterday DaveyG went for a dive and the weather was glorious and I was at work and I was JEALOUS!!! Ha ha! That's always good news for me when I am jealous, it means I haven't got sick of diving and therefore have not finished with diving yet..... which is great news. And now of course I have a ready Buddy! That has always been one of my sticking points, haven't got a Buddy? Don't really want to dive then.


Around Christmas time, maybe January, comes the next big event on the horizon - buying a house together. This one is slightly bitter sweet, I love the little house I am living in and I am going to miss it.

It is a huge milestone for a girl to own her own house and to live in it and support herself successfully, especially when the first time this is attempted is when the girl is an OLD girl!

I am also a bit worried about the amount of nocturnal wanderings I get up to on a regular basis....these things have to be worked in to the overall plan....cups of tea and reading for two hours at 3am seems to be an essential part of life right now, how does one do that without disturbing ones nearest and dearest, one has not yet figured out....but that is small potatoes to the excitement and the pleasure to be derived from mulling over the pleasantness of making a home together. This can take hours of daydreaming! I have a lot of fun with this one and have to file it away for extra thought while walking for instance.

Another nice train of thought is our future holidays. The Goff is marvellously good at travel; I am stunningly, stupendously B A D! He, however, in his madness, is looking forward to taking me to his various global haunts and I am very willing to be shown them! Thankfully, he thinks it’s great fun travelling with a neurotic woman, I am fairly sure by now that my Goffy is a masochist of the First Water, and so, I know this behaviour sets him up for the day! These are not amazingly ambitious plans for exploration; I have no wish to scale the lower slopes of Everest for instance and am fairly certain sure those sides of me would be revealed that I want no man to witness if I had to go anywhere too taxing. I know the GoffMan wants to go to some outlandish spots - he is going to have to train up his son....he doesn't know it, but he really does not want to take me there! But, I digress, Greece will be lovely,

Mauritius has been mentioned, the lakes in north Italy must be re-visited,

Antigua has been recommended, Singapore is on the horizon.






And then of course, there is the wedding....now this one takes a lot of thought. Apart from all the scary arrangements, which I try to NOT think about, there is the actual day and the actual point of marriage, that is the bit I like to think about....blue sky, river (maybe) flowing in a tinkly manner, flowers and a bower, Beau in a suit, Son giving self away, guests all looking pretty, Bridesmaids! (never had any before!) beautiful words spoken and meant from the heart....aaah, sweet, innit? I am turning into a sook!

It is also very pleasant to realise that it is also most marvellously excellent to just spend the evenings together, that it doesn’t matter if we are tired, it is nice to be together and flop in front of a dvd. Goffy is good to flop with! So, this morning was SO happy with thoughts that I had to write them down...a bit of mushiness for a Wednesday morning. And I realised that I am following age-old advice given to me by my Oma - "count your blessings" and they are many. Many indeed. My future is a pleasant and rosy one and I am very much looking forward to sliding on into it..... So, Happy Hump Day!

Oh dear! I just Googled “count your blessings” to discover it was a hymn! And some chap on U-tube has rapped it! Good grief!

Friday, 1 August 2008

10 hours to go!!!!!!


14 Hours to go!!!!



I have been insanely, INSANELY excited all day today!!!! It has been difficult to swallow and completly impossible to eat. I have to sleep tonight - how? I have to get up at 6am to get to the airport in time - how? I know I am going to fall asleep at 5am after driving myself nuts all night and then miss the alarm!!! I know it! Oh my God, I cant think for excitement! Is this normal I have to ask myself? I am 47, surely to goodness, this is not normal!!!?