H: The Happy Cartographer March, April 1994

The Wishbone Alphabet – an experiment, of course, with attitude, life and the eponymous soup.

There are several ‘Happy Cartographer’ postings on this blog, which form a chronological revisiting of old diary entries, an attempt to work out how I manage to be happy most of the time- not in a skippy clappy sickly way, more kindly calmly lightly eccentric. A natural inclination that I have purposefully sought to develop (see the Happy Cartographer page above for more explanation, if you like, or look up previous Happy Cartographer postings.)
Misery worked for Philip Larkin, but I prefer the daffodils. 

Here I am, in 1994, thinking I’ve got it sorted, buzzing with some youthful enthusiasm, blooming into adulthood. This is not a random outburst, I had been deliberately working on choosing to be happy. I think it was around this time that I wrote my first ‘Happy Things List,’ just a simple compilation of things that cheer me up- going for a walk, climbing a tree (yes, grown ups can climb trees,) wearing lipstick, having a bubbly bath, anything that involves glitter. The list hasn’t changed that much, and it still works, mainly because I want it to. I included the April entry to balance the March bragging, and because the theme of wanting a home is a constant. Having a permanent home is not on the ‘Happy Things List’ because it’s not quite in the realms of my control; I’m still working on that.

March 1994
I’ve definitely developed the skill of engendering happiness! I am become me! I’m twenty four years old and I’ve made the last steps into taking on my grown up form, my dragonfly stage: it’s like being the Little Mermaid with a tail AND a pair of wicked red shoes, I can do it all!
I hope to keep re-evolving, avoiding stagnation, through approaching each day as unique, utilising the present but still having long term plans.

April 1994
Missing company after spending Easter crowded up with family, all of home- I meant to write all of whom- I’m pining for.
Daughter is at school now; she enjoys it and has a busy social life.
The weather is warming up, everything is looking good but I’m a bit lost from living in two far away places. Sometimes I forget it won’t always be like this.

It is worth pointing out that Yorkshire and Cornwall do seem far away from each other when you are reliant on public transport. I am a veteran of many long coach and train journeys. 


Suze said…
The dragonfly stage -- what a lovely way to articulate this sensibility.

Is it fair to say this post made me really want a permanent address for you? A place where you can draw a proper bubbly bath and with a tree with low-hanging branches in the yard.
Being happy is definitely a choice...once we learned that we began living life to the fullest.

Living this lifestyle as full time travelers we are not retired and need to work to get to our next adventure. We believe if we are not having fun doing our job, then why are we doing it? We do all we can to keep our work happy, but if it is not fitting into our lives, then we get into our home on wheels and move onward.

A song we listen to almost daily and is the ringtone for my phone is "Don't Worry...Be Happy!" Makes us smile and lighten up!
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you Suze- your happy thoughts are definitely appreciated. I think I will find a little corner for myself eventually- trees and bubbles will be essential ingredients!
Petersons- I love your attitude to life!
I remember my mother, who talks to everyone, telling me of an elderly man who lived across the road in a tiny flat with almost no possessions, and barely enough money to keep a fire lit. He was blissfully happy, wrapped in a blanket with his memories of travelling adventures. It's not everyone's idea of a successful life, but I can't label it a failure :-)
Mary Aalgaard said…
There is a let down after a holiday. You go from being surrounded by many people, having big feasts and lively conversation to just you and the cat and a bowl of candy. Wait, I'm describing me.
Lisa Southard said…
My easter break is nearly over- and I'm sat by the fire with the dog and some chilli crisps... 'In the particular, lies the universal'
Forgot who said that, but it was clever :-)
Everything is far away when I'm reliant on public transport ;)
Teresa Cypher said…
Hi, Lily! I am dropping by to visit...in need of a little wishbone soup :-)

When I was younger, even though I did some writing, it never occurred to me to make a "happy" list. Maybe I was just lucky and stumbled into much of it.

Now that I am older, I see the benefit of having one. I look at some of the things I have used to describe "things I like" on forums I have joined. Blowing bubbles, tire swings, laying flat on my back and watching clouds go by--and naming what they resemble. And that has not changed much since I first set down those words, about 6 years ago. I think what you do is a good thing--to consciously affirm what it is that makes you happy...and that all of could benefit from doing same. :-) Good post!
Sidne said…
Your blog has a wonderful tranquility feel, sense, nature, and decor about it. I love it. I must stop by often.
new follower
Sidne said…
Your blog has such a tranquility look. very serene. I love it. must make regular visits. enjoyed reading your post. new follower. look background colors.
Lisa Southard said…
Public transport is an experience we call 'character building,' which means anything that is not likely to be pleasant but will probably result in some good stories. I liked having time to stare out of the window and think- and the attainment of real happiness was one of my best topics. Tyre swings are brilliant- that's going on my list- hard to miserable on a tyre swing! Very pleased to share and encourage- I hope raising the world's happiness index is my vocation xx :-)

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