Tag Archives: smile

It’s not how good the music is, it’s who you’re dancing with

I heard this saying the other day and it made me think.

The dance floor could be the coolest one in the country with the hippest people and the best beats. But if you are there by yourself, with people you don’t really know and don’t really like, then its really not that much fun.

The funkiest cocktail bar with the best drinks can end up being a dive in the basement if you go with the wrong people and the music is too loud. The best restaurant in the trendiest suburb can be lack lustre if you go with people who aren’t that fussed with fine food.

Of late I have been catching up with a few friends from various parts of my life and it made me remember that these people are in my life for a reason. No matter what we are going through in our lives, even if it means we can’t catch up as often as we would like, when we do see each other life seems better when shared with these people.

There are the old work friends who I’ve kept in touch with because it’s not just about the job we did together, but I actually really like them as people as well. Their lives are diverse and interesting and they offer different perspectives on life.

There’s the wives of my husbands friends who have been around for over a decade or more and are now my friends in their own right. They make restaurants more fun and Saturday nights a family bonding experience for everyone.

And there are the special friends from near and far who and know my history and me better than I do myself. It is for these friends that I am truly grateful as they have the ability to pull me out of a dark place for a reality check and make me smile no matter how bad life can seem at the time.

Friends remind you that you are not alone, you are not crazy and it’s actually the rest of the planet that has gone mad.

So whether your daily soundtrack is Portishead or Ministry of Sound, it’s the people you are listening with that can make all the difference in the world.

Related posts: Real Friends vs Digital Friends, Friendship: Great Expectations?, People vs Place, By special request 

I’m happy for you

We say this all the time- to our partners, our parents, our friends and even our enemies.

But are you really happy for them? Or just jealous and this is a nicer way of saying it?

And quite frankly, to paraphrase Seinfeld- I’m happy for you, but what is it really doing for me?

But you can’t not say it can you?

You are expected to be happy for the newly engaged/newly pregnant/new home owners/new job getters even if a) you don’t want these things for yourself and/or b) your life is really shite at the moment.

So you smile, and say it, even though on the inside you are mentally taking a journey on what the implications of this news is for you.

Sure, I’m happy if my friends are happy, but how do you know if someone is really happy?

I guess you can only go on what people tell you and hope they are being honest with themselves and with you.

So, what is happiness?

Wikipedia states that it is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

The one I remember from high school Society and Culture studies is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Needs are psychological (physical bodily needs), safety, social (love and belonging), esteem (respect) and self-actualisation (values and morals).

So maybe by saying “I’m happy for you” we are actually performing an act of esteem by being respectful of others.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with that I suppose? If respect is returned to fulfil your needs. Or is that an ultimately selfish notion?

Ok, we got a bit deep there! Just be happy I say and the rest will follow.

Related posts: Is it just me?, Random Public Holiday Ramblings, Friendship: Great Expectations?

Is it just me?

This week is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week.

Let me state up front, that I have not had Post Natal Depression; however I was told that I was borderline post natal depressed at my local Early Childhood Health Centre.

This diagnosis was given after I completed a short computer survey at my first appointment post the birth of my daughter.

I am ashamed to say that my first reaction was complete fear at having it and my second reaction was- well, really, who wouldn’t be a little off after not having slept for 3 weeks whilst trying to keep a small helpless human alive?

When I told my husband, he was angry and said they must have just caught me on a bad day.

When I told my GP, he was horrified and demanded to know who it was so that he could complain.

The whole experience was entirely unhelpful and I never went back to the Early Childhood Health Centre again.

Was it a wise move to cut myself off from local community support? Perhaps not. But it was necessary to have the confidence to keep raising my child.

According to the Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA), the symptoms of Post Natal Depression are:

  • Sleep disturbance unrelated to baby’s sleep needs
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Crying
  • Inability to cope
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Negative obsessive thoughts
  • Fear of being alone
  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem.

Personally, I have experienced most of these to some degree since becoming a mother. Not all of them, all the time; but some of them some of the time.

Maybe that’s the difference between having post natal depression and the normal stress levels associated with being a mum? Am I the only one who feels this way? Or am I just a little bit too honest?

Everyone’s experience of parenthood is different and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do have a healthy, happy, affectionate little girl who is always laughing, smiling and continually exploring.

And that makes me smile too.