Waiting in the surgery this morning to take someone home after they'd had a blood test, I poked around in my pocket for something to read. I often pick up pamphlets and throw-aways and stuff them into a pocket or bag, intending to look at them later. What I found was a Guardian/Observer leaflet with a few short articles, issued on behalf of the The School of Life, an organisation which, apparently, gives classes and advice on how to make your life more fulfilling. Etc. etc. It's not a new concept, people have grown rich doing just that for decades. Most of what self-help advisers say is normal good sense; we could work it out for ourselves and spend the money on something more beneficial, like riotous living perhaps.
This particular leaflet told you how to make the most of your time, which on any given day could involve you in 'don't check your email straight away', 'step outside of time', 'sleep more peacefully', and 'create a done list'. As I said, no light-bulb moment here, just common sense, but the last bit of advice appealed to me. 'Set a time to celebrate what you've done each day. It doesn't need to be a list of achievements. It could be things you saw or heard that brought you joy'. Not only did it appeal, it also gave me an idea for a week's blogposts; I'm rather short on ideas at the moment.
In common with lots of people I live routinely; good days and bad slip by more or less unnoticed, time flies without leaving much of an imprint. I can see that marking joyful moments can lift a day and thereby slow down the flow of time.
It's not even six pm and already I have three items to go on today's list:
A glorious morning for a walk;
I opened an email this morning, in which my friend Susan,
told me that she is coming to stay less than five miles away from
Valley's End for a whole week in July. Sue, I've put the kettle on.
Just now another friend, my neighbour Sally, came with the good
news that she has been able to get five sets of tickets for us, for five
different performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company
in Stratford-upon-Avon, between Oct 2012 and Feb 2013.
I am thrilled to bits.