52 Lists for Happiness

My late Grandfather was a writer and horologist. As a barefoot child from Africa, he tried his best to tame my wayward writing. We would lock horns with one another when discussing writing style, our arguments would linger for days until I'd eventually give in and write verses methodically with him at my side pointing out errors and inconsistencies. 

The difference between the two of us was that I just liked writing, putting words down, listing out every and anything, doodling in between paragraphs and illustrating my written thoughts. 

He on the other hand didn't have time for nonsense and wasting of words for the sake of it. 

Neither of us were right or wrong, although if you asked each of us, I'm sure we could have told you who was right and who was wrong. Which is why, as they say, restaurants have menus. 

Now decades on, I still write, scribble, illustrate. 

It's as though a blank page is a perfect release for haunting thoughts which just refuse to be meditated out. 

One of my favourite outlets to generate inspiration is via lists. When I'm stuck, I list out everything. Moorea Seal's book 52 Lists for Happiness is one of the best gifts I've received. It's a beautiful book which makes listing seamless and easy. 

A few months of writing and I've got my go to happy places down to a tee. One being the garden, nourishing my plants in the old greenhouse and watching new plants sprout up in the old garden outside is a wonderful meditative experience. 

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In the sunshine I'll often complete a list, sitting peacefully with the dogs at my side and listening to birds chirp and dart around me. 

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My other go to happy space is at my desk at the front of the house. With views out onto the old thatch cottages and the street running past it's a perfect place for inspiration. 

In the mornings I wake early, sip warm lemon water and list out my day ahead and sometimes complete my weeks list in the early light waving at neighbours as they pass. 

There's something immensely important in written words, it's a great way to identify direction amongst the noise of the mind.