Today I had the day off.
Even though I like to think of myself as a reformed workaholic, and even though I love my leisure time, it is still often very difficult to give myself permission to have a proper official whole day off. Friday is my day off of choice. To be more exact, it’s every other Friday since on the alternate one I do a group call with SBBM at 1600-1730 so that means that if I go out to play, I need to cut the day short to be home. Doesn’t work, that, so more home-based day off activities are sought on that second Friday.
Today I went to meet Leslie. She’s my (first-equal) oldest school friend. We met at our first term at boarding school in Taunton in Somerset and that year was 1966 when we were both 10 years of age. That means I have known both of my first-equal oldest school friends for 51 years. This is quite an achievement, whichever way you look at it. Do you have a pal or two you’ve been friends with for 50+ years? Do tell!
Leslie and I decided to meet at a pub called The Plough in Effingham in Surrey as this is approximately half-way between where we are both living right now. I told her I would be early. I always am. She knows this, she’s known me for 51 years, remember. But, as luck would have it, she was already sitting in her car as I drove into the carpark. I didn’t see her or know what her current car is so I pulled my car around and reversed into a space next to a tall black vehicle, whereupon she buzzed down her window and said words to the effect that you can always tell the child with the military upbringing because they park in a way which makes leaving easier/faster. She’s right, again. Because she knows me all too well.
What a wonderful thing that is! Someone who knows you very well, and loves and appreciates you for all your quirks including both habitual chronic earliness and military-style parking.
I told Leslie in advance that her brief was to make me laugh and to make sure I ate lots of green vegetables. I’m having a fruit ‘n veg week, having taken my low-carb thing in rather too meaty a direction of late. And this brief is due to the fact that I have decided upon my plans for 2018: read 52 books, write and publish a second one of my own, continue low-carbing (with more green veg), do more affirmations more often and laugh a lot more.
I confessed out loud towards the end of 2017 that I love to make people laugh. I kinda knew this but had never admitted it to myself. But I owned it. And then I realised over Christmas, when watching Romesh Ranganathan and Michael McIntyre on BBC iPlayer, how much I love to laugh and – more importantly – how much I need to laugh with the world being as dark as it sometimes appears to me right now, and how good it is for me and for my health and wellbeing. And as I write this I am eagerly anticipating episode 2 of The News Quiz on R4 which returned last week for a new season. LOL. Laugh Out Loud. Laughing out loud when you live and listen alone is rare and I really value anything which tickles me enough to do that.
So, laughter and green veg. Tick and meh, not so much. I decided to have fish ‘n chips and that came with a small splodge of mushy peas and there really aren’t any veg which go with fish ‘n chips, are there? Apart from more peas. Fortunately, I have a fridgeful of veg and can sort that out for myself over the weekend.
That’s my recipe for health and happiness in 2018 – reading, writing, low-carbing, laughter, more affirmations and lots more green veg.
And friends. I am already so fortunate in my friends and they are valued more than even this wordy bird can say. Not often I’m lost for words, me.