Monday, 18 June 2012


I'm flat as a tack today. It's probably the tail end of the stupid cold, a bit feverish and  a bad night's sleep can take it out of one. There are gloves to be dyed and pressed today, lots of paperwork to read for a meeting, so I think an at-home day is needed, mind you half the day is gone already.
I've been thinking a lot lately about 'stuff', nothing particularly earth shattering, just contemplating life in general, then along came this post by Rohan, 'happiness vs content' which was exactly what I was pondering. I've been thinking of late how the whole blogverse could really get one down, too many aspirational photos of beautiful people/children/houses/holidays/possessions/clothes/food. I was wondering whether there are crowds of people out there feeling they could never achieve the edited 'happiness' they see online and the cynic that I am wondered about façades and anti-depressant medication. I steer clear of places like Pinterest and would much rather stick an occasional photo on the wall near my desk or having enjoyed an image for a little while, file it in my memory and move on.
I have always been a bit wary of 'happiness', I think it is fleeting and the push of societal pressure to be happy just freaks me out, the rise of online 'happiness projects' seems weird and vaguely creepy to me. Not every day is a happy day, some days are flat and grey and exhausting but that's ok, that's life, it goes up, it comes down. People often say to me how lucky I am to spend my days making stuff, how they wish they could do it. I always have a chuckle inside. This is my job and it is my life, it is sometimes fun and exciting but often the pressure (physical, mental , financial) is exhausting beyond belief. And I am not going to put a smiley face on and pretend I am not worn down by it all. The other thing people always say to me is that they like that I am honest in my blog, that I am never 'jolly hockey-sticks' and fake-ly cheery.
Which all leads to content. I don't live my life with a high 'happiness' quota but the last few weeks' thinking
made me decide I am 'content' and to me that is no bad thing. I don't have a partner, a child, own property, my holidays are pretty basic, if I was to separate my work possessions (mountains of stuff) from my personal then I don't actually own much (my home does appear quite full though). Content is the simple things in life. Funnily enough when I think about ways to describe content they are often about extremes or the little things... breathing in the steam of a mug of tea on a cold cold morning, feeling your toes thaw out after a winter walk, the smell and crack of a fresh made loaf of bread, the small pride in making something well... perhaps because Winter is a time to slow down, to nest and burrow oneself away, to find a quiet place deep in one's self.
There is nothing wrong with being content. There has been  quite a lot of work looking at how we really need to slow down and find quiet times in our day. That without these quiet times we are actually less creative and innovative. It takes a lot to switch off, to stop 'relaxing' with a bit of blogsurfing, to learn to sit quietly for a minute or two, to not wake up at 4 in the morning with our minds buzzing. Sometimes we need to be a turtle, slow and steady and carrying our 'home' with us, not our physical home but our content inner home, not racing about creating towering edifices but spending time on the simple things.


  1. Could not agree more! Contentment is what I aim for, counting blessings, I feel pure happiness at the oddest times: a song on the car radio, something looking good in the garden, it is a wonderful feeling, fleeting and gone. Which is good and natural. I look for peace not euphoria.
    I am cutting back my Internet browsing and feel better for it, much more selective - too much regurgitation of the same news items/images; too much freaking navel gazing, clique-iness, self importance, what's the latest gadget, what's new and hip....
    Pinterest is a funny old place - I'm on it but making an effort to make the recipes, the craft projects, investigate stuff - not just mindlessly pin, pin, pin.
    Love the internets but seriously I and more people need to turn off and do or NOT do, but stop reading what OTHERS do and pay attention to their own lives a bit more.
    Sorry about the essay dearie. Over and out.

  2. the idea of you being jolly hockey sticks is in itself giggle inducing. you don't need to pin pen -you are the source baby!

  3. Well said Pen....I must confess to being a "sinner" I mean "pinner!"...born out of my love for scrapbooking, tear sheets, mood boards...I may need therapy!
    Hope you and Jethro are curled up somewhere welsh blankety?

    Sarah -x-

    Still researching postal solutions for sending the Shepherds Hut....

  4. You have hit the nail on the head.
    I'd been feeling as though I was just not "cutting it" life-wise as I spend waaaaay too much time online. On Facebook, on Pinterest etc etc observing how seamless and effortless the life of other "creative types" appears all the while wondering how/where I'll find inspiration & motivation to continue in my chosen field. I doubt you'll recall it as you interact with so many people everyday in your lovely store, but we discussed this briefly when I was in Melbourne recently and the conversation has stuck with me.
    I've consciously been forcing myself to be online less and in reality more since my 5 day break.
    Thankyou Pen.


Please leave a message for me.
I like getting mail!