#403 So…Happiness

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

So there I was out walking, in the wonderful park de Sceaux, trying to reduce and even eliminate my grumpiness. This is due to not sleeping very well and certainly not enough. But while out walking, I saw a butterfly that kept circling around me. And then on the way back, I saw a macaw 🦜 parrot. And then three more.

I take that as a sign of hope and courage. Coincidentally, the grumpiness disappeared.

I have been writing my book and I am up to 5 July, 2021. When I went swimming for the first time since leaving L’ADAPT. I found a recording made on that day where I managed to walk to the swim pool and, albeit a long story, I managed to make it into the pool but I did not swim. I just did exercises to strengthen my right side, especially my arm. Having been swimming this last week every other day, and buy swimming I mean actually swimming, I was amazed that I have been able to go from getting into the swimming pool to now swimming. Okay, it’s a bit ungainly but I managed to get from one on to the other. And now I just concentrate all the time on swimming and arm exercises. On the time I have finished, I’m exhausted but this time a fellow swimmer came up to me afterwards and said, “It’s incredible what you are doing and how are you are swimming. Seriously, I have tried to copy you and I keep sinking!” Frankly when you hear those kind of comments, it just motivates you enormously.

I must be careful do not overdo it today, Sunday, as I woke up thinking that it was Monday. I panicked as I could not remember what happened at the weekend and also I need to get ready for my meeting with the lawyer as well as pack my case for going down south. I was immediately thrust out of my comfort zone. The panic was from not sleeping enough and from finally going to bed or going to sleep at 2 am because my arm was aching so much. I don’t think it was anything to do with the fact that England got slaughtered by the French at Twickenham and I watched this humiliating spectacle in the company of three other Frenchman! Still it’s been a long long time since I have woken up thinking that it was a different day to the day that it actually was. Fortunately, this Sunday was designated as a rest day. No press ups, no arm exercises. Not even a cold shower. However I did go for a walk around the canal when I saw the butterfly and the green parrots. And only then was I able to shake off this kind of hangover feeling without having a hangover.

I have been thinking about this other quote from Karen Salmansohn and I’m trying to get it into perspective. “The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” There’s a lot of meaning for me in this. I think it sums up my attitude as I am every day taking myself to the exit ramp. Whether it be walking, cycling or swimming or any combination of the three, I am always endeavouring to push boundaries. But sometimes I need to rest. Just this once. Just today. Hopefully I will be in a better place and in a better mood with a lot less pain.

Finally, another quote which also sums up my attitude at the moment.“There’s no one to impress. Improve for you. Live for you.” Unknown. I cannot remember when I wrote this or when I heard this as I tend to write these quotes when I hear them and then carry on doing what I’m doing which is typically walking and listening to podcasts. I forget where I heard it and what the reference is. Still, I will endeavour to remember the context next time I write something down. But I love that “Improve for you. Live for you.”

Off to go and rest on my day off!

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