... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Saturday 9 May 2020

Reasons to be cheerful (1)

A while ago, a friend told me that in her journal every day, she made a note of three things: something she'd achieved; a nice thing that had happened, and something to be grateful for. I know 'gratitude journals' are meant to be good for one's mental health and positivity of outlook, but I could never quite fancy the concept on its own - it seemed a bit quasi-religious, and a lot Pollyanna-ish.

But I started doing as my friend suggested, and I definitely noticed that it had the effect of making me notice and register nice things, as I thought of recording them in my diary that evening. Then - in the ways of things - it slipped a bit, and I stopped doing it regularly, but just lately I'm trying to start again. Ironically this isn't because I'm feeling miserable and needing to find things to cheer myself up; on the contrary, it's because I have been noticing many things that are real positives for me. I will put in this disclaimer one last time: I know I am in an incredibly fortunate position, and most people are finding this whole situation a lot harder than I am, and aren't in a position - whether financially, domestically, employment-wise or dispositionally - to find positives. So I'm sorry, on one hand, to go on about good things, but on the other, it would be very wrong not to appreciate good fortune wherever one can find it. And just maybe it might spread a little cheer.

Because I am going to try to fill up a weekly post with a (very brief) digest of my three daily things, not least as an incentive to myself to keep doing it. This is not, of course, to say that nothing bad ever happens, or I never feel worried or upset, or angry or afraid. But it's good to remember there are other things too. So, for each day:
  1. Something I achieved
  2. A nice thing that happened
  3. Something to be grateful for

  1. I built a rockery
  2. I didn't write this at the time so don't have anything for this one
  3. Andrew Taylor's Lydmouth series, of which I was reading book 6 of 8 on Kindle
  1. Finished writing the Constitution for Friends of Naburn to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (17 pages; 30 clauses)
  2. Had a lovely video chat with my friend Dean in Brighton, including laughing uproariously at university governance structures
  3. Google Meet
  1. Completed a survey for researchers at Middlesex on the effects of the current situation on university staff and students
  2. Not feeling overwhelmed by work
  3. The control over my workload that comes from working at home
  1. Our departmental 'Annual Reflection' with faculty - for which I did most of the preparation - went very well
  2. t'Boss acknowledged the work I'd done
  3. t'Boss. We've had our moments, but he's fundamentally a decent bloke who's extremely hard-working and committed, and very good at what he does, so it could certainly be a lot worse.
  1. Managed to bite my tongue in Learning and Teaching Committee when t'Boss rejected the exam board plans that Ace Administrator and I had so carefully put together
  2. The man from Beanies popped back after the main delivery with the butter that had been left off it, and we had a nice chat about cheese.
  3. Beanies
  1. Sorted out the car insurance
  2. One of my students whom I've not seen since all this started turned up to our video tutorial
  3. 2Gether insurance of Wisbech - the only company I don't mind dealing with on the phone
  1. Finally pulled together my leave request and lengthy rationale and cover arrangements for August ... just in case
  2. The wild sweet pea seeds collected in Newhaven - the ones I soaked and sowed in pots - are starting to sprout
  3. Kelham Island Brewery
Saturday (today)
  1. Fixed up wires to carry the clematis over the back gate
  2. Beautiful and quiet morning in the garden. Lying in the sun, for a while I could only hear birds and bees
  3. Sunshine

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