Feb 10, 2022
2 mins read
Today started off as an absolute disaster. I had menopause insomnia last night, so I woke up feeling enervated and furious and scratchy. The wind was howling at the house again and a sullen sleet was blowing in. I was so cross I didn’t even want to go down to the horses. I knew I would find murk and mud and mess there, which would be a shock to the system after yesterday’s dreamy sunshine.
But you can’t not look after your animals just because you are feeling livid. So off I stomped, muttering under my breath.
But the mares performed their alchemy. Little bit by little bit, my absurdity fell away from me. It was just a fleeting dose of not enough sleep. It was just a bit of weather. The horses were as serene as if they were dozing on a summer’s day, and I caught their spirit, and their resilience, and their beauty, and I forgot to be cross. I put some music on the device and sang a song and suddenly the world was transformed.
And even though I started the day slow and late, there was enough time and I had enough energy, and brain, and determination. There was a beautiful bit of work on a crucial chapter with a client, and a deep dive with another client, into life and grief and love and loss and death and remembering.
There was time for a conversation about Keats and Shelley. There were thoughts of the Stoics. (Today, my darlings, I have been meditating on Epictetus.) There was time for laughter, and to make a delicious toasted cheese sandwich for lunch, and to think about the world. I get very twitchy if there is not time to think about the world.
I did my work and wrote a thousand words of new book.
So, it was not a disaster, in the end. It was not a disaster at all.
I think I write about this a lot - the idea that even though it might feel that all is lost, it really isn’t. You can gather yourself and get your engine revving and catch up. You can be Paisley Park who, it turns out, can give a field a twenty-length start and still gallop his way to glory. Nobody knew he could do that until he did it. Once he did, it felt inevitable.
You can have a rotten start to a day and still make it count for something. As long as it ends up having some meaning in it, and some purpose, and some laughter, and something which might add to the sum total of human happiness, then that day is not wasted.
You can be the Stoics, and change your perception, and that will, in its turn, change your world.