Today has been a good day so far.
It’s not like I keep a tally of my good days and bad days. I think a tally like that would be impossible for anyone to keep, because it’s rare for a feeling to stick around for as long as a day, whether it’s good or bad. With everything life has in store each day, the tiniest thing has the power to alter your mood. You could have a great morning, followed by a lousy afternoon, and therefore an understandably hard time deciding where a day like that belongs.
But for now, at just after two ‘o’ clock on a cloudy but bright Thursday afternoon, I can say with confidence that so far, today has been good.
And it’s funny, because, as there often isn’t, there isn’t really a reason behind today’s good feeling, other than the fact that I’ve had a rather productive morning. For me lately, at least.
I set my alarm for 8 this morning, and actually got up at 8. Actually, if I remember correctly, I beat my alarm by 5 minutes this morning, as I woke up to the sound of my mum talking to my stepdad in the next room, which, though mundane I suppose, was a rather pleasant sound to wake up to. So I woke up, and I had my cereal, as food is always at the top of my priorities in the morning. I got into my gym clothes, with my trendy new sports bra underneath. It’s pink. I’m not usually a pink kind of girl, but, for increased comfort and decreased bra strap fiddling mid-exercise, my new pink sports bra rules.
Anyway, before my class, I finally went to the doctors to ask if I could be put on another pill. As it happens, the doctor suggested that, if the only problem with Fluoxetine was that they were capsules instead of tablets, I could try the same medicine in dispersible form. I said that this seemed like a good idea as, as far as I could tell from the few cases in which I did manage to take the pill, it seemed to be working. She’s a lovely doctor. She called me sweetie, which was nice. And she also suggested that I try and stick with a tablet long enough to feel the benefit of it, which was true.
For some reason, I was in and out of the doctors within 10 minutes, which was amazing. Usually a trip to the doctors is like The Hunger Games, fighting to the death for a seat in the waiting room, running for your life to book a slot before the walk-in closes. Usually, the odds aren’t in my favour. But this morning, due to the fact that I arrived a whole hour earlier than I usually do, and that the vast majority of earlybirds were probably waiting in another line to vote in the election, my visit to the doctors was quick and painless.
So quick and painless, in fact, that I had over an hour to kill before my gym class. I didn’t want to drive back home and wait, partly because I was already out, and partly because if I had, I would probably have just jumped back into bed. So instead, I drove to gym and sat in the car park, reading my new book, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It’s a bit cheeky to call it new, as it was actually on my reading list for Gothic Literature in my final year at uni. But, as I was in love with The Shining and utterly hooked by Jack Torrance and his slow descent into madness, The Shadow of the Wind got shelved, and this gem of a book had remained there, overlooked and neglected, ever since.
I’m only six chapters in, but I’m hooked already. More than hooked. Captivated. Transfixed. I seem to have experienced the same reaction to Ruiz Zafon’s novel as one of his characters experiences about another, ‘plunged into a new world of images and sensations peopled by characters who seemed as real to me as my surroundings’. It’s not always often a book affects me so, though I’ve had the good fortune to have experienced this with my two latest choices of novels, The Shadow of the Wind, preceded by the beautiful Memoirs of a Geisha. I think I just have a soft spot for beautifully written novels. Novels where the writer seems to have laboured over each and every word with seemingly effortless precision, so that every single sentence appears not to have been written arduously, but painted sensuously. The lines aren’t spoken to the reader, but sung. The result is a creation of a novel in which every word is a pleasure to read, and every page is a gift. Your eyes seem to register each line as it would a landscape, tracing over every curve, lingering on any line that they found particularly beautiful.
Needless to say, I recommend it already.
After a good hour of reading my new beautiful book in my messy little car, I had to tear myself from Zafon’s story and hit the gym. Undoubtedly the most intense of all my classes, but also probably my favourite. It’s a combat class, filled with more jabs, hooks, upper-cuts and roundhouse kicks than I usually know what to do with. But I’ve always loved the idea of knowing how to fight, to defend myself. And also, after spending so much time avoiding myself, it can be nice, just for an hour once a week, to face my reflection in a room full of mirrors, punching and kicking away whatever worries I may have had going in. It may seem silly, I know, but I almost always leave that class feeling stronger.
And after the gym, I had regained my breath, drove back home, had a glorious shower, got myself ready, and started writing a blog post before I noticed, for the first time in a long time, what a genuinely good mood I seemed to be in.
A morning in which I took care of a few things, went to the gym, finally washed my hair and sat down to write. Small steps though they may seem, they are far from insignificant. And it sure feels good to take them. One small step forward, and one giant leap in the right direction. And I feel better for it already.
Okay, a morning at the gym may not be a giant leap. But a good feeling is a big deal.
A good feeling has the power to change your morning, your day, even your life. It has the power to alter your perception of the world. Or rather, to restore it. To wipe away the clouds from your eyes so that, for the immeasurable amount of time that a good feeling lasts for, you can see the world as you once did. Through your own two eyes that aren’t made blurry by thoughts or anxieties, but made clear by the weight of the world lifting for a moment.
Even for a whole morning, if you’re lucky.
And, if you’re really lucky, a good feeling might even last from the moment you wake up in the morning, until the moment you got to bed at night. And, even closed, you’ll find your eyes are still re-adjusting to the new light, which they once knew but had since forgotten. Your body feels lighter than it has in a long time without the weight of worry. And your mind is filled with the brightness of the world, its endless possibilities, and all the wonderful things that the next good feeling has to offer.
I hope you had a good feeling today, too.