F is for Fine

How are you?

No really, how are you?

Because I’m fine. Charlie Croker style Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional, f-i-n-e, fine. And I don’t think I’m alone.

2020, you’ve been a blinder. Reopening old wounds, postponing weddings, cancelling reunions, and just placing a big old pause on life as we know it. The last week in particular, for whatever reason, was a real blip. Anxiety-fuelled tearfulness, depressive lethargy, crying-over-saying-goodbye-to-my-old-car kind of energy. The straw that broke the little fiesta’s back. So if you, like me, are sitting there a little worse for wear, feeling a tad confused and purposeless, and a just tiny bit panicked about the future, then congrats – here you are living, breathing, feeling despite it all, and I’ll bet you anything we’re in the vast majority.

When in need of desperate comfort, I turn to time-tested therapies; so obviously I spent the run up to lockdown 2.0 re-reading the Harry Potter series. The security in the familiarity got me thinking about old joys (as well as dementors and patronuses) and the simple pleasures that bring a bit of light into these shorter, darker days – seven days a week. So with seven weeks left this year, I’m taking #inspo from Voldemort and his seven horcruxes (but in a far from soul-destroying fashion) to share seven sources of joy that this weekend has brought me:

The classics: Re-watching The Italian Job; heists, car chases and co-ordinated Coopers. Escapism at it’s reality-levelled best

The spectrum sings: Getting lost in an hour of quiet colouring to calm a chattering mind – and Millie Marotta creates the most stunning illustrations

The slice of chocolate cake: Simple pleasure at it’s finest. For the stomach and the soul

The well-worn mat: Turning to yoga is turning to my mat – like a trusty friend, always there. Ready to support the flows and the feels

The modern mystery: Richard Osman is fast becoming a favourite, and his new book, The Thursday Murder Club, is the perfect read even from only a handful of chapters in

The green machine: Our Christmas cactus is popping pink buds, little jewels ready to shine through the winter. When did indoor plants become such a necessity?

The family: My mum and my brother. The greatest sources of hope and support in my life

Gratitude is a force we can all apply; giving thanks is not only an action that broadens our horizons, recharges our mental resilience and lightens our own burdens, but it’s free, freely accessible and freeing. With that in mind, I’m aiming to end this year by restarting my everyday gratefulness exercise to try and keep the dementors at bay, so that when I say I’m fine, I really am. I say thank you, what’s your superpower?

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