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First Mince Pie of the year…Yummy!

It might have something to do with age, but I find that small things make me incredibly happy. It can be anything, really: a smile, a nice message from a friend, the first mince pie of the year, a beautiful dress (it must be my French side) or a run along the Serpentine (well, not today obviously, because it is pouring again). But here it is: nowadays I seem to be easier to please.
Just yesterday, I was asked  whether I was training for a marathon (I am so not, I just jog to stay in reasonable shape). The question simply made my day. It made me feel like a pro.


The thing is, some of my friends are not like me. As in, not at all. I recently caught up with one of them, and she spent the whole time in tears because her husband is away on a business trip for three weeks. She was so sad. I tried to reassure her as best as I could. It was all going to be ok, she should focus on her children and relax a bit. It didn’t work. She couldn’t stop crying. It went like this:
‘-I miss him’ -sob sob sob
I gave her a tissue. She blew her nose noisily.
‘-what am I going to doooooo?’
‘-I miss him’ sob sob sob. Here we go again. Bring on the tissues. This is a tad boring.

I stopped talking, because there was no point. To be honest , I felt a bit miffed because my husband is also constantly traveling, and I simply got used to it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it, but I don’t make a big deal out of it, even if it means that I have to manage life’s mishaps and catastrophes on my own sometimes (for instance, flat tyre last weekend). Just saying. I am trying to be an independent woman. No need for emotional clutches. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. And it seems to be working.
Once my friend had gone, I made myself a cup of tea (my British side must have taken over). I started thinking: why are we so different? Why, in similar situations, can one person be happy, and the next so utterly miserable? When did we make the choice to pull ourselves together, or to start indulging in self-pity? How did we decide it? Why did it work out just fine for some of us and not so well for the others?
I have no clue. I can’t help thinking that we do have a choice and that it is up to us to decide how we react to various situations, but I might be out of whack.

What do you think? What makes you happy? Do we have a choice? Just wondering.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Course we have a choice – there is a silver lining to be found in most situations. Self pity helps no-one.

    • So true! Why do we indulge in self-pity so much then?

  • It might have to do with age, Muriel, or are we becoming wiser? Like you I appreciate small things in my daily life: somebody holding a door for me, a smile, the last red leaves on one of my walks, my dog Roco behaving for once.
    I have always been rather independent and therefore have little understanding for other people who cannot lead a fulfilled life on their own.

    • Same here: I don’t understand people who can’t be on their won and need someone to feel complete. That’s just me, I suppose.

  • Interesting thought. I guess if u have no reason for happiness? Well thats the best happiness of all 🙂

  • Perhaps she waits on her husband hand and foot so she genuinely has nothing to do when he is away 🙂

  • I’ve learned how to make the most of a bad situation and seeing the bright side of life a lot more since I moved to Ireland. Irish people might be moaning as much as the French, but they always find a funny side to everything. That friend should see the positive side of husband being away ( no arguments, some time for herself etc), at least that’s what I do (I only really see my husband at week ends as he works late and I’m usually in bed when he comes home!).

    • It is all about learning to see the positive side of things, right?

  • She sounds a tad needy to me. Instead of weeping, she should be making the most of having all that time without him – do all the things that she likes doing but he doesn’t. She can miss him, but weeping incessantly? Good grief. What if he left her?!

    I appreciate the little things too. Mind you, I don’t have the money to appreciate the big things, so to avoid being miserable (and weeping), I have always enjoyed the little things. Like sunshine, fresh air, a meal that my boys tell me they like (instead of whinging on about ‘trop de bio tue le bio’…), a word of encouragement or thanks, etc.

    • I think that you are right, she is a bit too needy. Which is fine when you are 15, but not so fine at 40, right? And as much as I love the big things, somehow it is the small things that matter.

  • I can find a good side to most situations – when PF goes away for work, I use the time to write, to read, to slob in front of the TV and hog all the bed. It seems to be a complete waste of time to sit and weep till they come back. Now I want a mince pie, please. Or else I’ll cry.

    • Have a mince pie. We deserve it, right? And it is all about making the best of whatever we have.

  • I think to some degree we have a choice. That being said, with depression its a whole other ball game. D is going away this weekend and I am so looking forward to a weekend to myself!!! At least its not all of the time though.

    • Enjoy your weekend. Sometimes it is nice to have a bit of time just for ourselves, right?