The Pink Cloud – yep, still on it and still thinking about it. Hubby and I talked about it a bit last night and he seems to have the same view that I have, i.e. that a positive change will initially seem more amazing than perhaps a few years on. It came off the back of a letter from the Inland Revenue and hubby gasping at how much tax he paid last year. Hubby is the sensible realist in our relationship and what I bring to the mix is unwavering optimism, foolishness and rose tinted glasses. After grumpily calculating how many full time nurses he paid for last year (five) and how many years we could have shaved off the mortgage using this money (also five), I reined him in. What in God’s name are we complaining about? There we were, sitting on our turquoise sofa in our own apartment, windows boarded up because we’re having them refurbished.
- Turquoise sofa. It matches the colour of the sea in the New Zealand beach scene in the painting on the wall behind it. The big mirror on the other wall has bits of the same shade. See, we get to have what we want and put as many nails into the walls as we please because…….
- It’s OUR apartment. Only three years ago hubby was still locked in the most senseless divorce battle of the century. He quite literally had to hand every last penny over and was left with what is sometimes referred to as FUCK ALL – at the age of 49 he had to hand everything he’d ever worked for over to his ex and start over from scratch. When he moved in with us he arrived with all his earthly belongings in two car loads, this was all he had to show for having worked his whole life. It looked a little bleak but here we are and……
- We are having the windows refurbished because we own the place and can make any improvements we freaking like! And although we couldn’t go with double glazing, it’s pretty damn fantastic to be able to do this with money we don’t have to borrow. Apart from the mortgage, we have no debts and it’s the best feeling.
Perhaps we illustrated how it’s quite normal to initially be quite excited about something but then get used to it and just take it for granted, or worse, think it’s a bit crappy? It’d be easy to look at that letter from the tax man and get mad at how much tax they demand off hubby, when in fact hubby should do a victory dance because he has a really good salary. THAT’s what our focus should be and I’m really pissed off that for a moment there we allowed ourselves to be the twats who couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Ouch! My diamond shoes are too tight! OK, OK – I don’t pay anywhere near as much tax as hubby does and I’m sure if I did I’d perhaps also feel a bit disgusted at how much is taken away, who knows.
I do sometimes wonder though, if I’m deluded somehow. Or maybe I just inherited some of my father’s almost unbearably positive attitude. He’s extreme though – he can find the upside to any situation. If you broke your leg it’s great that it wasn’t your neck. If it was your neck then it’s awesome that you didn’t die. If you died it’s great that it was quick. If it wasn’t quick it was great that it wasn’t a REALLY terrible death, like a shark attack. …and if it was a shark attack, WOW will you just look at that magnificent creature, how amazing to see such an impressive beast up close! I’m not quite like him and I do like to have a good ol’ whinge sometimes, but in general I honestly think it takes quite a lot for me to get beaten down and feel negative about things. Part of it might be naivety, I accept that. Perhaps part of it is survival instinct, who knows. My upbringing and life to date contain no terrible stories beyond fairly normal bruises so it doesn’t come from coming away from something terrible. I mean, my joy at being sober comes from having gone through something terrible – my drinking was a nightmare that I spent many years trapped in. So that part makes perfect sense to me – how else could I possibly feel, of freaking course I feel joyful over silly little things – but even if you remove all of that, I’ve always had a fairly sunny outlook. Maybe I’m just really fortunate to be wired that way.
Whatever the answers are, I think it’s normal to get a rush of happiness when life takes a turn for the better just like it’s normal to get a bit bored or even gloomy when there are no changes at all. Perhaps if we at some point move to New Zealand, I’ll walk across to New Chums beach for the 100th time and NOT be blown away? Or find the sound of the cicadas annoying? And the mussels they serve at the Pepper Tree might after a while seem pretty standard as opposed to OH MY GOD THESE ARE SO AMAZING. After a while, names like Te Kauwhata and Whitianga might cease to strike me as magical and my mother-in-law’s lolly cake could even morph into ordinary. Actually, scrap that – her lolly cake is what dreams are made of, that won’t change even if I were to have some every fucking day of the week.
In case anyone wondered, yes, this is relevant to drinking – I’m still in what I guess you could call early recovery – as I’m trying to work out whether this joy I feel at being sober is something that’ll stop being wonderful and intense at some stage.
The place where I grew up is a good example. I don’t recall being amazed by it when I still lived there. If anything, I vaguely remember thinking it was a bit of a shit hole. That’s so offensive I am tempted to delete it – anyone who speaks of the place with anything other than reverence and wonder AND doesn’t have a framed map of the region above their bed should be shot with no questions asked in my book. I go to visit and every single time I ask myself what in God’s name I was thinking leaving a place like that. Just the nature is enough in itself to keep you there with its dense forests and all the lakes. It’s just the most beautiful place in the world, there’s just nothing like it and every single time on our drive there from the airport and come out towards the big roundabout and I see it ahead of me I feel tearful and happy. So perhaps I was blind to it because I was so used to it, and it’s now that I can no longer take it for granted that I’m so in love with it and really only see the really good things?
Anyway. I’m rambling. I don’t know where I was going with this except to say I reckon we all need a moment sometimes to rein ourselves, stop and look around us. There is usually so much to be grateful for. It’s when we lose sight of that, that we may fall off any pink clouds or become a bit meh about stuff. I’m not saying we should be like kids on Christmas morning over every last little thing because it’d be really exhausting if everyone was as crazy happy and cheerful as my dad, but you know….
Today I’m not going to drink.