Happiness is a vetsak…
Three weeks – well, tomorrow it will be. That’s how long I’ve been back in South Africa, and keeping a low profile… I think it’s called denial, but unfortunately denial doesn’t pay the bills (or buy you a vetsak) so I’m sort of back to normal. Whatever that means.
Let’s go back just over a month… my trip back from Gran Can to Zurich was mostly uneventful, apart from the fact that on the last few days on the island I caught a cold, and that paranoid corner of my preconceived mind was almost certain that I had COVID… I guess it’s easy to forget that it is still entirely possible to catch something else… And I’m not trying to make light of this terrible virus at all. I’m just conscious of the fact that for the last eighteen odd months my personal go to, even when I have a bout of indigestion, (and it seems even when fully vaccinated) is: “It’s finally my turn”. Anyway, I didn’t. During my last week away, I tested negative three times – twice a nifty little rapid self-test that one can buy over the counter abroad, and then before my flight to SA, the full-fat PCR version.
Has anyone else noticed that in very recent times much of humanity blames almost everything on either the virus, or the vaccination. Or of course politicians, but that’s nothing new… (eligible South Africans…please don’t forget to vote on 2 November hey…). Virus, vaccination, and vermin aside*, my flight from Zurich to JHB was a bit more eventful – or rather, the first stab at getting away was a total non-event. The ground crew detected some explosive residue on two bags and had the bomb squad out to investigate. We were put up in a hotel overnight, and our second, successful attempt saw us take off almost twelve hours later. I eventually arrived home late on a Tuesday night, and in the weeks that followed proceeded to redecorate my entire little apartment – walls were painted, furniture was painted, things were removed and moved – even the plants were relocated a few times. My first-draft manuscript has been printed and bound, but I’ve not re-looked at it yet. Soon. Soon. Like I said… denial, or just not ready to get back to normal.
I think my sabbatical is officially over now, probably for at least a week, but I am still not ready… Or maybe the emotions and feelings that I experience every single day, are in fact a return to normal.
Last week I worked on a client book that has been very uplifting; I’ve written an intensely sad and disturbing story for a GoFundMe page; I’ve spoken with people who’ve recently suffered unbearable loss; and met with an expectant mother who is positively glowing with the prospect of the new life she will be bringing into the world. I find myself reflecting on love and on life…
Every single day seems to bring with it highs and lows, sad moments, followed by joyful ones, or random hilarity. A sense of real normalcy, followed by “what’s the point?” Followed by “ooh, how exciting” Followed by “wow, I’m blessed!” Followed by “no way, they did what?” In no order at all. And on top of all of that, I do feel very sane and well rested.
I know one cannot expect to feel happy and content 24-7. But if happiness is not a constant, then we should look to repeat the moments where our hearts and souls smile. It could be a place, it could be a person, it could be a pet, a book, a hobby, a movie…but I think happiness requires some planning, I doubt it will just fall into our laps.
I have so many plans that I think will add to my “happiness”, and I’m not sure how I’m going to make them all happen but happen they must! So, I dream, plot, pray, plan and discuss, in the corner of my lounge, ensconced in my vetsak. Reading, chatting with a friend, on a phone call, watching a movie, and yes, even working there.
Right now, I’m back to the sanctuary of my denial corner…but I know that dreaming, plotting, and planning is not enough. One must act to make things happen.
I wonder if you have a version of my vetsak?
*Apologies to the two stand up politicians I may have insulted with the vermin reference. It’s a grim political landscape out there.