All posts tagged: happiness

Name Your Happiness Serum

What would you do if you were given a second chance at life? I mean, you were on your death bed, doctors were shaking their heads, your family was preparing for life without you in it – and then you drew breath, emerged from the coma, beat the odds. What would you do if you were given a second chance at life? One of my favourite shows is Grand Designs, probably because of the focus on creativity through architecture, the interplay between the built world and the natural – and Keven McCloud’s expansive vocabulary cannot go unmentioned. It’s positively bespoke. But last night… On last night’s episode we watched a family accrue £3 million of debt ($5.93 million AUD). Gah! That just made me so many shades of sad (and a bright spectrum of angry too). The dude building the place had a near-death experience; he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2011 and was in a coma for 10 days. He’d been through an extreme trauma and was prompted to “take life by the horns”, …

Where Ordinary and Extraordinary Collide

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” – William Martin. We were sitting on the lounge room floor shelling broad beans, my son and I. He was engrossed, tongue hanging out the corner of his mouth as he manoeuvred each bean from its pod. We talked about how some were big and some were small – how the smaller ones were sweeter. But mostly we just shelled beans, my three-year-old and I. They were probably the most peace-filled moments of the day. I noticed things; like the downy lining of each broad bean pod and that whoever designed these things …

I’m a Christian and I’ve had a Crap Year

It’s been a crap year. A friend came and sat beside me at church and asked how I was. “How’ve you been? How’s life for Team van Ryn?” I looked her in the eye and decided that instead of contriving a sugar-coated response, I’d give it to her straight.  She’s the kind of person with the knack for teasing the truth out anyway.  I told her about the funerals, the health scares, the medication complications, the ‘no driving’ instruction, the waiting, the thwarted plans and the feelings of sorrow, frustration and fear. She nodded and said she had experienced the same periods of difficulty in her own past. “There’s nothing I can say,” she acknowledged, “but don’t be afraid to let it show.  Be honest with people.” It was immensely refreshing to speak so candidly.  To lose the pasted-on smile and the trying-too-hard squeak of happiness in the voice, shuffling from foot to foot while casting a line into the waters of the past to hook a positive, something to talk about without making people …