Friday, February 22, 2013

Happiness is a choice

I was talking on the phone to my close friend of over 40 years (yikes, that dates me) and was expecting the bright, hopeful person I had spoken briefly to the day before. Instead, she was morose, sad and depressed. She is in the middle of a break-up with her boyfriend of a few years and was having a bad moment. As I listened quietly to her for a few moments (a new skill for me) I thought about a story someone told me a while ago.

Tony Robbins, the well-known author and motivational speaker, was helping a woman who was in a deep and seemingly bottomless pit of depression with the grief of losing her husband. She had tried everything, she said, and nothing seemed to work. She had been talking for a few minutes on stage, going on about how terrible her life was without him and how nothing, not even medication, helped with the misery of her life.

Suddenly, quite out of the blue, Tony Robbins took a step back and asked her loudly if she had just farted!

To read the rest of this blog, please go to The Kindness Project, where I am posting today. Thanks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Surprise

My first Valentine’s Day with my husband was a rather strange affair, made all the stranger by the fact that I hadn’t seen him for over 30 years! We were high school sweethearts, but had lost touch. After reconnecting we found we were on opposite sides of the world– he had moved to live in sunny California and I was in England.

We were communicating via Skype and webcam and to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day, I thought I would make an extra effort. It’s pretty difficult to conjure up a romantic atmosphere being 5,000 miles apart, but I was not one to be daunted by petty little problems like not being on the same continent. Stupidly, I had forgotten to add in the eight hours time difference. Blissfully unaware of my error, I spent ages having a shower, putting on make-up and even getting dressed up in a skirt to the amazement of my kids. For some unaccountable reason, I even shaved my legs.

We had arranged to talk around 9pm UK time so I had put the kids to bed with strict instructions not to disturb me except in a case of dire emergency, like their leg falling off or something. Excited and looking forward to spending a few hours being romantic and lovey-dovey, I sat down at my computer and gave myself one final check in the camera for any stray bits of spinach in my teeth, butterflies of anticipation fluttering in my stomach. After the first five minutes, however, it was clear that he was distracted with work and not concentrating on anything I had to say, let alone noticing how sexy and beautiful I was looking.

I was gutted.

Here I was, all dolled up and nowhere to go and he couldn’t switch off from work for even a few minutes to focus on me. We ended the call soon afterwards and I ran upstairs in tears, tearing off my outfit in a fury before slumping in front of the TV in old jeans and a sweater. So much for my best laid plans. It was a stupid over-commercialized holiday anyway, I thought miserably.

The next evening I was still feeling hurt and rejected, so when he tried calling me a few times I decided not to answer and give him the silent treatment. An hour and a half and five begging texts later, I finally cracked. I decided to speak to him, even if it was just to give him a piece of my mind.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when his webcam started working. There he was, standing well back from his computer in his freezing cold garage which doubled as his office, with a huge grin on his face, wearing a very silly Cat In The Hat tie and … absolutely nothing else.

Yes, that’s right. He was stark, bollock naked!

And apparently he had been standing there, patiently waiting for me to come online, praying that his kids didn’t come home from school, for one and a half hours!

How could I be cross with him after a gesture like that? He really was my Valentine.

© 2013 Claire Hennessy