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February


Simple pleasures Tuesday February 14, 2017

You could say that there's a lot to be depressed about. Depending on your political persuasion (and bear with me if you are not of the same ilk), 2016 was not a good one with Brexit, the election of Trump, not to mention the deaths of Bowie, Victoria Wood, Prince and George Michael.

I used to be very political. As a member of CND as a school girl I have been on the odd march in my time. As a teenager I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I now have a friend who like me is a depressive but unlike me remains so sensitive to political events she seems so angry all the time.

So what has changed for me? Don't get me wrong we need campaigners, activists and people to be agents of change. But I am also more aware of what I can do and what I can take personal responsibility for and what I can't. I don't have American citizenship so should not feel responsible for what happens there but did have the vote here and used it!

The difference in my outlook is that, in a scary world, I now know that I need to take heart from the simple pleasures in life. This week's simple pleasure was espied during a dog walk one drizzly day. I caught sight of a flash of vivid blue, blinked and looked again. To my delight there was a kingfisher perched on a branch overhanging the stream in our local park. Not bad for the second city, urban Birmingham. (I am now waiting for Outraged of Manchester to respond).

In this crazy, scary world I have discovered it's the little things that make the difference. This afternoon it's the luxury of reading the paper in bed.

What helps you gain a different perspective when all seems bleak?

Brum Mum
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Maria Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 5:48am

Hi Brum Mum. Thank you for your timely blog! I was so stressed that I felt physically sick when Trump was elected as my president. I felt anxious about the future of my country and it's relations with the rest of the world. It didn't do any good worrying but it took me a little while to disconnect from the national happenings. Volunteering is one of my simple pleasures, and I felt much healthier when I turned my focus inwards, concentrating on improving my local community...ooh and a hike in the mountains does wonders for me...

Maria Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 5:49am

Hi Brum Mum. Thank you for your timely blog! I was so stressed that I felt physically sick when Trump was elected as my president. I felt anxious about the future of my country and it's relations with the rest of the world. It didn't do any good worrying but it took me a little while to disconnect from the national happenings. Volunteering is one of my simple pleasures, and I felt much healthier when I turned my focus inwards, concentrating on improving my local community...ooh and a hike in the mountains does wonders for me too :)

Maria Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 5:50am

Sorry for the duplicate comments.

Eva Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 7:10am

Hi Brum mum, I use change of state, I catch myself and recall that although I've been here before I haven't stayed there, and then when I'm ready I change state, go and make a cup of tea, watch something gentle, go out for a walk, go and email a friend.

LP I left you a note from yesterday.

Eva Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 7:20am

Also Rachel a note for you on yesterday's blog.

Jul Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 7:58am

Hi Brum Mum. I am on holiday but am connected to the internet for a short time. Lovely blog. I am mega interested in politics and have my views! I tell myself that the world out there is actually pretty good and that the media loves telling us the opposite. I agree there are major worries right now but basically human nature is good (mostly) and things will right themselves in the fullness of time. I get great pleasure from walking along the beach in bracing wind and seeing and hearing the waves crash. Go well Brum Mum Julxx

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 8:32am

Hi Brum Mum- thank you for a thought provoking blog. Yes its the little things that matter and the smaller the better.

'What helps you gain a different perspective when all seems bleak?' For me never to loose Hope that things will get better ,things will improve even when my Inner Critic is screaming'NO,NO NO,'.( Hope is one item that we lose in low mood states).Then I appreciate what I have not think about what I haven't. Be grateful for those things. To remind myself that what we really need and want like love,happiness or time we cannot buy.

And of course a laugh.

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane. "It will be waiting for you at the airport!" he was assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air. "Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make three or four low level passes." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm going to take pictures! I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!" said the photographer with great exasperation. After a long pause the pilot said, "You mean you're not the instructor?"

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 10:41am

Giggling so hard here! Thank you for that!

Toby Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 9:31am

Hi Brum Mum,

Manc Grandpa here (but I've not been here long so I'll let it pass). I very rarely post replies, but your entry really resonated with me. I too went on marches in my youth (Anti-Nazi, Troops Out, Free Nelson Mandela, Ban the Bomb...) but not out of anger in those days. It was youthful exuberance, something sadly lacking in me now.

If I don't march now it's because I've too much perspective; I remember the feeling as the Berlin Wall fell, as Mandela walked free, the Balkan War ended... It feels to me as if the historical pendulum is swinging the other way now. Some days I literally can't bear to watch the news when it has reports from Syria or from refugee camps.

It's hard to block out all the negative stuff sometimes, and it makes me feel guilty when I do! We're lucky - we have a grand-daughter who's a constant ray of sunshine. Shame she lives in London.

All the best everyone.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 10:53am

I too despair over what is happening in the world. But I remember Stephen Covey's seven habits: seek first to change what is in your sphere of influence, then seek to widen that circle. At the moment none of us (I assume) has the ear of Trump or Ms May, or any other world leader. But we do have influence over things nearer home. We can inject warmth and love and goodness into our circle of influence, even when we're feeling down.i If we have a faith we can pray. But then, we have to accept that we are doing all we can and that we can do no more. It is that acceptance which means we can take delight in a kingfisher, in the waves crashing on the beach, in the smiles of our grandchildren. Even in the darkness we can light our small candles. This is such a good blog for making us think. Today I do laundry and will take pleasure in the fresh scent of it. I will vacuum my house and enjoy the clean carpets. I will make my mother a birthday card and write my blog for tomorrow. All little things which will bring me joy. I will not worry about Trump or my country's drift away from our friends in Europe. Those things are out of my control, and my worrying about them only affects me - and that in a negative way. So go well and peacefully, everyone, and remember it is still a beautiful world.

Frankie Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 11:01am

Lovely concluding sentence Mary, thank-you! Frankie x

Frankie Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 11:00am

A very timely reminder Brum Mum, thank-you! Getting outside, no matter what the weather is doing helps me a bit ... and doing a simple chore ... Frankie

Lacey Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 11:04am

Hi Brum Mum
Inspired by your blog this morning;I could have read it at 1am but thought sleep was due so I read it just now!!
I take life very much in the slow lane, however I have opted to take on a variety of charity work this year as it makes me feel good and its giving back.
We are all fighting our own battles( mine is bipolar disorder) however I know that there are so many folk that have a much heavier burden to carry in their lives.
I never did marches but feel very strongly about what is happening in the world. I can't change Brexit,The new USA President or anything else that has already gone on.
What I CAN do is to make the most of being happy and leave it to those in power to,hopefully,make the right decisions about the big stuff that matters.
Namely,helping Mental Health become more mainstream and recognised as a serious problem even though it can't always be detected by tests etc.
So,keep looking for the kingfishers in the park and I'll look for sunny days and hope and kindness to all ;-)
Love RR

DAVE Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 11:16am

Hi Brum Mum,
Either the Glass is Half Empty or it is Half full !

Three days lying in bed with flu, my wife has now just caught flu from me, hand/arm in caste (for 8+ weeks), bone removed from hand, blocked ears, raining outside, last night's news very depressing (as always it seems).
I forgot to put out dustbins and bin men have gone...Still in pygamas, slippers, put hat and overcoat over top, what a sight for sore eyes, and I walk 50 yards to a road where bins ( having looked in bin outside of a house) have not been emptied, knocked on door lady had seen me looking in her bin...Told her my story showing arm etc etc, she said no problem, 'you get back to bed'.
Half hour later my wife says our dustbins are on th e drive ? ?

What ever the weather, it's ALWAYS beautiful, but some wold say 'What a horrible day'...I say "It's a beautiful day today, as the weather is dependent upon the clothes we wear ! !

So only you and I know ho we look at the glass, because 'ITS ALL IN THE MIND'.

How do I see my adversities today.....Here I go again "And it came....to pass".

Everything comes and everything passes. ! !

5 different birds are feeding through my in do was I lie in bed....
What a beautiful world upon which we've been placed..

Thank you positive Brum Mum....
God bless you.

Dave X

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 3:13pm

The kindness of strangers never fails to inspire me!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 3:29pm

Not wishing to usurp the position of chief jokester, I saw this last night and thought it perfect to share with you all today. A different view of Valentine's Day....
Two women chatting in office.
Woman 1: I had a fine evening, how was yours?
Woman 2: It was a disaster. My husband came home, ate his dinner in 3 mins & fell asleep in 2 mins. How was yours?
Woman 1: Oh it was amazing! My husband came home and took me out for a romantic dinner. After dinner we walked for an hour. When we came home he lit the candles around the house. It was like a fairy tale!
At the same time, their husbands were talking at work...
Husband 1: How was your evening?
Husband 2: It was great. I came home, dinner was on the table, I ate and fell asleep. How about you?
Husband 1: Mine was a disaster. I came home and there’s no dinner. I’d forgotten to pay the electricity bill so they’d cut off the electricity. I have no choice but to go out for dinner. Then I didn’t have enough money for the taxi and we had to walk home. It took us an hour. Then of course, once we got home there’s no electricity and I had to light candles all over the house.

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 4:51pm

Hi Mary- lol. You can join the Squadron anytime..

The Gardener Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 6:38pm

My indomitable and bloody-minded spirit has collapsed in the last three days. The down-turn in Mr G, his need for me to be by his side, his grumbles about everything, getting me up for nothing during the night has resulted in my seeing everything in grey. Even official things awful - colossal heating bill, need to do power of attorney - seeing state of Alzheimers patients has panicked me into doing a 'Living Will'. But, I am designing a jacket like an upside-down tulip - I call my creations 'Les Flamboyants' - too flamboyant as nobody ever buys anything, but keeps my mind and fingers active - costs nothing because every time somebody clears out their Ma's house they give me all her wool - I have nearly a shop full - I gloat over it, and make new designs. Also, I have the whitest, purest single white camellia in flower. Brum Mum, I would have embraced caused and carried banners - still get furious at injustice and cruelty to children. But, how CAN you take the news seriously tonight? Politicians world-wide have egg on their faces - except the poor b-in-law of North Korean despot - who was apparently smothered with a poisoned dish-cloth on Kuala Lumpur airport! A mad, mad world - trouble is the maddest have the most power. They say 'watch this space' but, really, where do you turn? We have the charade of French elections coming up - Oh Joy!

Brum Mum Tue, Feb 14th 2017 @ 8:20pm

Thank you for the lovely feedback and the jokes!

Peter Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 11:07am

This resonates with me Brum mum. I too joined CND (in a viciously Thatcherite South East) in the early eighties. With the constant calls to action on the web, I find it hard to know how much I can fight, what I can offer. In the end, protecting and enhancing my own mental and spiritual security is the baseline. If that is in place, then I can maybe think about a kind, non hostile intervention. If I find I cannot feel empathy (even towards President Trump or Mrs. May...referring to them respectfully helps) then I think I need to come back to me and my own self care. I struggle to maintain this way of seeing the world, but when I can, I feel peaceful and more safe.

Nicco Mon, Feb 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm

I, too, love the sometimes only glimpsed simple pleasures in life, Brum Mum, and now I'm older I am able to appreciate them even more for the gems that they are so thank you for your blog. It also reminded me of a book of poems I once read - I think it was called 'Glimpsing the Kingfisher' but I can't remember the author.

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