Have you noticed the universal joy that comes from playing with bubbles, balloons or fancy dress? This is L, my fellow Aspie and ‘first son who lived’ (his words not mine). L is deliciously complicated, super clever, highly emotional (like his Mumma) and he is joyful. So joyful. I have thousands of photos I’ve taken like this. Of him popping bubbles, bouncing balloons, scooting, skating, speeding on his bike, wild swimming, tree climbing and of course parading around in different fancy dress outfits because who doesn’t like dressing up?
L is 8 at the end of this month and while I was flicking through old photos today trying to pick out some favorites for his birthday collage (a tradition of mine) I was struck how much happiness radiates from him when he’s doing these things. It’s like he’s giving off his own magical energy and if you could bottle it, we could save the planet.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed I reach for a big bar of chocolate. Or a box of cakes. Or maybe both. And vodka. I just love to self soothe with vodka! Hubby and I have been trying to avoid buying spirits in an effort to be more healthy. But you just can’t beat an ice cold vodka can you? Or can you?…. Because now I’m looking at these photos and I’m thinking. I’m thinking ‘Wow! What would happen if instead of stuffing my face with comfort food and poisoning my liver with vodka, what would happen if I went outside and blew some bubbles? Or had a bounce on the trampoline?
One of my favorite past times is rockpooling on the beach.I can do it for hours and never get bored. Or wading through streams and rivers with a fishing net catching tiddlers. These things heal me, just like writing heals me or taking photographs heals me.
It’s so easy in a stressful moment to want instant gratification, a deliciously chocolatey snog with a bar of galaxy or a soothing alcoholic cuddle with your favorite beverage. But the benefit is so fleeting and you’re left wanting more which is bad for your waistline and your wallet. Even worse, when I’ve resorted to binging, boozing, or both, I feel rotten afterwards. I don’t mean hangover rotten. I mean depressed, unattractive, guilty, greedy. Because I know it’s bad for me.
Embrace your inner Buzz
Let me be clear I’m not trying to guilt trip you into clearing up your act. This is all about me. Manic depressives and cancer survivors should most definitely limit their alcohol intake and eat healthily. This is a fact.
So if you should venture down to the park or the beach this weekend and see a rotund yet energetic blonde woman dressed as Buzz Lightyear, blowing bubbles and brandishing a fishing net, with a camera swinging round her neck, don’t be afraid. It’ll just be me living my best life. Do come and say hi. I’m not dangerous, just bonkers in the very best way. But as the Cheshire Cat says ‘We’re All Mad Here’!