My Happiness Depends On Me

One of my very favourite singers is Dolly Parton and one of my very favourite songs of hers is Jolene and one of my very favourite performance of it was when she sang at Glastonbury in 2014. I watched her performance on BBC4, which broadcast the show live, and my husband, who had been a little ambivalent about her before then saw why I’ve been such a fan.

I think it’s one of the saddest songs ever written, and, in a twisted way, one of the most beautiful songs about love for a man I’ve ever heard. Dolly is begging Jolene not to take her man just because she can, and pleads with her that her happiness depends on Jolene’s decision.

I won’t go into the rights and wrongs of leaving one’s happiness in the hands of a decision another woman takes regarding your man, but suffice to say it’s probably not the healthiest message to send to anyone. My happiness depends on me, and whatever I decide to do.

Changing my mindset from expecting those around me to make me happy to realising my own actions and thoughts were what would make me happy – a feeling of being in control instead of hoping other people would deliver happiness to me – has brought me great peace of mind.

I often wonder about Jolene’s happiness. I hope she turned out ok in the end.

My Happiness Depends On Me

I Wish You a Hopeful Christmas

One of my very favourite Christmas songs is on rotation on Christmas FM every year. I adore the lyrics and music of Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas. It has become more like a poem to me, as it sums up a lot of how I feel about the festive season, in terms of my memories of it as a child, how I experience it now and how I think future years might pan out.

It has been hard to be hopeful this year, for many reasons. This Christmas, I’m hopeful that:

  • Modern medicine can deliver in myriad ways.
  • Mueller’s investigation continues apace.
  • Our plans for the short and medium term come to fruition.
  • I get to meet everyone I haven’t seen since last Christmas as friends come ‘home’ for the season.
  • Next year will show some changes in the political system, at home and abroad.
I Wish You a Hopeful Christmas

Tiny Sparks of (Christmas) Joy

A day of loveliness on Saturday, two great meals with family and friends and a lot of catching up and making new memories.

Making gingerbread and eating it while watching the Snowman.

A nap on Sunday. I needed it; I’ve been running on about six hours’ worth of sleep a night.

Having almost all of what’s not a lot of Christmas shopping done.

Planning our time for Christmas day. Spending time with our families no matter what happens is always the most important thing.

Tiny Sparks of (Christmas) Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Pulling out the slow cooker for the first time in months, which meant coming home to dinner even though I was out all afternoon.

An unexpected extra 45 minutes before I had to leave the house today.

The red bricks on the front of our house in the September sunshine.

New to me Chalet School books arriving in the post.

Two gym sessions down this week, and another planned for Friday.

Catching up with two friends I don’t get to see half as much as I’d like.

Tiny Sparks of Joy


Today I had brunch at Sophie’s, a restaurant in the Dean Hotel. A friend had booked it for a long overdue catch up and it was an excellent choice. There aren’t many places in Dublin with rooftops views, so it was lovely to eat in a place where we could enjoy the view. The food was delicious, and even though the table was only available for an hour and a half we didn’t feel rushed. In fact, we ended up snagging a table outside and availing of the sunshine and chatting over a bottle of prosecco. It had been a long time since the three of us had met so we had a lot to catch up on. I will definitely be back, for food and drinks, as it was good value for money and a nice central spot.


Things Which Sparked Joy This Week

Having a half day off work and being able to dine out for a birthday midweek (which never happens when I’m in work).

Going for my fitness assessment update in the gym and finding out I’ve lost five and a quarter inches. New gym shoes here I come.

The anticipation of a busy weekend of meeting old friends and new ones. I’m never out on a Friday and Saturday night. I think I’ll be having an early night on Sunday.

An empty laundry basket thanks to the sunshine and juggling of clothes inside and out.

Trying something new and a little scary and finding out its actually fun and exciting.

Things Which Sparked Joy This Week