I have a brilliant friend who runs a Facebook group. Last month, she asked the group to do a twenty-eight day Good Stuff Challenge. The idea was to write three good things, every day. No matter how rotten you felt or how crappy the day was, you could find three good things in it. You could dig them out with a spoon.
Today, I thought I would continue the challenge on my own. It’s over now, for that group. February is finished, and we all wrote our good stuff. But I loved it so much I want to see if I can do it every day for the rest of the year. It’s going to be my Good Stuff Challenge 2018.
I think it’s important because I’m flailing a bit, in this part of my middle life. I’m not drowning, but I’m not always waving, either. I feel the pressing weight of old griefs and future frets bashing down on my head. Three good things every day is a way of keeping my head above water.
I quite often start things like this and then let them lapse. Writing three good things every day is harder than you might think. But I’m going to try.
Today, my three good things were:
1. I had to ferry buckets of water from the house to the field to fill up the frozen water trough for the mares. This is quite a bore. But I decided to look at it as a privilege, not a chore. I had the arms to carry the buckets and the working tap at home to fill them and my dear old car to transport them, and I was keeping my mares alive. They seemed very pleased when I pitched up in my snow hat, huffing and puffing, to give them the precious water. It was a good job, and I did it.
2. I had a lovely chat with my friend George in the shop this morning. The light was just coming up over the snowscape and we talked about Cheltenham and our hopes for the festival. As we were speaking of Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins, a very, very smart man came in. He was wearing a covert coat that would not have been out of place in Savile Row. I was covered in mud and hay from the horses. ‘Goodness,’ I said, involuntarily. ‘A clean person.’ He looked rather apologetic. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. I smiled. ‘Don’t apologise,’ I said. ‘I am in awe of the clean people.’ He said he’d got halfway to Banchory before the roads got to bad so he was giving up. He was going to buy a bag of coal and go home and make a fire. I hoped that he would not get his lovely coat dirty.
3. I wrote 874 words and I made carrot soup and soda bread.
If you’d asked me, I would have said this was a fairly blah sort of day. But as I write down my three good things, I realise it was much, much better than I thought. Three good things. I think they may have a curious power..