Friday, 2 March 2018

Good Stuff: Day Two

I was so cross and singed today that I thought I would not be able to find three good things. But I dug about, and there they were.

1. Two of the red mare’s Saturday posse had a snow day, so they appeared at the field. These are the young girls who come and see us every weekend and work with my mares. I’ve collected them in an entirely haphazard way, and I teach them the foundations of horsemanship and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I ever did. They are all eleven and twelve and they make me laugh. These two pitched up, smiling and twinkling at the thought of spending time with the horses on a school day. They took the mares out into the snow and played with them and the thoroughbreds, who have been stuck in the field all week, blinked and sighed with pleasure.

2. I found an old letter of Scott Fitzgerald’s which I had completely forgotten about. It has some of the sagest writing advice I’ve ever read. It shook me out of my complacency and made me remember what you have to do to write well. I found it through the miracle of the internet and I felt very grateful for that miracle.

3. Galvanised, I wrote 2139 words. I felt so furious and stuck all day that I had convinced myself there would be no writing. I would do research, which is a euphemism for crossly reading books and pretending that is work. Thanks to dear, dead F Scott, I wrote and wrote and wrote until my head almost fell off.

This would definitely have counted as a rotten day, had I not written down the three good things. Even the sweetness of the young girls with the mares would not have been able to overcome the pervading feeling of rottenness. But now I've written the good stuff down, the shades are receding. Rottenness is not going to have me, not today. 


  1. At one point a few years ago I was very stressed with daily visits to my dad in the nursing home, who was in fragile health, my mom with her aging issues in her own home, worrying about our daughter's health, and pet care for both our own and others, and work - I started, in desperation, to write down three good things each day. No matter how minor, no matter if they were the same three each day (happy to have a roof over my head, happy to have enough food to eat, for example), they always renewed me and calmed my stress. It's a simple but effective strategy. And for the days where the good things were more than the basics, it was like living them all over again to write them down, which doubled the pleasure.

    You, of course, write about your three things much more poetically than many of us can, but the idea is the same!

    1. Oops, dangling participle there - it was my dad in poor health, not the nursing home, ha ha

  2. I think good thing for winghers particularly. There are always three good things.

  3. Tania, you are one of my three good things, every day that you post, and even on the days that you don't, I can still tap in to your wisdom. Thank you x. Juliana


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