The black dog is dead. I didn’t kill it because that would be inhumane. I got someone else to do it. Enter the Chocolate Labrador of Bliss. Bliss. Because I like knowing I’m on the right and safe track, I looked up the Oxford definition of bliss, and bliss is this: gladness, enjoyment; perfect joy or happiness.
Bliss is the best word and with that double s it’s a blissful word to say. Wonderful is a wonderful word, and it is my favourite word, but bliss is a close and cheerful second favourite.
You could say I’m in bliss at the moment.
Oh, I know I am, because my youngest son, Stephen King Junior, accused me of smiling again. I smiled when I said, ‘Yes, darling, I am happy.’
When you’ve lived a good part of your life with the black dog tailing you – you never see him, but you smell him – it ‘s hard to believe in happy moments even though you have plenty of them. You second guess a nice time because you know things can change. Depression could be just around the corner, so, sure I’m happy now you think, but I’d better hold back, keep some in reserve, because Sooty could return and try to share my pillow any day. And Sooty doesn’t know the meaning of share.
This year, ‘Yes, is the default.’
Middle son, PVP’s, school principal, Peter Hutton, says that ‘Yes, is the default’ is the school’s mantra. Yes, is their first answer and that they’ll take any question from there and see if it can be done.
Yes, will be my first answer this year, too, and hopefully, for the rest of my long and productive days (let’s call that ‘hopefully’ a black dog hangover. I’m me, so I can’t delete it). Yes is the default won’t look like his: hey, want some heroin, yes, hey, want to drive blindfolded, yes. Yes, is the default, within reason.
Yes, to getting out more, yes, to a cuddle with a kid who wants one because housework can wait, yes, to more sentences and yes, to more connecting with people in the world. I have made three new friends already this year. Last year’s model, wouldn’t have been out of bed to do that.
It’s almost February and we could probably call this a happy birthday to Days of Hilda post. Happy second birthday, Hilda. And since it’s still January, I’m allowed to talk New Year’s resolutions, but I’ll rename them first and call them Highlights.
I’m expecting plenty of highlights this year. I’ll be published again, a total, massive, highlight and a product of hard – but fun – work. I’ll write things, some will be better than others, but there will always be learning. I’ll write another novel, or at least start one, and this new novel will be adventure because I have no idea what it will be about yet. Total highlight.
My sons will reap the benefit of a more present mother and I will reap the benefit of being with them and seeing what happens, because everything I ever taught them is learnt back tenfold. My sons teach about possibility and love and acceptance more than any book, therapy session, or meme ever could. It will be a learning, loving year.
Do you want to go lap swimming? Yes, is the default.
Do you want to ride your bike, write a sentence, take a photo? Yes, is the default.
Do you want to sit at Platypus rock and sing Madonna songs for Libby? Yes, is the default.
Do you know life is a magic and wonderful and occasionally painful thing to experience with your eyes and heart open, and do you know you can bring along your dog, the Chocolate Labrador of Bliss? Yes. Yes, I did, because, yes, is the default.
look! the Chocolate Labrador of Bliss
and the Two Cats of Contentment