Were you happiest at 16 or 70?

snowdrop 30

There has been a lot in the UK press recently about the newly published results of a study into happiness.  Called the ‘Happy now report’, it suggests that the happiest ages are 16 and 70. 

I’ve written before about when I was 16, “Back in ‘63” and it certainly was a good year for me.

And, now that I’m just over 70, I have to say that I am happy more often than not.  Like everyone, I’ve had my share of ‘ups and downs’ over the years.  I have grieved for family members and close friends who have passed away.  I live with chronic illness and pain.  I worked hard for most of my life and I have a very simple home.  But my happiness is not based on anything physical, financial or material.  It is based entirely on spending time with friends, family, or my dog, and as often as possible, being surrounded by nature.  I think being over 70 brings a certain acceptance and resilience that enables me to set aside any niggling fears, anxieties and disappointments, and just ~ be happy!

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote,

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us.”

This weekend for example has been wonderful.  I met 2 dear friends for a walk amongst the snowdrops in Painswick Rococo gardens.  We do this every year around this time and it is always a joy whatever the weather.  Friday was perfect, cold but sunny with no wind. You can enjoy our photos below.

snowdrop 18

Then, on Friday evening I met another dear friend to celebrate her birthday, with a simple fish and chip supper.  The company and conversation were more important than the food, although the fish and chips were divine too!

Lastly, on Saturday I had an impromptu ride on a big wheel in Cheltenham with 2 of my wonderful grandchildren and their mum and dad to see the town lit up.

Simple pleasures but honestly, they made me extremely happy.

 

 

 

Picture Perfect Painswick

I went to Painswick yesterday to eat carrot cake and to see the snowdrops at the Rococo gardens ~ failed on both counts but had a great time enjoying spectacular scenery in wonderful company.  Painswick is quite high up in the Cotswolds so the snow is much deeper there and lasts far longer than down in the town.  But we had a lovely time, so here for my friends are my impressions in picture and haiku.  Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, I forgot my camera and had to use my phone!  ~

Ice daggers dangle

from ancient lead gutters on

St Mary’s lych gate

St Mary's Lych gate

St Mary’s Lych gate

Snow covered Yew trees

in picture perfect Painswick

Christmas card village

St Mary's Churchyard

St Mary’s Churchyard

Sun sets on Painswick’s

 honeyed stone cottages, and

cold Cotswold churchyard

 

Rococo gardens at Painswick

Rococo gardens at Painswick

White winter woodland,

following in the footprints

of the fallow deer

Small Stones 8 ~ bare branches

Yew No. 40
Life has formed you, twisted you,
Smoothed you, soothed you
Jagged, dark, and fragile you stand.
Where is your soul?
In the branches you gave life to,
The gnarled core split open to the world,
Or the smooth, worn bark that covers your pain.
You have lived, three hundred years and more
You have grown and changed.
You are beautiful still.
Roots of the ancient Yew Tree at painswick

Roots of the ancient Yew Tree at painswick