This past week feels like one to note down and remember - there have been huge boosts in mood not only for me personally but also within the zeitgeist more generally:
We watched Hannah Gatsby's Nanette which felt universally game changing in-and-of-itself - I don't have the words to do it justice but if you haven't seen it - it's on Netflix - watch it.
Then, within an entirely different arena, England not only won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup but as of today are also through to the semi-finals - *which has been giving the whole nation more than enough reasons to party.
Meanwhile the weather has been phenomenal for weeks and weeks and weeks in a country where everyone just loves to bemoan the weather so I'm not sure what we're all talking about (I do - it's that we're all to hot) but it does mean that a) see above* and b) it is giving us all a general vitamin-D-fuelled boost in morale.
For me personally, well it is personal and hard to explain, but I feel that there are just moments in life sometimes where things just shift ever so slightly and they come out on the right side of the fault line. Any doubts just disappear so that, after a moment of uncertainty, you feel reassured that you're back on solid ground again. And when that shift happens in many areas of your life at once, even if it's only in the smallest way - inside, for you, it can feel pretty huge.
I mean when I say "smallest way" I really do mean tiny but it doesn't mean that those things aren't important. We're all striving for better all the time; to achieve more, to move on to the next thing, to improve upon ourselves, and when we see slow or no progress it can be hard not to just give up. This applies to many different things but one obvious one is fitness.
It's not the main thing that I'm thinking of but it's relevant and works as an example; It's definitely one of those things where you can feel like you're putting extra effort in but gaining little reward - if you're like me and you're not used to working it seamlessly into your life it can feel like a pretty unassailable goal, especially if you, like me, you are terrible at commitment.
However this week it's come to me easily - the weather and long daylight hours have helped of course - but it's not only that I went out and did exercise but that it was easy. I mean the other day after work I went for a swim and then went for a run. Both of these things were pretty spontaneous and not really planned beyond the fact I took my swimsuit into work. I could never have done that in the past - I would have been totally worn out, probably would have developed a migraine and wouldn't have done anymore exercise again until I had forgotten how bad it had been - but the effort I've been putting in recently must have helped, I must be fitter now and stronger and therefore more able to cope. So much so I did the double - a swim and a run - yet another day this week and it felt easy and casual and not a big deal.
I am hugely grateful for this - what a turn of events! It had me running in the humid warmth of a summer sunset with great big drops of rain soaking my hair and drumming the scent of petrichor up into the air, and pausing in the heat of the mid-day sun, body feeling shaken but strong, pausing by a patch of meadow watching butterflies and bees hop from flower to flower, listening to their deep and gentle hum.
See - I've even started to rhyme this tiny achievement has made me so happy and, although I haven't done a great job at making a point here I suppose that if there was to be one it would be not to give up just because progress is slow. It can be easy to forget how things were before when you are always driving forward but it does wonders every now and again to take stock, look back, and see how far you've come.
Click through here for bees...