This is a very live MMMM today. I used to be someone who was very good at feeling shitty in joyful situations, always the ‘glass half empty’ mindset. Gradually, through practising what I preach, changing from the inside out, that has radically changed.

About 15 years ago, I fell ill just before Christmas, missed going home to spend it with my family, was so ill on Christmas day and through to new year that I didn't care but, somehow, I managed to turn it into something positive. When I told a friend about this, she said, ‘You are very good at finding the joy in the shit, Melanie’. I thought, that will be a title of a book one day – probably my next one.

Here I am again, finding the joy in the shit. As I write this at 4am on Friday morning, I am about to miss another family gathering due to ill health (there are a lot of viruses around at the moment). A family day out at the races, with 3 generations of the Greene family, which I instigated and has been much anticipated by me. But I am too ill to go.

I’ve learned how to let go of and accept when these disappointments happen. How to, in Buddhist terms: ‘turn poison into medicine’. On Saturday, I had a day at the races at home, we WhatsApp each other photos, placed a few bets (mine are usually £2 each way but I still get very excited), and I virtually raise a glass of prosecco to my family from the warmth of my home.

In life, things don’t always goes as planned, sometimes small things, sometimes big things. You have a choice:

  • Get really miserable and increase your suffering with the ‘why me’s’, ‘it’s not fair’ – Ok to do for a short while but it only makes you unhappy.
  • Accept what is and get on with things.
  • Accept what is, turn poison into medicine and find joy in the shit.

This is a bit freaky but I turned to my quote document which is always open on my laptop and the first quote which was there is this, from Og Mandino, which seems very apt:

‘If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.’

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