Thinking. Happy memories

Arch Hart's book Thrilled to Death talks about getting back the everyday enjoyment and pleasure that so often we seem to block out or not feel as we get older.

Some practical helps on how to do this include: 1) sleeping more 2) eating better and 3) slowing down. He also suggests replaying happy childhood memories in detail, journalling them so they become more a part of us again.

So here are some of my best childhood memories.

- The excitement of leaving on a plane, especially to go back to Australia. The anticipation of seeing all our cousins and grandparents, feeling carpet on Aussie house floors, seeing red tiled roofs and swimming in blue pools. I loved watching TV in Australia (we were allowed 1/2 hour a day and usually chose Sale of the Century... why?) and smelling Nanna and Poppa's soap and shampoo.

- Beach weekends at the CMS hut at Sandspit. The hut was grotty and the bathroom was rudimentary, but the deserted beach, possibility of turtles, great calm water and sunsets over the Indian Ocean were fantastic. One year someone left a bag of potatoes in the hut, which we chopped up with a wavy shaped chip maker and ate wavy chips for every meal. I remember reading by kerosene lantern light, and being read to from A.B Facey's A Fortunate Life. "Read another chapter mum, please!"

- Sitting on the big rock in the forest at Marsden Cottages, in Murree in the summer. Green leaves, dappled sunshine, cow smells, fresh air, pine cones and pine needles. We were allowed to play in a 50m stretch of the forest, and created a 'house' down by one of the big trees.

- Mud puddles in the monsoon season in Murree. Tall gumboots are best because you can navigate bigger puddles.

As I sit here and type these, I can feel the thrills coming back, and I am thinking of more and more things to add. What a great exercise! I'll have to do this more.

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