3.2.1 Quote Me! Topic: Happiness

person jumping photo
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I have been tagged by the fantastic Beckie of the blog Beckie’s Mental Mess, to take part in this 321 quote challenge. Click on the link below to see her post.

3.2.1 Quote Me! Topic: Happiness 😁

The 3.2.1 Quote Me challenges were created by Rory, A Guy Called bloke, check out his blog post here:

321 Quote Me – Happiness

 

Thank you, Beckie, for tagging me. 🙂

Guidelines: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

 

The Topic is Happiness.

What is happiness? It is a feeling of contentment caused when your mental health is good and you acknowledge that you have acquired or achieved something that makes you happy, or you realise that there is no reason to be unhappy. It is a mental attitude and it can be a choice, however, for someone suffering depression, this is not something that happens quite as well. So, In quoting Aeschylus below, I acknowledge that for some of us, simply choosing to be happy, doesn’t quite work as well.

 

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times. - Aeschylus

 

“Money or things can’t buy you happiness, they can only provide a level of misery you can live with. “

 

I would also like to share with you a song lyric/poem that I wrote a while ago. It’s called Happiness:

Happiness.

When will I find Happiness?

I try to keep hopeful, but I confess

I have almost given up

Dreaming, hoping of the day

When I will find

Someone to love me, who is kind.

 

Happiness, I admit it, I am in Distress

The time left to me is getting less

Do I still have the chance

Of attracting someone nice?

Am I too Old?

Will I be left out in the cold?

 

When I was young I played the fool

Thought settling down was just uncool

But now I know I wasted time.

Looking back, I’ve passed my prime.

Will I ever find what I am looking for?

Or will I continue living without…..

 

Happiness. When will I find Happiness?

I feel my life is such a shameful mess.

And yet, somehow, I know

There is always tomorrow,

and I will find,

The one for me is, in my mind

and I’ll find happiness.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 30/May/2019

 

So who shall I tag?

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/an-ice-cream-memory/

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/full-of-hope-based-on-solid-reasons/

Vitamin D, Let the Sunshine In

 

Have fun. 🙂

 

A post about mental wellbeing.

I’d like to draw your attention to this post that I have written. It was posted on the Best Life Collaborative site. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Does writing in your leisure time help to improve your mental health?

Does it bring you more than just enjoyment?

 

https://accessibleaba.com/bestlifecollaborative/writing-my-way-out-how-writing-has-helped-me-deal-with-my-mental-health-issues/

IMG_0027

FOWC with Fandango — Post

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/your-daily-word-prompt-leisure-march-26-2019/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/enjoyment/

 

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – The Last Holiday

This was written in response to the Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge.

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge November 6, 2018

The Challenge:

Here are 3 words to spark your imagination for a piece of poetry.  BUT, you CANNOT USE these 3 words in the poem.  What images, feelings, emotions do they conjure up for you?  Good luck!

gray, wind, echoes

 

Here is my response:

 

So drab and colourless,

the sky loomed overhead

And brought that doom-filled feeling,

The one I’ve learned to dread.

 

I scream into the void

The dark and dangerous abyss,

The breeze whips away my scarf.

I hear a resound, a sigh, a hiss.

 

“Come, on Jump” I hear them say,

A torment from a fateful past,

I step back from that final edge,

This was not the first time, nor the last.

 

I did not surrender, I didn’t fall

I had the strength and found the way,

This time I did not heed the call,

of death, that final holiday.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 07/November/2018

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/rdp-wednesday-holiday/

 

A Twisted Fairy Tale – A Short Story based on a fairy tale (Can you guess which one?)

As you may know, I am currently on a break, but am taking this opportunity to repost some of my older posts that you may have missed. This story was written back in March for my creative writing course. We had to take a well-known fairy tale and twist the story. Can you guess which fairy tale this was based on? 

 

 

On the opposite side of the road, he saw her.

She didn’t see him at all but he called out to her. She didn’t hear him either.

He walked along the road to try to remain parallel to her but she was a very fast walker and the road between them was wide and full of traffic. He saw her jump onto a bus just as it pulled away. It was one of those red, double-decker London buses with the entrance at the back. He saw her sit down under the metal staircase and then the bus turned the corner and he lost her, for the second time.

There was so much he had wanted to say to her if only he’d been able to catch her eye. He sat down on a bench, above an arch, overlooking a park. His mind thought back to their last conversation and how she had been crying. Above everything, he had wanted to apologise to her and to explain. He was so socially clumsy, so ill at ease. He often said or did the wrong thing. Despite all he said and didn’t say, he truly loved her. Why couldn’t he say that to her then? When she had said she loved him; that would have been the perfect moment but instead he couldn’t say anything at all and when she started crying, he didn’t know what to do.

Looking back three things had become clear to him. Firstly, she had been “The One” he was positive of that now. It was clear too that he had lost the opportunity and probably lost her also. Finally, it was clear he needed help. Help to understand why he was so awkward socially, why he so often couldn’t think of the right things to say or read those important visual cues that others seemed to read easily. Perhaps, one day, he could make it up to her. He hoped that their relationship if it could still be called that, wasn’t a completely closed door.
As he sat there, the chill wind ruffled his sandy hair and the russet leaves on the trees in the park below. He thought further back, to their first meeting. It had been two years ago, in a glorious summer. He had been working at his family’s hotel giving tennis lessons to any of the guests willing to pay. Sport had seemed such a lifeline to him at school when no one had wanted to be his friend. He was always that strange silent kid with the temper. The ‘Little Beast’, some had called him. With sport, however, he was often the first picked for the team and that had made him feel popular. So he had played football and rugby but it was at tennis he had excelled. So during the holiday season, his parents had decided to put him to use teaching tennis to the people staying in their hotel. He also helped out waiting at tables in the restaurant and occasionally he helped in the kitchens.

One day he saw her, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, with auburn hair that shone like burnished copper in the sunshine. She was with a middle-aged man and two other young girls, who he found out, were her father and sisters. Neither of the sisters looked much like her. One was much taller with very dark, frizzy hair. The other was shorter and with curly blond hair. They both had a disdainful look on their faces as they gazed around the lobby of the hotel, whereas she was smiling. She looked up and their eyes met. She had the most beautiful deep blue eyes, and he found himself walking over to say hello. Then a miracle happened. For the first time ever, his usual awkwardness didn’t materialise. He introduced himself to them and welcomed them to the hotel. In her company he seemed to be able to speak normally and without his usual hesitant manner. They got on well and as she decided to take tennis lessons this meant they spent a lot of time together. Her name was Annabelle, she told him, and she lived in Manchester with her father, who was a merchant, and her sisters. They usually liked to spend their holidays on the South coast of England but this was their first time in Devon. After spending a good deal of time together during the two weeks of her holiday the day came for her to leave. He started to feel tongue-tied and he couldn’t think of anything to say but she asked if they could keep in touch, as pen pals and gave him her address to write to.

He had never been much of a writer but he began writing letters to her once or twice a week. He found that he was able to communicate much better in writing than he ever had verbally.

Last summer she came back to stay again, with her father. He was so pleased to see her but the emotions seemed to rise up inside him and choke him. He could barely utter two sentences together. At first, she was able to make up for his silence by telling him about her new Job in London and what other things had been happening to her but eventually she seemed to realise that he wasn’t adding much to the conversation and the awkward silences began. That night they went out for dinner and he remembered clearly the lights from the candelabra shining on the silver cutlery and bringing out the coppery highlights of her hair. He could smell her perfume, spicy and intoxicating, over the usual comforting aromas of the restaurant. He remembered again how after the meal she had confessed she loved him and he felt that rising suffocating emotion stifling all thought and murdering his ability to speak. He remembered seeing the tears gather in her perfect blue eyes but he sat paralysed and unable to comfort her. That had been the first time he’d lost her.

He had tried to write to her and explain. He never had a response.

His thoughts returned to the present. The sun was setting and he was aware the autumn air was getting too cold to be sitting around in it. Getting up from his park bench he began walking back to his dingy little apartment in Old street. He was now working in London as a data analyst. It seemed that, just like with sport, his strange manner didn’t make any difference to his ability to process and handle data. He was at ease with data, data couldn’t misinterpret his silences and he couldn’t misread its face. He had moved to the area because he knew she worked in this part of town, as a nurse in Moorfield’s hospital. He wanted to be near her in case, one day he would see her again. He supposed it was a strange obsession, but he clung to that one hope.

As he walked down the steps to his basement studio, one of many like it in London where old Victorian townhouses were divided up into small flats, he decided that once and for all, he was going to find out why he behaved the way he did. He was going to see his GP. He had hardly even seen his GP, only once a couple of months before when he’d had flu. The doctor was a brisk but pleasant chap who got down to business quickly without too much small talk. He liked that. After the doctor had asked him some questions about his problems he referred him to the behavioural therapy clinic for some analysis. “You should hear in the next couple of weeks,” the doctor said, by way of dismissal.

Exactly eleven days later his appointment letter arrived to see Doctor Hazel Mortimer at a clinic in Hackney. On his first visit, he was quite nervous and taciturn. The Doctor was a mature lady with dark hair and a rather unfortunate nose and chin that reminded him of a witch. Her manner, though, was friendly and easy-going. After a good long discussion, she gave her diagnosis, which sounded like a curse.
“I am pretty certain that you have Asperger’s syndrome. It is reasonably common, more so in men. I can recommend a support group to you and I have quite a lot of information that you may find useful and helpful.”

The more he read about it, the more things fell into place about his childhood and growing up. His temper, that had caused people to call him the little beast, was borne out of frustration. The inability to read people’s faces and pick up on visual cues was typical. It seemed to help to know that. It also helped that at last, he had a label that people could understand. The name somehow legitimised him as a person, he wasn’t just an oddball or a beast, he was a person with Asperger’s.

He attended the support group which met weekly in the community centre, not far from where he lived. It felt so good to hear how other people, perfectly normal looking people, had had experiences like his.

It was as he was leaving one of these support group meetings that he unexpectedly came face to face with her again in the community centre lobby.
They stood for several seconds looking into each others’ eyes. Both of them stunned to see each other.
“Annabelle, I’m so pleased to see you. I wanted to see you again. I have something to tell you, something important.”
Her blue eyes began to fill with tears. He couldn’t let this happen again, he had to speak.
“Look, Annabelle, I love you. I’ve always loved you and I’m sorry I couldn’t say so at the time. I know it’s been over a year since we last met, but please tell me, do you still feel the same way?”
She was looking at him like he had horns growing out of his head; like he was some kind of monster.
“Annabelle, I found out why I am so awkward and why I come across the way I do. I have Asperger’s syndrome. I come here to attend a support group and it has helped. I am not a beast, but neither is this a curse that is going to go away like in a fairy tale. I am always going to have Asperger’s but maybe if you still love me, we can make a go of it. What do you say?”
Annabelle smiled; it was a quirky slightly uneven smile. “Well I am here for my support group; I have Bi-polar disorder. I am not an easy person to live with and sometimes, I suppose, I must be a nightmare. If you are prepared to take me on, then if you’re game, so am I.”

There, in the community centre lobby, with a couple of support workers looking on, they kissed, like two starving people at a feast. They were impervious to the smell of cheap bleach and the onlookers gawping at them. The grey lino on the floor, the plastic chairs and bright fluorescent lighting were not at all romantic, but they were.

They did not live happily ever after, because real life isn’t really like that, but they were together and that was enough.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty – March 2018

In Sandra’s Shoes – A new perspective.

 

This is a parallel story to the one I wrote yesterday – Sea Foam in Skye.

See here: https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/sea-foam-in-skye-a-short-story-of-pain-and-sorrow/

Sandra decided to have a long soak in the bath. She needed to unwind; it was all getting too stressful. As she got into the hot bath, the smell of lavender wafted from the bath salts and the bath foam. Her mind kept going over and over her current situation. She thought of her soon to be ex-husband Michael. She’d had a letter that day from her Solicitors. Michael wasn’t responding to their letters. She had worried he might try to disrupt the divorce proceedings.

She looked back on their marriage of seven years, and before that to when they’d first met.

She’d met him at Edinburgh University. She was a fresher and he was in the year above. He’d been so cute then. He was 6-foot-tall with black hair that flopped over his forehead and piercing blue eyes. He had been manning the walking club’s stall for fresher’s fair, when all the clubs and societies vied to get new members from among the new students. She had had no interest in walking whatsoever but signed up there and then, just because of him. He had been like that then. His natural enthusiasm was so strong that it swept you along, often into doing things that you didn’t want to do. Like walking. They’d started dating from the off. They were both studying medicine, he was studying to become a physiotherapist and she, a pharmacist. They’d got married just after her graduation and they’d gone to Skye for their honeymoon. She should have said that she wasn’t keen on walking. She’d rather go somewhere really hot and sit next to a pool and drink cocktails. That was the difference between him and Sean, her boyfriend. Michael had taken her to a coral beach on Skye that looked like one you’d see on a Caribbean Island. Sean had actually taken her and the kids to a Caribbean Island for two weeks last Summer. It had been bliss.

Her and Michael had started drifting apart after her first son, Angus, was born. Michael would go off walking on his own, which she didn’t mind at first. Then he’d go upstairs to his man cave and play x-box for hours on end. Gradually things had gotten worse and she began to feel alone. She had hoped that having her second child would be the thing that brought them together again, but even during the pregnancy it was like he just didn’t care anymore. Then she’d had postnatal depression and where was Michael when she needed him most? He’d gone on a walking trip with a couple of his mates from Uni.

Not long after that she had joined a gym to get rid of her baby bulge. Her therapist said the exercise would help with the depression too. It did do wonders for her depression because it was there she’d met Sean. He was the fitness instructor. She’d gone for a mixed class rather than women only. As soon as their eyes met she could sense the mutual attraction. Sean was very beefy, had curly blond hair and was in his mid to late twenties. She could tell he liked her because he spent more time with her than the rest of the group. Even the two nineteen-year-old girls she’d have thought he would have preferred. After the session he asked her out. For some reason she’d forgotten to tell him she was married. After all what harm could a little drink do?

He was a little taken aback when she told him about her Husband and two sons, but he told her he loved her, and ‘love would find a way’, he’d said.

Michael, by that stage, was barely talking to her. He’d put on his smile in the mornings and go off to work in the physiotherapy unit. She’d only found out much later that he hadn’t been going to work. He’d been walking up Arthur’s Seat, the hill that overlooked Edinburgh. Eventually he’d lost his job because of it.

When she’d told Michael about Sean and told him she wanted a divorce he barely said a word. He’d looked at her with cold and indifferent eyes. Or at least that is what they’d seemed.

Going over everything in her head she’d realised that she had been too harsh on Michael. She had demanded sole custody of the children and that had upset him a lot. At their last meeting with the solicitors he had broken down and cried. She’d never seen him like that before. She realised that part of what was making her feel so stressed was the feelings of guilt from having an affair. She’d been making things far harder than they needed to be. She resolved that tomorrow she was going to go around to the flat Michael was renting and tell him she was sorry and she’d agree to joint custody.

Feeling slightly better she got out of the bath and dried herself off.

Her two boys were fast asleep in their room. Angus in the top bunk looked so much like his father. His little brother, Connor, just turned three was sound asleep in the bottom bunk. He took more after her side of the family.

She could hear Sean snoring away in her bedroom but he woke up when she entered.

“What’s up babe? I thought you were never coming to bed?” Sean said yawning.

“I was just feeling a bit tense, so I had a bath. I was thinking about Michael.”

“Not thinking of a reconciliation, are you? You do still love me, don’t you?”

“Of course, silly. I love you very much. I realised long ago that Michael and I were not compatible, but still I don’t think I have been fair to him. He wasn’t a bad husband or father. He didn’t hit me or anything.”

“Neglect is a form of abuse though, Love.”

“Yes, but I don’t think he’d meant it that way. I am going to go around there in the morning and tell him I am not contesting joint custody. I don’t want to fight any more.”

Sean turned over in bed and the covers fell away. He never did sleep with anything on in bed. Sean kissed the remainder of her concerns away and she fell asleep in his arms.

She woke up early, as usual. She heard her phone next to the bed chime to say she’d received a text. Who would be texting her at six in the morning?

She looked at the phone, Michael had sent her a message, it just said one word. Sorry.

She started to panic. Quickly she got dressed and left for Michaels flat.

As she got there, the Landlady met her at the door.

“Morning Mrs Atherton, you have just missed your husband. He’s just paid me for the rent he had owing and driven off.”

“Can you let me into his flat please Mrs Campbell I need to leave him a note.”

When she entered the room, she found the note she had half expected sitting on the table next to an old video cassette.

It read.

Dear Sandra,

I am so sorry for everything. I can fight this no longer. I have left this video to explain everything to our boys, please show it to them when you think they are old enough. I have gone to a place where we were happy once. You won’t hear from me again.

Love

Michael

She knew where he’d gone, that little stretch of beach on the Isle of Skye that they had gone to on their honeymoon. They had made love there, out in the open, so exciting. The memory made her blush.

Quickly she telephoned the police and then the Samaritans. Then she phoned Sean to tell him what had happened. He said he’d look after the kids until she got home, not to worry about anything.

She got in the police car with Lucy the Samaritan and they sat in silence as they drove across the highlands. The roads were so narrow it was difficult to go very fast. She kept thinking, come on faster, faster, it might be too late. What if we don’t get there in time?

After a couple of hours, the car pulled up. She saw Michaels car parked in front.

“Quickly, follow me, I know where he’d have gone.”

They pushed through the bushes and she called out his name.

“Michael, Michael!”

Then she saw him standing naked on the beach. She’d never seen him look so desolate.

“Thank God you’re still here. I was so frightened we’d be too late. I knew you’d come here, as soon as I read the note. I had gone to see you to tell you I don’t want to fight anymore, that I’ll agree joint custody.”

Michael collapsed crying at her feet. She felt so ashamed that here was a man who had loved her and she’d driven him to this. She didn’t love him but she cared for him; he was the father of her children. She vowed she would do more to help him in future.

“I’ve brought help with me Michael, you will need help to get better again. I promise I won’t make this any more difficult than it needs to be in future. It will be easier from now on.”

At least, she hoped it would be.

The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disrupt/

 

via Daily Prompt: Disrupt

Sea Foam in Skye – A short story of pain and sorrow.

Michael Atherton stood on a lonely stretch of beach looking out to sea. 

It was a cold March day on the Isle of Skye and so not many people were prepared to brave the chilly winds, despite the clear skies.

The beach was a relatively unknown beauty spot. The sand was composed of creamy white pieces of shell and coral. It was like a beach you could find on a Caribbean island, although without the tourists enjoying the sun and drinking rum cocktails. In this lonely part of the world, it was only what you could call busy on an August Bank Holiday weekend, and only then if it didn’t decide to rain. 

He had chosen this spot because of its remoteness. He had come here on his honeymoon with Sandra. They had been so happy then. They had stayed in Portree, the capital of the island. They had explored the island, mainly on foot, during the day and each other at night. 

Now seven years later he was back; the spot looked exactly the same, but his life was now totally different. Sandra was now living with Sean and they were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce which included a custody battle for their two boys, just six and three years old. How had it all come to this, when it had started out so well? 

As he contemplated his life he watched the sea rolling up onto the beach, bringing with it some froth, like the top of a cappuccino. He stood there staring for some time wondering whether, now he was faced with it, he would have the courage after all. 

He’d left the note in his flat in Edinburgh, not far from the home he’d been thrown out of. The lovely Victorian terrace in Morningside, near the hospital where both Sandra and he worked. Or had until he’d lost his job. 

The plan had seemed so good last night. It would guarantee something for his sons when they were old enough. He’d left them a video recording and a letter explaining everything. 

There wasn’t anything left to do now. 

His clothes were piled neatly folded under a gorse bush.

He thought how life and happiness was so much like that froth the sea brought in. Here one minute, then gone the next.

Then he heard the sound of a car pulling up by the road. The car doors slamming as people got out and the sound of the bushes as people pushed through them.

Then someone calling his name. Unbelievably it was Sandra.

“Michael, Michael! Thank God you’re still here. I was so frightened we’d be too late. I knew you’d come here, as soon as I read the note. I had gone to see you to tell you I don’t want to fight anymore, that I’ll agree joint custody. The Landlady said I’d just missed you.”

Michael collapsed into tears. Laying naked on the beach, he cried at the thought of what he had planned to do. He cried at the thought that he had been stopped and the pain of life will continue. 

“I’ve brought help with me Michael, you will need help to get better again. I promise I won’t make this any more difficult than it needs to be in future. It will be easier from now on.”

A large man in a police uniform came forward and covered him in a foil blanket.

A lady with a soft voice spoke to him. “Mr Atherton, my names Lucy, I’m from the Samaritans, we’ll look after you. Come with us.”

As Michael was led away he looked out to sea once more. Strange how one location could be the site of so much happiness and also so much sorrow, he thought to himself.

The tide was ever flowing onto the shore and just like life, it goes on.

 

The End

Copyright Kristian Fogarty 11/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/froth/

 

via Daily Prompt: Froth

Take the train to nowhere – Lyric Poem

Take the train to nowhere, 

Anywhere but here is fine

Don’t care what the fare,

Or how long, i’ve got the time.

 

On the train to nowhere,

With all the people no one wants.

Away from hate and despair,

All the hurtful cries and taunts.

 

Can’t take this life no more,

Can’t bare this hurt and pain,

I’m taking my chances.

No more false romances

I’m getting on the train.

 

Catch the train to nowhere,

Leaving her behind me now

In the dank and dark air,

I want to breathe, but how?

 

Can’t take this life no more,

Can’t bare this hurt and pain,

I’m taking my chances.

No more false romances

I’m getting on that train.

 

I’m on my way to nowhere

the painful feeling numbs

I have doubts that I will get there,

But Nowhere always comes….

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty