OK you lot, I'm back. And what's more, I'm back with a f*cking vengeance. Forget chocolate, wine or (in my case) gin, forget staring into the middle distance obsessing over the past and worrying about the future. This is it. I am over it and I am going for it, whatever "it" may turn out to be. I am sick of being a bit miserable, I've decided that from now on I am going to be either, a) happy and content, or b) an absolute hag-bitch from hell, depending on the prevailing events at the time. But sod miserable, I've done it and it was boring.
So, you may ask, how is this change of attitude going to affect my everyday behaviour? What difference will it make? Well, I'll give you an example.
Yesterday, for instance, we took my young nephew and niece out for lunch to an American-style chain restaurant, (maybe I'd better not say which one to avoid giving unnecessary offence or risk getting sued, so it shall remain nameless) some miles from here in between their home and ours. I was a little disappointed to find that it wasn't anywhere near as good as our local TGI's (oops) which is, of course, incredibly posh and trendy. It goes without saying that I am also incredibly posh and trendy and live in an incredibly posh and trendy neighbourhood. Obviously. So the Hyacinth Bucket in me was a bit shocked to encounter sticky tables, manky floors, wild-eyed people in low cut sequinned tops and knicker-skimming mini-skirts (and that was just the men) inhaling food at breakneck speed as if in some sort of suicidal pie-eating contest, and a general air of hungry desperation pervading the atmosphere. Service was, to say the least, a little slow. Cheerful, but slow. But bloody hell, the food was dire. It's the only place I've ever been where you could take a person's eye out with a fossilised chip (sorry, that would be "fries") so overcooked and brittle they would shatter if dropped, showering potato-based shrapnel over the entire area. And I've never before seen a pot of baked beans covered in such a thick skin that you could turn them upside down and they still wouldn't spill. Like they were hiding under a heavy blanket in an effort to keep warm. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out.
But did I say anything? No I didn't. Did I complain or cause a fuss? No, not me. And why was this? Because I was relaxed, happy and tolerant. And no, it didn't have anything to do with mind-altering drugs or artificial stimulants of any kind, not even a recreational Yorkie.
So what achieved this Zen-like state of total wellbeing for me? Well, several things actually. I could lead you to believe that it might have been the aforementioned chocolate, wine or gin. Or that I may have indulged in a bit of girlie pampering, a little retail therapy or even had a bloody good seeing to (I sincerely hope my kids never get to read this, they still think we only ever did that for procreational purposes, and then only twice). But the truth is, apart from any or all of the above, counting my blessings and a generally lovely weekend, I can hazard a guess at what really dragged me out of the slough of despond.
As Crocodile Dundee once said when his girlfriend told him about someone she knew who was seeing a therapist, "Therapy? Why would she need a therapist? Hasn't she got any mates to talk to?"
Well, I've got mates. Lots of them, and I thank you all very much indeed for listening to me.