Now that I have finally been able to ignore the need for my house to be given some much needed TLC in the form of general and quite frankly tedious, never-ending chores, I have found my creative flow. A bit of red here, a bit of blue there and a character, with whom I am already hugely attached to, is becoming more rounded, more solid, more real. I look at him and he makes me smile. Whilst taking a heartfelt moment to connect with this being who I conjured up from the depths of my imagination, a knock at the front door jolts me back into reality.
I open the door to be greeted with the familiar smile and ‘good morning’ of the postman. His smile makes me smile. After bidding each other a good day, I shut the door and it occurs to me just how important such interactions are. After all, isn’t life about interactions and the effect that they have? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love to have a bit of time just to myself (especially to have just a tiny break from hearing calls such as: ‘Mummy! Her foot is on my side of the sofa!’ or ‘Mummy! He’s looking at me!’ or ‘Mummy! She’s breathing the same air as me!’) but without the people that have been in my life, are in my life and will be in my life, no matter how fleeting or how permanent, the day to day would not be enriched in the wonderful way that it always has been.
And it is with this in mind that I recall the fondness and attachment that I have formed with the beautifully illustrated book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
Not only does this book have ownership of a piece of my heart, due to it being the first story that my firstborn ever smiled at when he was just weeks old, (an interaction which brought happy tears to my eyes and is most firmly embedded within my long-term memory, so I can of course tell him and any of his future partners all about it when he is all grown up!) but its message resonates with the importance of interactions and with forming relationships. Through sharing, and learning that time spent with others can bring happiness, the Rainbow Fish finds a sense of contentment that he hadn’t previously known could exist.
It is exactly this sense of contentment that I feel grateful for. I know that it would not be something that I could have reached had it not have been for every single person that has been, or is a part of my life. From the chit-chat with the worker at the supermarket which causes me to walk out smiling, the wave to a friendly neighbour, a telephone conversation to book an appointment, or to those interactions and relationships who are extremely important to me being my family and friends, they have all shaped my life, just like the Rainbow Fish found those around him shaped his. I must even be grateful for the interactions or relationships which felt negative at the time. Without those my path may have been different.
So, as I sit staring at my latest character creation (goodness, he’s cute!) and reflect upon those that have influenced my life, I feel hugely thankful for them all. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could all try just a smidgeon harder to influence each other’s days more than we already do? If we could inject smiles into others days just a bit more? It is with an inner determination and resolve that this is what I am going to do. We may not have scales to give away, as the Rainbow Fish did, but what we do have is an endless supply of kind words and smiles. Let’s use them. Let’s influence someone else’s day for the better. Let’s feel good about it and by doing it make our own days even better too.