Havakai has a plush toy, in the shape of a friendly giraffe, it’s long neck made out of fleece and cotton, it’s lanky body replaced by a soft mustard-coloured blanket.
Creatively, he calls it “Raff”.
It’s lovely, but it’s kind of annoying. He goes to bed with it. When he wakes up in the middle of the night he asks for it. As soon as we’ve buckled him into the car, he wants it. When we’re going to swimming lessons, he wants to take it in the pool with him.
It got to the stage where I bought a second Raff. So then if he left it in the car, I could whip out the spare from the cupboard.
It worked a treat. Too treat-ily. I became complacent. If I knew Raff One was in his room but I was in the kitchen and he asked for it, I’d simply grab Raff Two from the cupboard and throw it his way.
It also added a layer of complexity into my day. If I’d packed Raff One in his bag and was walking downstairs with Hakavai, sometimes I’d see Raff Two peeking at me over the top of the overflowing laundry basket. I was a double agent; urgently trying to conceal the identity of the surplus safari animal.
My exhaustion at keeping up the facade threatened to topple me.
Until one inevitable day, Hakavai found both Raffs. My heart was in my throat. Would he be confused? Conflicted? Damaged?
“Raff” He said to one. “Raff!” He said to the other.
And now, everywhere we go, we have to take BOTH Raffs with us.
We’re really good at overcomplicating things aren’t we?
You decide you want to get healthier, so you make a plan to do an alcohol free month as a motivating challenge. But then you start thinking you should really capitalise on this 30 day challenge and do yoga every day too! And drink two litres of water, and start every morning with a green juice ….. and by Thursday afternoon tell me you’re not half way through a bottle of wine and a bag of chips?!
Plans are great WHEN we keep them simple.
Likewise, if you want to get happier, there’s lots of things you could do. But you don’t have to do all of them! Just start.
Listen to Osher Günsberg’s podcast Better Than Yesterday. Pick up a copy of my new book Happy. Call a mate for a catch up. Make five minutes to drink a cup of coffee in the sun. Listen to your favourite song in the shower.
You don’t have to become a double agent for your own happiness, my friend.
Put the trench coat and the spectacles away, and keep it simple.
Ps. Is your inbox not going “ding!” with a new letter from me each Thursday? You gotta join the letter gang mate! It’s the best thing I do every week – and very often, the best thing landing in inboxes across the country. Join us here. We love new gang members!