Opening up to freedom at last
THE easing of restrictions both in Spain and in the UK is remarkable – and nice – for several reasons. But the most important is: how much the simple pleasures of everyday life get lost in the familiarity of daily routine.
Only when we are denied them do we realise what a complicated life we lead. It is this latter element that shocks us most. Of the hundreds of minor, even flippant, activities we indulge in, we’re suddenly unable to replace them with anything useful or satisfying. Even working from home fails to make up for missing colleagues, chit-chat and… just everyday life.
So, when released from these tortuous restrictions, we happily revel in anything that is different. Especially when it involves other people in similar situations. It suddenly seems as if having fun is everywhere and so easy to find. Voices seem louder and more important. Laughter is easier to come by and everyone has stories of how they ‘survived’. Boredom is a long way off, and that’s the biggest difference of all.
At the same time, we learn that the ‘secret of happiness’ has finally been discovered. Neuroscientists from University College London used a crowd-sourced gaming app and MRI scans of people’s brains to develop a rather long-winded formula (that I’ll summarise for you here: @£!$%!*£@#). Translated into plain language, it means that avoiding high expectations is the key to happiness.
But for a non-neuroscientist friend with a very long, fascinating life behind him, happiness depends more on personality. For him, some people are more inclined and able to be happy than others. Resentful and ungrateful types are seldom pleased with the world or their place in it even if they are comfortably off. (Yes, I am looking at you, Dominic Cummins!)
In summary, then, according to the latest research: don’t get your hopes up and you’ll have good times. Or as my granny used to say: “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”
And as for freedom, how is it for you so far?
Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback & audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.
Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.