A much simplified, colouring by numbers version of The Starry Night painting by Van Gogh.

Adding to the Pile of Good Things

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” – Doctor Who

I often shy away from positivity, not because I prefer being miserable but because it often makes me miserable. There’s a phrase I’ve seen around a few times: toxic positivity. It refers to the kind of positivity which never acknowledges that people have hard lives and difficult times, or that there are societal structures in place which stop many people from being able to enjoy what more privileged folks don’t think twice about being able to access. You can’t just choose to be happy!

But that doesn’t mean that all positivity is toxic. It doesn’t even mean that seeking out good things is toxic. Recently I’ve been working, almost subconsciously, on noticing when I’m enjoying something and really taking a moment to appreciate that feeling. Because the fact that my life in general is painful and depressing – and that the world is no better – means that those apparently small moments are all the more important.

And that’s why I’ve decided to start writing a new series on my blog: Adding to the Pile of Good Things. Every week, I’m going to write about something small (or large, if there’s something large!) that has been giving me pleasure or delight. I think it’s important to note and remember and record these things.

So this week I’ve really been enjoying the new colouring-by-numbers app I’ve downloaded. The picture for this post is the latest one I’ve coloured. It was a pretty complicated one and took me about an hour, and I really enjoyed doing it. The nice thing about colouring-by-numbers is that I don’t have to think about the colours or what will look nice. I just colour what they tell me to colour and end up with a pretty picture! It’s relaxing and soothing and easy to do on my phone, even on a bad day.

And now my pile of good things is a tiny bit bigger.

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