Be happy, think positive like the Yes Woman

I’ve always been a positive thinker – someone who believes that things tend to work out for the best, finds the silver lining for every cloud, and hums a happy tune with the bluebird of happiness who sits on her shoulder.

At times, when I was much younger, I was known to practically screech “Positive Metal Attitude!” at my friends when they let the little things get to them.  Charming, I know.  But it’s my genuine belief that most difficulties can be overcome by looking on the bright side of life .  Or was anyway.

When Hannah became ill, it was the first time I had encountered a situation that no amount of positivity could make better.  One of the most important people in my life was dying, and the illness that was killing her was making her depressed.  While for the most part she was still my sparkling Han, at times she simply wasn’t.

Before she was sick we would go on adventures together – day trips to country houses, weekend breaks to see David Tennant in Stratford Upon Avon (performing. Not stalking him.), or simply trying something new and different.

Anything new and different that I wanted to try, I knew Hannah was my girl.  Whenever I was bubbling over with ideas of fun/cool/crazy things to do, I could rely on her to join in my excitement.  She was a kindred spirit in so many tiny ways.

So with her gone, I found life tough.  I’d lost my partner in positivity.  There were no more adventures.  No more outbursts of ambition in quirky tea shops.  All of a sudden there was a Hannah-shaped hole in my life, and her loss hit me hard.

I originally signed up for this trek to China as a way for something good to come out of the most devastating experience I’ve been through.  There was no silver lining, so I had to create one.  There would be no more adventures with Han, so I’d go on an adventure for her.

But, I didn’t feel good about it.  Too many of my friends were miserable and it would take more than a trek to make me feel positive.  I wanted to, and I knew good would come of it, but I felt too sad to really enjoy the training, I was exhausted by feeling down and fundraising was another hurdle I didn’t know if I could overcome.

Honestly, I can’t  tell you what changed in the past month, because I don’t know.  But it feels like that cloud has lifted and I’m now seeing – if not a silver lining, at least a mildly shimmery one.

You might’ve noticed the change in my blog, not only the facelift, but also I’m loving training instead of it being a chore.  My fundraising’s coming along nicely.  Generally I’m starting to feel good about life again.

Danny Wallace, the Yes Man

Coincidentally I chose this point to start re-reading the Danny Wallace book “The Yes Man”.  He had got into a rut and was feeling down about life – like so many 20somethings I know – so he decided to say yes more.  Ok, he took it to extremes and said yes to everything with interesting results, but it chimes exactly with how I feel – and his cheerfulness is infectious.

His positive attitude more coincided with than caused the return of mine – this ain’t no self-help book – but even reading about someone oozing joie de vivre is a great way to lift the spirits.

There’s still a gap in my life, and how I look at many things in life has shifted, but at the heart of it all I want to keep hold of how everything felt with Hannah around:  Alive with possibility, bursting with opportunity and simply beautiful.  I know it’s what she would have wanted.  I’m finally starting to feel like a Yes Woman again.