A happy conversation with...

A happy senior couple enjoying a brisk jog

Having finally found my voice after a lifetime of having to ask permission to speak and then not being listened too, I now celebrate by speaking out loud to no one in particular whenever I feel the urge.

I also know that as women we need to say at least 20,000 words per day in order to process our
thoughts, emotions, etc. So to entertain myself — a valuable hobby of mine — I chat away whenever I like.

For instance, recently while strolling back from my walk to Mentone Beach, a long sweep of
soft yellow and white sand far away from where the muddy Yarra River empties itself in Port Philip Bay and best described as ‘pristine’ but close enough for the council to employ a funny old man to sweep the sand each day looking for God knows what… I spent an hour or so wandering the shallow, warm waves, chatting up slobbering, excited and friendly local pooches while offering ‘good mornings’ to beautifully fit people determinedly running along the board walk, iPod firmly plugged into ears and hoping to ignore me.

I find that if you approach these fitness fanatics with a smile that says, “Hey don’t we know each other?”, they usually slow down, unplug and stop for a brief chat about the weather.

See, I’m trying to achieve 20,000 words per day. Okay.. I digress. Back to the point.

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I am walking with a spring in my step and kind thoughts in my head, back to my apartment in the small, friendly and eclectic village of Mentone.

I’m thinking about what I have planned for the rest of my day while the birds chatter and swoop as I pass under their nest building activities.

Occasionally I stop to admire a well-loved garden, or if no one is looking, surreptitiously ‘nick’ a piece of overhanging lavender to rub vigorously in my hand before deeply inhaling the fragrance when suddenly I’m overcome by a unfamiliar but very pleasant feeling as it wraps itself around me.

I stop in my tracks and look around for the source of the sensation. I shake my puzzled head and look down at my feet, thinking I may have stepped in something.

“No, it’s not going away,” I remark as I gingerly continue on my walk.

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“Hmmmm”, I say to myself and to anyone who is listening. “What’s this?”

“What’s what?” comes back an unexpected reply.

“This, this feeling I am covered in,” I say hoping to be helpful.

“What does it feel like?” says a voice all around me.

“Hey”, I say getting off the subject. “Are you God, My Higher Self, a Guardian Angel or have I once again… flipped my lid?”

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“Does it matter?” says the voice, unhelpfully. “Let’s get back on track. Do you like the feeling?”

“Sure do,” I reply.

“You are welcome” comes the voice.

“What’s it called”, I ask politely.

“Whatever you want. What would you like to call it?” says the voice that I have now decided to call ‘The Universe’ just to cover all bases.

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“Happy,” I say curling my bottom lip thoughtfully.

“Is this happy. Is this what it feels like?”

I’m now getting excited.

“Yup! Happy,” I repeat. “I’m happy!”

The Universe is happy that I am happy and says that I deserve it.

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I dance around in circles, oblivious to passing traffic and concerned locals.

“It will come and go,” says The Universe when I ask it the feeling will stick around. “If it stays with you all the time you will never know if you have it or not.”

“Can I keep it for a while anyway?” I beg.

“For as long as you like” says the voice. “Now how about Contentment. Would you like some

“Good God no”, I explode. “Contentment… isn’t that what old people look for at the end of their lives? Doesn’t contentment mean you’ve done it all? Doesn’t contentment mean that you have nothing to look forward to but years of boredom, sameness? Nothing changes. Everything is always the same… No I don’t want contentment. I have too much to do to slow down and be

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The Universe seems to mock me as I get myself worked up.

“I can tell when I’m being mocked,” I pout.

“Maybe we should try this some other time,” The Universe says.

What are your thoughts happiness and contentment? Share your opinions with us.

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