Feel good for free

So often it feels that life is dominated by the day job in addition to making lunches, supervising homework, cooking, washing and being someone’s wife and someone’s mother.

But it doesn’t need to be like that. One of the games I play with my son is Feel Good For Free. We take it in turns to come up with something that has no cost nothing but feels great.

I might start with “The feeling you get when you spy your child in the tide of children flowing out the school gate in the afternoon”.

He will come back with “The great feeling of jumping into a pool on a stinking hot day”

Me:  “The feeling when an old friend calls you out of the blue for no reason at all”

Him: “The feeling when someone you love gives you a hug”

Like they say in the credit card ad, priceless

Inevitably, my “feel good for free”  list gravitates to the bedroom. Years of sleep deprivation have given me a one track mind. There are scores of sleep-related feel good feelings in my favourites list:

– The pleasure of finally being able to flop on the bed after a long day

– The glorious comfort you get when you turn over a pillow and lie your face against the cool cloth of the reverse side

– The relief you get when you wake during the night and the alarm clock says there are still many hours until dawn

– The wonderful indulgence of freshly laundered high quality bed linen

– The joy of waking up naturally just before the alarm clock is due to sound

– The warmth of snuggling under the covers on a cold night

– The way watching the rhythm of a child sleeping melts your heart

And so it goes. Just as inevitably my son’s list will involve body fluids and functions. For him, priceless joy can be found in:

– Relieving yourself when busting

– Doing a really big poo

– Realising the hiccups have stopped

– Squeezing a pimple

– When the sneeze finally comes

– Someone scratching an itch you can’t reach

You get the idea. My husband never seems to be around when we launch into the feel good game but my guess is his happy place would come from merging the bed and the body fluid lists. Just saying.

It’s not what makes the list that matters. It is taking the time to think about it. Finding some joy in every day.

Where do you find the joy in your day? What are the free things that make you feel good

Susan Hetherington is a lecturer in journalism at the Queensland University of Technology and a regular contributor on 612 ABC Brisbane radio. You can follow her blog here and her tweets @snoozen

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