Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Britney's Guide to Happiness...

Rituals make me...
I’m a big fan of rituals. Not the sacrificial or religious types, more the little habits that you build into your life to give it stability and happiness.

 A very inspirational man taught me all about them earlier this year, and showed me how these little joyful things create foundation, bedrock, a strong tree trunk if you will, from which the rest of your life grows like branches. 

This clever person also revolutionized my life...
So what are my rituals I hear you cry? (Honestly, I'm sure someone did?!) Well dear reader, I'm not going to reveal all my secrets, but I'll tell you some.
Once a week, I go to a scruffy pub in Satwa, drink white wine (under the stars when it's cool enough to sit outside) and then head to Ravi's for a street curry. Aside from the wine the meal costs about 5 English pounds and it's honestly the best food you'll ever eat. This usually happens on a Saturday and it feels like a huge injection of joy before what is very often, a hideously stressful week at work. It's credits in the happiness bank, the calm before the storm.
Another ritual is a day at the park. Obviously this is weather dependent, but when the weather is perfect, my oh my it's a beautiful way to spend a day. I've blogged about this so many times I'm practically listed in the tourist guides as Dubai's major park expert.
One more which is very important to me, which, perhaps shows my 'only child/lived on my own for a hundred years' history, is coming home from work and enjoying an evening of peace, quiet and a good book, sitting on my (purple velvet) chaise longue. This location has since changed slightly in recent weeks to the large sofa bed in the garden. The twinkling city lights, warm breeze and stars up above as I plough through my latest book are complete and utter bliss.
There's definitely a theme here. None of these things cost thousands of dirhams. They're all simple, easy, uncomplicated pleasures.
One of the biggest rituals of all happens when I finally fall through the front door after what is often an 11 or 12 hour day. There's a few key things that I HAVE to do to transition from work Britney to home Britney.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these women who transforms into Godzilla when I get to work, but there are certain things I have to do to make myself ready for battle each day. And these must be removed when I get home or I just simply couldn't function. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain:

  • Jewellery: This is first to come off. Simple, bold, large, statement pieces, that I only ever wear to work.
  • Make-Up: This is next off. A full face, foundation, eyes, lips. I wear very little make up at the weekends. (Unless I'm hitting a dance floor - that's another story).
  • Clothes: Then these are off (sssh now). They're bright, colorful, expensive, tailored. At the weekends I'm happiest in cut-off jeans and a bikini.
Then I jump straight into the shower. It doesn't JUST wash away the sand, the perfume (I wear a very specific perfume to work: bold, strong, potent, that I would never wear at the weekend) it washes away the whole day. The stress, the tightness in my chest, the unpleasant dealings, the compromising of my personal all heads down the plughole as I stand under the water.
After all of this, I change into a vest, cut off denim shorts, and relax. Then, and only then, can I pad around the villa, feel at home, be home Britney again.
AJ runs his own business ( very successfully I might add). He more or less gets to pick and choose his clients, and quite rightfully so. This means that most people that he deals with are by default, lovely.
Last week he'd had a particularly stressful run in with an unpleasant client. When we caught up at the end of the day he looked like a broken man. "I never understood why you head straight through the front door to the bathroom before," he said. "Now I do. today has made me feel dirty. And I can't wait to wash it off."
So why am I rambling and telling you all of this?
Rituals are important. They anchor you and can transform you in the melee of life and all it throws at you.
If you're not sure, try a day in the park this weekend. After 5 hours of sunshine, laughter, kite flying, egg sandwiches, grass between your toes, I'm pretty sure you'll have a new ritual in your life….and you'll be as full of joy and happiness as a banana.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My name is Karolina and i'm redactor of the travel magazine in Poland. I found your blog about life in Dubai and i'd like to ask if you agree to tell something about nice places in Dubai? Could you write to me? Mail: