Ta da today I bring you EUDAEMONIA.
Yup I hadn’t heard of it either.
Eudaemonia is a Greek word. It translates as happiness or welfare; or human flourishing, or prosperity and even blessedness.
So why do I bring you Eudaemonia at 3.18 a.m. on a windy night – well I bring you a bit of Grecian joy because I watched the last three episodes of ‘Tiger King’ which triggered my insomnia and because the latest psychology now knows that there is some kind of science in the making of us happy.
We’ve all heard of being in the flow and altruistic actions that give life meaning, like shopping for your elderly neighbour, or picking up litter, and since we all aspire to living our best life, I decided to watch a Ted talk. I sat down with a cup of newly ground coffee at the kitchen table, having boiled a pan of beetroots and whizzed up some peppery hummus from cannelloni beans, I slurped the coffee whilst enjoying an American professor, who gave a slide show about how to deal with misery when up came the word Eudaemonia, which sounds like a fancy perfume from Guerlain or the latest offering from Enya.
Anyway there I was listening to this fascinating lecture by the yank in baggy trousers and it set me to wondering just how happy was I? I did a test to find out; firstly I had to acquaint myself with my signature strengths -24 questions resulting in 24 strengths in descending order which would indicate my calling. Find a job which covers my first three strengths and that would lead to some kind of probable happiness. My 24th was Prudence, but my top three were;
NUMBER 1 – HONESTY
NUMBER 2 – KINDNESS
NUMBER 3 – LOVE
The questionnaire asked questions like forgiving and forgetting, finishing tasks and treating people equally. Well I mulled over what kind of job would suit my top three strengths and decided being a nun was one, being a police chief a la Cressida Dicks was another or being a midwife would all be suitable, and then I thought actually being what I do is the very thing for me. And then I thought, apart from random acts of kindness, like giving a tenner to the geezer who sits on a sleeping bag outside Sainsbury’s, all my honest acts have always resulted in me getting the elbow.
I breast fed the dawter on air – got the sack.
I declared that I was bored shitless on an LWT programme – got the sack.
I bemoaned that a BBC series I was travelling round the country for was soooooo fatuous – got the sack.
And so it went on, refusing to tell lies on live telly always got me the sack.
Standing up for 29 young colleagues when they all got fired contributed to me getting the proverbial.
So honesty has not always been the best policy, although you would probably say what else could I have done, and you would probably be right.
Kindness is not the most obvious attribute in this business either. I have been the recipient of acts of Random Unkindness from a female presenter, who shall remain nameless, who though sitting not a gnats breath away from me turned her back on me, ignored me in a mini van on the way to the Olympic stadium and talked over my head whilst sitting in the next seat to me in the Theatre. The male presenter, who shall remain nameless, kindly removed me from a show on the morning of transmission, and a leading BBC boss who ever so kindly told the producers, who had fought for me for three months, that I was too rich meat for the BBC. Jimmy Savile was on air at the time…..
And as for Love, not always the easiest thing to practice when you are working with a pile of self serving, inglorious bastards.
However, this is not a whinge fest for whilst I have been in the firing line for my trio of psychological parts, they have also stood me in good stead for nearly 50 years in the business. And now that the phone is dead, the emails have dried up, and the voice-overs are thinning like the old gits pate, as theatres close their curtains, and concert halls shut their doors, as my industry folds its arms and crosses it’s legs in the chilly foyer of lock-down, I will use my skills to survive the moment.
Magnesium, zinc and niacin help, Alan Bennett is a positive tonic, weeding through the onions is not ‘alf bad, meditating with Deepac fills the Eudaemonic glass, watching Ted talks, listening to my music, the dawters music even the ‘oosbind’s choices feed the soul. Buying grapes for the neighbours and sweeping their path, practicing yoga and bicycling in front of Andrew Marr whilst shouting at Priti Patel is a marvellous de-stressor. For make no mistake this lock down is taking its toll. Are we at the end of the first wave, in the beginning of the second wave, waiting for the third wave whilst waving goodbye to Europe, The NHS, and Democracy? Are we witnessing the downfall of the orange cock-womble? Will we recognise the new normal, old normal, near normal? Will litter louts ever learn to recycle their rubbish? Will corruption stop? Will The Cum be removed from Downing Street? Will the Queen survive another anus horribilis? Will we get a new series of ‘Would I lie to You’ or shall we forever be watching repeats from Dave…..
The new psychology says we must live in the moment. This moment, not what has been or what is to become, just live in the now and then EUDAEMONIA can be yours, come on you’ve got nothing to lose but your misery!
loipon aft to simeioma kalinychta
So on that note goodnight.
Ta da today I bring you EUDAEMONIA.