Day 80 – Happiness is … an illuminated swan


There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.” ~ Buddha

Three women, one book, and I have a plane to catch. Sounds like a set up for a bad joke.

Killing time before a flight in an airport bookshop, my mum, my grandmother and I stumbled on the Name Book. It describes your personality in detail based on the idea that certain sound waves (your name) being directed at you over time, will bring forward some character traits and suppress others. It also tells you your animal totem. My grandmother was a dove. I was a swan. My mother said, “Don’t look me up… I’ll be a chicken.”

I laughed. “Of course you won’t be a chicken, mum. They would never list an animal totem that didn’t make you want to buy the book.”

We didn’t buy the book.

Fast forward to present day… two boats, one harbour, and I need to get to other side. Sounds like a bad chicken joke.

The first year I went on the fitness retreat, we had to wait hours before boarding the ferry and so we browsed a crowded row of tent shops for treasures; a gypsy fair of artists, food vendors, and Wild Woman.

I’m not a believer of astrology; I prefer fact checking belated horoscopes rather than map reading them ahead of time, but Wild Woman had a tantalizing display and a unique set of tarot cards.

“Pick one randomly,” she said. “It will tell you where you are in life, it will tell you the colours that you need to surround yourself with in order to harmonize your current place in the universe, it will recommend the scents that will enhance your experience of the place you are in.” Scents, btw, that she conveniently sells along with jewelry in matching colours. A cleverly designed ploy, I thought, as I lifted a card from the basket.

Never bought the cards but I did get a survival kit

2 years later I am wistfully looking over at the Wild Woman tent in dismay that I will not be able to pick a card and be enlightened with my current universe status. Both times I have visited, I’ve skeptically pulled a card from the basket and been faced with an accurate and eloquent report on my emotional state and current situation in life. Last year I was ‘Illumination.’ I noted the scents and colours I’m supposed to surround myself with because while I’m not sure it helps, I am sure it can’t hurt.

This year, as walk on passengers to the ferry, we were separated from the vendor displays. I considered jumping the fence and making a run for the basket, but chickened out. So I missed the Wild Woman boat this year; crossed the harbour and got to the other side though.

Which brings me back to the bad joke…”Of course you won’t be a chicken, mum.”

I was right. She was a toad.


So…it has come to this !

The Name Book has been on my bookshelf for years now and on at least one gift giving occasion each year, my mother has gracefully received a toady item of some sort. 

Rating:  New Age  day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 5 out of 5 (a weekend of exercise and good food puts anyone in a good mood)
  • Twitch – twitching in the graceful way of swans
  • Happy hour – 2 out of 5 (was really disappointed not to play my annual tarot game)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Advertising.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.


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