Keeping Count of the Good Stuff

Today is ‘Budget Day’ in Ireland, the day when our government will announce the latest round of cuts and taxes designed to take over €2 billion out of our economy without throwing us back down the plughole of recession. Not an easy thing to do, I’m sure; I don’t envy them the job. Things have just barely started to nudge in the right direction here, and our ‘recovery’, if you can call it that, is still on very shaky legs. I hope today’s budget will be gentle enough not to cause stress and worry to too many people as we face into the colder months.

I hope.

Image: intervene.dugfree.org

Image: intervene.dugfree.org

Yesterday, I spent some time with my brother. It was an unexpected joy. I hadn’t seen him in a very long time, and he happened to call over out of the blue. It made an otherwise ordinary day into something that sparkled with happiness, and even though it meant I took an unscheduled day away from my writing, it didn’t even really seem to matter.

It’s on days like this, spent with loved ones and making the most out of life, that I try to count the good stuff.I’m not much of an accountant, and I don’t have a lot of anything to count, but I like to think I know a little about keeping things in balance.

If I were to prepare a personal ‘budget’, designed to maximise potential and encourage these elusive ‘green shoots’ and keep my own small economy running, it would look a bit like this:

Negativity – to be reduced by at least 75%;
Pessimism – to be taxed at the higher rate of 90%;
Fear – to be eradicated through greater reliance on existing support structures;Self-belief – to be nurtured through tax breaks on ‘You can do it’, ‘You’re good enough’, and ‘It will all be okay in the end’;
Ambition – to be fostered through cuts to Negative Self-Talk and Doubt;
Peace of Mind – to be the focus of spending for the coming year.

Image: thejournal.ie

Image: thejournal.ie

It’s a cold, clear day, with traces of the frozen north on the wind. It’s exactly the sort of day I love. I have some final edits to do on ‘Tider’ – things like tidying up chapter numbers and making sure my pages are properly laid out, that sort of thing – and I have at least two new ideas bubbling in my brain. I have several competitions I want to enter, and I’m looking forward to opening up my idea-chest and having a good old rummage inside. The sun is shining, and I am alive.

By anyone’s account, that’s all good.

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