This isn't always easy, to think of something cheerful, especially when things might not be entirely cheerful. But commenter Paula on the Rooney post set me the challenge, and so I'm going to go through with it.
So, reasons to be cheerful, ahead of the weekend. Well, first, I've decided to set up a 'one in, one out' system for my bookshelves at home, given that they've recently been creaking a bit under the strain. I love books and I have too many. The other weekend, I decided to chuck out a few ones that I didn't like any more, and didn't like in the first place, to make room for some new ones, or just rearrange the old ones into more pleasing shapes.
Books ought, after all, to be stacked on the side, with the spine pointing towards you. Oh I've seen them laid flat. I've seen it done. I've done it myself, I hesitate to confess to you, but you know and I know it isn't right. No. Books need to be neatly arranged, not necessarily alphabetically or in height order - I'm not weird or anything - but cleanly, so they have room to breathe. Yes. I think that makes perfect sense.
Now I love books and I can't bear the thought of chucking them in the bin, but I knew that there were some that were just cluttering up the librarynth and were therefore destined never to be looked at again. Some of them I'd bought, and were rubbish - always a disappointment to be reminded of your poor choices or things that didn't quite work out; it's like putting photos of your exes above your bed. No, time to get rid of those bad memories, the books you couldn't enjoy, the ones that everyone else liked and you didn't - and so I did. I didn't bin them, obviously, I gave them away to charity, where hopefully someone might like them more than me. And that felt quite pleasant, having a bookcase that wasn't about to fall apart under the strain, and wasn't about to explode into a mass of chipboard and screws.
That makes me cheerful. It might not make you cheerful but I hope it does; I hope you can get some kind of vicarious pleasure out of knowing I have a little less angst towards my reading matter than I did before. Imagine me with a big smile on my face. Not that big. Better. Yes, like that. See, not so bad, is it?
There's something else. I do love autumn, and there's been a bit of an autumny feel to the past few days. I'm not talking about the early arrival of chocolate covered nuts and dried fruit in the Co-op in Christmassy boxes, or the sudden appearance of those massive tins of Roses and Quality Street around a four-pronged snow-covered winter fir in the unfriendly generic convenience store across the road. No, there's something more enjoyable about it - the slight chill in the air, and the darkening evenings. You might find that kind of thing ominous or faintly depressing, but not me. Bonfires! Crumpets! Walking around, in a scarf and a coat! Frosts. Fungus. All that.
There's something reassuring about it all returning, just as there is in spring. In fact, I'd say I was more of a spring/autumn person than summer/winter. Sod the heat of summer, the flies round the bin, the crammed beer gardens. Bring along instead the warmth of an open fire, socks on a radiator when you get out of the bath, it being nippy but not too freezing outside, the crunch of leaves underfoot, fireworks in the night sky, all that kind of thing. I love all that. If I could, I think I'd live in this country for spring and autumn, and go elsewhere for summer and winter.
And there are other things that keep me optimistic, all the things that seem trivial and pointless, but are really the tiny threads that hold you up, too invisible to be seen, but there all the same. The chatter you have with the people around you, which seems like nothing, but is something all the same; the prospect of a weekend, with time to do anything you could possibly want to do; the house where you live, and the sharing of that space - in my case, with someone who is kind, and gentle, and full of love, and a small idiotic furry mammal who is generally evil, but sometimes sweet.
In a lot of ways, there's plenty to be cheerful about, to feel optimistic about, not just for the weekend, but for everything. I have a bookshelf that's tidy, and it's nearly autumn. And then there's everything else. I'm lucky really.