We all felt how violently that hour lurched forward, right? We all heard the big ‘fuck you and fuck your sleep’ in the sixty seconds between 00:59 and 02:00, right?
Daylight Savings, the horrible spoon of thick medicine we all needed, the forceful push into British Summertime as we had an hour thieved from us. The quintessential sign that summer is just around the corner, regardless of the fact that it’s horrible and grey outside, that we were plagued with torrential rain just the other day.
Today I woke up to the sun shining through my window, ate way too much brunch way too late, and sank into the sofa for an incredibly tense, nail-biting race. The first race of the 2021 Formula 1 season: the Bahrain GP. I saw Nikita Mazepin spin out on his first ever F1 lap, I watched Verstappen relentlessly fight like the charging bull he is, failing to snap first place back from the king himself, all whilst being gifted with little fiery battles between some of my favourite drivers. It was a great end to a horrible week, taking it from an almost-2 to a strong 9. There is a special place in my heart for Formula 1; I’ve always known I love the sport in the decade-plus that I’ve followed it, but I really sat there, after the first race of the season, and thought about how it feels like a void has been filled. Is that sad? It’s quite sad, isn’t it?
No, it isn’t.
I have things to be happy about, things that existed before I watched the Bahrain GP. I have people in my life that I love, I eat good food (cake and pizza, not celery and caviar), I watch TV shows that I enjoy, I have books that I should be reading. I pluck happiness from all of the places I can take it from; some give me happiness all the time, others only sometimes. I have something in my life that makes me happier than I’ve ever been in my life, but I still felt like I had an F1-shaped hole in my heart that was only filled when the season restarted. A missing piece.
Let me stop with analogies before they start to take over.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to ensure our happiness comes from different sources. A main source of happiness will give us constant comfort; it makes life just that much sweeter, it makes life worth living. It makes you want to stay alive to be able to enjoy all the other things. You have hobbies and interests that also make you feel alive, you have different people that make you feel different things. The love of my life makes everything smell like roses, like I’m always comfortable on cloud 9 no matter where I am or what I’m doing, like no matter what, everything is going to be alright. My friends give me the type of support that can only come from loyal women; they give me different kinds of laughs as we share different memories of our schooldays. Books and writing give me escape, they allow me to live in a world different to my reality; I can exist in those alternate endings and rewrite those arguments that I finished off in the shower with ‘fuck, I should’ve said that.’ Formula 1 reminds me I can be fiercely passionate about something, I can devote my attention and research to a topic that doesn’t directly affect my life in any way and still loveit with every fibre of my being. It gives me something I can look forward to most Sundays for a few months – the week may have been shit, but at least I have this.
Happiness is simply something you feel. I’ve said many times before that happiness isn’t a destination; it’s nothing more than emotion, but one you want to feel as often as possible. Not every source of happiness in your life will be available at any given moment; sometimes your lover will be asleep, sometimes your friends will be busy, sometimes it won’t be a race weekend, and sometimes you just don’t feel like reading.
Summer, for me, seems to make it much easier to find happiness in a lot more things. You’re more open to seeing beauty in things you didn’t otherwise care for and it takes much less effort. You love the way the trees are now green, the way the birds are now chirping much earlier, you love the way you aren’t waking up feeling cold anymore. Shit day? It doesn’t matter, the sun’s shining. That’s four more sources of happiness and you haven’t even left your bed yet. Don’t even get me started on how good that ice cold lemonade is gonna taste when you’re sweating in the garden.
There’s something about the sun that makes everybody happier, more tolerable, more tolerant, and just a pleasure to be around. We’re ignoring the science that it causes the brain to produce more serotonin because, well, we all know that. We aren’t interested in what goes on in our brains, rather how it translates in the rest of us; the chemical process isn’t as interesting as the fact that it puts a warm smile on our face. It sends a rush of happiness, it makes us feel positive about everything, it gives us rose-tinted glasses for a few months. Driving down the road with your favourite music on and the windows down feels good, and suddenly the other people doing it don’t seem so obnoxious anymore… because you get it. It becomes an unspoken assumption that everybody is in higher spirits, and God knows we need that after the shitshow that was 2020.
We’ve had one summer stolen from us. I hope we’re able to enjoy this one doubly, because I am ready.
I’m grabbing this summer and squeezing out all the happiness I can, I’m wringing it dry. Give me all the serotonin because I’ve been starved.
Now Playing: Clocks Go Forward – James Bay