Bill Bailey was apparently much more productive than most of us have been during this pandemic, having used our first UK lockdown to write this Remarkable Guide to Happiness.
Despite the title, this isn’t exactly a self-help book and Bailey hasn’t swallowed the Little Book of Calm (aah, Black Books. I am definitely due a re-watch) This is a very good thing, as I think I’m actually allergic to that genre, so was glad to find this is actually a gently lovely tour through the things that make Bailey happy.
By and large, his philosophy revolves around enjoying the little things – good coffee, listening to and playing music, being in nature – even if the circumstances of his enjoyment are wildly different to mine. Not many of us have the budget to travel to the Gold Coast to go scuba diving, to Finland for a spot of wild swimming, or to Tibet to learn how to play the gamelan, but Bailey’s charm helped to offset the eye-rolling that would have abounded had I read this sort of thing from a different celebrity and the principle is an easy one to put into practice.
Looking around at some of my friends and how we have dealt differently with lockdown, I can’t help but think that the reason I’ve not struggled as much is because I’m genuinely happier not living large. The social butterflies in my group who live to shop and party have been struggling to find anything but stress in this situation, whereas I’ve been luxuriating in all the extra time in which I can take long baths, sketch, read, or just chill with my cats.
Like Bill, it’s an approach I’m going to try to continue when life gets back to normal (if it ever does).