In these uncertain, tumultuous times finding little pockets of happiness has never been more important…
In anxious times, said Alexander McQueen, fantasy and escape is crucial. No one can deny the impact of war (even at a distance), political chaos, civil unrest and the climate crisis on our collective spirit, and the chest-tightening effect of a non-stop news cycle delivering reports of same in almost-real time. We may not be directly impacted but we are feeling feeling ill at ease, irritable. Wringing our hands is not the answer. Each of us in a small way can be constructive: make a practical plan to help, take a single, quantifiable action that improves a situation, stop scrolling and watching, support someone else through their anxiety, do just one thing a day that feeds the spirit or rinses the soul.
At the Ireland Funds Women in Business and Philanthropy Lunch, hosted by CEO Caitriona Fottrell and co-chaired by Louise Kennedy and The Ireland Funds board members Caroline Kennedy and Emer Gilvarry, honouree former President Mary Robinson called for Irish women to get behind Earthshot, the plan to reverse the climate crisis by 2030. “We have seven years; in a small country like ours we could make it happen,” she says. “Moonshot took just eight.” See Holly Hughes’ Drop In The Ocean, on page 80 of the November issue (and through this link), for more ways to contribute. So, our actions do help and little paths to happiness can be plotted.
The food writer and novelist MFK Fisher took great pleasure in a good meal; her book, Alphabet for Gourmets, includes the piece “H is For Happy”; about a memorable lunch. Read it here. On these winter mornings, THE GLOSS food editor Trish Deseine has her breakfast by candlelight, easing herself gently into the day. Wine editor Julie Dupouy, counterintuitively, has the occasional glass of bubbles in November, the better to choose her favourite one for Christmas. (Find her pick of well-priced sparklers through this link). Style editor Aislinn Coffey believes in wearing something silvery to reflect the light. Beauty editor Sarah Halliwell gets her high from a potent perfume. And everyone agrees, adding a little sparkle to your day, by way of a piece of jewellery, lifts the spirits.
Here are some other ways to be happy this month …
SEE: The In-Between Place by Maeve McCarthy RHA at Molesworth Gallery; www.molesworthgallery.com.
READ: Kingdom, a Tribute to Kerry by photographer Norman McCloskey €45; www.normanmccloskey.com.
GO GREEN: Ivy Linen napkin set, €90, Liquorice Interiors; www.liquorice.ie
BE FRUITY: Luna by Luna Lipstick in Cherry Opal, €12; www.lunabylisa.ie
BOOK: Hyde, Lemon Street, Dublin 2 café, Asian restaurant, chic terrace and rooftop bar; www.hyde-dublin.com.
STAY WARM & WEAR IRISH: Navy Tully Box Aran Sweater, €125; www.aranwoollenmills.com
INVEST IN FLEXIBLE JEWELLERY: Pieces you can adapt to your mood – see Boodles’ Be Bold necklace and bracelet you can wear six different ways (the gold is SMO – single mine origin, so responsibly sourced).
TAKE OUT A FLOWER SUBSCRIPTION: Claire Ryan and Steph Hutch’s The Crate sends modern seasonal bunches to your door on repeat. That should cheer you up! www.thecrate.ie
MAKE THE MOST OF BREAKFAST: We’re replacing Paddington’s fave with Mango and Peach Conserve, a limited edition flavour from Bonne Maman, €3.89.
TREAT YOURSELF TO NEW PYJAMAS: The style set is swapping PJs for old-fashioned nighties from www.thewhiteroomkenmare.com and www.ifonlyif.co.uk.