It’s easy for us to want everything in our life to be shiny and new, and it’s even easier to be disappointed when this is taken away. However, it’s possible to find some happiness in the imperfections. Like a favourite old pair of raw denim jeans or a natural leather wallet that you’ve stashed in a hip pocket for a couple of years, the imperfections can have beauty and stories to tell. We call this patina.
I’ve recently been reading a book called The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking. It’s a fantastic look into what actually makes people happy, exploring lots of different case studies within Danish culture and beyond. One of the things I like about this book is how it delves into happiness research in an easily digestible way, that is to say, it’s the perfect book to read with a glass of wine and some laid back tunes on a lazy Sunday afternoon – exactly what I found myself doing not so long ago. Unbeknown to me at the time, my two-year-old daughter Rosie was about to come hurtling down the corridor and proceed to knock said glass of wine all over the book, instantly seeping scarlet stains through the once pristine pages.
My first instinct was one of disappointment, the book had been ruined. Nevertheless, after a quick clean up, a little explanation to Rosie as to why it probably wasn’t a great idea to ride her bicycle inside the house, and a bit of drying time, I once again picked up my Little Book of Lykke. A few more soggy pages were turned before I remembered the concept of reframing. Big in Danish culture, reframing is an internal process whereby you take a less than favourable situation and try to find something positive in it.
I smiled to myself, glanced back down at my ‘ruined’ book, and decided that this could be a permanent reminder of just how tasty the pinot was. My book now had patina.