I did not do 'Happy' with any great conviction for much of my childhood or my adult life. I don't think anyone would have said that I was a miserable person. I always tried to make the best of what I had and remained outwardly cheerful but there was something missing. Becoming a mum to my four beautiful daughters from my first marriage gave me a huge amount of pleasure but my 'Happy Meter' could never make all the way up the scale because so many other things were wrong with my life.
By the time my first marriage reached critical point and I knew that there was no way to salvage anything from it, I was already having the worst year of my life. An email from an old friend I had known at University came exactly when I needed it most. He was so supportive and made me feel that I could pick myself up and start again. We went to Paris together as friends and came back as lovers.
I had never known such feelings of complete happiness.
When my dad saw me for the first time after I came back from Paris, he could see it in my face that something had happened. It surprised me because I didn't think my dad was that sensitive, nor did I think I was that obvious!
I expected words of caution - people telling me the pitfalls of rushing into a new relationship on the rebound etc. But no one did. The happiness that showed on my face silenced any potential sceptics. This was real. This was love.
My future husband was living in Switzerland and our communication was by email, msn and telephone. He asked me to send him a photograph of the new smile that now reached my eyes and came from a place of genuine happiness.
My daughter took the photo. I don't think it really succeeded in capturing any mystical soul revealing expression but it does remind me of that Happy Time. The worst and best year of my life.