I’m not a TGIF kinda guy.

TGIF, for those who don’t know: Thank God It’s Friday.

Not because I don’t like Fridays! I just don’t appreciate the unfortunate, immature impulse that adults (and, tellingly, not children) seem to succumb to: wishing five days of one’s life away for the sake of two. Praise be to God!… For approximately 28% of the week.

People are entitled to their outlooks on life. Wearing a TGIF outlook might not make 72% of your week all that enjoyable, though.

Although I wish people a Happy Friday, I also wish them a Merry Monday. And a Happy Tuesday, a Merry Wednesmas and a very Merry Frimas Eve. I often sign off email at work with these, as those who’ve worked with me will know.

I try not to wear a TGIF outlook on life. I’m more of a TGFAD kinda guy.

So I thought I’d present some of the joyous banalities I’ve enjoyed this week. They made me happy, they give me that TGFAD feeling. I hope they make you happy too.

The commute is our first unlikely candidate.

If you’ve never cycled to work you won’t know why. An especially enjoyable experience: flying past cars crawling to work, inch by inch, with drivers shiftily glancing at their phones and jealously glaring at my sick ride (my dad’s bike, actually). They are cheerier if I’m riding into the wind—eyes squinting, wheels turning, thighs burning—or have sheets of rain flying into me. You can huff and puff (more) about the ride, or enjoy it for what it is; probably the most exhilarating and refreshing moment of the day. Certainly my most smiley time of the day, anyway.

I’ve opted for the car more than the bike this week, partly due to genuine logistical reasons (see below), partly weak weather-related excuses. Though in no way exhilarating or refreshing like cycling, commuting by car has its redeeming factors. Letting people go, for a start. In a ten-minute commute, why not arrive at work having made five peoples’ lives easier? That’s two people per minute. It’s probably the best good-deed-to-time ratio you’ll manage in your lifetime. Nigh on saintly.

Being in the other position, I notice drivers who don’t give way act oblivious, as if they haven’t registered my existence, acting too ignorant to be roadworthy, lest it be obvious they are too selfish to spare a few seconds of their time to make my life marginally easier. But when drivers do give way, I reward them with a flash of the headlights and hazards, thumbs up if we’re en route to work, and if I’m en route home they’ll be blown a kiss out the window for good measure. I often get a smile, but never a kiss in return.

I mentioned a genuine logistical reason for driving to work, and one is picking up my nieces from school. Waiting outside Reception, the younger of the two sees me arrive and shouts, “Beard!” As she runs out ready to play our weekly game of imaginary table tennis, I produce from my beard a foam ball I pinched from my colleague to make our game more real. We make exaggerated tennis player noises—‘WATCHAAA!’—and she asks me what else I have in my beard. I tell her a banana for her to snack on when we get in the car. We collect her elder sister and make a move. As I produce a banana from my beard with her name on it, she winces, and quite understandably refuses to eat it. We take turns singing songs on the way home, with the odd, “BOOOOGIES!” hollered out the window at workmen along the front.

At work itself: people with perspective. People who realise their present task is just one move within a game within a game within a dream within a dew drop—or at least they act in that manner. The world won’t end if things do go arse over tit. This attitude makes people with perspective the best to work alongside, and often the best workers. Perspective. They don’t get flustered, they don’t complain, they look at problems as possibilities for solution and progress, and they invariably have a good sense of humour. Invaluable, joyous traits. Especially when stakes are high and the going gets tough. Composure is contagious, as is good humour.

Greetings and good chirp with colleagues and strangers change the course of a day. Days make up weeks, weeks make years and years are your life. These interactions matter more than meets the eye; they aggregate; make them count. I’m fortunate to have some gloriously chirpy colleagues, so I chat and I chirp and I’m happy for the most part.

There’s a lad who works down the road from me, and I have the craic with him most days; about our jobs, our partners, our lives in general. I mentioned it was my birthday the other week and—feck me—he’d gone and got me a bottle of cognac. Best present I got this year. (Sorry fiancée, mum, etcetera.) Which reminds me, I must report to him how the cognac met its end; consumed in two big fat French coffees before an evening soak at Bordeaux pier.

Which also reminds me! What has made this week better? What makes everyday better? What makes life better? More healthful, spirited, exhilarating, interesting, refreshing, insightful, natural, intense, epic, exciting, exceptional, wakeful, wicked, and wavy? Throwing myself into the sea, bobbing around amongst the boats, being tossed about in the churning chop, like the insignificant, helpless, flailing mammal that I am. Awesome—in the true and proper sense of that word—is saying a prayer within the foaming folds of the sea, the sun rising and blazing over Herm, its first solar beams supercharging me for the day. Reminded of my pathetic vulnerability, insignificant within the heave of nature’s cold and unforgiving swell, I emerge feeling invincible, with a respect for the significance of this one fleeting, flailing life.

I emerge with that TGFAD feeling—Thank God For Another Day.

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