I’ve been reading Agatha Christie’s Autobiography for a while now – just a chapter or so each day. Instead of writing about the details of her life I thought I’d do a few posts now and then on things she drops into the narrative. Ideas she had, thoughts on various things, books she liked and so on.
Today, I’ve chosen to focus on her joy in being alive and happiness.
She’s writing about the time in her life when she was thirteen or fourteen:
Always when I woke up, I had the feeling which I am sure must be natural to all of us, a joy in being alive. I don’t say you feel it consciously – you don’t – but there you are, you are alive, and you open your eyes, and here is another day; another step as it were, on your journey to an unknown place. That very exciting journey which is your life. Not that it is necessarily going to be exciting as a life, but it will be exciting to you because it is your life. That is one of the great secrets of existence, enjoying the gift of life that has been given to you.(page 133)
She goes on to say that not every day will be enjoyable, for example if you remember you’re going to the dentist. However, she thinks it does depend upon your temperament – whether you’re a happy person or melancholic:
Naturally happy people can be unhappy and melancholic people enjoy themselves. But if I were taking a gift to a child at a christening that is what I would choose: a naturally happy frame of mind. (page 133)
I like that.