Tonight, over the dinner table, Granny Annie randomly asked us both: ‘Out of 10, how happy are you?’

Little Pikelet

G said 7…I said 10. Really. 10. I am not just being a gooey, mushy, loved-up hippy. I mean it. When I rate my overall state of happiness, I have to say it’s generally 10 out of 10.

It hasn’t always been so. I had many blue teenage days, crying myself stupid. I took those days with me to Brisbane, Melbourne and London. I’ve had crappy relationships, and stressful jobs. At times, I would have thought a 10 out of 10 was impossible.

In Year 12, I had the most amazing art teacher. I used to write madly in my visual art diary, never thinking anyone would actually read my illegible scribble. Then one day, I found a little comment in red pen that my art teacher had left me, like an easter egg hidden under a leaf. The comment said: “You have the ingredients to be really happy, Zanni”. At the time, although it was very touching, I couldn’t believe the comment could be true. I was so miserable so much of the time. Real happiness was unattainable, or so it seemed.

I have done a lot of work since and I have had a lot of experiences. And I can honestly say that the last 5 or more years have been a 10 out of 10 on average. Sure, I have days when the scale slides down to a lowly 8 or maybe even 7, but it never lasts long until it springs back up. It’s a lot to do with my beautiful, loving husband, who sees me as I am, and brings the best out in me. It has a lot to do with everything I have learned. It has a lot to do with my beautiful friends. It has a lot to do with being silly, and affectionate. It has a lot to do with living in a beautiful environment. And these days, especially, it has a lot to do with one very special little girl, whose face is as round as a pikelet, who throws her head back to laugh as she tells a story to a stranger in the most animated way, who puts her cheek on mine and her arm over my body as she falls asleep singing Hallelujah.

I know I am lucky, and a lot of people have much to struggle with. I am sure I will face my own struggles along the way, but for now, I am just so grateful for the people I have in my life, for my strength, for my health. Have a lovely Sunday night, everyone. May it ease you kindly into the week.