You might have thought - given that 2007 hasn't got off to the best of starts, what with my car being impounded, my acting talents being rejected and my mother discovering that she has a life-threatening illness - that I might be a little... down.
I might have thought so, too, especially in view of the fact that I was, in more youthful days, prone to depression in the same way that some people are prone to accidents. I had only to look at the colour orange and it sent me into a spiral of decline. (Strange how, now that I have discovered Happiness, the same shade can make me beam).
So I am doubly chuffed and surprised to discover that I, like everyone else at a moment of crisis, have Hidden Reserves. I've actually managed to impress myself with my resilience and, believe me, that's not an easy thing for me to do.
My mother Esme has to take most of the credit. She is leading from the front on this one. Way out front. Close friends are stopping her mid-sentence and asking, "But are you really all right, or is this an act?" because they can't believe how serene she is. I'm sure she doesn't feel serene all the time. That would be impossible (and, let's face it, nauseating). But she is, for want of a better word, grounded. Quite clearly standing on her place on this earth and saying 'Here I am. This is me. And I'm okay.'
I had noticed a change in my mother over the last couple of years. Watching her handle this latest situation has confirmed that it really has taken place - quite a subtle but profound transformation that I would hope to go through myself when I've clocked up enough years. Yes, I do think that it is related to the process of getting old. It is an astonishing process, if only we could celebrate it a little more, rather than getting bogged down in the aesthetics. What seems to have happened is that my mother has become wise in the best way it is possible to become wise: she has become wise about herself. She knows herself at last. So her actions and reactions are not muddied by anything, or anybody else's stuff. To be envied, indeed.
To see her like this - this makes me happy. Plus, I can hardly hide under the duvet until the year is out if she is out galavanting, now can I?
Clever of her, that. Blinding us with optimism. Thanks, Esme.