Amy, Leeds

Amy is a doctor, educator, and Brownie leader.

What makes you happy? 

Time spent with my family and friends – cliche I know but very true. Especially taking the time to spend with my three year old son – so often I am with him but doing something else such a cleaning or running errands – happiness is having the time to play with him with no other distractions.

Is there something that you spent a long time believing you couldn’t do…. only to try it and realise that you can actually could do it? What made you try it?

I think the best example of this for me is taking on a leadership role at work.  I used to say that I would hate to take on a leadership role and that I would be no good at it, but secretly I was afraid of failure (I am a highly competitive person so my instinct is to avoid doing anything I don’t think I can be the best at). 

I was inspired to become a trainee representative for my peers when I realised I had so many thoughts on my training and a colleague I really respect pointed out that I could either continue to whinge about the state of affairs or get involved and change things. I did just that and am now on a national trainees committee and hope to continue to aim higher.

If you were taking yourself on a date what would you arrange for yourself? 

I am not a big fan of surprises so I would arrange to meet myself at a nice restaurant, followed by the theatre, and then out for some dancing.  The older I get the fewer opportunities that arise for a really good boogie.

What’s one thing you do regularly to look after yourself? 

I’m not particularly into any beauty products or regimen but my sanity relies on a regular soak in the bath with a book. Simple but effective – also as mother to two children it is a much needed moment alone.

Share one thing that used to make you really anxious, that you no longer worry about.

There are more and more of these as I get older, mainly linked to my appearance and self image.  I used to care a lot about my’alternative’ image, (90s grunge?!) but no longer care about this at all. And I honestly mean that. 

I also go out without make up, wear an anorak most days as it is practical, and am still wearing clothes I had at university.  My 18 year old self would be horrified.

Time is precious, what do you dedicate yours to? 

I am a social person and, as I said above, time spent with others makes me happy. I generally devote my time to people – be that friends, family, patients, or my Brownies.  

Give your 18 year old self one piece of advice.

Worry less and enjoy yourself more.

How will you grow old, gracefully or disgracefully? 

I have given this a lot of thought as I work with older people. I hope to grow old in body but still know how to enjoy time spent with others, with a little dancing thrown in from time to time.

What do you hope people say about you when you eventually leave this mortal coil?

I hope they’ll say I was a support and an inspiration. In reality I suspect they’ll say how quiet it is now I’m gone…

How did answering these questions make you feel? 

It reminded me that I am still young but I do feel more stable and happy with each year that passes.

Check out more happiness including workshops, talks, podcasts and care packages at www.happyhumanbean.com