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Daily Happiness Journal #82
17th November 2020

In this email:

  • Food for thought: difficulty or gift?
  • Pictures of the day: Merit and Kha
  • Daily Funny: Broom
  • Daily Happiness: Pancake
  • Daily Quote by Nick Hornby
  • Writing Blog: The lure of research

    I hope this little email will uplift and encourage you to see the good things all around you. (I will post these during weekdays between Monday-Friday when I have to time to write them from my MA studies and day job)

    Food for Thought

    Difficulty or gift?

    “For better or worse, you cannot significantly change your life by manipulating the material world— not by working harder, not by studying longer, not by schmoozing, not by sweating, not by fasting, not by the hair of your chinny chin chin! But change—great change—is inescapable ... when you first begin manipulating the world of your thoughts. It is that simple.”

    - Mike Dooley

    I've often noticed that people who are most stressed and anxious are those who find the world unfair, as if there was some malignant force lurking around the corner, just waiting to trip them up. People who try to change things by pushing against matters they cannot change. People who try to manipulate others to behave in a way that makes them feel secure.

    It just doesn't work. Of course there are things you can do, and should do. Plan your work, your studies, your direction in life, but understand there are things out of your control that may stand in your way. When you meet such an obstacle, look at it, and replan your route. Don't yell at the unexpected thing. And don't try to force others to bend to your will against their own wishes. 

    Planning forward is good, but as you cannot see into the future, it is only normal that things happen that will make it necessary for you to tweak your plans. Acknowledge the situation as it arises and seek for the the best in the change you now need to do. 

    I remember reading a story about Mother Teresa. Someone was complaining about difficulties, and Mother Teresa said she preferred to replace the word "difficulty" with the word "gift". Instead of seeing the great big difficult thing she chose to see what could be learned from it. Difficulties are often gifts in disguise, directing us to unexpected directions that on hindsight were the best thing that could have happened to us. And if not the best thing, then at least something that taught us about our own strengths.

    Without difficulties we would not be the personalities we are today. The question is: what kind of thoughts did you choose, and how, as a result, the difficulties shaped your character? Are you blaming life, or have you seen the good?

    Picture of the day

    At the University of Manchester MA study forum we are discussing the different social classes of ancient Egypt and their position in relation to each other. One article we read claims that women were of lower social status, based on their tomb finds.

    Women in ancient Egypt had a status that women in many countries still haven't achieved. They could inherit, run businesses, take a divorce (and take their possessions with them), decide who would inherit them, bear wittness in court...

    As an example of this "unequal status" the writer mentions the tomb of Kha and Merit, which was found on the west bank of Luxor - ancient Thebes - by Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1906. 

    Kha was the overseer of works in the Valley of the Kings. He died in his 60's and the X-rays of his still unwrapped mummy show expensive golden jewellery. His wife Merit died much younger, maybe around 25-35 years of age (which was more or less the average age of a woman then). She also wore some golden jewellery (her mummy is also still unwrapped), but had only a few other possessions in the tomb. (Though the fact that most of the things in their tomb were household items, makes it likely they were in use and only interred when Kha died as well).

    Still - the lid and parts of the lower coffin Merit was in, was gilded. Also the coffin was originally made for Kha, not Merit. He gave his own coffin to her and had another made later for himself.

    Kha also had a death mask made for Merit of gilded cartonnage, decorated with blue glass paste - a rare and expensive material at the time.

    Above you see the mask in question. (I took the picture in the Museo Egizio in Turin / Torino, Italy).

    As they had adult children by the time Kha died, Merit most likely was their mother, and this means she died years before Kha. Probably before he gained his high position (and received much of the gold he was wearing in death as gifts from the pharaoh). This means he gave his very expensive coffin to her before he could be certain he had the means and time to have a new one made for himself. In his Book of Going Forth by Day (named The Book of the Dead in our modern times) he had Merit depicted beside himself, entering the afterlife together.

    Merit's title, Mistress of the House, was well respected in ancient Egypt, and a title the ladies bore with pride with them to the afterlife.

    To me the coffin, mask and being shown alongside her husband speaks of the love he felt for her. The fact she had less jewellery wasn't a sign a lower status as we understand it. She wore all the gold she got in life. As did Kha, in the end. But when his beloved wife died, he was ready to give her his own treasures so she would enter the afterlife with dignity.

    Below is a picture of the statue of Kha - placed on his favourite chair. Forever young, as he would like to be remembered. Just like Merit's mask shows here forever young and beautiful.

    Daily Funny

    Why was the broom late?

    It over swept!

    Do you have a funny story you would like to see published in this letter? An event, what someone said? If so, send me your funny story in an email 

    (I especially love the funny things children say!). 

    My email  for this is daily email is

    Today's Happiness


    Oh, yummy... Warm pancake straight from the oven with strawberry-rhubarb jam and whipped cream... 


    What made you happy today? Send a note and tell, if you wish to share your little happy moment with others.

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    Daily Quote

    “There had been times when he knew, somewhere in him, that he would get used to it, whatever it was, because he had learnt that some hard things became softer after a very little while.”

    ― Nick Hornby (/About a Boy)

    Writing Blog / The lure of research

    I admit it - I forget myself in the research for my books. I needed too check a detail of pre-crusade Byzantium for Nephilim Quest 4 - and found myself reading a whole book about it.

    What to do - history is so interesting... Seeing how events intertwine to each other, how beliefs, religions and kingdoms develop, flourish and disappear, and in the midst of all that turmoil ordinary people trying to live their ordinary lives.

    In an emotional level I don't see much change through the millennia. People have always reached for security, love, acceptance, and a deeper meaning to their existence. They have reacted with fear and aggression to perceived and real threats. They have done amazing deeds of kindness. 

    To me the basic humanness is the most interesting thing of all in history - to see behind the great events, to try to figure out what each person was thinking when they acted the way they did. 

    More about my books - click to read

    I sell my books directly too. The ebooks are cheap to buy and the big e-stores don't share much of the price with the authors. That is why I have downloaded my books to Payhip - they don't take a commission which makes it easier for me to pay my editor, proofreader and cover designer.  

    Leenasbooks on Payhip
    Leenasbooks / Leena Maria

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