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Why a spontaneous girls' getaway brought me happiness

Louise Pentland tells HELLO! about what brought her joy in March 

Louise Cosy Column
Louise Pentland
29 March 2024
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If I asked what your one hope for life would be, I’d bet an ice cold diet coke that so many of us would say, 'just to be happy and healthy'. Being 'happy and healthy' are big things, right?

We do a lot of things to try and be healthy (gym sessions, getting our steps in, eating well, green smoothies etc) but what do we do to try and be happy? What do we actually do to proactively seek joy? For the longest time I've been pretty passive about it all, but as you might know from last month’s column, 2024 is my year of Guilt Free Joy, and this March, I went for it!

Louise Pentland blue floral dress on holiday© Louise Pentland
Louise Pentland asks: what do we do to try and be happy in our daily lives?

Something you might not know about me is I am the world's biggest homebird. I politely decline overseas hen dos, I've never had a raucous girls' trip and I really only need to be about two hours away from my house before I’m homesick.

A girls' getaway

So, you can imagine what a surprise it was to everyone (myself included!!) when I booked a trip away with my good Mummy friend for five days of lay-ins, sunbathing and perusing the mammoth scale shops they have in America!

What began as a silly "why don't we" chat in the village pub at Christmas, became a full scale "what seat are you booking on the plane" plan! We left our children with their very capable fathers and jetted off for JOY.

Louise Pentland cocktails on holiday© Louise Pentland
I really had space to think and feel during my spontaneous trip to America

Whilst there, I really had space to think and feel. I quietly rode a little rollercoaster of emotions starting off with guilt that I'd done something so 'selfish' or that I'd left the children, all the way to liberation and excitement that I’d allowed myself this experience. I loved spending uninterrupted time with my friend and thought a lot bout how fulfilling and important female friendships are, especially as I get older. 

A good friend is worth so much. I relaxed. I felt inspired. I felt excited for the year ahead. And do you know what happened at home while I was gone? Absolutely nothing. They were all completely fine! Pearl loved having Daddy all to herself and Darcy was on a school trip to France all week, so enjoyed every moment of that. Angry crowds with pitchforks didn't gather because I’d gone away, the house didn't crumble down and Liam didn’t cry each night missing me (well he says he didn't anyway, ha!).

Louise Pentland sunbathing by the pool on holiday © Louise Pentland
We enjoyed five days of lay-ins, sunbathing and shopping

Is there something you've wanted to do but are holding yourself back? What would happen if you made it your mission to proactively seek happiness? Would you get out of your own way and out of your comfort zone? I did and hand on heart, would recommend!

Family celebrations

As well as that big leap of personal growth, our family has had cause to celebrate too because my sweet Darcy girl had her big 13th birthday and we partied HARD!

Louise Pentland in white dress with daughter Darcy at birthday party © Louise Pentland
My sweet Darcy girl had her big 13th birthday and we partied hard

With my newfound self-confidence and self worth I enlisted the help a party planner (huge love to The Glitzy Gatherings Co) to throw Darcy the best party she’s ever had and it was a blast. I’d have never have done that last year, I’d have felt it was too much for me or somehow talked myself smaller. Do you ever do that? 

I’m so glad I didn’t because watching my not-so-tiny-anymore girl have the time of her life was perfection and truly a night to remember. I hope as she grows, she makes being happy a priority too. 

Louise Pentland daughter Darcy celebrating 13th birthday© Louise Pentland
I enlisted the help a party planner (huge love to The Glitzy Gatherings Co)

Wedding planning

Having such a special event made me think even more about the wedding. If you’re on this journey with us, you’ll be pleased to know we’ve chosen a date, booked the venue and paid the deposit - IT IS HAPPENING!! We’ll be having a summer wedding, in London and I feel really, super thrilled about it.

Now we need to start thinking seriously about guest lists, stationery, dresses, entertainment, photographers and more. Shall we have a monthly wedding update? Whilst happiness and guilt-free joy have been a big focus this month, I wanted to note that putting those things first doesn’t mean we cast responsibilities aside, ignore our to-do lists and never have a bad week. 

Louise Pentland with husband to be in black tie© Louise Pentland
We’ll be having a summer wedding in London

Those things definitely still exist. Family challenges, health issues, work demands and grey days are still always going to happen but I’ve found that when I try to really find the joy in each day, big or small, I’m better able to handle the scaries when they crops up. It’s as though my powerbar is better charged and I can tackle things with a clearer, stronger head.

As we know so well, life is short. The years zoom by and the months go in a flash. What will you do in April to bring yourself the guilt-free joy and happiness you deserve? 

HOW TO BE HAPPY: 30 expert-approved tips to become your most optimistic self

As much as you make an effort with your health, what effort will you make for your happiness? I don’t have a solid plan yet myself so if you have any good ideas, do message me on any of my social platforms, I’m @LouisePentland across them all and I’ll see you back here next month! I can’t wait! Thank you for reading, you’re the best.

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