“I’ll be up early,” said my new acquaintance, “I’m usually up at around 4am.”
As a conversation stopper, that statement was right up there with “Let’s talk politics and religion.”
I searched for common ground. “That’s awfully early, even to turn on the coffee pot.”
My new acquaintance was ready with conversation stopper #2. “I don’t drink caffeine. Just water.”
Uh-huh. And your thoughts on the upcoming presidential election are…? Ever ready with clever repartee, I said, “I see.”
“I just don’t sleep much,” new acquaintance said.
Never at a loss for words, I replied, “Ah.”
Predictably, that’s where the small talk ended.
In other jolt-worthy news, my friend B is all excited. She’s found a new pre-workout drink that has time release capsules and provides a blast of energy and mental alertness. She’s thrilled with this new beverage and let me taste it. Tasted like tangerine (which was good because the label said it was tangerine flavor).
I took a good look at the container. Turns out that inside these super advance incredible time release capsules is—you guessed it—caffeine. A lot of caffeine. More caffeine than 2 large cups of coffee. There’s also a bunch of unpronounceable stuff that’s supposed to be crazy healthy for you if you work out a lot.
But mostly it’s caffeine.
I’m considering putting my new acquaintance and my friend B in a room and seeing what happens. I’ll be watching while I sip a cup (or two) of regular old coffee. And smiling.
Rodney sounds happier today. Maybe he’s just a late bloomer. Maybe the weather is better. Maybe his mother was less annoying today. Whatever the reason, I’m not one to let facts get in the way of a good story, so please rewind to Unhappy Rodney.
If you’re insufficiently awake to click to the backstory and then get back here to today’s post, I shall remind you. (I’m just that kind of Mom.)
Rodney is a bird who tends to hang out in front of our house singing in a halfhearted attempt to attract a mate. Rodney does not have his heart in his song. Or a song in his heart, for that matter.
Maybe Rodney really just wants to hang out wherever bachelor birds hang out doing whatever bachelor birds do. Or maybe Rodney is more of a night owl and is only singing in the morning because of peer pressure (for the record, Rodney does not sound like an owl of any variety). Or maybe Rodney is the avian equivalent of a black-clad, pierced teenager, drooping around quoting obscure poetry and always sounding pathetic. I don’t know. Rodney isn’t really one to confide in humans.
What I do know is that there is a flow in doing things we love and “chunkiness” in doing things we don’t. When we’re doing something we love, time flies by. When we’re doing something we love, our heart and our heads are involved—we look for ways to learn more, do more, be more. When we’re doing something we don’t want to do, time slogs by at a snail’s pace. We know because we check the clockwatchcomputer phone every 42 seconds. We find thousands of excuses to not do the work.
We resort to all kinds of stalling tactics (including cleaning). We do the minimum viable amount and flop back, exhausted from all that effort.
At times, we all have to do things we’d rather not do (including cleaning). But the trick to happiness is finding a way to spend more time do the things we love and less time doing the things we don’t.
It’s how you know you’ve found the right major in college. It’s how you know you’ve found the right topic for a blog. And it’s how you know you should stop singing and go find a nice worm for breakfast.
Once again we have rounded the weekly corner and it is Monday.
For some people, Mondays are to be dreaded as they involve going back to school or work and returning to the weekday routine.
For other people, Mondays are to be celebrated as they involve going back to school or work and returning to the weekday routine.
And for still others, Mondays are simply Mondays.
For the Puppy, Mondays are exciting because every day is exciting. One of the great things about dogs is they have a very low bar for excitement. Morning! Fantastic. Air molecules! How wonderful!
How you feel about Mondays has a great deal to do with how you feel about your life in general. When you’re in a good place, Mondays may not be the Best of All Possible Things, but they are generally not hideous. When you’re life is not all it needs to be, Mondays can be pretty bad.
If you’re happy today is Monday, YAY! Happy Monday, and may you have a wonderful week.
If you’re not happy to find yourself facing another Monday, take a look at your life and think about what you might be able to change to make Mondays more bearable. After all, Mondays constitute 1/7 of your life. That’s a lot of time to dread.
And if you should be lucky enough for this particular Monday to be your birthday, then you are a very lucky bunny indeed. And I hope it is an exceptionally wonderful birthday.
It got me thinking that there are all sorts of situations we find ourselves in that might be somewhat less than ideal.
It might be a required class that is (fill in evil adjective here). It might be an event at which you’re required to make an appearance but you’d rather be hung upside down by your toenails than go. It might be a concert you’re excited to go to but when you get there it doesn’t live up to expectations and you’re stuck in the center of the row, unable to leave.
The list goes on. The point is at one time or another we all find ourselves wishing there was an easy way to escape our immediate situation.
Note: There rarely is. Because if there was an easy escape route you’d already have taken it.
The point of the Forbes article was (more or less) that you have a choice to wallow in the unpleasantness of the situation or to find a way to make your life better.
Important: I did not say to make the situation better. We can’t always do that. And presumably if there was a way to do that you’d already have done it.
A True Story
One thousand three hundred fifty-six years ago (exactly) I worked at a fast food franchise. I was in high school at the time and it was a typical part-time job. I remember one night in particular being assigned to wash dishes. Not my favorite job as the pots and pans were big and proportionally dirty. I was in the back, by myself, being miserable, explaining to myself how miserable I was, and generally multiplying the miserable-ness exponentially. Then things got busy and I was called to work the drive-thru window. This was back in the days before we were expected to be rude and so I made An Effort to be cheerful and pleasant. Within minutes I actually was cheerful and pleasant. Cue music for “I Whistle A Happy Tune.” Extra points if you get the reference.
We can’t make every situation better. But we can almost always work on our attitude about the situation.We can decide not to punish those around us with a (fill in evil adjective) attitude. We can challenge ourselves to find something good in the situation and lock onto that. We can figure out a way to turn the situation into a fun blog (see 12 Really Good Things About Winter Weather for an example).
Isn’t that a great thing? An entire month to think about being Happy. Well, at least half a month left to think about being happy.
We need a holiday to be happy? A specific month to be happy? And we have to “admit” it?
I’m a little confused.
I wonder if we have a month devoted to being confused.
I know that we can’t all be happy all the time. Despite the hit song. Despite the availability of chocolate and puppy kisses. Despite the current season of America’s Got Talent.
But maybe the idea of Admit You’re Happy Month is to remind us to revel in being happy. To remind us to practice being publicly, outwardly happy. To remind us not to hide our happy from the rest of the world.
Maybe if we spend the rest of August admitting we’re happy, we can carry that through the rest of the year.
And maybe, just maybe, when we have those times that are a little tougher, a little sadder, a little more difficult than we’d like, we can remember the happy and bring a little more balance to our lives.