Monday, February 23, 2015

The Robot's guide to happiness

Over the weekend I accidentally punched myself in the eye while trying to tear apart a cardboard box and I spilled Dr. Pepper inside my purse. It feels like I have been shoveling for 2 months straight. I think the Chinese zodiac got it wrong. This isn't the year of the sheep, it's the year of the shovel. Isn't it the best? I'm the happiest I've ever been in my whole life. 

Maybe you're thinking um, those don't sound like positive things. Does not compute. But to me, happiness is a state of well-being and enjoyment of life that is unconditional and always accessible. It's not about everything always going perfectly well and feeling fantastically wonderful all the time. It's about embracing all the twists and turns and ups and downs as part of the entire experience of life.

The most important thing I've learned (the hard way, of course) is that it doesn't matter what happens to me, it only matters what I do with it. And I realized that all the times I felt bad, I also felt happy. When I felt sad to lose someone I cared about, I also felt happy to have had the chance to know that person and to let go and move on to other adventures. When I felt disappointment at failing at something, I also felt happiness at learning from my mistakes and finding a better way forward. In hindsight, it's all the moments I thought were terribly embarrassing at the time that turn out to be the comedic relief.

So yes, I did feel like an idiot for not realizing sooner that the certificate for free Sauconys that I won at the last MedVed Harrier games had expired in January (and that it was now slightly soggy and smelled like Dr. Pepper), but I also had to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask MedVed if I could still use it (but I did ask Pete to come with me. Because it's easier to be happier about feeling like an idiot if someone is standing next to you who knows how ridiculous you are and loves you anyway). And the MedVed employees were totally cool about it and didn't even hesitate in saying I could use it despite the expiration date. I still felt a little bad, so I did buy some new socks to go with my free shoes.

And yes, I'm as sick of the snow and cold as you are. But I love that Niagara Falls is frozen and I totally want to see it in person. And I want to see that Eternal Flame thing in Buffalo. And sing The Bangles' Eternal Flame at it. Winter is a jerk, but he's a loveable jerk. And he makes the best playgrounds.

Lyric of the moment: "Let's dance to Joy Division. And celebrate the irony. Everything is going wrong but we're so happy. Let's dance to joy division. And raise our glass to the ceiling. 'Cause this could all go so wrong, but we're so happy. Yeah, we're so happy..."

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