Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

It wasn't a horrible, no good day.

Rather, it was a day that began with a minor agitation. An annoyance was added. Frustration and bewilderment came later. By the end, the little things - system errors, impending deadlines - piled up, and it did feel like the horrible, no good day.

I couldn't go to sleep last night, the scenes of the day replaying in my mind. When my eyes finally sealed, unable to fight, it was 2:30 a.m. I woke up tired, grumpy, drained.

But my grandma says it is you alone who determines your happiness. It is you who controls your mood. It is you who steers the course of your day.

Though I don't 100 percent agree with her, I knew that I could make or break my day. I could give in to the feelings of melancholy and apathy or I could be happy. Well, I could do things that make me happy.

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... or their co-workers ... or lash out irrationally at their children.

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I went to the Y, hopping on the Arc trainer for 45 minutes. I listened to "Gone Girl" and went at whatever pace felt nice. It was about moving and sweating and endorphins. By the way, I also had a favorite Nuun flavor in that bottle - Fruit Punch. I stocked up this past weekend after noticing I only had caffeinated flavors. It was like seeing an old friend again. Except I didn't see the Fruit Punch - I drank it.

I sat an extra 5 minutes on the couch, enjoying my coffee and homemade apple butter. The apple butter, cinnamony and delicious, was slathered on an English muffin. It reminded me of my days waiting tables at Cracker Barrel and the ladies I came to love while working there.

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I stopped to admire the flowers that still managed to bloom despite our fall-like temperatures. A hibiscus. A rose. Dahlias.

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After work, I stopped at Target and bought the deep red nail polish that I've been lusting over for weeks. I took off the chipped purple on my fingers and replaced it with the rich color as Mark bathed Miles.

Note: I also went to bed at 8:20 and am thus posting this the morning after. All the sleep = a much better mood.

Of course, I didn't fail to notice that I had to do things to make myself happy. I wonder if that's a modern convention - our need to have things, to buy things, to please ourselves. I wonder whether it's me, whether I lack that natural to be content.

But, as I sit here tonight, I can tell my grandma with confidence that I did steer my own course today. I dodged the speed bumps. I leaped over the puddles.

And, bonus, I didn't eat all the food to make me happy. Talk about a win!

1 comment:

  1. love love love.

    I have been trying for years to teach Julia that happiness is a choice. WTG on pulling yourself out of what could have been an awful day :)