Those who are in love with life

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Occasionally I run into someone who just loves life: they can’t wait to get up, are nearly always cheerful, and even when things aren’t so great (I am labeling this, not them) they still know things will get better, still love life, and being alive.  They dive into everything. They smile a lot. Most of the time these people don’t have much (I am judging “much” here, and obviously my judgement is just that: my opinion.)

And I long to be that type of person.  Can I learn it?   I have read that happiness set points are inborn.  This means that when I am going through an exceptionally good or bad time, I will return to my status quo eventually.  And I see it: when I went through my divorce I was seriously at an all time low.  So, here I am, five years later.  And guess what?  My happiness level is about the same.  Instead of fussing over my disastrous marriage I have other things to fret about.

Here I am, in my first world problems, I am existing, not living. Each day is pretty much the same. I run my kids here or there. I work. I make dinner. Run errands. Do laundry.  Fuss about money. Fuss about the state of the house. Fuss about needing to get out more. Fuss about my physical issues that keep me from exercising, so I fuss at the scale.  I fuss at my kids grades.

I want to know the secret of those who don’t worry. Those who see the donut and not the hole.  I do this sometimes but usually because I got a raise, or something else good happened and the feeling is short-lived.  I want it ALL THE TIME.  I want to feel lucky that I am here and aging as some die young. Lucky that I have love in my life, a house, a paid for car, healthy kids, beautiful weather, sweet cats, a great job.

I need a happiness mentor.   I have self-help books in a pile by my bed.  Started. Not finished.  I need a quick fix. And there isn’t one.

So I search for it. Every day.  I have a gratitude app on my phone that I don’t keep up with.   I read blogs and posts ad infinitum. But I don’t know how to IMPLEMENT any of it.

What makes me happy?  Riding (can’t), writing, music, reading (escapist novels), laughing…. I am running out of ideas.

The last time I really had fun? Damn. I don’t remember.

http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/03/19/15-ways-to-live-and-not-merely-exist/

 

 

 

 

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Humor and Genetics

 

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I was saying goodnight to my older 14 year old son last night in his room, when he and I both heard a scary, freakish sound coming from the kitchen.  I realized it was our ailing, stinky garbage disposal, which I call simply, The Pig.  I giggled and said to my son, “That’s just your step dad grinding up small children in the disposal.”   He started to laugh so hard at me and all I could think was: “How twisted and sick am I?  Is he going to be like this when he’s an adult?”

Maybe that’s not a bad thing:  my ability to find humor in things has kept me afloat during some of the worst years of my life (so far).   Nearly six years post-divorce, I have, finally learned to laugh at some of it.  Some parts will never be funny (crying in a small toilet closet in my house so that my kids wouldn’t hear me, comes to mind). But other parts, like the ridiculousness of  what’s mine and what’s his (who the hell CARES about a colander?), and calling my best friend just to hear her say, one more time, “He’s such an ASS,”  still make me smile.

Are senses of humor genetic?  My siblings and I all love Monty Python.  That humor is black and white: you love it or you think it’s juvenile and pointless.  My older son loves it.

So here we go.

 

What would I tell my 25 year old self

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So many things.

  • Buy Google stock instead of investing in your employer’s 401K
  • Invest more in your brains than your looks – the former lasts longer with any luck
  • You will be loved for just being you someday. Stop looking so hard.
  • Take better care of your body. You are not IMMORTAL and you will also age.
  • The move from NJ to TX was a disaster for your self image, but you have to GET OVER IT
  • Laugh at everything you can. Watch more funny movies.
  • Establish a new happiness set point.  Do. It. Now.
  • Quit making the same mistakes two, three, four times.  Take a deep breath and stop and learn before moving.
  • You are adorable RIGHT now, and have no idea you are!

  • You will say the sentence above again when you are 70 and looking at photos when you were 50
  • Write more
  • Take more photos
  • Ride horses more
  • Don’t get a credit card – EVER
  • If a man is not great with finances, run away.
  • Watch how a man treats his mom, because that’s how he will treat you after you are married.
  • Never make a large purchase while pregnant. Especially a car.
  • Learn how to deal with confrontation: this is huge and will be even bigger the older you are
  • Fess up when you mess up. No excuses.
  • You will NEVER be perfect.
  • There is always someone smarter, dumber, prettier and uglier than you.  STOP COMPARING.
  • Stop comparing!
  • Stop comparing!
  • Just! Stop!
  • When you think you are going to die over some emotional upheaval, you won’t.  So get on with things.

 

Fifty

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Don’t think about the past.

Don’t think about the future.

Be in the moment.

Whooey I tell you.

I am always evaluating my past (mostly WHAT WAS I THINKING?)  and worrying about the future: of the planet, my aging, my kids and the world they will get.

Why didn’t I document my life in photos more?  There is so much I cannot remember. I talk to old friends, who were with me somewhere, and they remind me of things I don’t remember happening.  In 1995 or 1996 I was at the Del Coronado Hotel beach, eating a sandwich from the deli there, and watching Harrier jets land.  Now I live 26 miles from there, I have two sons, and I’m no longer married to their dad, but to someone else.  I dimly remember calling my parents, who then lived in Maine, and telling them both how wonderful it was to be eating shrimp Fettucine Alfredo in my room.

I have no photos of these days. Not even of the trade show booth we must have used here. I don’t even remember what booth it was?

Photos would help, I think. I look at ones of me in my twenties and I was adorable. I didn’t know it, or think so. My self image isn’t really any better today, and I am sure that at 70, I will look at photos of me now and do the same thing.

I’ve been in therapy on and off my whole life and I still don’t feel I made progress… I have self help books that, if thrown into the fireplace, I could heat my house for a year.

So, in an effort to remember I am going to post here, weird things from my insignificant life, just to see what on earth happened a year ago, exactly.

Wouldn’t it be cool to that kind of memory? Those that have it, say it can be a curse.  From over here, I just think, “Sign me up!.”