Friday, December 21, 2012


I've been dwelling on the idea of happiness, something I am periodically wont to do, as you long-time readers will know.  I've been grasping at pleasure for a while now, and that usually comes in the form of brown cardboard boxes from Sephora delivered to my door, containing the Naked 2 palette from Urban Decay or the matching nail polish set they just came out with and the wee free samples that I squirrel away and sniff at like they're The Ring.  Or I read funny blogs and stories like this one on Man Repeller.  Also, N. turned me on to green tea frappucinos from Starbucks, but with only one squirt of the sweet syrup because we don't want to overdo it on our $5 drink with the six ounces of whip cream on top.  And then there is the endless Netflixing of The Office, Gossip Girl, and Downton Abbey.  I work all day and try to be kind to my children and then get the fuck out of my way so I can put on eyeshadow and watch my shows.

That is the depth of my existence at the moment.  I'm going through an incredibly shallow period.  I think it's because the tenure application process was like having a baby.  I have pregnancy, baby-blues brain.  It is manifesting as a make-up and crap-tv addiction.

Thus enters the dwelling on happiness.

One thing I'm pretty sure is true about happiness is that the things that made you happy as a kid probably still make you happy.  Gretchen Rubin calls this her "Be Gretchen" rule:  you should stretch and grow and try new things, but it's also just fine to acknowledge that there are some fundamental things about you that make you, you.

I made a list of the things I liked doing as a kid (kid as in little kid through high school):

  • playing piano
  • doing puzzles
  • singing loudly along with records by Whitney Houston or Kenny Loggins
  • singing in a choir
  • swimming in lakes
  • playing volleyball
  • snowboarding with my friend Stacy
  • crocheting big old afghans out of shitty yarn
  • camping
  • reading novels
  • shopping
  • organizing and rearranging things
  • road trips
  • making people laugh
  • dancing
  • making out
I'm pretty sure that doing each one of these things now also makes me happy, both in a "this is pleasurable" sense but also in a "deeply fulfilled" sense.  So I'm trying to work them in here and there and do less of the shopping on Sephora.

Though if you wanted to get me that nail polish I would not object.  Come finish season 8 of Weeds with me and we'll do our nails.

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