What are you going to do today that makes you happy?

“Oooh, this sounds like therapy.”

So said a friend the other night when I asked her how she planned to combat the crappy day at work, the unsolicited mess of a co-worker’s emotional entanglement, and the resulting — increasing — wear and tear on her psyche and her patience for a pay-the-rent job she plans to leave as soon as responsibly possible.

Well, actually, what I said was a bit more succinct than the above paragraph:

“So, what will you do to make yourself happy?”

I have asked this of other friends before, when they are unhappy and stressed and unfulfilled. I like the idea that we can be happy, and that we can be not only responsible, but capable orfferreting out and nurturing that happiness… in whatever small way is reasonable and possible at the time.

Another, possibly more frequent variation of the same sentiment is:  

“So, tell me something good that happened today.”

…. Okay, so honestly, this second is usually for my own benefit… when I’ve had a really terrible day (week, month…), I freely ask my husband and my friends to please, forthelove, tell me about something I missed in the world today. Something beautiful or true, or just plain nice. You ate ice cream today? Great! The Cardinals kicked butt, and tomorrow you’ll get to see your grandma? Fantastic!

Not to sound all Pollyanna Sunshine Glow, but I really do think there is something to good old fashioned positive thinking. That is, not thinking about everything in a positive way… that’s just naive. But to find something good that has happened in the midst of a bad day, something good that you can do, or at least identify as good. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

 

Anyways, my friend graciously humored me and listed off three things she would do… three long-term, big-deal things, I might add, which are the most satisfying to say out loud. And we ate some bits of dark chocolate and drank some sparkly hard cider and just sat together and sighed and laughed and chatted.

And those were all very good things that happened this week.

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