That John Lennon quote to the left is famous, but I’m on the teacher’s side. I think a goal to “be happy” is like a goal to be “well-fed.” It’s a goal, true, but it’s unattainable without action, so how are you going to get there? And “what do you want to be when you grow up?” is a perfectly good action goal, although a dumb question to ask children; that’s a question to ask adults, most of whom haven’t completely grown up (aka dropped dead) yet. (Also, he really did not understand the question.)
Sometimes happiness just happens–the sun breaks suddenly through the clouds and stops us in our tracks with the beauty of the world, somebody we love laughs in joy and delight, we’re transfixed by a moment of absolute peace–but more often, happiness comes about because of something we did, something we made, something we caused to happen. What I’m saying is that “I want to be happy when I grow up” is the equivalent of “I don’t want to be poked in the eye with a sharp stick when I grow up.” EVERYBODY wants to be happy. How are you going to get there?
So what did you do to be happy this week? And as long as we’re talking, what do you want to be when you grow up?
(Also, my mother is 92 today. Happy birthday, Jo, and thanks for those tough-as-an-old-boot genes!)
Today is Go Birding Day, which evidently means you’re supposed to go out looking for birds. This seems odd to me since they’re all over the place, and you can just sit in the yard with a bunch of birdseed or bread crusts and watch the little buggers come to you, engaging in what might be called cage matches over the good stuff except they’re not in cages. If you live in northern New Jersey, shortly after you strew the seed and bread, the bears show up, so you might as well go inside and get a nice cuppa and watch the birds flit by the window, cussing out the bears in Bird.
Or just draw a bird (Draw A Bird Day was April 7, but nobody checks):
I’ve been tossing books. I know that seems like anathema, but I have way too many (and I left 95% of them behind when I left Ohio), thanks to my eyes I don’t read paper easily anymore, and I’d rather use the shelves for yarn. (My iPad, however, is packed with titles.) Still, there are books I will not throw out even though they’re falling apart. My Pratchetts. My ancient copies of The Uninvited and Green as Spring. (Must read The Uninvited again to see if it holds up.) Good Omens. And of course a boatload of books on devils and demons and Hell, all scribbled over so now no library sale will want them. Those will go at the end.
Where was I?
Oh, right. What books are permanent on your shelves, even if you’re switching to an e-library?
I’m working, I’m working. Really. House to clean, pasta to make, two afghans and three shawls to put borders on (borders are like sleeves, the last damn thing), a book to write (clearly now a romance which I’ve forgotten how to write), dogs to bathe. dreary rainy day to glower at (rain is good, though): I have things to DO.
It’s not exactly breaking news that color has an effect on mood, but that’s all science stuff. What I’m realizing is that color’s effect on my mood depends on where I am in time and space. I had a purple and blue bedroom once that made me extremely happy. Then I had a Zen green bedroom that made me extremely happy. Now I have a pink and green bedroom that makes me extremely happy, especially since I have a pale green night table with a heavy green glass water goblet on it, and beside that is a green striped ceramic thingy with Q-tips and tweezers and a nail file in it. It has a pink rose on it which makes me extremely happy. I would not be nearly as happy if the rose were red. I have no idea why this is, I just know that I look at those colors and I am happy. I think that’s all I need to know.
Today is National Tea Day (in US and UK and possibly other places, but not International Tea Day because that’s December 15, no, I don’t why there are two Tea Days, drink up).. My favorite is peppermint, but I am open to many others because tea is just a good thing (okay, not the fruit-flavored ones) and also with tea you often get cookies. Even better, you get teapots, which I adore which is why I have so many. Basically, tea is just a good thing that deserves its own day. Let’s celebrate. Bring cookies. (The teapot above is a one-cup from Appletree Design. I did not buy it. I did buy the Sugar High Social cookie jar, though:
I read Skinny Dip again since I’d recommended it. Still love it. My Heyer binge is over along with my Rex Stout binge, so I haven’t been obsessively reading. I think I’m going to skip the Comey book; I read the Fire and Fury book and that was enough, especially since the ongoing story is hard to top: Michael Cohen’s mystery client is Sean Hannity? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Sorry. (Not sorry. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.) I do have several new books I got because of Bookbub including Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About because I loved the sample and Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It because it’s time I got the basics in something besides English (my Spanish needs a lot of help and my French and Italian are pretty much non-existant). Also The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting. I have plans, Big Plans.
I’m working on the disaster area that is my kitchen and actually making progress. It’s not clean yet, but it’s not as horrifying as it was. This is Kitchen Week, and I figure if I just keep at it every day, I can have the sucker clean by Sunday. At which point it will be Living Room Week. The problem is, I shut down when it gets truly cold and dark, so I’ve got four months of hermit slobbishness to clean up. I can do it. Probably. . And I got a lot done on the afghan I started in November of 2016,, so there’s that. And I fixed a hole in the first act of Nita. I worked.
I had lunch with my agent, Meg, Saturday, just because we hadn’t seen each other in such a long time. Also, I love Meg. We caught up about kids and general social stuff and then got started on TV. Like me, she is cordless, getting her moving pictures from Amazon and Netflix and other streamers, and we got started on that “Have you seen this?” thing you do when you talk about TV. What really surprised me is that I hadn’t seen any of hers and she hadn’t seen any of mine. I thought we were soulmates. What happened? Continue reading →
I think contentment gets a bum rap because it sounds boring, but I think it may be the true goal of life, to look about you and think, “I built this life for myself and I am happy with it, not exhilarated or excited or enthralled, but just bone deep content with who I am and where I am.” Or as Douglas Adams said, ” I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” This could be because I am old, since I do believe you have to grow into contentment because you have to learn what gives you peace before you can find it. If so, then growing old is a small price to pay for contentment.