Perception is Happiness

One of my favorite truisms is “Perception is reality.”  That is, how we perceive something becomes Truth in our minds, even though the person standing next to us perceives the same thing differently and therefore is standing in a different reality from us.  In the same way–according to this happiness book I’m paging through– perception is happiness or misery.  Or as the book put it, “It’s not what happened, it’s how you think about what happened.”  I can look back at all the mistakes I made, all the people who treated me badly when I was younger and think, “What a gormless victim I was, shame on me,” or I can look back and think, “Damn, that girl was a survivor who never quit fighting.  Go, Young Jenny.”  The first one makes me resentful and ashamed and miserable.  The second one makes me want to go back and high five that kid and tell her how proud I am of her.  I like the second one; it makes me happy.  I can look out at the meadow that is now my lawn and be ashamed because I haven’t mowed it in months, or I can look out at it and see the butterflies and the bees and the bright yellow wildflowers that have taken over my hedge and think how much more beautiful it is than lawn.  I’m going with the butterflies.  I can look at Nita and think about how weird it is and my editor is going to freak and my career is probably over, or I can look at it and think it’s more than half done and it has some of the best writing I’ve ever done and it’s a good book, damn it.  Yeah, I’m going with “It’s a good book, damn it.”  Perception is happiness.

How did you perceive happiness this week?

84 thoughts on “Perception is Happiness

  1. I now perceive our bird-feeder as a squirrel-feeder: this makes me very happy, as instead of seeing the squirrels as creatures stealing from the birds, I can be amused and impressed by their acrobatics as they succeed in emptying it yet again.

    13+
    1. Keep thinking of it as a bird feeder. Because the squirrels already see it as a squirrel version of an Olympic competition.

      And you’ll remove half the fun if you make it easier.

      8+
    2. Once I decided to enjoy the little buggers shinnying up the pole to the feeder, and eating while hanging upside down, I enjoyed them as well and the birds.

      8+
      1. A year and a half ago I had to get rid of the bird feeders, because of the squirrels, because my then-new dog would charge out the door and slam head-first into the deck railing if there were squirrels near. Not bird feeders but dog concussers?

        4+
  2. I decided this week that Friday was a great day to stay inside and do a thorough clean out of the master bedroom. Instead of being annoyed at myself that I had let it get so messy (I did a big clean out at the beginning of summer and swore I’d be better at upkeep), I said, “wow, now I have time for that long format podcast I’ve been intrigued by (Critical Role, a bunch of goofy and talented voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons). And gosh, it’s so hot, I’m not missing anything by staying inside.”

    And then I made more cookies. Bakery style jam-filled chocolate dipped sprinkle covered cookies. I mean, cookies are my answer to everything. 😉

    My younger son was disappointed I cleaned without him (I know, where did he come from?) but I promised him we’d do the game closet together. Lots of buried treasure there.

    17+
      1. I can’t take much credit, I think he was born that way! He didn’t get it from his parents and his older brother hasn’t caught it either 😉

        0
      2. My brother-in-law is a clean freak and my MIL said she had no idea how it happened. She had a clean house but she was not a fanatic. Yet BIL grew up to be the kind of guy that got up early and vacuumed the house before his wife and kids were up. His son says he has never seen a dirty dish in the sink. They were to be rinsed and immediately put into the dishwasher. His wife did put her foot down and tell him he could not start sweeping up and cleaning while guests were still at the table.

        2+
  3. My new puppy mouths and play bites me.

    I could be sad that he’s not more affectionate like my beloved old doggo. Or I could be happy that he’s here and we’re giving him love, food, toys and LOTS of exercise and I could woman-up and go get a tetanus booster.

    Guess who got a tentanus booster? FYI, pupper’s shots are up to date, I just decided to take precautions for peace of mind.

    11+
    1. Definitely teething.

      He may also be thinking of you as a fellow puppy in some weird person suit.

      I’ve never found that mouthing and play biting led to less affection later. One of the most affectionate dogs I had liked to sleep with my hand in her mouth when she was little.

      13+
    2. Yes, that’s a puppy doing the puppy thing. He’ll calm down in a while, and they get old soon enough. I’m sure he’s crazy about you because, dog.

      13+
    3. Our new puppy is about 8-9 months old, and still not at all cuddly. In general, her affection can be a subtle, hard-to-spot thing, and her trust in us grows somewhat slowly. But she smiles 10,000 times more than when we first brought her home, and I get some very sweet drive-by kisses sometimes as she thunders past, both of which are things I treasure.

      Were you looking for reinforcement-based book suggestions? Sorry, I may be misremembering. But Dr. Sophia Yin’s “How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves” is a great resource, if you haven’t already come across it.

      In case it helps to hear, my older dog came to us as an incredibly mouthy teenager. Ripped clothes, bruises, scratches, punctures, painful nips…oh, I do not miss that first year AT ALL!!! We worked really hard to teach her better ways, and these days it seems so far in the past (she is five, and I cannot remember the last time she so much as nibbled inappropriately), but I do remember how unpleasant it can be. And how hard it is to feel like you’ll ever be friends with someone who, when over-excited, treats you like a squeaky toy!

      New puppy sounds very lucky to have become a part of your family.

      12+
      1. Aye, it was I! Thank you. Will see if I can get this book. And I’m glad to hear that even older puppers can change.

        4+
        1. I was taught when I was growing up that you had a limited time space to teach dogs things.

          “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

          My new mantra is you can teach almost anything with a hot dog and praise. Or if they’re not food motivated, a tennis ball and praise.

          I do nosework and a woman who had never had a dog before got an 9 year old beagle who had never done nosework before and six months later the two of them were scooping up ribbons right, left & center. Which is even more amazing because beagles aren’t always focused enough to do nosework. But there they were – novice owner, novice dog, hitting it right out of the park.

          So don’t worry about the age. Figure out which treats give you the most bang for the buck (hint – someone else times the dog when you run through obedience and see what treats make the dog work faster. So if they sit for kibble after 15 seconds, do they sit within ten seconds if you use hot dogs and do they hit their butt on the ground before the word is out of your mouth for bacon) and have fun.

          For some dogs, once they figure out that behavior or tricks or attention is rewarded, they will start running through their repertoire to see what you’re looking for.

          (BTW – the higher value treat = faster response does not work for all dogs. The generic brown dog does things because she loves doing them. If she thinks there’s bacon, she lasers her attention onto you to the point she won’t leave on command. God willing most dogs are not that bacon obsessed)

          9+
  4. I just read an item in Dear Abby in which a contributor has a mantra whenever past sadness or regret gets him down.

    “There’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so large. It’s because where you’re headed is much more important than where you’ve been.”

    A codicil, if you will, to happiness.

    25+
  5. I think I have found a new person to take my M-I-L to the grocery on a regular basis. She is forgetful and doesn’t drive, needs more companionship in her life, and can easily afford help. It’s hard to find the right person. Why yes, I am an angel to deal with this, and her 4 children who are still in touch with her are deeply grateful. So happy on so many levels on this one.

    Glad to have a holiday on Monday. Glad that I am making super excellent cookies for Labor Day guests. Glad that we are having other good things to eat, and sharing music.

    Love that Terry Pratchett quote! Glad to have good chocolate tucked away for my private consumption. And a good book. Both of them make my glass bigger.

    9+
  6. I’m really happy this week; I think it has more to do with my hormonal status rather than anything good or bad happening this week. I love it when I’m on the happy side of the pendulum — I don’t have to do anything but enjoy it. When I’m on the grumpy side of things, I have to remind myself of so much stuff — that it might be hormones, that people have it worse, that *I’ve* had it worse, that it really isn’t all that real but just a perception.

    I will say that catching up on some sleep, and baking a batch of brownies for my afternoon snacks has really helped with the perception of happiness, though.

    9+
  7. Vacation week and perception met reality. Happy to spend a day in Niagara Falls, as requested by 17 yo son, go-karting, playing mini-golf and visiting the butterfly conservatory. Yes, it was very hot but we had a fun day. We all enjoyed a graffiti exhibit in Toronto and spent a day in Stratford, seeing a play – had an excellent meal and an unexpected visit with a favourite cousin. The car trip home was several hours longer than usual due to construction/accidents but we arrived safely and got to sleep in our own beds. Back to work and school this week (last year of HS for DS) – will do my best to keep perceiving a full glass.

    11+
    1. I can only imagine the last year of HS is as trying in your country as in ours. I believe it’s one of the worst things we do to our children in Australia.
      Good luck, and teach him that life is a marathon, not a sprint!!

      0
  8. Back in the spring I got a stern talking to from my doctor – cholesterol – weight gain – blood pressure. She was going to increase my blood pressure meds and put me on a cholesterol medication but gave me six months to get my act together. That day is this week. I had lab work done this past week and the results came in online. I hope she will be as excited as me. Cholesterol is below the standard range, triglycerides are within the standard range. Blood pressure is all on her, I can see any other doctor on my roster and my blood pressure is fine but when I see her it jumps. Remember when Oprah was telling everybody how much she loved bread? I didn’t realize how much I loved it too. So I cut back on bread stopped eating my beloved Dove chocolate minis and a few other things. So I’ve only lost five pounds but it is a start. Inertia is not a blessing.

    17+
    1. White coat hypertension is a very real phenomenon. One of the docs at the hospital I transcribe for actually leaves the room and let’s the automatic BP machine take the pressure for a few of his patients because it goes through the roof if he is in the room. Another has a few patients who just do their BP on the machine at the pharmacy and bring her the printouts because she gets much more accurate data that way.

      10+
    2. I always get higher BP readings at the doc’s office than at home, not because of white-coat syndrome, but because they’re supposed to wait ten minutes before taking it, and they never do. On top of that, I have some mobility issues, so it hurts to walk from the waiting room to the exam room, and pain raises BP. If it gets taken a second time, at the end of the exam, when I have been sitting and interacting with the doc, it’s always significantly lower. They’re supposed to wait that ten minutes for consistency’s sake, but hardly anyone actually does it.

      7+
      1. Same. Thankfully now my doc’s office uses an EMR that also has a patient-side app that I can connect upload my at-home BP readings to, so he gets a better idea of what’s actually going on.

        4+
      2. Thanks for reminding me. The last time I saw my doctor I thought about when my BP started being above my (low-thyroid) normal, and it was when my joint pain got to being constant. I pointed that out to them. I will remind them the next time I go. But I also consistently get higher readings with machines than with manual cuffs, and everybody I see is going over to the machines.

        5+
      3. They’re also not supposed to talk to you. But most of the time, you have someone who’s trying to get answers to their questionnaire prior to the dr visit. 🙁

        1+
    3. I see a doctor monthly for my CPAP, and when he was concerned about my BP, he had me chart it three times a day for a month. I was very grateful, because while it was a pain in the butt, it was a low-invasive way to check, and it turned out that it was mostly white-coat hypertension.

      0
  9. Hah, “The Truth” was my first Pratchett. I didn’t now who any of the Watch regulars were, and I’ve always kept a soft spot for William de Worde.

    Thanks for the words on yourself as a youngster, it is worth remembering that we have gotten through or by some shit, even without ninja powers or blood being spilled.

    5+
  10. Bit of synchronicity here — I listened yesterdday to a This American Life episode about a guy who remembers how a teacher changed his life, and then meeting up with the teacher later on and comparing notes about each’s perception of what happened. And there’s a bit at the end about how happy the guy is, because of how he perceives the world.

    It’s a great episode (and I got my kitchen cleaned while listening to it, which made me happy, because I perceive the space to be reasonably clean while most people would be appalled at the still-dirty floors): https://www.thisamericanlife.org/504/how-i-got-into-college

    9+
  11. Exactly!

    Happiness was getting pretty bedding and lovely white furniture (IKEA) for the healthcare workers who will be renting the duplex unit in the north. It is so expensive to furnish a home long distance and to coordinate shipping which is very expensive. But it made me happy to think of the women in bedrooms with pretty linens and great beds after 12 hour shifts. I hope so. I really hope they will.

    Went to a farmers market yesterday and found beautiful pottery, luscious colours so I bought a gorgeous bowl, teapot, two cups and a platter for my aunt who had helped me clean out the unit, sort through the detritus of her sister’s belongings and be there with me through it all. We have had great belly laughs over the past six months.

    9+
  12. Happiness – this is a ridiculous story, but for me, it had a sort of happy outcome!

    So Minion 1 (age 21) is due to return to Manchester to share a flat with friends for what will be their second year/his first year of the course. They found a flat, they’ve paid for it during the summer, and they are all planning to move in this month. I offered to drive him there with a car full of stuff yesterday, because that is literally the only day I can do that until Sept 23 or 30 thanks to work commitments and friends visiting from overseas and yadda. His course actually starts 1 Oct. We discuss this every which way – has he organised for someone to be there with a set of keys? Has he packed? What kitchen stuff can we let him have? Has he sorted out his stuff into the classic four piles – keep at home, take to college, take to dump, sell over internet…? And can he make absolutely sure that the car is packed and ready for us to get in no later than 8am Saturday morning, because it is a 5 hour drive, so this is going to be a 10 hour driving day for me (I’m guessing not such a big deal to lovely US readers, but a BIG deal to this Brit!) plus all the costs of petrol etc etc.

    I get home from work on Friday pm to find nothing packed – nothing sorted – room like a pigsty – and he isn’t in the house at all. He does not come back on Friday night…rocks up at 10:30 am on Sat morning with a big tale about being slipped a roofie in a pub….and can we go to Manchester….

    Hahahahahahaha! No.

    Instead, I had a lovely morning with DH and Minion 2, getting school supplies and a quiet afternoon at home getting caught up on lesson prep for when student finally start work this week…And a gorgeous walk with DH in beautiful September sun. It was a beautiful day and I am very happy that I was not in the car for 10 hours with a very hungover Minion.

    Happiness indeed.

    17+
  13. Finally this week after putting it off all summer, I masked the closet door so that I could remove paint without messing up the face of the door which has already been finished. It took me all of 10 minutes. Then I did something else since I couldn’t face what a miserable job this is going to be. Yesterday I laboriously hauled the hot-air gun upstairs, my leather gloves, the scrapers. This took longer since my husband roped me into helping him move his workbench in his shop so he could have enough room to plane some lumber needed for the breakfast room window rebuild. That was about 30 minutes Then I actually started by removing paint from the base of the molding, the most difficult part to reach. So, glass half full. I am obviously almost done with stripping the wood work because I scraped at least a total of 20 inches. It took me about 40 minutes. I may take today off since it appears I worked hard all day yesterday.

    10+
  14. My daughter’s old friend is visiting her for the weekend, and instead of hanging out in New Haven, the two have come up here to the western Massachusetts woods to visit us (with cat).

    It’s great to have thirty-somethings wandering around, and they like the break from New York City and New Haven life.

    It’s ephemeral — not a Pratchett perfect moment, but definitely happiness. Tomorrow the kids will return to the city beat they live for, and I’ll relax with the autumn wild flowers.

    6+
    1. I love western Massachusetts! My mother’s cousin lives in Pittsfield, and I took her to visit him a couple of times. I’d go off exploring while she socialized. It’s such a wonderfully varied area.

      3+
      1. What a hoot that we like each other’s chosen landscapes — I loved visiting Shrewsbury and Oswestry. You live in a section of England/Wales which is particularly beautiful.

        3+
  15. We are at the end of a remodel at work and the new furniture was delivered and set up this past week, including my new desk (I’m the receptionist). I had discussed with the person in charge of the remodel (on our end) and the sales rep for the furniture company what I wanted so my workplace would be comfortable and efficient. I specifically requested a space for my printer to fit under the overhang of the top part so it didn’t stick out as it did on my old desk. Well, the new desk is not as deep and there isn’t room on it at all for the printer. It’s a u shaped object with an over mantle and the top sections for the sides of the u are coming separately. Right now there is no privacy for anyone I am helping; my screen is visible from either side. Once the new sides are installed, there will be privacy but there won’t be room for my monitor. We discussed various ways to address the printer and monitor issues including leaving off one of the top sections on the far side so the printer can sit there. I was extremely upset at first as this had all been discussed and planned out. So here is where I am choosing to be happy. I have a very nice new desk, with some modifications we will make it work. And I cleaned out the drawers from the old desk and got rid of all the stuff that had accumulated in it (mostly from before I started working there) that was no longer needed.

    And now it’s in the middle of a holiday weekend and I am sitting in my hammock swing in the back yard enjoying the day before the rain hits.

    5+
  16. We stopped using anything but organic fertilizer on our lawn this summer. For some reason, possibly the change, possibly the heat, great patches of the lawn have died off. Like you, I choose to perceive it as much healthier for the pollinators. One of my neighbors texted me a snapshot she took of a monarch, which I believe offers supporting evidence.

    My logical side doesn’t actually get the whole lawn thing. Lawns are great if you’re landed gentry with a grounds crew. They’re pretty stupid if you’re a middle-aged (or older) American with a job.

    9+
    1. Absolutely. I think growind lots of flowers; or shrubs and bulbs if you want easy-care (or a flowering meadow-style planting, but that’s pretty tricky to get right). I hate mowing!

      4+
      1. I have a patch of creeping thyme that has insanely beautiful flowers and smells wonderful when you walk on it. I’m making a plan to convert my insanely large lawn/meadow to thyme.

        On the subject of lawns, My older dog is refusing to do her business (poop, obviously) in the taller grass. So I have to mow a patch for her to use. It’s a good thing I adore her.

        6+
        1. The lawn may not be dead–it may be in hibernation and come back int he fall. Not that I’m a lawn supporter–but its worth noting that the idea of an always green lawn causes even more trouble.

          3+
    2. Big thing out here in California is the movement Kill Your Lawn. I looked around the other day and realized, in this house 33 years, we haven’t hosted a lawn for the last 25. So many design possibilities open up. Meadows, for one.

      7+
    3. I live in the country and my lawn has more weeds than grass. On the bright side, the weeds are apparently so yummy, the rabbits and groundhogs are happy to nibble the lawn and leave the garden alone. (The chipmunks, alas, are a different story. The thieving little bastards.)

      11+
  17. I finally hit the point of going on vacation, I finished my big projects and the work retreat was A-OK.

    6+
  18. We have a gorgeous new rescue pup named Phryne, after Phryne Fisher – she’s sleek, smart, pushy and curious about everything, and as Stephen remarked, looks like a dog drawn by Erté, so the name was a natural fit. Although she’s physically full-grown, we’re still calling her a pup; the city shelter that picked her up as a stray and no-kill rescue that pulled her from the city both guessed her age at around 5, but our vet estimated her age at closer to 2-3, which still equals at least a titch of teenage doggo brain.

    She was a gaunt 44 lbs when we brought her home, and after 2 weeks of calmer environment and smaller, more frequent meals than the city shelter or the rescue were able to feed her, her ribs and hipbones aren’t quite as prominent, and her coat is starting to look properly shiny. Vet thinks she’s a Lab/Greyhound or Pharoah Hound mix, but we just saw a video of a Malinois online last night who could have been her twin, so no matter what sort of bloodline she comes from, we have a high-energy, high prey-drive girl who’s already feuding with a squirrel that likes to hang out in the pomegranate tree in our front yard. (Jenny, if you remember Emma, Phryne looks like she could be Emma’s little sister.)

    Instead of being freaked out at how much energy Phryne has, when we were used to two much bigger old dogs who pretty much just wanted to eat, nap and snuggle in their dotage, I’m choosing to be grateful to have found such a smart, active beast who NEEDS multiple walks as well as multiple backyard play sessions every day. Now to figure out how to ensure Lady Rumblefuzz the 2nd never pees or poops on another rug…

    14+
    1. If she’s got greyhound in her, she’s a lurcher, which is my favourite – I had one as a girl, and didn’t know they were a ‘breed’. I thought mine was unique, but all the lurchers I’ve met – whatever they look like – have the same characteristics: very fast, very nervy, very bright, very affectionate. Mine was self-exercising (greyhounds actually don’t need loads of exercise). She followed the works gardener round all day, with side trips to chase rabbits. She was three-quarters Welsh border collie (apparently they breed in some greyhound every so often).

      7+
      1. Ooh thank you so much for the heads-up! She definitely follows greyhound body lines – deep chest, TINY waist even with a belly full of food, and has a sighthound brain. I’ll look up lurchers for more tips on how to reshape some problematic behaviors we want to get a handle on before she thinks that’s always what she gets away with.

        4+
  19. I’m making yarn pompons with my six year old. If you can’t be happy making pompons, I feel sorry for you. I mean, bright yellow yarn? Who doesn’t feel happy about yarn? Psychopaths, that’s whom. Yarn haters, I don’t trust them one bit.
    I’m working on a freelance project which is the opposite of happiness except for the fact that it will help pay property taxes.
    So, yarn. Also, I made the spaghetti sauce from my grandma’s recipe yesterday, all garlic and mushrooms and delicious smells soaking into everything.

    8+
  20. Thanks y’all.

    Some of the mouthing is teething, a lot is reactionary. Nips when it’s time to take his food bowl away, jump and nip when he wants off leash. Mostly bad habits he got before meeting me.

    I’m now wearing them as badges of honour. Mercurochrome aka red medicine can be a lot of fun. It’s dramatic enough for maximum amount of sympathy from minimum amount of injury. Iodine still burns badly enough to make me tear up.

    4+
  21. This is a lesson I’m trying to teach my 24-year-old, wait, is she 25 now? Lord that can’t be true. Well, 25 in December. Hell’s bells!!

    Anyway, I’ve been trying to teach her about perception, and she’s having none of it. She’s so literal and sees everything in black and white. I’m sorry that the way she’s sees the world makes her so unhappy, but I don’t appear to be able to do anything about it. Lead by example and assume she’ll figure it out as she gets older the way I did, I suppose.

    Youth is wasted on the young, but I’m going to take a page from Jenny’s book and look at my younger self (me, not my daughter) as a fighter and a survivor, not a victim who made bad decisions. I did the best with what I had. In fact, considering how screwed up my childhood was, I rocked it!

    And, I made it out of the wilderness and I’m very happy now. So there. (I’d stick out my tongue and vibrate it, but I don’t know how to spell that sound. Pth-something-something-th.)

    10+
  22. I spent most of today helping my best friend clean and de-crap her house. She lives in a very small house (much smaller than my own 1,200 sq foot one) and has some hoarder tendencies. It has literally taken years to get her agree to let me help, although she admitted she was overwhelmed by it all and didn’t know where to start. Even her couch was covered with stuff, so there was no place to sit.

    We made it through the mudroom and the living room, and made a huge dent. Lots of stuff into the garbage and to go to the Salvation Army, and I stood firm on many things I could tell she was wavering on getting rid of. (My mantra is: How long has it been since you used it? When–if ever–do you think you will use it again? How expensive/difficult would it be to replace if you threw it out and realized you were wrong? And if it has sentimental value, do you have other, smaller things that fill the same space?) In the end, I was exhausted and my back hurt and I didn’t get my own stuff done, but she has a usable and reorganized mudroom and in the living room she can sit on the couch and you can see the entire floor.

    I’m calling this glass almost entirely full.

    18+
    1. As a level one hoarder I can say that friends like you are worth billions more than any single item we hold onto. Thank you for trying.

      5+
      1. She helps me in my garden all season long (admittedly, she likes it and that way she gets produce without having to have a garden of her own), and helps me put together every annoying piece of furniture I buy. She is a pearl without price and I was happy to be able to help her in return.

        9+
  23. I had a cold all week, and was feeling miserable about it. Then I realised that I had a great excuse to say no to anything anyone wanted me to do, and that it was a really nice break from being busy. Not that I’m ever really busy by most people’s standards. But by MY standards, it had been a bit much. So I lay on the sofa for a week, in front of the fire, and read.

    10+
  24. Great quotes!
    Today, I’m meeting my daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. They’ve been together for 2 years now, and I think they’re both serious about their relationship. Am I happy? I don’t know. Early to tell, but I’m definitely curious. I want it to work out for her. She doesn’t have it easy. She is bipolar, and the disorder makes her life and relationships very complicated, even messy sometimes. But hope is almost happiness, right?

    12+
  25. I had a tooth removed and bone graft done on Wednesday, which has meant smoothies all weekend! I’ll take it!

    I’ve also made progress on a backstory scene I’m working on. It’s not done, but it’s progress. Farther along than I was two days ago.

    11+
  26. Slogan of a travel company here in NZ is “The glass is half full and the other half was delicious.” I like that. Re-framing the past like that seems like a good way to live.

    I spent the weekend with my mother who was in better health than I expected, so that was a great relief. Now I’m back at work and it’s raining, but spring’s here so nothing but good times ahead.

    12+
  27. The electrician has decamped with our hvac partially installed, but we were warned another job was booked for day after Labor Day and they’d return afterwards to our installation. So: System half completed and for the next week I do not have to appear in suitable-for-the-public clothes in my own house.

    7+
    1. I think the suitable for public clothes problem is the very worst part of tradespeople and visitors. PJ pants have become house pants here and good lord but I hate wearing a bra at home!! I wouldn’t wear one in public either were it not for the fear of putting someone’s eyes out….

      2+
  28. I like this piece of advice. Back around 1800, Jane Austen was having her Lizzie Bennet tell her young man, on their declaration walk through the countryside, to ‘think only of the past as its remembrance brings you pleasure.’ A suggestion that now reminds me a bit of Donald ‘Me First’ Trump.

    But Lizzie redeems herself by finding Darcy’s insistence on feeling bad about having been such a stuck-up prig back at the Netherfield ball (and after that for quite some time) admirable because it speaks to his willingness to grow and change, which makes me feel better about her now.

    As long as self-forgiveness and optimism doesn’t turn into “Pat thyself on thy back and never admit mistakes” I’m all for it. Unlike some presidents I could think of.

    7+
  29. I’ve been slowly working to get Stanley the stray cat used to indoor living. We bring him in for food and company in the evenings, and let him go back outside when he’s too annoying about it. We’ve been helped by some pretty hefty thunderstorms, which have incentivized him to stay indoors.

    This morning, I let him out at 5;30, so almost the entire night indoors. My husband told me that when he came to bed, he saw me sleeping, with one cat on the bed curled next to me and Stanley asleep on the floor right beside me. That made me feel pretty good – I can’t be torturing him if he’s willing to sleep right there.

    Happiness is a warm, purring cat.

    9+
  30. Gretchen had some kind of seizure yesterday, scared the crap out of me. Having spent all night being emotional at the prospect of her dying, I’m now working on being glad she didn’t yet. It’s hard! Just the thought of not having her warm, nervy little face buried in my neck at night is enough to make me tear up again. Funny how the tricky pups worm their way in. I think it’s because we had to work so hard for it that their love seems just that bit more….

    4+
  31. I know I’m late to the party, but I think this notebook (link in username) is the sort of thing that I would buy and ship to Jenny as a fan offering if I could get my act together (I can’t). But clearly the dog pictured has chosen to perceive happiness!

    After a lovely, relaxing weekend with family at a lake bungalow (reframed from “trapped in allergy central with no wifi and no way to work on the mountain of grading I should be doing”), I helped the Toddler make a birthday cake for my husband (we shall ignore, for the present, the state in which the kitchen was left) and now I’m getting ready to sleep in my own bed again (let’s not mention how long it’s been since I changed the sheets) as soon as I have my first class’ worth of lesson plans done for tomorrow (the less said about the other classes, the better). It really is all about perception!

    4+
  32. OK, you keep saying that this book is weird. And to be fair, it’s not like I’ve read the whole thing (ahem). But based on what we know of the premise, and what you’ve shown us, I don’t see how this one is any odder than Wild Ride. Or Dogs and Goddesses. Or The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes. Is it because it’s a solo Crusie rather than a collaboration?

    1+
      1. I daresay it’s because it’s Jenny on her own; the fantasy aspect is a real departure (thinking as a publisher). I’m sure it’ll work, because Crusie fans read for the Crusie essence: voice and characters and values and story.

        5+
      1. Details. Fantasy is fantasy. I feel like once you’ve crossed that line, it’s done. Readers who are willing to cross that line with you are not going to blink at the amount of departure from reality. They’re already willing to do the free fall. Or maybe this is all just me 😉

        4+
  33. My son started college after a rough 4 years of high school and an even rougher summer (anxiety and depression), but he’s enjoying his classes and looking forward to this new adventure. His entire countenance is lighter and sunnier, and I’m thankful for that.

    The usually-soggy early fall weather has turned unexpectedly nice, so I took a drive south on Sunday. No one in my family wanted to join me–their loss. It was a glorious roadtrip. I intended to scout out specific locations and details for my WIP, but it was also just a lovely day to myself. And then I spent the evening with a good friend, leaving refreshed and replenished.

    4+
  34. On Aug 25 my sister asked me for a story featuring X character from #12. I started writing it on the 27th and finished it (that makes #17) Sept 3. And she likes it. That is happiness.

    1+

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