Happiness is a Low Bar

The NYT ran an article on how people are feeling guilty about not using the shelter-in-place time to do constructive things, and then Kate talked about the same thing, and I realized that I, too, have been feeling guilty about accomplishing nothing. Then I realized that of all the dumb things I’ve learned about myself during this virus, the dumbest is that I always set my expectations so high that they can’t be achieved. Here’s a good example: I’m in the middle of a life-altering, world-altering pandemic in which nothing is as it was and with clear knowledge that I know nothing of what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next day, next year, and I’m kicking myself and feeling worthless because I didn’t scrub my lawn furniture.

Okay, that’s not actually true. I scrubbed two cushions, one for under my butt and the other for behind my back. I did the minimum so I can sit out in the sun and watch the dogs rediscover the side yard every day. I have another eleven cushions to scrub, not counting the ones on the loungers, and I’ve only had two weeks of this to do it, which means if I’d scrubbed one a day I could have done the loungers by now . . .

I think it’s important to set the bar low. Lani used to say, “A low bar benefits everybody” and never was that more true than now. It’s time to embrace the two-cushion goal. Did I get out of bed today? Yes, eventually. SCORE! While we’re being excellent to each other, let’s be excellent to ourselves.

What made you happy this week (especially now that the bar is on the floor)?

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