Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maybe Bobby McFerrin Was Onto Something...

I am generally a negative person. Not in a Debbie Downer sort of way (I hope), but I anticipate worst case scenarios. I expect bad things to happen. It is not coincidence that my favorite Grateful Dead lyric (from the only G.D. song I have ever heard, much less know lyrics to) is "Every silver lining's got a touch of gray". If I met Snow White singing in the woods, I'd probably slap her.

However, several major life changes over the last few years have made me re-evaluate whether I am truly happy and how to "find" happiness. I've been vaguely aware of Gretchen Rubin's work on happiness through her blog and last weekend I finally read her book "The Happiness Project". I loved it. The idea of re-framing my perspective to create my own happiness is frightening and exciting at the same time.  I loved that she didn't gloss over the challenges of changing her outlook and gave some examples of her failures over the year. It has really challenged me to rethink my outlook.

In the run up to Valentine's Day, I foolishly pinned a ton of handmade valentine ideas on Pinterest, then felt guilty that I had neither the time nor energy to create, print, and assemble 75 valentines. It turns out my kids were perfectly happy with their store bought valentines. They could not have cared any less. Feeling guilty was a waste of my time so I let it go. I have also embraced the joy of hiding consistently negative people from my news feed in Facebook. I love reading blogs, but there was one in particular that made me feel frumpy and uncool every time I read it. It was a perfectly nice blog where the blogger is gorgeous and shows her very chic wardrobe in her big city life. The problem was the blogger was gorgeous and showed her chic wardrobe in her big city life. : ) Seriously, her blog is lovely but her style is infinitely more upscale than I would ever wear, we are not remotely the same size/body type, and I just couldn't gain any inspiration from it. So I stopped reading it. I try to read more blogs of people I think are smart, hilarious and I would want to hang out with in real life. Laura of Hollywood Housewife is one of those people who makes me laugh almost every day. (Side note: Both Gretchen and Laura responded to emails I sent them and were lovely. Especially considering they probably get a thousand emails a day.) I never realized how negatively I was inviting into my life until I really thought about it. I'll probably never be Pollyanna, but a little less Cruella would be nice.


  1. I don't typically think of you as a negative person. Sarcastic, yes. Droll, yes. Negative, no. For what it's worth.

    I'm glad you've made some good decisions about letting go of things that bother you. I'd like to read "The Happiness Project" when you finish it (assuming you bought it rather than borrowed it from the library or someone else).

  2. "The Happiness Project" was a library borrow, but your library probably has it too. : ) I think you'll like it.