It turns out that there are some unexpected by-products of this happiness work: 1) some slow but sure weight loss—the triplets are not yet twins, but definitely shrinking in that direction; 2) somehow I’ve mustered up the pluck to tackle mornings a whole lot better; 3) I’m less afraid of people; and, 4) Mondays are far less terrible. Me and my slightly smaller gut got out of bed at 6 am again and whistled and smiled our way through this Monday. No lie. I was doing things happy people do. I found myself whistling on the train. Had no idea I was doing it until a few minutes in. On a Monday! Now if that don’t beat all, I don’t know what does.
Did a 30-minute jog around the park. I almost, almost talked myself out of going. My bed whispered warm and convincing invitations, “Come on, Randy. Your roommate is out of town, no one would know.” I quite literally had to roll myself out and on to the floor. Once I was able to escape from his powerful embrace, the bed hushed up (mostly).
The run was a cruel and evil bastard, but I did it. It’s funny how the doing—the running, the down dogging (but god, especially the running)—can feel horrible, but an hour afterward it feels like your complete atomic structure has been replaced with smiley faces. I’m sure the doing gets easier, but it’s not yet. The trick has been to remember how good the “after” feels, to know it and know it hard, and then compare thirty minutes of suffering to a full day’s worth of feeling better. In that context, the thirty minutes doesn’t seem so long. But damn it’s hard.
Mondays always fill me with a little bit of panic, as I’m sure it does for most people. I start thinking about all the things at work that have to be done this week, feeling guilty that I spent two days away from it. Today’s meditation time really helped calm all that worry from a roar to a murmur. I can’t tell you how much I hated this task when I first started. HATED it. Now I kind of look forward to it. So much so that I did it again when I got home from work. Today we’re high-fiving meditation and its unexpected, sneaky ways.
Random act of kindness
That salad I adore so much, the one that has some delicious form of heroin in the dressing that keeps me thinking about it and craving it all the time, comes with a small amount of fresh baguette. I love this bread, and I ration it out so that I have enough to last the entire salad.
I was walking back to the office when I made eye contact with a homeless man, who looked remarkably like Hemingway, sitting on the bench at a bus stop. (I’ve somehow lost the ability to avoid eye contact with homeless people. I’m not sure this is an entirely good idea because it invites some strange interactions, but I’m enjoying the fearlessness and the connection of it right now.) Hemingway asked me for a quarter, and without much thought I replied, “I don’t have one, but here’s some bread.” The response was without much thought and so remarkably natural, and my salad was so remarkably lonely.
3 things I’m grateful for
1) That I’m writing again. Consistently. And remembering why I love it and how much I need it.
2) Healthy lungs – breathing felt good today
3) That I have access to bathrooms and don’t have to pull down my pants and pee on an office building on a busy street. I am seriously really grateful for this. If I ever forget what kind of privileges and luxuries I really have, all I need to do is take a walk down Market Street. Thank you, Market Street, for the reminder.
Reflect on something good that happened
Shawn Achor himself tweeted about my blog today, and it made me celebrity-giddy, like Julia Roberts knowing your name. The happiness seeker in me was both incredibly grateful for him and proud of myself for sticking with this. The writer in me was enormously flattered and thrilled that I got a few more readers. And the ‘fraidy cat in me panicked because he realized that the “Boss of Happiness,” the “Papa of Positive Thinking” is seeing what’s going on over here. It feels like Mr. Miyagi watching me wax. It also feels pretty amazing.