Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy

Well it is Wednesday, and while I typically do Style Question Wednesday, I struggled today to think of a good question.  But you know me - I always got stuff going on up in the old noggin'.

So today I was out and about and someone asked me if I had read "The Happiness Project"

the happiness project

I replied that yes, I had, a couple of years back but that I had not found it all that helpful, though it did remind to be mindful (a philosophy that I could lie to you and tell you that I practise faithfully, but alas I cannot tell you that, because that would be the start of "The Liar's Project".  Wait - could that be the title of my first published book?)

"You should try it again," the person replied "maybe the timing was wrong."

Well maybe.  I recall this being discussed on a blog sometime in the last few months - yours Dani?  Ema?  - and there being a mixed reaction to the book.

I think I am generally a happy person, though I do not know why or how I know that.  I am not even positive I am, were I to be measured on a happiness scale.  I am not sure if there is a happiness scale, and if that same happiness scale resembles a weight scale, which I am avoiding like the plague, well that would make me UNHAPPY indeed...  But again, I digress...

Edith Wharton once famously said: "If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time."  She might have been on to something. 

Most of what I read in the happiness literature and research (yes there is such a genre.  happy?) is that you are most happy when you are doing things for others.  I suspect that is true, but I have also always kind of suffered from what is known as acedia.

I had never heard of this term until the last few years.  The dictionary officially defines it as "Spiritual torpor and apathy; ennui"or "a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray."  It is a word that has been around for hundreds of years and is most associated with a religious ennui (and yes, if you never thought you would read THAT phrase in THIS blog, well, I am not surprised!)

I first heard the word while listening to the most excellent CBC program (that's Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for you non-Canadians) called Tapestry, hosted by Mary Hynes.  This episode does not appear to be available on podcast, but you can listen to other Tapestry podcasts here

I am not a particularly organized religious kind of person, though I like to think I am mildly spiritual in a person-who-wishes-they-hadn't-missed-Studio-54-in-its-heyday kind of way, and this show, along with the equally stimulating "Writers and Company" on CBC hosted by Eleonor Wachtel, are some of the best hours of philosophical debate and discussion that I know of. 

So it was August 2, 2009 and I happened to listen to an interview between Mary Hynes and Kathleen Norris about the latter's excellent book:  "Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life." (you can listen to a nice interview with Kathleen Norris here.)    I was painting my gazebo at the time (literally not some nice watercolour of it!) and was finding myself suddenly going through the litany of "I hate life.  Why am I so stupid?  Why do we live here? why do people have more money than me?" and so on, and so on, and so on.  Now I should have known better because I hate to paint and I am rotten and painting.

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

Maybe you never have such dark thoughts.  If you don't, you can just slip out now and come back tomorrow when I show you my laundry room reveal!  No hard feelings and just lots of love!

But I sometimes have those feelings.  And I was riveted by the interview.  I did not feel depressed at the time I was cursing the world and my lot, nor do I feel depressed now.  But sometimes, well, I feel kind of pissed off at the world.  And it would often hit at certain times of the day when I had time on my hands or when I was doing tasks I particularly loathed.  Kathleen Norris' naming it for me was freeing, as were her suggestions as to how to get through it through activity, especially physical activity, such as gardening, walking, routine daily activity, sometimes the very activities that are driving you crazy. 

I find great comfort in doing little things - the cleaning, cooking nice dinners, walking the dog, reading a good book.  While I am off from work and really re-connecting with my house and my inner self, I am reminded that we have these acedia moments and that they are okay to have.  Just keep going and this, too, shall pass. 

Blogs can make you feel that certain people have romantic, perfect lives.  But we all struggle from time to time, from moment to moment.  Everyone else can seem happy, happy, happy and you wonder why you don't always feel that way, even when things are going great.  I think that the Happiness Project is just another way to name and help us get through acedia.  So yes, maybe I would be more open to it now.  Or kinder to the intents of the author.

One of my favourite authors, Robertson Davies (yes, this is Canada Day on this blog obviously!) said this about happiness:

Happiness is always a by-product.  It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular.  But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness. 

BUT.....

what made me think of happiness to begin with?

Well, something that made me VERY happy.  My good friend, GF, she of the very punny puns and the handle GetFreshPress, made me 50 origami bluebirds of happiness (and one to grow on!) for my birthday last week.  When I opened the box and saw them there I was gob-smacked.  They have pride of place now in a brass bowl in my dining room where everyone can see them.  When they start to get threadbare, they will have to go to the National Archives with Michelle's dress.

If someone takes the time to make you 51 origami birds, you think "Jeepers Creepers, I have a lot to be thankful for!" and that thankfulness, that gratitude, reminds you that you have lots to be happy about and that is the ultimate gift!!  Because you know, if I was trying to make 51 origami bluebirds of happiness, acedia would have set in around # 13.  When GF turns 50 in 20 years, she might only get 10 as I have the patience of gnat!  So you can be sure I appreciate these both for the affection that was folded into each and for the patience that they required.





So for this Wednesday, be kind to yourself.  If you are having one of those days, one of those weeks, one of those months, know that I am sending you all (yes ALL) the best of love and intentions for a good day, a good week, a good month, a good year.

Finally, a quote for Tabitha.  Tabs, when I read this quote earlier today, I thought of you immediately, since you and I both suffer from the "Week Before Christmas is the Best Week of the Year and Far Better than Christmas Day itself Syndrome" (Surely we have our own wing in some clinic in Austria!):

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think.  Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. 
~A.A. Milne
So no style questions today.  Just a whole lot of deep thinking and lots of love!

Stay Safe out there!

 

56 comments:

  1. Get Fresh is getting around of applause from me right now, the bluebirds are utterly spectacular, what a present!
    Acedia - that's a new word to me, I binned that happiness book and my best friend throw it across the room - it doesn't work for Brits it makes us rage and foam at the mouth but I will go have a look at the other book, I have a lot of self loathing and dark thoughts mulling about.

    PS: I would have called it a day at birdie number 6!

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    1. All the typos above - eek - it was another long night of insomnia.

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    2. As both a lifelong battler of insomnia and one fresh from the trenches of menopause, which kicked it up a notch, I salute a fellow sufferer. Like happiness, the best solution for me is not to dwell on it, which is so much easier on a good night's sleep :)

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    3. n.b. - truer words were never spoken!

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  2. I recall having the same kind of reaction. I remember you commenting about foaming at the mouth! There is something to be said about the stiff upper lip - I have used it most nobly all my life, although you might never know it from all the whining I do here! On the other hand, I think I used it a little TOO long, and stuck to things that weren't working, fulfilling or which were making me feel badly because well, one had made one's commitment. What I have always struggled with is knowing the difference between garden-variety regular old dark moments (i.e. acedia) and knowing if I was getting depressed or burned out. Having now suffered my first official burn out, I guess I realize the difference after the fact and I think it is the sheer repetitiveness of that feeling of misery, particularly associated with one thing (in my case work, as opposed to my husband or family) I liked Kathleen Norris because she was a regular writer, married to a poet, who has a strong spirituality which she does not beat you with. It does not read so much of a self-help as a literary memoir. Interesting! I hope you sleep. I have helpers with that for the month of January to try and teach my body to rest again.

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  3. Pissed off at the world, have been there a time or two! Too much self-reflection makes me cranky, though, and I find that I need to just DO something to snap out of it and not stew too long about my own self.

    I am with you and Tabitha about the week leading up to Christmas, I love it so much.

    I love GetFresh's origami birds, they are brilliant. I am the type that could enjoy doing that (although I don't know how to make origami anything). I like repetitive tasks, they are soothing, and all the better if they are going to make someone happy.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

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    1. Cate - I think you are already practising the exact way to battle acedia!

      Aren't those birds neat? I have to learn to do them, too!

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    2. Three cheers for GetFresh! What a lovely present! My 21 year old does these to calm herself and relax.

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    3. Lane, I started things like this to keep hands busy, mind quiet also. Haven't managed to tackle knitting yet. Can only give away so much baking and do so much cleaning. No room for a pantry with jeweled rows of preserves. Better than smoking, or fretting about being awake. Mostly, find a rare serenity in taking something plain and inexpensive and making something lovely.

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  4. Acedia, I did not know this term. I think we all suffer from this. I go up and down, sometimes it will just occur to me that I feel at peace and other times I get completely down in the dumps, weighed with anxiety and fear. Half the time I think it's hormonal to tell you the truth!

    Yes that Happiness book was quite the gimmick, I did discuss a bit of it on my blog. Have no desire to revisit it which tells all.

    Now Winnie the Pooh, on the other hand, deserves revisiting!

    I wish I could have helped GF with those birds, oh the guilt! I am useless with fiddly stuff like that.

    Happy, well humph. But I am happiest in a clean room with my family and some good things I have made for them to eat. It is the simple things after all, just being home and having peace, that makes us feel good I think.
    xo!

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    1. Dani - I think you are so right. I am really quite happy right now, getting everything re-ordered in my life from my hall closet to my addled brain. I think that we end up chasing things that give us a momentary thrill, but which are completely unrelated to happiness. I think for me, having peace, as you noted above, is everything!

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    2. Dani, no guilt! Un-Martha will get you on bow-tying someday.

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  5. Loved this one, Wendy, once again showing that reflectiveness and serious intention can--and often do--go hand-in-hand with killer shoes and a wicked sense of humor. Life requires a diverse arsenal, doesn't it?

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    1. n.b. _ I am convinced that one must wade in shallow pools like a happy duck now and then to be truly happy! But tomorrow will be so frothy light you will be able to put it on your coffee!!

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    2. Ladies, whole wheat bread AND frosting, needed this.

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  6. Many years ago, I did a painting titled "The Moment Before", when I was going through a period of realizing that for me, the anticipation of something, good or bad, was often experienced at a higher pitch and more filled with emotion, than the actual moment of the event. A lot to ponder for sure. Great post.

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    1. Kathy - I would love to see your work sometime! I think once you name something, it is much easier to deal with - at least it is for me. The funny thing is - some of the best times I have ever had in my life were "accidents" or at parties I didn't want to attend. Now that I am 50, I have resolved to think more and think less, if you know what I mean!

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    2. Yes I do know what you mean. Strangely, I don't like to title my paintings, but people seem to "insist" on it. You can go to my website: www.kathypeck.com

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    3. Well I have spent the last half-hour mesmerized by your work. It is beautiful and thought-provoking. Some of the paintings feel like you are looking into a dream. The sculptures are amazing. Okay, I am completely gob-smacked - how wonderful to be able to create such works! As someone who is just now learning to dabble in paint, I have so much respect for artists like yourself who are so talented! Thanks so much for sharing the link. I am officially in awe of you! And I love when you arrive at the site and we get to see you at work and the sound of the brush. damn!

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    4. damn is right, hey WMM? I love Kathy's work. Did you see the bronze cow? That's my favourite. And I love all of the paintings. I paint and draw off and on so I know how difficult it is to express on canvas or paper, and through sculpture well I can't even imagine!

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    5. Wow - thank you both so much! I'm feeling all shy right now....

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    6. No reason to be shy - you are amazing! Dani - I really loved the cow, too!

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    7. I had found your site before and really some wonderful work!

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    8. Thank you Lane, I'm flattered.

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  7. What a great post, WMM, much to ponder here.

    Those cranes are beautiful! The kindness of friends and family really is central to feeling well, I think. As an ex-pat, I've given a lot of thought to community building, and while I think that many things in life matter - health, partnership, intellectual satisfaction, spending time outdoors - community is an essential component.

    I had never heard of Acedia, thank you for introducing me to the concept. I have downloaded the first chapter of that book to my kindle to check out.

    I am so pleased to have discovered some Canadian blogs like yours and Dani's. I have not lived there for seven years and I get so homesick. Nobody knows what I am talking about when I mention CBC or CanLit. Turns out that Canada is a pretty small place :) Speaking of, I am going to see Leonard Cohen this summer!! I love that Davies quote.

    I did read that Happiness Project. I liked parts of it. Overall I enjoyed it because I think she was well-intentioned and it ended up more as a diary of one person's compulsions, and I always enjoy a peek into somebody's inner world.

    Thank you for your kind words for the day, I wish the same for you.

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    1. Thanks Abby! That's one of the reasons why I love the intenet now - when we were abroad we could still listen to CBC, which has some amazing programs from my perspective!

      I think I would be a dismal ex-apt to be honest - I don't make friends easily (though others would disagree) - I am 100% lousy at small talk. I am either all in or all out. That's why this blog is the way it is. It is just genuine stream of consciousness!

      I had never heard of acedia either - I just love those old words!

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  8. Robertson Davies! Here is the Universe again-- I literally picked up " The Salterton Trilogy" at a thrift shop yesterday in Florida; had never read him before. Very witty and fun. How did you do this???

    I don't know "acedia" either; sounds better than dysthymia though. The happiness books are clunky, American at its most earnest ( no, can't imagine a Scot writing "The H Project"). Mindfulness is a good thing, though, and becoming part of the medical arsenal for everything from anxiety to diabetes.

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    1. Robertson Davies is (was) a canadian treasure. My husband read him first 30 years ago and got me on to him. He is one of the funniest writers ever. And you know, when I mentioned him yesterday, I thought to myself "got to read the Salterton Trilogy" again. He is like a cross between Dickens and Jane Austen for me

      Oh I wish I was in Florida with you - you should stay there - was -25 here!

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    2. Came home last night-- it was 2F here. Lovely sea smoke though.

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    3. I am consoling myself with blue skies!

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  9. This book didn't do it for me. I may give it another try. What I am finding interesting is "The How Of Happiness". A bit scientifc for my usual tastes...but upon slogging through I'm finding truths about myself and actual steps to take that are tailored for the way my individual brain and mood functions. I'm bungling the explanation, but its worth a look. When my gray cloud of doom descends it takes everything in my arsenal to get out so I'm always a work in process.
    Now on the subject of insomnia, it is a torture I struggle with nightly. Valerian, Melatonin, Camomile you name it I'm taking it. Sometimes it helps, most times I'm tossing around.

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    1. Thanks - I will download it on the kindle today. I think Lane's analysis above was good. I am trying a bath every night with epsom salts with some lavender essential oils. I know that when I do not sleep I look at everyone as if they ringwraiths as opposed to the sunny disposition I usually have!

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    2. LOL...have paper and pen. She has you take tests to determine your best ways to help yourself. I keep a bottle of Lavender oil on my bedside table, dab it on my temples and under my nose every night.

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    3. Ha! Just so long as her way to have me help myself doesn't involve really running off to join the circus (like I always wanted to growing up!)

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  10. Another wonderful post, WMM. A friend was really into the Happiness Project about a year ago and after reading the online bookseller reviews I knew it was NOT for me. I am generally pretty happy, but have been challenged recently when asked what do "I" want; what are my dreams. In recent years so much of my life has revolved around making sure my kids get what they want and need I have no idea what I want. Dreams...really...what my dreams are??? Besides health and happiness for my family and loved onees, I have absolutely no clue. I don't even know how to think about the question, let alone answer it. I'm not one for self help books but perhaps it is time to find something to inspire me to step outside of my life and think about my dreams. I got quite off topic didn't I? Somehow I know you'll understand.

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    1. Julie - I KNOW exactly what you mean! I spent the last 22 years taking care of everyone but me. I did a job I was good at, some would say excelled at it, but never stopped to question what would make my heart sing. One thing I do believe - you gotta be working at things that make your heart sing.

      Oh, and the worst of it is - most women, especially mothers, don;t even have hobbies! I read and only really started gardening a few years ago. and that is really only available to me 3 months of the year! Men have hobbies - and they never NOT make time for themselves (BTW - do not mean that to sound snarky, more envious!) - so now I am 50 trying to decide what I would really like to work at for the next 10 or 15 years of my life and how I can do work that does not take ALL of my time. Julie - I am right there with you - I sort of had the feeling a few months ago, in the height of everything with my dad, my work, being over-tired, that I might have forgotten to do things for ME along the way. So I am now playing catch-up!

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  11. BRASS ROOST WMM, delighted to see the bluebirds in their lovely home. (I was examining their stack of books). Thank you ever so for doing just like hospital and making me ages younger than I am for second time this month. (My 5-0 is less than a decade away, actually.)
    A new word (!) and so many rich thoughts, ideas and curiousities from this post and comments. Since already highlighted by CBC and Davies, humour me as I pick a couple to chew on:
    - The DH had the opportunity to work with the Dalai Lama on tour twice, over a decade apart. While I struggle with traditional tenets and religion, inside his prayer scarf gift I've folded one of the things he said on his frequent happiness = compassion theme that truly resonated with me. "Happiness is not something easy or ready made. It is not something you can buy or find, or that you are owed. It comes from your own actions, what you do - and what is in your heart."
    - On Jonah days, my philosophy of necessity is mostly Seussical, "Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!" Yes, when I am navy blue I actually re-read Oh the Places You'll Go, The Lorax etc. That might not be very psycho-sophisto, but at least it usually jolts me out of my rut and makes me smile. (I don't mind Gretchen Rubin's blog and some of her "un-happy" books, but the timetable checklists and deadlines just made it all another formulaic and first world to-do. Why are publishers and N.A. public so obsessed with "21 day challenges"?
    - It's interesting to think about how women can get so busy and wrapped up in being responsible to others that it becomes cloudy or difficult to cultivate own joy. Also how men have less of a tendency to deny themselves or put off happy distractions. Among much, what Dani noted about the simple pleasures and cate wrote about just breaking the stuck cycle rang with me. (I thought) A great deal of my happiness, or perhaps better said my self-satisfaction, always came from one constant aspect of my life. Since I don't have that in the same way now, I struggle with what to replace or balance that "core" with.
    - Since my life often comes back to movies, lyrics and books I think any line that makes it into both the Merchant of Venice and 1971 Willy Wonka must be a good guide, "How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty/ weary world."

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    1. GF - you are the Philosopher Queen today! I do not have these Seuss books - that is a LONG story about my mother-in-law and about how she giveth and taketh away - but anything by Dr. Seuss is good in my books!

      I always loved the term "jonah day" - since my concentration is shot right now (although I manage to read 5 pages a day about dead Presidents), maybe I should reread Anne. I think women can learn some good things from men about leisure!

      As for the Dalai Lama - how wonderful for your DH to have spent time with him! He is so inspiring and he just brings so much joy and happiness to some very deep issues! WHat I was trying to say awkwardly in my blog was how your act of making 51 origami birds provided its recipient with so much joy that surely that must have helped with the paper folding!

      Am like you on the 7 habits and 21 days. My book will be titled "read this book when you want, where you want and if you want to and good luck!"

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  12. I have good news, I don't think you suffer from acedia (I didn't realize at first that you were talking about this because I only knew the term used in the middle age "accidia" and I didn't make the connection at first). I didn't read the book, but acedia as it has been traditionally described (call us Italian experts) is not about being pissed at the world, quite the opposite in fact. That could be considered a "constructive" feeling compared to acedia, unless you end up with a machete or (more likely in the US) a gun in your hand. It's more about not giving a dime about the world surrounding you, a feeling very similar to the modern ennui. Acedia keeps you from doing things, in fact the "religious ennui" you mention was considered a capital sin because the religious people (monks) suffering from it basically stopped doing good. Depression could be a clinical term for it.

    I loathed that book because of its pragmatical approach. Pragmatism is so American, as European it makes me angry as Tabs said. especially when it comes from someone who is dispensing advice on how to better manage your time and has all the help in the world to do the things that she sets to do. Ultimately I don't think there are recipes for happiness.
    In my case I am a bit of a Winnie the Pooh mixed in with a bit of Siddartha. I think that if happiness is in the moment, it can't be enjoyed while it's happening because it is already in the past. If it's a state it has to do with knowing that you are ultimately a good person, the look at you in the mirror and like what you see thing.
    Sorry, I didn't want to lecture you but this is something I thought about since I was 12!

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    1. Oh Ema, I like a good Italian lecture! It would go even better if we could it in person with a nice bottle of italian wine!

      I probably wasn't clear - it wasn't just feeling pissed off, it was like "why bother, it all ends anyway," kind of feeling. But I like it that you know so much about this and I agree there are no recipes for happiness - although I would say that there are some things that aid and abet a happy countenance! ANd I love you as a combo of Winnie and Sid!

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    2. I thought of accidia also, spiritual unease coupled with a sense of hopelessness, the next step to the horrible sin of sloth, and then of wanhope, which is "too much outrageous sorrow," and the next step after that is despair. Amazing how much psychiatry was known in medieval years, under different names, although I'd rather be treated with chocolate than by bleeding...

      we're so surrounded by self-help in all kinds of media, it's like going through catalogs and websites, by the end of the day I'm convinced that I've seen myself described and that I will know how to cure it. And then I try to clear my brain by decluttering, start by returning a stack of hilarious spy novels to the library, and pass another style/life/job/spiritual/diet/success/happiness guide, and cycle back downwards into another celebration of my imperfections.

      you've got friends, kid. and we love you.

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    3. It is so true - isn;t it. A good book can sort out a lot of ills!

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    4. Just to reassure you, ladies, I don't need help! I have come to pact with accidia, so to speak ;-)

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    1. Winnie is my new guru ;-)

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    2. Ema - now that I have almost mastered french, may be time to take up italian!

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  14. Oh wow, what a great post!

    I can tell you that your posts bring a lot of joy to me, and from the great responses here, I can see that I am not alone! GetFresh's present to you put a huge smile on my face - what a wonderful and thoughtful gesture.

    Hugs to you, WMM!

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    1. Thanks Merry Wife! She puts a smile on everyone's face, doesn't she?

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  15. WMM, we may have a telepathic connection. I was actually having this exact conversation with myself over the last 24 hours. Thank you for verbalizing it so eloquently. But I must say, I can't do the self help thing. I always imagine that the people who write these books have wretched lives. So much for cutting down on the cynicism this year, it's January and I'm already breaking the "rules".
    And Get Fresh deserves a standing ovation. Stories like the one involving 51 cranes make me optimistic that the Internet has the power to bind more than alienate. What a blessing to have a friend who folds 51 cranes (and all the figurative meanings of that act). But more importantly, thank you for reminding me of everything you've written.

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    1. I hear you! When I read the book, it seemed too light. I like my self-help delivered via a good movie or a good book. A glass of wine helps too. But most of all, friends, help. GF has become a great friend. I am surprised how many friends I have made through this blog and others.

      I don't really know what my blog is about, but I do try and be honest, because I think you are right - some lives just seem too perfect to me and when someone is selling something hard, I get nervous!

      Hang on to your cynicism!

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  16. What a wonderful gift from GetFresh.You know I'm a softy and it brought tears to my eyes. I think that is what happiness is the act for others. Like most of the women on this blog I put most of my time into raising our children.My husband was on call in the early years every other weekend 10 on 2 off. I must say it was quite an adjustment when they left for university. I'd literally count sleeps to Thanksgivingback then.Two done and two still attending. It takes awhile to find the new you when you haven't carved time for yourself before. I'm now cycling and try to walk near the ocean each day. If I look out at the water I'm set for the day.

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    1. Marsha - thanks so much and those are excellent points! WHile I did not add my children into the mix of the factors that are making me decide if I ought to be doing something different work-wise, they were probably niggling around at the back of my head as both will be gone in new few years! That is one of the reason we take them with us everyone now - we can't spare em and they will move on soon enough!

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  17. Hi WMM! I hope you are having a wonderful day today! I am in awe of the beautiful gift that GetFresh made for you...how very special. Definitely one to be treasured! :)

    I happen to agree with the comment you wrote about happiness being found when you do thing for others. I also find that when you make it a point to be thankful for all that you have, it also makes you much happier and more content with your life. I know from experience when I focus on what I don't have, instead of being thankful for what I DO have, it makes me depressed and unhappy. So now I try my best to count my blessings each day, and I'm teaching my boys to do that, as well. We have been starting our school days by sharing 3 things that we are each thankful for that day. I want them to grow up being thankful and happy for all the things that they DO have, instead of focusing on the things they do not have.

    Enjoy the rest of your day! "Everybody happy, happy, happy."

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    1. Btw, I also think we all have days when we are upset with the world, and it's quite normal. Like Cate, too much self-reflection makes me cranky, and unfortunately for me, I over-analyze a LOT. I really have to make sure to get busy doing things and snap out of it quickly, otherwise it can be a downward spiral, and that is not good. Anyways, this was a great post, and I enjoyed reading it, as well as everyone's comments. :)

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    2. Thanks FFM! I always love your perspective on things! And I love that you are starting your days with the boys that way - that is such a great gift! I do find that keeping going, muscling through and counting my blessings are the only real cure. Have a wonderful day!

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Kindness is a virtue...