Sixty-seven days ago, I committed to making a post every day under the hashtag #100happydays: Share a photo of something that made you happy today. I was really just getting going with this blog around the turn of the year, and I thought this would be a good way to keep me blogging on a regular basis. I don’t know why I worried about coming up with something to blog about every day. This blog may have 99 problems, but quantity isn’t one of them. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs Graber, saw this in me way back then: “Steven is loquacious.” What? Nothing has changed, really. Now I’m blog-quacious?
I was also drawn to the concept of #100happydays, because I liked the idea of tuning my antenna to detect the small bits of happiness in a typical, run-of-the-mill day. It doesn’t have to be outright joy. Let’s face it: JOY can be in very short supply on
most some most days. We just accept that, and move on. It’s life. Happy is extra. Head hits the pillow. Alarm rings. And off we go into the wild blue of the next day. It’s the days where nothing particularly happy-making happens that I’ve been forced to crank up the magnification and replay the tapes, to see what bits of happy did I miss.
Today is such a day. I’ve been working on a project soliciting donations from airlines and restaurants and hotels for a friend’s fundraising raffle. Woke up to a slew of emails which all seemed to begin “We’re sorry to say we cannot participate…” That didn’t make me happy. Then, I had a run in with an idiot in the dog run. Note to people who are afraid of dogs: DO NOT GO INTO A DOG RUN! No, that didn’t make me happy. (Though I did emerge from that confrontation as the 2nd-most-unhappy person in the dog run.) Later, I bumped into another idiot, this time in the pool, who was just unclear on the concept of sharing a lane. Note to people who cannot share a lap swim lane: DROWN! Ugh. As you can tell, that was not a particular source of joy, either. I was like a human Shell No-Pest Strip today, attracting pests like flies.
So, here I am. Nearly 10pm. Deadline approaching. What made me happy today? It goes something like this and in no particular order (and you should read this through first, and then go back and click on all the links, which will make YOU happy):
I laughed out loud (I know it should be ‘aloud’ – but that always sounds so Locust Valley lockjaw to me) and salivated as I read my friend Kimberly’s blog post reviewing Acabar restaurant in LA (“Asian Spice Trail Food Porn“)… I saw this online headline: AIDS Is Dropped From The List Of Top 10 Causes Of Death In NYC – which is a bittersweet milestone because AIDS still killed more than 600 people in NYC last year, but still… I spoke to my friend Lisë (who lives in Cambridge, Mass) and we finalized plans to spend the day together on Sunday, including the Santa Monica Farmers Market and lunch at Lemonade on Venice’s funky Abbott Kinney… I did the walking thing to the swimming thing today, and limited myself to just one flower shot, which adorns the tippy top of this post… I gave in to my base urge for carbs and veered over to the supermarket on the walk home to pick up pasta! and some formaggio Parmigiano!!… there was a handsome young guy on the sidewalk on busy Santa Monica Blvd playing guitar and singing as if he were on a NYC subway platform, his guitar case open for tips; I smiled and nodded encouragement to him, but the ATM twenty spot remained lodged in my wallet… when I came out of the supermarket dusk had turned to dark, and I stole some glances through the windows of the cute little houses along the cute little streets of the cute little Norma Triangle neighborhood, just little glimpses (isn’t that a funny word?) of people living their lives, cooking or reading or awash in the glow of a flatscreen tv, little dogs and cats perched on the backs of sofas, keeping watch… as I climbed the last two steep blocks of our hill, I was kind of loving the fact that my legs and my lungs were not screaming in agony the way they used to, not so long ago… and as I got to the top of the driveway, I could see Thom on the little terrace, grilling vegetables (some of which would soon end up in my cheesy rotini)… and now, here I am, curled up on the bed with Tiger burrowed under my right arm and Bernardo snuggled up against the pillows (Charlie is out watching tv with Thom)… And so to bed.
None of these things would probably qualify in anyone’s book as Big Happy. But they are the little pieces of my day that brought me joy, for a moment or longer. And that’s what I like about this #100happydays adventure. Remembering happiness is to relive it, so this daily exercise is satisfying in its own way. Even putting together this post has made me happy. That Auntie Mame clip alone is worth 100 happy points! Try it tomorrow. At the end of the day, take stock of the people and the places and the things that put a smile on your face (or an evil grin), made you laugh, or feel gratitude. It’s not a bad way to end the day, not a bad way at all. And when you go through your day looking for happy moments, you tend to find more of them. Well imagine that.
Day 067 #100happydays
P.S. Search that hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to see what’s happy-ning to other peeps.