I believe we are all aware that we live in an extremely stressful world. There are constant stressors like the commute, the husband and kids (I don’t have either so I’m guessing here), pets, your job, and what cool color to use on your toenails. And then there are random events out there which can start to nag at you. For instance, is the bay area about to experience the mother of all earthquakes? Since the Napa shaker, it has lingered in the back of my mind that I need to move to solid ground (I am on landfill and mud – think liquefaction). And yes these stressors have different levels of magnitude – I get that – just trying to point out the wide range of worries that most of us have.
So – we need to have some good things to celebrate in order to break the stressor cycle. And I find that so often there are random, sometimes very mundane events that cause little bursts of happiness and appreciation. Sometimes I myself am surprised at how positive my reaction is to these events! Let me list a few:
- Bike riding around the Canada road area a couple of weeks back when it was EXTREMELY hot. I thought wow, it’s getting unpleasantly warm, perhaps I should throw in the towel. Instead, I slowed down some and enjoyed the scenery. The scenery was brightened by all of the male joggers out there who were running sans t-shirts. They all looked really good … and that made me smile and giggle on the inside (ok, sometimes on the outside) and appreciate that hot weather, and appreciate the bay area men who are committed to physical fitness and willing to share their bare chests with the rest of us!
- I frequently find myself on airplanes and unable to utilize all of my United 1K perks, like upgrades. I had a lengthy conversation with a United Airlines representative about how unfair this was and received the typical spiel about this being how it works. In any case, on my flight to Tel Aviv as I was boarding the bells went off and they handed me a ticket for business class! It seems like a small thing, but I was thrilled to pieces. Oh yes, I had to control myself not to tap dance onto the plane.
- Luna bars. Ok, to elaborate further I use luna bars when I’m biking or traveling as a quick fix for hunger pangs. In and of itself this is no big deal. But what IS a big deal is when I’m ravenously hungry, say after the gym, or having missed lunch, and I find a luna bar stashed somewhere that I had forgotten about! The joy and rapture at finding one of those in an hour of need – I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!
- Someone leaving a piece of chocolate on my desk. I don’t know about your offices, but in ours we do have caches of chocolate items in various locations. Chocolate and I have a very strong affinity for one another and several of my colleagues are aware of this. Occasionally I will return to my desk to find one or two mini candy bars waiting there for me. How fabulous is that?! Not only was someone thinking about me, but they actually left a chocolate offering for me! This always helps me to generate positive feelings towards the universe.
I think what I’m really trying to say, besides the fact that I like men, international travel and chocolate (not necessarily in that order), is that it’s important to look for these moments in our lives and really savor them, because otherwise we get bogged down in the stressors and forget that life is in the end a fabulous and funny journey.