Today’s post by The Bloggess is called The small things are the big things. She talks about how we tend to weigh negative things more heavily than good things. I was hesitant to read further in case it was one of those platitudinous positive thinking posts, you know the ones, where NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU THINK POSITIVE and YOUR ATTITUDE SHAPES YOUR OUTCOME and YOU ONLY HAVE CANCER BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT THINKING POSITIVE ENOUGH and all that crap. This context-free pushing of positive thinking completely overlooks the factors in people’s lives that they have absolutely no control over. And while I appreciate that how we face our lives has a bearing on our level of happiness or lack thereof, positive thinking in and of itself is not going to cure cancer or depression, remove pollution from the water we are forced to drink, or keep our kids out of gangs. YaknowhatImean? That kind of blindly faithful positive thinking is also a horrible kind of victim-blaming, and an avoidance tactic of the things that are wrong with ourselves and the world that we need to address.
But I digress. The Bloggess didn’t go in that direction. She’s not saying we should ignore the bad, just that we shouldn’t overemphasise it, as we do so easily: “We carry the tiny bad things with us because they stick to our skin in painful ways but often we forget the tiny good things.” So she invites her readers to share some good: something that makes them happy, that they’re proud of, someone who inspires them. And the comments! The comments are wonderful. All those people sharing their stories.
I’m not a particularly positive person, but I do have my own brand of hope (and isn’t it odd to know what different shapes hope has for different people?!). And my hope is in the little good things. For me, they often come entwined with the bad things, like those yinyang symbols. If you put one of those on a white background or on a black background, you see something very different.
So here are some of today’s little (and big) good things:
- Yesterday’s wonderful rain and how beautiful and vibrant the flowers in the yard are because of that.
- My little freezer full of individual servings good, healthy, vegetarian food that I’ve cooked myself, ready to eat so that even on the hardest days I can eat well.
- Shelves full of books and the literacy to read them.
- The four dear animals who live with me.
- My friends and how funny and loving and talented and brilliant and beautiful they are.
- The fact that right now, today and this week, I am not in the fog of depression.
- Safe and clean drinking water from the tap. It never ceases to amaze me.
- My art. And more specifically, for the chance to work on my first public mural—very exciting!
And a daily Happy Moment: Every single time I go home, the dogs are delighted to see me. Every. Single. Time. There is something truly comforting about such a consistent and tireless display of love and affection. I tend to forget how real and important that is in the daily round of dog walks and brushing and feeding and all the physical aspects of caring for them. Sometimes they don’t need just anyone to throw a stick; sometimes, what they need is to lean into me and have me rest my hand on them. And I need it just as much.
If you have a few minutes to read the Bloggess’ post and the great comments, head on over. Or let me know here what makes you happy today, or what would make you happy if it could shine through whatever crap is going on in your life right now!