I’m on a new kick. It involves doing everything I can to increase my odds of being happy.
Candied pecans are a no-brainer. Sometimes it’s good to start with a sure thing. Agree?
I’m going to make another note: I like my salads a little dressed up. I have to remember this. I have absolutely no trouble drumming up enthusiasm for sweet and spicy nuts, Black Mesa goat cheese, avocado and grapefruit segments, and champagne vinaigrette. Also: I probably need to cool it on the raw kale.
I like myself better when I make a little bit of an effort, too. Take last night, for example. I wore my favorite top that wrinkles, my mom’s chandelier earrings, and my best white pants, and I felt so much better. (My yoga pants and my loose t-shirts feel like my depression clothes. My working-from-closet-in-New-York clothes. I never want to wear them again.)
Do you know what else makes me feel good? Being active. Being active in a place where people not only smile hello, but also stop to chat. Everywhere. Everyone. Today I made sure to be the one who smiled first.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t any friendly people in New York — there are. There definitely are. But this IS sort of a gentle reminder, to myself, that I’ve been somewhat of a sedentary slug. In New York. I can’t just exercise for an hour in the morning and then go sit at my computer for the following ten. It’s simply not enough activity. I don’t need to go hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim, but I do need to move around more.
Here’s a thought: if I AM going to elect to spend so much time inside, then I at least need to plant myself in a place where I can open a window. (Maybe multiple windows!) I need to be able to feel fresh air. I need to see light coming in. And I’d like to be able to listen to some birds. And maybe look out at something pretty. (Sans scaffolding!)
With that being said, I need to be careful to put myself in a situation where it would be very difficult for me to isolate myself. (You would think that would be New York City, wouldn’t you? I know, I have no answers for you.)
Once I figure that out, I need to make it harder for myself to fall into routines. I’m ashamed to tell you that I’ve had oatmeal for breakfast every morning for the last eight weeks. Also: I have had nothing to drink but water. I may have been taking my reduced circumstances just a little too far.
Last night I had something wildly different, and it felt like I’d won the lottery. There was seashell pasta involved. It was swimming in a smoked Gouda cheese sauce. There were also Mexican shrimp at play. They were sautéed in something called Spicy Diablo Sauce. There were some other elements too (scallions, pickled red onions, sun-dried tomatoes?), but don’t quote me on those. You just need to know that everything got dipped in that sauce.
I need to get back to making things like that myself. For myself. I need to cook meals that make me want to stand at the stove with a spoon. I need to make meals that satisfy. On that note, I need to take it easy on the vegetables. I really do. I need to remember that I really like chocolate, and it’s perfectly okay. It’s actually more than okay, at 8,000 feet. But I didn’t need to “earn it” in the first place.
It’s also important for me to admit that I still need people to help keep me from slipping, sometimes. And that I just need people, in general. Even as introverted as I am. (And as independent as I want to be.) I really need friendship. And if my friends are busy, I need to turn on the radio, or buy a television, or read the newspaper. I need a break from being so introspective, so much of the time. A break from being so alone.
And I need to keep jotting down quotes, as clichéd as they may be, because they make me change my perspective. Or want to, anyway. And they make me want to write. (There is that, too!)
“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” -Rainbow Rowell