Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 8: Happy Saturdays

We've dealt with the physical on this blog; now we go into the meta-physical.

Today I was struck by the realization that I'm actually happy right now. I have great friends, a loving family, a stable home life, a stable spiritual life... and a job that - as stressful and time-consuming as it is - has not made me cranky in the way that other jobs usually do for me. AND I'm losing weight, too, so my diet is finally sorting itself out.The only way that I could get even more happier than this is to attract more happiness in my life. Here are the little things that have contributed to my cheerful state of mind:

- New shoes. I got these gray shoes at the Skechers store; they're designed for people who have to be on their feet for work (like I do) so they totally pass my comfort test. The great thing about these shoes is that they're sneaker-like without being actual sneakers, which is just perfect for avoiding dress-code issues at my workplace. As for the gray color... well, considering that most of my dress/work pants are either black or gray, it's not completely out of place in my wardrobe at all.

- "Old" books. I mean this in a figurative sense, since there's a research aspect to my job and I have to scrounge through books on philosophy, psychology, education law, *and* history to give my lessons a little perspective. Yes, all this reading poses a risk of me turning into a workaholic with a Claritin habit, but that's part of what makes my job so satisfying - both for myself and my students. Now, if only I had a magic spell to teach my students how to take good notes...

- The strange (but true) relationship between my dog and my cat. Okay, so Tyler Durden really isn't my cat; I don't take him to the vet as often as I do with our mutts Williams and Sonoma. (Names have been changed to protect the Hacienda.) But for some reason, Williams - the older, bigger of the two - has bonded with Tyler in a weirdly wonderful way. Both of them are roughly the same age, so they were able to learn the dynamics of dog/cat play-fighting while they were still young. In recent months, however, Williams and Tyler have scaled back on the Fight Club aspect of their relationship in favor of something close to synergy. There are days when Williams isn't too keen on whatever kibble he has in the bowl, for example, so he lets Tyler come over and snack on a bit of kibble, too. It's pretty obvious that Williams and Tyler have practically adopted each other, even though Williams and his brother continue to be clueless when it comes to other cats.

- Mini-reunions on Facebook. It always starts with an innocuous post - somebody posts old pictures, or a song that reminds us of the old days - and suddenly everyone comes out of the woodwork after 20 years to say hello. I've found a lot of "renewed" friendships this way; it has taught me to mend fences where they truly need to be mended. Then there's the shared cheese factor of seeing so many bad outfits and worse hairstyles (see: yours truly as a first grader, at left), which are more than worth their weight in gold.

- Naps and massages. For obvious reasons.

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