One Fabulous Thing

…because each day has at least one.

03.13.2010 Honesty March 15, 2010

Filed under: Family,Happiness,Work — onefabulousthing @ 9:52 pm

This is a day in which I did not get my hair cut. I did not do the work I had brought home, I did not read for pleasure, I did not get any work done on my garden. I got the time wrong for my hair cut and found myself without childcare and at music class during that time. There were too many puttering things that got in the way of work and reading. The rain put the kibosh on gardening activities.

I felt at loose ends all day, with too many things to do and not enough time to do any of them well. The baby is (as always) teething, and his palpable discomfort was like a low mosquito buzz in the back of my brain. When he was in bed and our dinner was on the table, I clinked beer bottles with my husband and said: “I think I’m all done. I’ve done the ‘working mother’ thing for about a year now, and it was really cool at first. Challenging. I liked stretching myself to cook all of our food from scratch, and bring our lunches, and keep a clean house. I’ve done a pretty good job of it, I think. But I think it’s time I earned my badge and bowed out.”

In response, my husband looked at me and said, “OK.” Of course, he didn’t mean it, any more than I meant what I said. There is a certain part of me that would love to drop out, tend my garden and my child (children?), and tidy my house. Or not. Sometimes it’s nice to let that part of me have a voice, and to have it be listened to.

So, Fabulous Thing #72: Speaking the truth…or at least the truth of the moment.

 

02.20.2010 Decadent Dreaming February 21, 2010

Filed under: Food,Happiness,Work — onefabulousthing @ 9:33 pm

Today, my wonderful husband brought our son to Music Together, and insisted that I stay home and rest. It is true for me that when I get a little tickle in my throat, when I’m feeling a little congested and a little “off,” if I can get some solid sleep and have a restful day I can usually stave off a bout of full-blown illness. This is how I was feeling yesterday, so my husband did what he could to give me enough downtime to try to head off whatever seemed to be coming my way. You would think that would be fabulous enough, but it’s not the One Fabulous Thing for the day.

I was able to sleep in a bit, but I was awake when my husband got the baby ready for class and I was able to blow them kisses out the door as they left. I got dinner going in the crockpot, then retreated back to my bedroom with a copy of a local magazine and my Kindle. I cannot tell you the last time I read in bed during daylight hours, and it was heaven. I read through the local magazine, making note of stores I’d like to check out, local events coming up that would be fun to go to, and local restaurants that might be worth trying.

I say this, but please realize that it’s all mostly talk. I rarely get any time to myself to poke around little shops, and as I’ve mentioned it’s sort of an uncomfortable thing for me. Our weekends are precious, and the mercurial weather means that the planned art gallery walks might be fun and enlightening or bitter icy cold and not happening. We go out to dinner so few times a year that a restaurant would have to be pretty spectacular to make the cut. But that’s not the point. The point is thinking about the possibilities, the depth and breadth of the opportunities that abound in the few square miles around where we live.

The most amazing of these opportunities became apparent to me when I read a short blurb about the contest that a local bakery is running to choose the person who will take ownership of the bakery later this year. For a nominal entry fee and a 280-word essay, the winner will get the keys to the kingdom. My mind was immediately off and running. I would enlist my mother to move down here and manage the day-to-day operation. My kid would grow up with the smell of sugar and vanilla surrounding him, doing his homework at the small tables in the bakery. I could picture myself, tired but fulfilled, carefully piping intricate designs on cupcakes in the early morning hours. It could happen. I could do this.

Will I? I’m not sure. But the essay is composing itself in my mind, the possibilities too attractive to ignore. It’s a little more tangible than the normal “what if I won the lottery” daydreams, and a whole lot more delicious.

So, Fabulous Thing #51: Sweet dreams.

 

01.11.10 Cheap Laughs January 11, 2010

Filed under: Friends,Happiness — onefabulousthing @ 10:28 pm

Today was the kind of day that made me want to cheat with my blog entry, and talk about how fabulous it feels to give someone a present that they really, really like. Two problems with that plan: 1) That picture was taken yesterday, when we gave the baby his birthday present early, and 2) Yesterday wasn’t even his birthday, so we were really just giving a kid a new toy. Seems a little bit too much like a setup to count.

So today wasn’t great. Today is the first day that I have really struggled to come up with One Fabulous Thing about the day, and the first day I have felt so uninspired. There were moments that were great – rolling a ball back and forth with the kiddo who acted like I had just invented fun, my husband choosing to skip the meeting he had tonight to come home instead – but the wonderful, lucky thing about my life is that these types of things are a part of most days.

OK, so typing that out is helpful actually. Concentrating on the good things, even the good things that I have just integrated into my experience of everyday life, is helpful.

Also helpful is having a friend mention how funny a few of the sketches from last week’s Saturday Night Live were, and reminding me of the comedic genius that is Andy Samberg. Of particular note are I Threw It On The Ground, I’m On A Boat, and Jizz In My Pants. I had not seen I’m On A Boat until she referenced it, and I am glad that I have now.

One of my many shortcomings is that I have a really hard time summarizing things, so I won’t even try. I will say that laughing so hard I lose my breath a little was unexpected at the end of the day today, and it went a long way toward helping me unwind. The fact that I can call up these gems for free in a few seconds anytime I need a quick pick-me-up is pretty fabulous.

So, Fabulous Thing #11: Hilarious comedy clips on the internet. (What? They can’t all be pithy sayings)

 

01.04.2010 As the White Queen Said To Alice… January 4, 2010

Filed under: Happiness — onefabulousthing @ 9:08 pm

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.”

You know those days where you have some old obscure song stuck in your head, and you get in your car and turn on the radio to hear that exact song playing? Or you come across an old yearbook and thumb through it, remembering your secret crush, only to have your mother call a few minutes later to tell you she ran into that person who you have not seen in over a decade that very morning at the grocery store?

Or, you start a blog exploring the best thing about each day and you are driving to work on three hours of sleep because your baby decided it was a good time to practice all of his new tricks in the middle of the night last night, and you know that this particular day is probably going to have nothing at all fabulous about it, and you hear a piece on NPR with Daniel Gilbert on your commute that speaks to the very thing you are trying to parse, filling you with a renewed sense that all is right in the world and the universe wants you to be happy?

Then, a few hours later, you start to cobble together a post on your approach to chili because you had mentioned it in yesterday’s post, only to go to lunch with your boss and a consultant and have chili recipes be the main topic of appetizer conversation because both of your dining companions love to cook chili and try different variations wherever they go. OK, so maybe that last one didn’t need the italics to indicate some other-worldly punchline, but you get the general picture.

I LOVE stuff like this. I soak up stories of strange coincidences and eerie tales and savor the little thrill that you get when you find out at the end that the girl in the locket from the yard sale is that woman’s own great-grandmother! It makes you think that even choices and moments that seem so mundane or routine could take on a whole new mysterious, fabulous meaning at any time. Shiver.

Going back to the NPR piece, I was especially pleased (ha!) to be reminded of Gilbert’s work on what makes us happy. I read Stumbling on Happiness, and took a lot from it at the time. A few years and a marriage and a kid later, his findings make me think a little more about how I would define happiness and where I am on that spectrum of experience right now. In turn, that makes me think a little more about why I feel the need to take on something like this blog, and what effect this may have on my overall happiness.

In that segment, Louise Hay says, “Happiness is choosing thoughts that make you feel good.” I think that speaks to what I am trying to do here a little bit, but I certainly can’t throw in with her completely due to the reasons Gilbert cites, namely her distrust in science and her belief that positive thinking is where it’s at to cure everything that ails you.

This is where I should probably disclose that I have been participating in conversations recently about Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (great book, definitely recommend it) as it relates to the positive thinking movement – so maybe my ear was already attuned to pick up on chatter about this sort of thing as I drove to work this morning.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t shudder a little from the thrill when the unseen tumblers that control the forces of the universe click into place to make my husband realize that my feet could use a massage at the exact second they start creeping toward his lap on the couch tonight.

So, Fabulous Thing #4: A little bit of synchronicity that saved me from a Case of the Mondays.