March 15th, 2008

heart of a peach

Perhaps I should ramble. Yes.

Lately my posts have been mostly businesslike little reports and book squees, and I haven't been writing about myself, really, and I think LiveJournal is beaming warnings directly into my brain: "Journal imbalance alert! Lack of angst detected! May result in declining readership due to schadenfreude deficiency!"

Well, sorry, folks--if it's angst and drama you're looking for, lately I haven't had much to throw around. I'm not a chronic complainer, and I don't want to be. That brings me back to the whole Tigger v. Eeyore thing, and why it's a distinction I believe in:

1. Complaining is actually unhealthy.

I can't remember where I read this study (although I'm tempted to say it was in a book called something like An Owner's Manual for the Brain, which is a fascinating book that I'm much too lazy to walk over and pull off of my shelf this morning), but people who listed their grievances daily ended up feeling worse and making worse health choices than people who didn't, such as getting less exercise and eating things that weren't good for them, and so on. I truly believe in unloading one's worries once in a while, because holding everything in is no good for you either, but griping, complaining, and moaning on a regular basis--especially when you're not changing things you could change about a situation, but putting all of the energy into the complaining--drags you down, and also drags down the people around you who have to listen to it all the time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This message is not, not, not directed at anyone in particular. This is my own philosophy of life I'm talking about here, and if it's making you wonder if I'm talking about you, I'm sorry, but honestly, I'm not.

2. On the flip side of that, listing things you're grateful for is healthy, and it makes you feel better.

In the same study, the people who didn't list complaints daily became healthier and happier than those who did, and the ones who felt the best of all were the ones who wrote daily gratitude lists. The listing of the gratitude actually caused them to take better care of themselves. I think that's AWESOME. Again, if something bad is happening and you need to talk it through, you should. But I think that even in the midst of bad things, taking the time to focus on the good things, even tiny little ones, on a regular basis, is a magical way to help yourself feel like your life isn't falling entirely apart. Not that I've been particularly able to do that myself during a couple of rough periods in my life, but it's a good habit to get going during the good times, that might stay in place and be helpful during the times when things aren't going so well.

I think that the connection between those ideas and the Tigger and Eeyore dichotomy isn't particularly obscure. Tigger = bouncy, happy, irrepressible, consummately his own self. Eeyore = dour, pensive, easily bothered, and passive-aggressive. Also very much his own self, but the kind of self I tend not to like to spend time with. And I prefer to enjoy spending time with myself.

Lately I haven't had much to complain about, and I've been happily busy with getting my stuff done and looking forward to upcoming events, but if things change my plan is to keep my typing about irritations to the minimum, because I don't want to waste my energy on something that's just going to make me want to eat a dozen doughnuts and wash it all down with a bottle of tequila.

How do you keep yourself happy?
bust a move

Progress report

70 Days of Sweat, Day Fifteen: 1,200 words.

Total: 15,200 words

Current short story (working title "The Treehouse"): 3,300 words.

In other news: I had to write early today, because we're going to a kids' birthday party this morning, then picking up costumes this afternoon, then going to an adults' costume party in the evening, while the kids play next door at our conveniently-located favorite babysitter's house.

Having fun is hard work, people! I had to do the weekend's laundry last night, just to make room for the festivities!