Things to be happy about

Here’s something most people don’t know: I was a highly anxious kid. I worried so much, in fact, that my mother determined it was a problem that needed to be fixed. A fixer of the highest order, she may have over-fixed me, but being a low-anxiety optimist hasn’t served me too poorly. Thanks, Mom.

I’m sure she harnessed a variety of actions to teach me to manage my anxiety and pessimism, but the two I remember the most are getting me a set of worry dolls and buying me the book, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. I read the whole thing. I even took notes in the margins, including different colored dots to note how each item made me feel. It was just a long list of items, including such minutia as, “the position of your head as you bite into a taco,” but it truly changed my perspective on life. I wish I still had that book with my notes and all of its creased pages, but since I don’t, here are some things that I feel happy about today:

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The Power of Appreciation

Every week, a bunch of stories I have written publish on various websites. A good number of them publish on Wednesdays, so I am often a nervous wreck that day. Every email could be someone calling to complain that they did not like their quotes, found a typo, feel I misrepresented them, think I am a big dum dum in general, etc., etc. It doesn’t happen a lot (anymore), but it does still happen. And it always stresses me out. I’m stressed out right now just thinking about it.

I understand being portrayed in someone else’s words to the public is a very sensitive topic, so much of my stress is rooted in the fact that no matter how ridiculous I think their issue might be (I’m sorry you think you sound stupid, but that was a direct quote from your mouth…), I get it. And I feel bad about it.

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