Things have been…um…weird lately. Not overly cheerful. I know, I know, no one promised anyone a rose garden. Which is fine. Roses are kind of sneezy anyway. Cliched. I’d rather have some nice tulips. Or daisies. I’m not a smelly-flower fan. Who cares, it’s not like I’m getting all the flowers delivered, why are we even talking about this. I’m firmly in the camp of “flowers just die and then you have to throw ’em away, give me a nice houseplant instead, at least that lasts a few months before its inevitable death from the teeth of Dumbcat.”
So I asked the internet, “internet,” said I, “how can I cheer up? I am grumpy. And sometimes randomly weepy. Because of the worries. And the working a million hours at weird times at my part-time job so my sleep schedule’s all weird.”
The internet was PLEASED to tell me how to be more cheerful! SO CHEERFUL. Thanks, internet!
This article told me how to “train your brain to be more positive.” Well, that’s going to be helpful. I have a brain! Perhaps my brain is like a recalcitrant puppy and it needs to be trained not to pee on the rug. That’ll be good. I also like that the article ADMITS it sounds corny. And it’s from the Wall Street Journal, too. So that’s reputable! Let’s see what happens.
The things this article says to do:
- change all your online passwords to positive things like “iam1awesomelaydee” or “iamasuperstar***!”
- treat yourself like your own best friend
- focus on the positive, not the negative
- make yourself pictures and posters and things that are cheerful and hang them up and look at them when you are sad
- take small breaks during a bad day to improve your bad day (go out for ice cream! go for dinner with a friend!)
- write down all the things you are grateful for at the end of each day
- talk out loud to yourself about all the positive things about yourself
- help your friends with their problems because that will make you forget your own
- think about your problems rationally; maybe they aren’t real problems at all
- make a list of things you love doing and do one of them every day
- make a list of things you hate doing and see which you can stop doing
- fake being happy; to do this, hold a pencil in your mouth which will make you look like you’re smiling
Um. Well. Some of these things are less stabby than others.
I’m not changing all my passwords again. I just had to change them all recently and I STILL don’t remember them all. I have to try like a million combinations before I can get into my sites. If I changed them to something positive like “iamthekingoftheworld1234!” and then forgot it, I think it would make me MORE depressed. Wouldn’t it? If I couldn’t even remember my positive affirmations? Yes.
I’m all for treating myself like my own best friend. I’m a good friend. Well, I’m a better friend when I have more time to BE a friend, because right now I am one suck of a friend (sorry, friends) but when I have the time to invest and not just throw out a few emails all “I LOVE YOU I MISS YOU I’M SORRY I SUCK,” I do alright. I’d take me as a friend. And I’ve mentioned this before, I know – we’d never treat a friend the way we treat ourselves. We’re always saying to ourselves how stupid and ugly and useless we are (well, women do – do men do this? Or, do they do this as much as women do?) but we would NEVER say this to a friend. Or in some cases, even an enemy. So why are we saying it to ourselves? I’m down with this one, Wall Street Journal.
Ugh, EVERY SELF HELP THING EVER tells you to focus on the positive and not the negative. Here’s the scoop, guru. That’s easier said than done. It’s really easy to be all “isn’t the sun GORGEOUS today?” when you have enough food and money and rest. It is LESS easy to concentrate on the small happy things when you have the weight of the world. And also when you are prone to depression. So, sure, tell me to concentrate on the positive. Keep sayin’ it. And I will smile at you with a lot of teeth and keep doing my best and only hate your face a little bit. I feel the same way about writing down all the things I am grateful for at the end of each day. Yes, yes. I should probably DO it, but it feels a little too hippy-dippy goofy for me and also, as mentioned, I’m not feeling especially grateful at the moment.
I’m not doing an arts-and-crafts project and hanging it on my wall. That would not end well. This is not kindergarten. This is my home. What would I even WRITE on the poster? “YOU ARE AWESOME YOU WILL GET A JOB.” And, what, glue macaroni and glitter to it? No. No, I don’t think I will do that. That’s messy and I don’t have time to vacuum. Also, it would throw off the DAY-CORE in here. The DAY-CORE in here is…um…well, I guess it’s not shabby chic. Just shabby, I guess. Shabby and dusty.
I don’t have time for small breaks and I don’t have money for ice cream or dinner. I have twenty minutes for a sandwich in the breakroom at work and sometimes I have time for breakfast if I wake up in time. What, you think I’m FANCY, Wall Street Journal? Well, this is written for people who have stocks and bonds and shit, I suppose. I don’t have those things. Well, shit, I don’t know. I might. I still have money in my 401(k) and maybe some of that’s in stocks and bonds. I don’t know what that money’s doing. Sitting there waiting for me to get poor enough to pull it out, I suppose.
I’m going to walk around positive-affirmationing under my breath for the next week or so. “I love this weather…my friends are really the best people in the world…at least I don’t have to go back to THAT job again…” and you know what that will accomplish? Making people think I’m out of my mind. Well, at least that will keep people away from me. And I don’t like people, much. So I guess that’s a win, overall.
I am HAPPY to help my friends with their problems. HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT, FRIENDS. However, I don’t think it’s going to make me forget anything going on in my life. I mean, maybe while I’m helping but it’s not like helping gives you amnesia. I don’t think that’s how brains work.
Um…I guess if you’re a kook, you might be making your teeny molehill-problems into mountain-problems. I’m sure I’m guilty of this at one point or another in my life. But this isn’t pertaining at the moment. I’m going to ignore it. I’m going to exercise that right. Sorry, Wall Street Journal.
Make a list of things you love doing and do one every day; make a list of things you hate doing and maybe don’t do some of them. THIS LIST IS EXHAUSTING ME. OK, I have enough time to do EXACTLY what I’m doing every day and nothing else. End of story. And things I hate doing? Um. I don’t love doing the dishes, but I think it’d be slightly catastrophic, vermin-wise, if I stopped doing them. Also, I think eventually I’d run out of dishes. It’s not like I have an infinite amount of them.
BUT! Then we get to the LAST tip, and YES! there we go. I’ve been doing it ALL WRONG! I need to be walking around with a pencil in my mouth! Which will be hard to keep there while I’m talking to myself, but I WILL PERSEVERE. (Honestly, I don’t know if faking happy makes you happy, but it fools people into thinking you are, because people see what they want to see. So if you don’t want people to know you’re depressed, just put on a happy face, like the song says. Works about 99% of the time. The only people it doesn’t fool are your closest friends and your worst enemies because they know you the best. No, seriously! Your closest friends obviously know you the best, but your worst enemies keep an eye on you – it’s the nature of enemy-ship – so they notice. It’s a weird thing, I’m sure someone has an explanation for it.)
Well! What have we learned today, apple dumplings? Apparently being cheerful is mind over matter and you have to trick yourself. Which is probably easier said than done if you are a., unintelligent or b., not filled with genetically-transmitted depression. So now I’m going to make myself a posterboard with ALL THE GLITTER AND MACARONI WORDS that spells out “LIFE IS SO SO AWESOME ZOMG” and that’ll fix it.
The article also said not to fall back on chocolate to boost your mood. I think the best tip was the one it told you not to do and I’m going to eat some chocolate now.
(Title’s from Godspell. Talk about your hippy-crunchy-granola things. I loves me some Godspell, yo. Check this out. Who’s that playing Jesus? Yep. Victor effing Garber, is who.)