Don’t call us, we’ll call you

October 30, 2014

A study of grief

I feel a little bashful writing about Kaila again. When I wrote about our last day in the sunshine, I thought it was just my own small remembrance in my little corner of the internet. I think of this space as a place where I’m talking to myself, current and future, and about 30 or 40 others who know me well. What I didn’t realize is that by putting in a link to one of her memorials, my post was being shared on that post. (The workings of the interwebz are still a mystery to me).

Within a couple of days, I had a few hundred hits coming from the memorial post. I felt a little embarrassed, exposed. I didn’t want it to seem, especially to her family, that somehow I thought her death was about me and my pain. But as a few people reached out to me because of that post, I realized that other people were aching to read about her, talk about her, hear anything related to her in the same way I was. My post meant something to them; feeling exposed is okay in pursuit of the greater good of connection and catharsis. Also, the fact that the most action my blog has seen in several years was because of her made me proud to have had a friend that was so beloved.

***

When you have a history of serious depression and are faced with a tragic event, your husband is pretty much willing to do anything you want and your mother is biting her fingernails waiting to see if this will push you over the edge. Your irrepressibly joyful 4-year-old, on the other hand, will wake you up each morning with, “Are you still sad about Kaila? Can you play with me today?” I’m not immune to that tugging at the heartstrings, but the answer for a couple weeks was, No, not today.

It may be strange, or even pretentious, to say that I am deeply affected by death, but it’s hard to articulate it any other way. (I am highly sensitive, after all.) I remember feeling the same way around the death of each important person in my life: life must stop completely. Anything less would be a betrayal of all they meant to me. So I kind of closed up shop for a couple of weeks. I worked some, but took days off, came late, left early. I let some things slide in my online classroom, thinking I would just have to settle for sub-par reviews this semester (though as it turns out my students and supervisor have been amazingly supportive). One night I even hid in a vacant classroom at church during an activity I was supposed to be responsible for; I just couldn’t face real life responsibilities.

Four things filled those suddenly cleared-out days: thinking, crying, reading Daring Greatly, and watching Psych. During those first couple of days, I was convinced that I should stop fostering such deep relationships. I have put a lot of effort into cultivating close family and friend relationships and sometime in the middle of the night on September 25th, I decided that that was a terrible way to live. I should stop that immediately! Because the pain. Oh dear God, I could never live through this pain again! Of course, I instinctively reached out to several friends, probably strengthening those relationships — very counterproductive when you’ve decided that the safest thing is to cut all ties with other humans.

I don’t believe it was coincidental that I was reading Daring Greatly for my online book club at precisely this time. Though not a perfect book, it was the perfect read to remind me to lean into the vulnerability inherent to human relationships. Even if I successfully cut ties with ALL THE PEOPLE, I would still think about them, probably frequently and beyond all reason. (I know this because for years Neal has been telling me I need to just forget about an old friend. He’s very subtle: “She doesn’t want anything to do with you! She’s cut off all contact with you!” Still, every November I think anew about sending her a birthday card.) The book also helped me recognize and face head on some shame I was experiencing related to “survivor guilt.”

We had only barely started watching episodes of Psych (I never caught it in its original run), but it will always have a special place in my heart now (although it might have earned that just from Dule Hill’s tap dancing alone). I would wake up, open up a browser to log into work, and promptly start crying, at which time Neal would call it a Psych day and turn on episode after episode. It was strangely effective in increasing my productivity. I’m still trying to understand how my brain works — Neal has some theories — but I think it is almost always in at least two places at once. If one of those places was Kaila’s death, I was darn near paralyzed. But if one of those places was Shawn and Gus, I could manage to accomplish some of my work tasks.

***

Life went on like this, doing the bare minimum for survival and job maintenance, until two things happened: a beautiful dream and Kaila’s funeral. It wasn’t what you might call traditionally “beautiful;” there was all the strange randomness inherent to dreams: several layers of leotards that Kaila wanted me to try on (she gave me many clothes over the years, so that’s not as weird as it sounds), a microscope and spare set of glasses that she begged me to store for her in my sock drawer until she got back. As in real life, there was SO MUCH laughing as I tried to determine why exactly I needed to store her microscope in my dresser. I woke up from this dream, slowly, very slowly. It was cold and dark and 5:00 am, but I felt warm. Like I’d just been for a visit to North Carolina. Like I was soaking in the sun at Duke Gardens. I could hear her unrestrained laugh all over again.

I knew that I had to attend the funeral but when the day came, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I have a great respect for the power of that public farewells, but this was the hardest one I’ve ever attended, at least in part because it was preceded by a 3-hour drive to get there. I know plenty came even farther, but man, it’s just awful to drive that far for an event you wish in the worst way was not even happening. As I walked in the door of the church building where her service was held, we were greeted by a poster-sized picture of her, a truly stunning picture I had never seen before. In what felt like a very violent reaction, I turned around and buried my head in Neal’s shoulder. It took me a few minutes to reemerge and greet her family. The funeral was more or less a series of these sudden sobs and leaning on Neal, but it was incredibly important. I think I left at least some of the pain there. The next day I graded 45 papers with no Psych-crutch to get me through.

***

I’ve often thought what would happen to all my online accounts, social media, chat programs if I died. Should I make a list of all these applications along with my passwords so that in the event of my untimely death Neal can delete each one? (Please tell me I’m not the only one that ponders this at least quarterly . . . ) That’s been one of the distinct things about losing Kaila in comparison to all the elderly people I’ve said goodbye to: she’s always there. In my phonebook and “most recent texts” list. On gchat, Google+, and Facebook. When I log into Skype, and on this mysterious “People” page that my laptop created on its own apparently based on who I seem to have the most contact with. Her pictures and contact info still show up everywhere. My first instinct was to delete her from all my various contact points. I took her out of my phone, but felt a pang of guilt as if I was trying to erase her. I decided to leave things as they were, but have questioned that decision after a couple of times seeing her in my contacts list while at work and experiencing sudden waves of nausea. That instinct to cut all ties with people was wrong, and I think it’s just as wrong to bury all the things that remind me of Kaila even though that feels entirely logical at times. But how selective should I be in what things I keep around? How much control should I try to exert over how often I’m reminded of her? I hung the program from her service on our hallway tackboard, which in a 964-square foot house is one of the most frequented spots, and so far it is doing a beautiful job of reminding me of all the love, light, and happiness that was part of my relationship with Kaila.

***

I can’t only give Brene Brown credit for helping me through the turtle-hiding-in-its-shell phase. In my music-as-therapy efforts, I put on R.E.M.’s Reveal on the drive home from a client visit. I got to “I’ll Take the Rain” just as I pulled into our driveway and predictably broke down in tears. I seem to come back to this song periodically for its reminder: rain and shine, a package deal.

I used to think
As birds take wing
They sing through life so why can’t we?
You cling to this
You claim the best
If this is what you’re offering
I’ll take the rain
I’ll take the rain
I’ll take the rain.

***

I never did finish anything I wrote about my Grandpa or his death in 2011. I regret that now, both because he was a remarkable person that is so dear to me, and because I feel compelled to study my own grief to know how to get through what lies ahead (I think of this post as the real beginning of that study). The morning of Kaila’s funeral I found out my Grandma was quite ill; she was diagnosed with terminal cancer 6 days later. This cycle of grief is just beginning.

October 20, 2014

I’ll take my board.

Filed under: Family, Music, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 4:31 am

 

 

Last trip of my June – July: Travel months . . .

On my drive back from L.A. after my momentous Hawaii trip, I turned on NPR as usual. After basking in sun and sand for a week, catching a ride to the North Shore in a convertible, swimming with a freaking sea turtle(!), I thought I ought to get back to thinking about things. Trying to keep my finger on the pulse of every current event. Learning and stuff. Preferably every second.

But no, I said. No! I will not listen to news radio. I will listen to Weezer, dangit. I will listen to songs about going surfing. “Surf Wax America” is oddly prescient about my experience in Hawaii:

You take your car to work
I’ll take my board
And when you’re out of fuel
I’m still afloat

The natural and cultural beauty of Hawaii taught me a little more how to stay afloat. Starting with more music.

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If you talked to me before I went, you know that I said this was probably my only trip to Hawaii so I wanted to live it up. By our third stop, at Haunama Bay (above), I was like, Forget that! I’m coming here every year!

DSCN0024DSCN0028 croppedDSCN0036 cropped DSCN0040 cropped DSCN0041 cropped DSCN0046 croppedteddy'steddy's 2DSCN0065 DSCN0070DSCN0100 DSCN0109 DSCN0135 DSCN0177

My parents participating in a Tahitian wedding ceremony at the Polynesian Cultural Center, which would have been so cute if not for the guy sticking his hand on my Mom’s head
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Samoa guy: The highlight of my Dad’s whole trip. No joke.
DSCN0195 DSCN0194DSCN0202 DSCN0207IMG_0850 will and emThis last pic is courtesy of my cousins Will and Emily, far superior photographers.

December 18, 2013

I guess I’m sensitive, too

If you haven’t read about how Addison’s “a little bit sen-sti-tive” and Neal’s a LOT sensitive, they probably provide useful context for this post.

So I set out to read The Highly Sensitive Person with Addison in mind. And  then pretty quickly my thoughts turned to Neal. But as I read the initial self-assessment, I kept thinking, What ARE these questions? Everyone would answer yes to these. Duh, who doesn’t hate loud noises? Obviously other people’s moods affect us . . .

my test

But I had to remind myself that no, in some of the larger-scale studies a full 42% reported that they were not at all sensitive . . . to almost any of these things. How is that EVEN POSSIBLE? And then slowly, it dawned on me, Holy crap, I’M an HSP. 

Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a shock. I mean, I already knew I was an introvert. And I have some physical conditions that some doctors consider to be nervous system disorders. (And I cry like all. the. time.) But at the same time, I didn’t fit the infant/child profile at all, according to my mom (whom I grilled with interview questions from the book for several hours last month. That lady deserves a medal, by the way, both for raising me and putting up with my psychoanalysis of said raising.). And I could not be more dissimilar from Neal in some of his keys areas of sensitivity. Still, although I couldn’t make sense of it all, I knew immediately, this book is about me.

It wasn’t until I got into the second chapter, that it suddenly started to become more clear (I say more clear, not clear because there’s a lot to take in). Apparently, there are at least two distinct types of HSPs. It appears that all HSPs have a heightened “behavioral inhibition system,” a sensitivity to punishment or negative stimuli, which could make them more conscientious, cautious, anxious, or avoidant. (Aron calls this the “pause-to-check” or “advisor” system.)

The distinction lies in the strength of their “behavioral activation system,” the one that is sensitive to reward, goal-oriented, willing to take risks, and wants to try novel activities. (The “activator” or “warrior-king” system, according to Aron). Aron asks,

“What type are you? Does your pause-to-check/advisor system rule alone, thanks to a quiet activator/warrior-king system? That is, is it easy for you to be content with a quiet life? Or are the two branches that govern you in constant conflict? That is, do you always want to be trying new things even if you know that afterward you will be exhausted?” (p. 31)

If you haven’t figured out which type I am, just go back a couple posts to my goals for 2014, which I helpfully titled, DO ALL THE THINGS! It’s like I got bored in the middle of the night and my behavioral activation system came out to play, planning 12 months of goals and an insane road trip. Yep, I am a woman in constant conflict. Neal, on the other hand, mostly lets his advisor system “rule alone,” which is why we can both be HSPs but so completely dissimilar. It also gives me more insight into what type of HSP Addison would be, if she proves to be one. That girl’s definitely got the “warrior-queen” thing going on.

Although on more careful examination of my childhood in light of the diversity of HSP profiles, I can see evidence of my high sensitivity (my intense nightmares being one key indicator), I have realized that my chief area of sensory-processing sensitivity — sound — has only become clear since becoming a parent. You may have heard me mention a time or two (or two hundred) that Addison does. not. stop. talking. Often right over Neal, who also seems determined to finish his sentence. How anyone can handle two people talking at them at the same time, I’ll never know. Without even realizing it, I get “karate-chop hands,” as Neal (lovingly) calls them — a manifestation of the full-body tension that engulfs me when too much noise is coming at me all at once. When I was first reading Aron’s description of over-arousal, I couldn’t quite identify it in myself. Sweaty palms? No. Heart racing? Not excessively. But “karate-chop hands”? Definitely.

I think it took parenting a chatty extrovert to reveal an underlying sensitivity to noise that I can tell has been there all along (now that I know what to look for). It actually helps me understand why even though I love music and it played an integral part in my adolescence and young adulthood, I prefer complete silence when working; even instrumental music in the background makes me lose my train of thought. If I’m listening to music, that’s what I’m doing . . . and that’s basically all I’m doing. Which explains why as an adult I rarely listen to music. There just isn’t time in my life for spending 3 hours listening to the same song on repeat like Neal and I did on one of our first dates.

So what does all this talk of sensitivity mean? Self-examination is, of course, an end in itself. But as I thought about summarizing my experiences with my Stronger theme (ahem, almost two years ago), this seemed like a necessary prelude. You might be able to guess why. Hopefully, I’ll articulate it myself someday soon.

November 22, 2012

(Play)Lists: The Lost Years, 1998-2000

Why stop at shot glasses when you can also memorialize and get rid of cassette tapes?

My last playlist was from 243 Young Hall, my freshman year in 1998. The unmitigated fun of that year was, of course, followed by the lost years. I always call it my two-year baseball mission because I watched A LOT of baseball. There were also a lot of Jim Rome shows, ESPN the Magazines, and Laker games going on. Besides illness and depression, sports are what I remember most about those years.

But there was also music! Tons of music. Hanging out with musicians, both platonically and not, used to be a thing I did — how come I always forget that?  I’ll tell you one reason. I am mostly cut off from music now. I have always been a person that cannot think, read, or write while listening to music. When I’m listening to music, that is what I’m doing. And in my adult world, there’s just no time for that. (Also, I have no iPod or other convenient listening device, though, I’m sorry to say I have hung on to my old, no-longer-functional Walkman for nearly 20 years now.)

Clearly, it’s time to move past the cassettes. But I couldn’t just toss ’em. Though it’s long past the time that music was a HUGE part of my life, these tapes still mean something to me, though how much they mean surprised even me. I thought I would start with Pedro the Lion — 5 songs on the EP, Only reason I feel secure (is that I am validated by my peers). How hard could it be to give up a tape with only 5 songs on it? But then one hundred little memories came rushing back. The Glass House with Cory. Cory who once sent me a card that said only this: “I know there is wisdom in all that God does.” Which led to discussions of Soren Kierkegaard. And later a song he composed, using words I had written in some of my darkest hours. Cory and the little Pedro the Lion pin he bought me that Addison still finds every few months and promptly injures herself with. All those thoughts sprung out of 15 seconds of song #1. Sheesh, how can music be so crazy evocative?

But I am going to get rid of these tapes, even if I have to cut out a piece of my own heart. Which strangely enough is what it feels like to jettison this Pedro the Lion tape. Thank goodness for YouTube — this music does not have to be lost to me forever!

Criticism as Inspiration, Pedro the Lion (three links because I couldn’t choose the best recording; they are all inferior to my cassette quality, go figure) — This is a song I would have listened to on repeat, if not for the fact that cassettes have no repeat button.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Spiritualized — Shared with me by my first boyfriend, only to play an integral role in my relationship with my last boyfriend. If Neal and I have a love song, this is it, forever cemented by listening to it on repeat for almost 3 hours on our 3rd or 4th date (according to my dating calculations, since Neal’s are ridiculous).

Under the Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers — This needs its own post, if I can bring myself to write it. (You know, I think I can. It doesn’t feel nearly as scary as when I first started contemplating talking about this thing.)

My Ritual, Folk Implosion — I totally got propositioned at this show. This random guy found out about my wheelchair and asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland with him so that we could skip all the lines and park really close. Thrilling, right? Also, Lou Barlow was definitely wasted during the show and still didn’t miss a beat. Crazy.

The Outdoor Type, The Lemonheads — “I can’t go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend; what if something’s on TV and it’s never shown again.” Ha.

That’s Just What You Are, Aimee Mann

Open the Door, Magnapop

Walk On, Neil Young

Smoke, Ben Folds Five

If I Should Fall From Grace With God, The Pogues

Ruthie’s Knocking, Throwing Muses

Me and You vs. The World, Space

Where Do the Children Play?, Cat Stevens

If I Can’t Change Your Mind, Sugar

100%, Sonic Youth

Gigantic, Pixies

Love is a Rose, Neil Young

From Hanks to Hendrix, Neil Young

Spin the Bottle, Juliana Hatfield Three

While I doubt many of you will want to watch these videos feeding my nostalgia, I should mention that I only briefly previewed the actual videos and cannot vouch for their entire content (though I did actually skip over one song completely because I could not find a video that wasn’t completely sexualized. I swear it seemed like an innocent enough song lyrics-wise!).

April 12, 2012

(Play)Lists: Young Hall, April 1998

Filed under: History, Music, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 5:55 am

I found pictures! Is it wrong to publish them without written consent of former roommates? Well, if it’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right. It messed up the song numbering, but it’s worth it . . . oh, the memories.

A mixed tape my roommates and I made to remember freshman year (still one of the very best and most significant years of my life) in 243 Young Hall:

Side 1:

  1. Carrying the Banner (from Newsies) — I can almost hear Meg and Rach singing this from their middle bedroom
  2. Footloose, Kenny Loggins — song of choice to get pumped up for cleaning checks if I remember correctly (Speaking of cleaning checks . . . )
  1. Almost Paradise, Ann Wilson and Mike Reno (from Footloose)
  2. If She Would Have Been Faithful, Chicago
  3. Can’t Fight This Feeling, R. E. O. Speedwagon — a tribute to a certain roomie’s discovery that she might be in love with one of her best friends (it’s a testament to how much I loved those girls and wanted to remember them that I even included this song on my tape since I kinda hate it and always have)
  4. Wishin and Hopin, Ani DiFranco (from My Best Friend’s Wedding) — we lip-synced to this for a ward talent show; photographic evidence somewhere in this house (Photographic evidence located . . .)
  1. Journey to the Past (from Anastasia)
  2. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion — this was the year of Titanic, after all, which some roommates saw at least six times and I may or may not have been totally obnoxious about, repeatedly joking that “I don’t watch p0rn”
  3. Lean on Me (from Lean on Me) — turns out we were really into soundtracks
  4. Walking on Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves
  5. I Won’t Say I’m in Love (from Hercules) — no idea who started the Hercules thing (I don’t think I’ve ever seen it) but this was frequently heard around the apartment

Side 2:

  1. Go the Distance (from Hercules)
  2. Sugar, Sugar, The Archies
  3. Don’t Know What It Is, Nancy Hanson — I put a country song on my mixed tape; further evidence of my undying love for those girls
  4. Fearless Heart, Nancy Hanson and Peter Breinholt
  5. Have You Ever Been in Love?, Peter Cetera
  6. Love Me Still, Chaka Khan
  7. Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss), Betty Everett — pretty sure this earned a spot on the playlist based on one isolated incident of blasting it out of Rach’s car and dancing around a parking lot in the middle of the night (which, it turns out, I have a picture of . . . )
  1. Just Like Jesse James, Cher
  2. After All, Cher and Peter Cetera
  3. All I Ever Have To Be, Amy Grant
  4. She’s Like the Wind, Patrick Swayze
  5. Angel of the Morning, The Pretenders
  6. Good Company (from Oliver and Company)
  7. In My Life, The Beatles (No relation to this song, but there was always a lot of dancing in the kitchen . . . )

Based on the diminishing memories of the final songs on the tape, I suspect that I just started filling time because there was left-over space.  So Meg, Rach, Em, did I get anything wrong?  Did I forget some totally important lip-syncing anecdote?  Was I really as obnoxious about Titanic as I think I was?

Brain dump

In the last couple of years I have become increasingly sensitive to noise.  Right now Neal’s computer is making a high-pitched beep (in the middle of a long, slow death, no doubt) and I’m about ready to crawl out of my skin.  I can’t focus on anything else.  I’ve put on headphones and turned the music up as high as I can stand and I still feel like I’m hearing that %$& beep.  I don’t remember being like this just a few short years ago.  I also started getting migraines around the same time.  I also had a baby around the same time.  Coincidence?

Speaking of cursing, last night, in a brief fit of frustration, I yelled damnit.  I used to drop hells and damns periodically (keep it biblical, one of my teachers used to say) but I broke that habit quite a few years ago.  And then over the last month I’ve noticed that they’re creeping back into my mental vocabulary.  I’ve also been feeling terribly sick and tired over the last month, the worst spell I’ve had in more than a year.  Coincidence?

On the upside, when I woke up this morning, I had an email in my inbox from my credit union that read “April 21: Free document shredding, food, drinks, and family fun.”  I was disproportionately happy to find out that in a week and a half I could get free document shredding.  Hooray!!

Right now I’m listening to Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work.” (Can you tell that music video is from 1987?)  Hands down, one of the most emotional songs for me.  I get choked up almost every time, even though I’ve heard it a hundred times before.

I said yesterday that I wanted to write about teaching Relief Society this week, but as I started writing I realized that it was nearly impossible to communicate what I was trying to say without a lot of context.  Like 25 years of context.  So when I couldn’t sleep last night I wrote an outline of a sort of spiritual history.  I think I’ll have to work on that first, which feels like a worthy endeavor to record where I’ve been and where I’m at in a more big-picture way.

I’ve really been thinking along the lines of recording my personal history lately.  Our Relief Society has a monthly life writing class (hosted by this fabulous lady, a mentor of mine since my teens) that meets to talk about effective writing skills and read each others’ writings.  I had thought about going for awhile, but I always seemed to find out about it a day or two late.  I’m finally on the master email list and so I went last month (which is what prompted me to finally write about Oliver).  It was exhilarating to say the least.   We talked.  We laughed.  We cried (although I think I was the only one that elicited tissues from others — what can I say, I’m a weeper!).  I think it was one of the most enjoyable social events I’ve been to in this new locale.  I wouldn’t mind men being included (in fact, I would love for Neal to be involved in something like that) but I can see how having women-only probably creates a safer space for some.  I am just so moved by women writing their own stories.

The other reason I’ve been thinking so much about personal history is because my blogging friend Jessica (we do know each other in real life too, from an old ward, but never spent too much time together) is kind of writing hers on her blog.  She did a Dating Diaries series, and now she’s on to Fun with Friends.  I love reading what she’s written and every time I think, I should write about that too.  My memories are fading with each passing day (and having a child seems to have expedited the process).  Now is the time (even though it feels like there isn’t time, since we have this pesky little task of trying to build an income, the many over-60 ladies in the writing group assure me that now is the time!).  I’ve outlined a Dating Diaries-type series.  And I’m in the middle of a series on therapy.  And now I’ve got this spiritual history in progress.  And a piece for the next writing class on my physical appearance, which I’m pretty sure Rach will have to make an appearance in.  I’m excited to see what shakes out.  That’s one perk of being sick, but not too sick . . . if I stay in this state, more will “shake out” than if I get better and Neal has a legitimate beef over my neglect of our room.

January 6, 2011

Lindsay recommends: Thought of you

Filed under: Music, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 5:53 pm

Not much time.  Final deadline this Saturday.  Extended from last Saturday.  Must get this project done or it might kill me.

But oh, what a lovely break this video provided:

If you like contemporary dance and/or The Weepies and/or beautiful things, you’ll love it.

Then this morning, I caught the behind the scenes here and was fascinated to watch a 35-week-pregnant choreographer dancing and planning the piece.  I’m not going to remind you what I was doing at 35 weeks pregnant, but it wasn’t that.

September 16, 2010

Baby recommends: DeStorm’s beatboxing

Filed under: Family, Music, Personal — Tags: , , , , — llcall @ 10:00 pm

I get really happy (I mean, arm-flailingly happy) when I watch this video.  Which is ironic since the angst is palpable.

June 16, 2010

Happiness Project Wednesday: Identify a quick fix

Every Wednesday I’m recording how The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has influenced my daily life.  To read my introductory post, click here.

Last night I woke up at 4:00am feeling horribly ill.  It wasn’t just a little nausea . . . I was so sick to my stomach that it made me hurt all over.*  In the hour and a half that I lay awake (thanks, Nikki, for helping me with the lay/lie issue) feeling quite miserable, I thought about quick fixes.  How do I get a quick hit of happiness to help me get through a seemingly unbearable time?

And you know what came to mind?  Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts.  [Does this date me?]  As I ran through some of them in my mind, I really did get a boost of happiness.  I thought of this one first:

To me, it’s always a good idea to carry two sacks of something when you walk around.  That way, if anybody says, ‘Hey, can you give me a hand?’ you can say, ‘Sorry, got these sacks.’

and all the times that Neal and I have quickly picked up sacks when we knew the other was going to ask us for help with something.  Then I laughed out loud when I thought of my favorite:

To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kinda scary. I’ve wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad.

Never gets old for me.

I sometimes give quick fixes a bad rap because I feel like as a culture we often defer the grander, in-depth changes that would make us better, happier, healthier people.  And I don’t want to defer doing the hard things merely because they’re hard.  But I’m also coming to see the value in these quick fixes, like listening to a favorite song, one of Gretchen’s preferred methods.

I’m starting to get more serious about identifying my quick fixes.  Jack Handey quotes.  “The Office.”  “I Love Lucy.”  And this song, which is one of my all-time favorites (and made all the better by this slightly bizarre, early-90s video, which I had never seen before):

What are your happiness quick fixes?

* I’m feeling much better this afternoon.  I found out that my cousin Emily had the same problem last night/today, which likely means it was food poisoning rather than a bug since we went out for a treat together last night.

June 10, 2010

Baby recommends: Keep breathing

Filed under: Family, Music — Tags: , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

I’ve loved Ingrid Michaelson ever since I was a little baby.  First, I thought “Winter Song” was the best, but lately I’m digging when my mom sings of idealism and human frailty in “Keep Breathing.”  The video is boring, but all the better to preserve the quiet angst.

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