Just a couple of writers on a road trip through life. Hop in, hold on, and don’t forget your rain boots.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Why no one should ever be unhappy: Five things guaranteed to turn that frown upside down

 I hate when people say things like "turn that frown upside down". I realize I said it, but I hope people know me well enough to realize I'm being facetious. It’s almost as bad as when people refer to their spouse as “my hubby”—way too cutesy—or when they say “Hey stranger” if they haven’t seen you for two days. Just don't do that.

This has been a fantastically craptastic week for me, in all honesty. It happens. We all have weeks where we break shoelaces and step in gum and run into sliding glass doors that are super clean at full speed. I've done my whining and complaining and had two pretty serious hissy fits, and I'm over it. I'm over feeling uninspired and blocked, and I'm over feeling like I ticked off the universe and now karma is having a field day on me. I've thrown one hell of a pity party, and it really wasn't super fun. The word "party" in there is deceptive. Self-pity is useless and ridiculous and a complete waste of my time, and I'm going to knock it the hell off.

How? I could just use my super awesome strength of will and kicky bootstraps to pull myself up. But just for fun, I also have a couple remedies that I think work -- I had more, but it would be a super long post and I have ninja training later so I’m sticking to five. Whenever you feel like driving a railroad spike into something just because railroad spikes sound vintage and destructive, or like dumping Borax into someone’s koi pond because their yappy little dog kept you up all night (been there, done that, don’t recommend it), do one of these things instead and you’ll feel better. Instantly.  *Disclaimer: This is mostly just for people trying to sally forth and carry on from their minor issues or writer's block or bad haircut blues... if you have serious depression, see a doc, take your meds-- do what you gotta do. This is not intended to be advice as from any kind of mental health professional. PS: Click on the YouTube Video above. It's The Kinks, Everybody's gonna be happy. It makes people happy. The one below with the kitty is also pretty funny.

  1. Skip for fifteen minutes. It sounds ridiculous, and if you’re a big tough guy reading this and you think wow, I’d never do that, it’s absurd, preposterous, outlandish and totally nutso, think about the last time you skipped. People skip because they’re just too freaking happy to simply walk. It’s the reason I dance eighty percent of the time, even when I’m walking, which can cause trippage and major injuries to shins and knees, but it’s totally worth it. It just makes you happy. It’s impossible to skip without smiling. Can’t be done. Hula hooping would also work if you’re worried about your neighbors watching you skip.  
  2. Listen to “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked soundtrack. Wait, scratch that—listen to the whole Wicked sound track. It’s just that good. You will feel better.  
  3. Watch animals doing silly things on You Tube. If you see a video of a cat dancing in time with the music while eating licorice, you will feel better. No one stays dumpy after that. It’s a cat. Dancing. Eating licorice. That’s some funny stuff.  
  4. Hold a baby. I’m not kidding. Don’t just go grab someone’s baby though. That’s illegal. Find a baby you know and get the parent’s permission first. Holding a baby is therapeutic for a few reasons. One, if it’s a nice well behaved baby, you can smell that baby smell, enjoy the cuddle, and get the thrill of being close to a starter kit for a human being. If it’s not a well behaved baby, and it squirms and spits up on you and does all kinds of gross things, you can give it back and go home thinking yay, at least I don’t have to take care of that baby anymore. You’ll feel happy and relieved and ready to go live life to the fullest until such time as you have no choice but to hold babies because you had a part in making one.  
  5. Go outside. I don’t care if it’s raining, snowing, hotter than hell or colder than Antarctica. Go outside. If it’s summer turn on the hose and stand under it. If it’s winter make a snow angel or just taste some snowflakes. If it’s raining let it get you soaked. Splash in puddles. Get wet. If you think you are above this, you are not. Going outside makes you feel good. It just does. It's science. Plus, if it's wacky weather, you come back inside and feel super nice and cozy and drink ho-cho or if it's hot you come inside and eat fro-yo. 
Cute baby I get to hold a lot

You might think I am just crazy, but when you’re stuck or unmotivated or you just don’t feel like looking at that stupid blinking cursor for one more second or picking up one more dirty sock or crunching one more number or whatever it is you do that you don't feel like doing, it’s worth a shot to try something different to give yourself a boost. It’s interesting. And when you sit back down to write, you feel the wind on your face, or you feel like giggling, or like you could run a marathon even though you can’t because it’s really hard and you have to train a lot, and blamo!-- You're just inspired again. 

PS: I did indicate that I had a rough week, but mostly I am just being a gigantic whiny baby so don't worry about me. All is good, and I know people might read this and be like oh, poor Jules, hang in there kiddo, etc... But hopefully you read the above and have the good sense to save your sweet sympathy for the sad three-legged puppy or the guy who just can't seem to pass his final exam at clown college and feels like a complete clown failure. That's real tragedy. Me, I'm all good. I have my clown degree and the ability to skip, unlike the three-legged puppy. 
What are some things that give you the mean reds? Leave a comment below if you have some super interesting ways of dealing. Julie Simmons-Wixom is a talented circus performer who spends her spare time training cats to act like dogs. Email her here if you want free ninja lessons.

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