I was talking to someone at work recently about all of the activities on my calendar, and caught a glimpse of something in her reaction that made me hear myself. I had not realized that I was complaining about the parties and performances and events that were crowding my schedule. How annoying. But I’m no grinch – I love parties and peeps. So what’s up with the grouch factor?
I guess I am a homebody at heart. I love weekends that are wide open, with nary a birthday party nor sporting event to attend. I love to travel, but I am really looking forward to having the next two weeks off with no plans to leave town.
I am certain that the issues Beth mentioned yesterday - sleep deprivation and bad weather and the godforsaken pot luck factor, added to my ennui about the events we have had planned on school nights this week. There’s also the element of dread when I am in charge of an event, as I was for two this week, and when you add homework and lunchboxes that have yet to be unpacked when we finally get home at 8:00 pm, it is easier to understand my lack of enthusiasm.
But wait just a minute…. that’s three paragraphs of rationalization for being grouchy about holiday parties! Let’s revisit the title of this post, which was the first thing I typed before starting my little mope-fest.
I frequently tell my brooding eldest child to “choose happiness”. I explain that even if he feels grumpy, he should pretend that he is happy, and it might just become so. It reminds me of some old line, but I can’t remember the source:” he’s a nice guy, but he does a great asshole impersonation”
Knowing that the same must be true for a happy girl impersonation, I resolve to garner up some enthusiasm for all of the
social obligations festive opportunities coming up where I can spread my own special brand of loving holiday cheer!
To kick things off, after work on Friday, my two week vacation begins. I get to spend those first few hours of freedom with…. my co-workers! It will be great, I’m bringing the bar! And my family is invited, so it’s not like I’ll be a single gal boozing it up out on the town, my husband and kids will be there to
murder my buzz watch as the mystery of mommy’s secret santa is revealed. I am going to be positively oozing happiness when I step up to that karoke machine.
And my happiness will be contagious, it’s a scientifically proven fact! Have you read about the study that determined that the more happy people you surround yourself with, the happier you yourself will be? As one of the researchers told my friends at Yahoo:
“Imagine that I am connected to you and you are connected to others and others are connected to still others. It is this fabric of humanity, like an American patch quilt."
Each person sits on a different-colored patch. "Imagine that these patches are happy and unhappy patches. Your happiness depends on what is going on in the patch around you. It is not just happy people connecting with happy people, which they do. Above and beyond, there is this contagious process going on."
You know what makes me happy? Studies about happiness. It makes me love science.
Citizens of the world, I implore you: If you’re feeling grumpy today, put on your happy face! Turn that frown upside down! Choose happiness! And when your happy impersonation takes over your mood, get out there and spread your good cheer like the plague!