One Day, One Week, One Month of Happiness

You want to be happy but there’s so many chores to do.

For one moment, put your happiness first.

The other day, I bought myself a really cute pink party dress from Talbots. Once, as a preteen, reading Young Miss, an article said: ‘In order to be popular, do not wear a new outfit right after you get it. Wait at least a week.’

I have internalized this advice and have for more than 40 years tucked away my treasures in the pursuit of popularity. But WHY???

There is another truth: Don’t hide your light (or pretty pink dress) under a bushel. I am wearing the dress today.

Also, to increase my happiness quotient, the other night I went to the 52nd Street Project. I saw plays written by 10-year olds, performed by top-notch adult theater professionals, like Bill Kamp and Edie Falco. Going out to the theater makes me so happy. But especially because I like hanging out with my friend Joanna.

So for today’s happiness advice, I suggest you:

  • Do something nice for yourself
  • Wear something new
  • Go to the theater
  • Meet up with a friend
  • Admire the creativity of children
  • Plan something fun

Tomorrow the girls and I leave for almost two weeks in Italy — Milan, Ravenna, Bologna, Florence, Rome. Looking forward to this trip has made me happy.

http://www.art-vangogh.com/

Passion Leads to Death

I started crying in the Viand diner this morning when the photo of the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, came on the television news. She so clearly loved the orca who killed her. She loved her work as an animal trainer.

The kids said, “Mom, don’t cry.”

But I don’t know how to explain this. What is the life lesson here? Tell my kids to chose their passions carefully? I do not want them to luge, to ski, to snowboard, feed predators for their life’s work.

And by the way, I do not want them to travel with relief efforts to developing countries either. How much can we protect our children from risky, heartfelt passions? How much can we protect ourselves? What is life — if it is not an engagement with physical and meaningful challenges which have the potential to consume you?

I hope, like me, my kids will find their passion in literature and in theater. These seem relatively benign passions. Although I suppose every passion has its its dangers. When you are fully committed, you can lose everything, including your life. Sobering and sad thoughts on a snowy Manhattan morning.  

I guess this relates to my life lesson – “live everyday as if it is your last.” Cliche? Yes, but cliches can be true.