Smell the Roses

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All other things being equal, the life of any self-sustaining American is hard, and girls have it harder, and trans girls have it harder yet.

Years ago, I found it easy to get into a death-march mentality and to just plod along, working hard to make things better without remembering the point of it all. I had to remember that it’s all about the journey, whereas the arrival is just an instant in time.

Nowadays, while doing the due diligence I should, I also try to remember that joy is one’s fuel, and I make sure I don’t run out. Better yet, I try to keep my emotional fuel tank nice and full, in case some bad days come along.  I’m also vastly more productive when I’m happy, so I try to attend to happiness-related issues short-term, medium-term and long-term, ideally every day. I actively seek out cool things, large and small, to stuff into every day, to make it a happier-yet day.

A silly example is the stick-on jewelry in the picture below. It cost maybe $1 but it was fun, plus it inspired an positive chat with someone nice whom I happened to meet.

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Another example happened three weeks ago. I needed to make a trip anyway.  So, I tried to make it a happier trip. I juggled some hotel credits and was able to afford staying at a nice place with a nice pool.  Although the weather wasn’t great, it being winter and all, I nevertheless went down to the pool, and had a good time.

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Yet another example occurred a few days ago. I was supposed to pick up some repaired computer equipment from a vendor who was away from his shop for half an hour.  So, I thought hard as to what might be a fun way to spend half an hour, and I found a sporting good store so massive that it contains an entire Ferris wheel inside. Soon, I was enjoying an experience for whom the target market might be someone who is one-tenth my age, but I nevertheless ended up enjoying it. Price: no charge.

If you’re feeling embattled nowadays, the phrase nil carborundum illegitimi might be useful. Wikipedia sums it up well: It’s a mock-Latin aphorism meaning “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. Amen to that.

 

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