10 Ways....

My favorite internet news site has a link to an article which tells me 10 ways to find happiness. Ppsshaww. It's full of tips like, "relax at work". ?? Whoever wrote that doesn't know squat about my job. So, I'm going to hand out 10 of my own secret tips to happiness. If you aren't a happy person, jot these down. Y

  1. Stop waiting for someone or something to make you happy. It isn't up to them, it's up to you. Find the joy in every day, in all the little moments that make up your life. The lottery ain't going to do it for you. If you can't find the joy, you aren't looking. It's there in the sunrise and the way your dog wags his tail: all YOU have to do is notice it and appreciate it.
  2. Make peace with your flaws. They are what make you unique. Besides, your flaws are what keep you from being perfect, and if you were perfect, no one could stand to be around you. Even you.
  3. Develop passion (if it isn't in your life already). If you aren't in a relationship, then develop a passion for art or music or counting the sides on a stop sign. It doesn't matter what your passion is, it matters that your passion is.
  4. Talk to God. Or The Great Spirit. Or Whoever. Whatever name you choose for your understanding of a higher being, use the name, make the time and connect to the universe in your own way.
  5. Stop dieting. Eat better, but stop dieting. You have to eat, you don't get to give it up, so stop warring with your hungry self. Learn how to slow down, truly enjoy your food, make good choices and stop dieting. Why struggle so much over something you have to do? You might as well learn how to do it right, enjoy it, and get the benefits.
  6. Talk nicely to yourself. Speak encouraging words to yourself. Be patient with you. Words are powerful things. Choose the words you use on yourself with the same care you'd use for others.
  7. Talk nicely to others. Speak encouraging words. (Hmmm...am I having a deja vu moment?). Your words can be a knife in the heart or a healing balm. Make good choices.
  8. Look around you. I mean REALLY look around you. There is much to be cheerful about, true, but there are also others who have far worse problems. It's all relative. Heck. It could be worse, folks....you could be driving a Pinto. (If you drive a Pinto, I apologize. I oughta be ashamed.) (I'm not, but I oughta be.)
  9. Take the time to do something nice for someone else. Let them into traffic, or in front of you in line at the store. Open the door for someone, smile at them, or tell them their baby is beautiful, even he looks like a troll. OK, If the baby really does look like a troll, then you can tell them their baby is ....uh..... sweet. Or lovable. Wing it.
  10. Stop reading lists about how to achieve happiness. Just choose it and quit worrying about it.

Power Struggles

I came face-to-face with my own feminine power yesterday. It was really profound. It made me think about all the other demonstrations of power we use, but before I digress, let me tell you. I was on the phone with tech support. I think the guy was from India.

I lost count of how many times tech support put me on hold. He had to repeat himself often, as his accent was well-developed. He had to consult a level-2 technician. And I squirmed. Finally, he wanted to join me on my computer via remote-session. While he moused around, I told him I would have to put him on hold, and I went to pee. Yes, I left a tech support guy on hold so I could tinkle. And I felt POWERFUL! Some guy in another hemisphere was waiting patiently for me to answer a call of nature. It was profound.

In the future, I'll probably make a point of going potty before I call tech support. I don't know if I have the cajones to put a guru on hold again under such false pretenses. Yes, I led him to believe it was a client I had to speak to, rather than a commode I wanted to visit. Besides, I hate to abuse my power, wherever I find it.

Have you thought about all those little power plays? Do you ever get out of doing something for a man by using a vague feminine-illness excuse? That scares men...those woman-problems. Do you say "I'm hurrying" when you are taking your time? Men do it to us, too. If they want to get away, they know what to say they're doing so we won't want to come along. Whether it's fishing or camping away from water or going to a hockey game, they know how to ditch us without letting us think we've been ditched.

Can you summon tears to get what you want? I'm not good at this one: I don't cry pretty. My sister can cry a perfect tear from her big green beautiful eyes, and get her way. I cry and my nose gets red and runny and my eyes get puffy and no one is entranced by puffy gray eyes and a leaky nose. It just doesn't fly.

Some people can get what they want with sweet talk; other people behave so obnoxiously that others cave in just to be rid of them. Talented people might navigate between the two, but that sounds complicated to me.

You know those people who stand too close to you? Forever invading your personal space? Are they really so anxious to get near you, or is it a kind of exercise in power? I wonder. Maybe they just want to make sure you know they had onions on their burger?

And don't forget good old-fashioned, all-purpose guilt. Some moms have a talent for it. My Mom is pretty good at it, but it isn't the favorite weapon in her arsenal. If Mom plays the guilt card, she means business.

Since most of my job entails customer service at some level, I encounter the "do you really want my business" routine sometimes. I gotta tell you, folks. Be careful, because sometimes the answer is "No". If you won't play nice at the beginning, what would make me think you are going to sweeten up?

My youngest son had a power play to end all power plays. He had "the look". Oh, it was so cute! He'd look up at me (ok, it was a while ago when he looked UP at me), with his big round eyes in his chubby-cheeked baby face, and he'd give me the look.

How can you say "No" to a face like this? It wasn't easy. And by the way, yes. He usually did have a band-aid on his head. For some reason, he was top-heavy, and was forever falling down and bumping his head. We even got rid of the coffee table. Happily, he grew into his head, and quite handsomely, too. Now that he's standing on the edge of manhood, he found a new way to get to me. He calls me "Mommy." I know it's ridiculous, but it works. What can I say?