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I Can Do Happy.

Can you?

I recently wrote a blog post that sucked. I knew it while I was writing it.

I’d had nothing to write, a state which I’ve promised won’t stop me from writing.

“No time to write today” is legit; “Nothing to write today” is not.

Why? Because sometimes when I’m thinking, I’ve used up all the thoughts and ideas I’ll ever have, and I’m tapped out and why keep up this exercise of writing every day when I’ve already proven to myself that I can do it and I could spend this time instead watching Whoopi Goldberg show off her unacceptable shoes on The View, that’s when I come up with my best stuff. I create something that wouldn’t exist if I’d waited to be inspired.

And you know what? Sometimes I just create a sucky blog post.

The sucky ones are part of the process. Like playing the scratch-off lottery.

Buy hundreds of cards, and you’ve got a better chance of one being a winner. (Though be warned, you’ll end up covered in those awful silver shavings, especially under your nails because who has the patience to find a coin, even though you’re sure that last you looked, you had like a hundred useless pennies and a quarter or two pooled the bottom of your bag?)

Back to the sucky post. It wasn’t the big scratch-off winner of a masterpiece.

I know because it barely got any likes. Should I use popularity as a metric of good or bad? Maybe not. The Comeback on HBO was superb, yet apparently, no one but me watched it. OK, forget the likes thing.

But I do know the piece was crotchety just for the sake of crotchety, as confirmed by a reader’s comment:

“I love reading your writing, but it always leaves me feeling a little depressed. There, I said it.”

OK, well back up a sec: “Always” is taking it too far. I write about all kind of uplifting topics, like watermelon chunks, and my childhood love of porn. If you find those things depressing, you may have low serotonin levels. Ask your doctor if Abilify is right for you.

Never mind, I’ve decided that yesterday’s post was just fine. But in the spirit of being “high vibration,” which is a newly common term that makes me gag, along with “stand firmly in your truth” and “holding space for desire,” I’d like to honor the question from that same reader that followed.

She asked: “What do you love? What makes you happy?”

OK, I’ll play. Here’s a completely incomplete list, mostly in no particular order except for #1.

  • My husband
  • Eating in restaurants, especially ones that send out freebies
  • My family (including cousins, who are special to me – just the idea of “COUSINS” is not)
  • Spaghetti
  • Horrible people
  • 20 bucks I forgot about in a pocket
  • Summer
  • Reading a book
  • My friends, especially the ones who pick up right where we left off even if we haven’t talked in a year, no guilt no blame
  • Breaking Bad
  • The Wire
  • My husband’s man scent — part him, part Commes Des Garçon
  • Long walks on the beach — for real!
  • Long walks down abandoned streets
  • A bowl of ice cream, mashed up with some milk into a soup
  • My favorite pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans, which I ordered used on ebay and which came perfectly broken in and which I dread falling apart on me one day, because I’ve already had them repaired twice
  • Being on time, when it happens
  • Real Housewives of NYC
  • Watching Real Housewives with my laptop on (and burning) my lap, so I can post on Facebook at the same time
  • When someone’s grammar gets corrected by someone other than me, so I can enjoy the release of correcting them without being the asshole who did it
  • Sitting in the window of our apartment and staring at people
  • Art that I understand
  • Sometimes, a sandwich
  • New pens
  • Old yearbooks
  • When a dog finally stops barking
  • When something I didn’t feel like getting dressed for but also didn’t want to miss is canceled
  • Sleeping late
  • When my dad tries to read a joke out loud from his Joys of Yiddish book and can’t get through it because he’s laughing so hard
  • Having no work due
  • Hating the Styles section
  • Eavesdropping
  • Upgrade
  • Free Shipping, Free Returns
  • Vacation
  • Despising Flo, the chick in those Progressive Insurance ads
  • Having a tub of raw cookie dough in the fridge
  • Italy, Spain
  • New York City, especially in the 70s and 80s – which are alive and well in my head
  • Having lived in New York City my whole life
  • Having written (way more than actual writing)
  • Responding to comments on my blog
  • The word “unacceptable”

Happy now?

Now you.

What do you love? What makes you happy? Let me know on Twitter: @lbelgray

Because if you love to hate something, that’s fair game. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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