Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Five: Feeling Strangely Fine

Lately I've been experiencing this strange and unfamiliar feeling that I think I've finally identified as... a good mood. No, really! It surprised me, too! But what do you know; there it is.

It's not that I really think of myself as a terminally glum and cheerless person. Everybody has funks, right? (Or, everybody who's prone to any amount of introspection has them, anyway.) For a long while there, though, it seemed that the funks were outweighing the lack-of-funks, that I was fighting away gray clouds and darkness more often than not, and the end result was that I rarely topped out at anything better than neutral. I can't really explain why. Or, I could; I have some pretty probable theories on the matter, but it's nothing I want to get into at the moment. Regardless, the past several months, the funks have been far less frequent, and I've found myself thinking, "Huh. Maybe life's really not so bad. Who knew?"

The good mood still surprised me, though, mostly because nothing in particular seems to have prompted it. I first noticed it the other night, driving home from work in unusually light traffic, marveling at the fact that Mary Lucia was somehow reading my mind and playing exactly the right songs to keep my head bopping contentedly the entire way home. The next day, however, traffic was maddening, and yet, the good mood, amazingly, didn't clear. I didn't walk into the office feeling surly and dejected. I responded to the Owner's usual "How are you today?" question with an enthusiastic "Good!" And for once, I think I actually meant it.

Are you scared? It's OK. I am a little bit, too. Regardless, I've decided not to question it. Instead, I shall embrace it, for who knows how long it can last.

A couple weeks ago, -R- wrote a post compiling thirteen ways to get on her bad list. Since then, I've been writing my own "bad list" in my head (it wasn't too hard; a lot of things annoy me), and I planned to steal her idea and use it myself for this week's Friday Five. I think I need to table that for a different week, however, because right now, I feel that I should revel in the good. The universe is, in fact, not out to get me. Here are a few points of proof.

Five things I am happy about and feeling really pretty grateful for

  1. My friends. Everybody says it, but really, it's true. I have a fabulous circle of amazing women* who I'm lucky to call good friends. They're smart, talented, witty, and interesting--the exact sort of kindred spirits I longed for and was almost always unable to find throughout high school and even much of college. They're also the best damn advisory board a girl could ask for, always offering a range of thoughtful perspectives or, often more important, just an eager ear to listen, even when I drone on about some tired old topic as though it's actually a fresh new dilemma. That takes patience. And a kind heart. These women, without a doubt, have both.

    A couple months ago, two of my friends shared a birthday party, and the guy I've called The Magical Boy attended. He brought a friend who we hadn't yet met, and while I was talking to him at one point, the friend admitted he'd had pretty low expectations for the night. He didn't mean it as an insult; it's just that, as a tag-along friend to an event where he'd know no one, he really didn't know what to think. "But I'm glad I came," he said. "You guys are awesome." Indeed we are, friend of MB. Indeed we are, I say.

    * And men, sure, but for whatever reason, much like my blog circle, the group that I run with contains far more women than men.

  2. You guys. Sure, a few of you reading this are real-life friends who already fit under #1, but the majority are people who I've never met but who've let me into your lives and weighed in with often hilarious feedback on mine. Like most of you, I started this blog because I wanted to get in the habit of writing more, but I never expected to find myself part of this fun and awesome community of clever and interesting folks, some of whom I now actually consider real (not just fake, Internet) friends. I know this isn't exactly an original insight; most blogs I read have included similar sentiments in at least one post in the past. I don't think I've ever voiced it here, though, and before we all give up on blogging and move on to other things, I wanted to make sure I did.

  3. Tuesday's election results. I stand by my promise that I'm not about to become a political blogger, but you knew I had to mention this anyway. Yes, my heart still sinks when I think about the damn marriage amendment in my home state, and I'm not too thrilled that we're keeping our conservative governor for another term, either, but there's so much to be hopeful about that I don't need to dwell on that right now. Want specifics? Here's a start. It's been so long since political news made me smile. I just want to sit back and enjoy this for a while.

  4. My job. My house. They may each be sources of frustration often times, but so many people are lacking one or both that I should truly count myself lucky for what I have. I should remember this tomorrow, when I'm raking leaves all afternoon. And remember it again on Monday morning, when I'm struggling to drag myself out of bed. Those are the idle annoyances, but I have the things I need. Not everyone can say the same.

  5. A stable family life throughout childhood. A recent successful clothes-shopping day. The fact that I get to sleep in tomorrow. A date/maybe-date that actually went pretty well. Take your pick for this last one; I'm having trouble wrapping this up.

Oh, and just so you know, I suspect I'll be back to my regularly scheduled wisecracks and cynicism shortly. This positivity and gratitude thing surely cannot last.


Anonymous said...

This sounds cheesy, but it is really great that you can't limit yourself to just 5.

I can't really get into the Current for some reason. Sometimes they play really great things, but sometimes I am just like WTF is this? Which I guess is why some people really like it.

stefanie said...

Yeah, there are definitely "WTF" moments on that station, but that's sort of what I love about it. If you don't like what they're playing, just wait five minutes. Well, that and no commercials. The no commercials thing is a major selling point as well.

Anonymous said...

Me likey the Current. I also do deeply dig the good moods. I firmly believe it's possible to decide to be happy - and banning overwhelming outside circumstances, happiness ensues.

stefanie said...

Digital Janitor--You sounded like John Cusack in "Say Anything" just then...

"How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood, and then just BE in a GOOD MOOD?"

"Gee. It's... easy."

(Anyone want to hear the rest? Because I pretty much have the whole damn thing memorized...)