Don't Let Them Squish Your Happiness

After reading the Happier Now book, I’ve been carefully observing what brings happiness into my life. What has also become clear for the past week or so is how easy it is to have your happiness squished. Now, intellectually, I’ve known this a long time. Haven’t you read somewhere that it takes some large number of compliments to override one put-down?

No one can take away my happiness of observing a tiny bird on a fence.

For me, one of those “highly sensitive persons,” some of the unkind things that were said to me stuck for decades. I thought of myself as “fatso” even when I was of an average size. And as an adult, there have been a few things people said to me that I couldn’t shake. I let their perceptions of me affect my self esteem.

Aww, a little nest.

These days, I’m doing better, and that’s great. Yay me. Still, you can’t avoid negativity and negative people in life. Some of them you’re related to or have to work with, you know. And, as we have been talking about this morning, as we sip our coffee, there are some folks who just don’t like to see someone else happy or doing well, so they try to pull them down to their level (apparently this is common in all the families of origin in my household).

But, what has shocked me, and what I’ve decided I need to figure out how to handle better, is how easily my happiness can get squished by people around me. I’m sharing some personal examples next, not to criticize others, but to talk about how we might interact more successfully.

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Oh, Buffy Hen! (And a Long Day or Two)

The Internet ate what I was writing earlier today, and it has been a long couple of days, so you luck out and get to read about the CHICKENS again. I’ll also share some cute dogs before getting all thoughtful again tomorrow.

This evening, Kathleen and I went over to feed the animals, as usual, just before sunset. We heard a LOT of mooing, and when we got there we saw the Vrazels’ cattle in the race. Other cattle were in the pens. As you can see, these were mamas and babies (hooray, I got to see the spotted ones up close).

We are very dubious about this confinement.

They said they were going to AI all the mamas, which meant there was no way for us to get to the horses. I said I’d do it in the morning. No problem. It was fun watching them move the little ones away from their moms. They were displeased.

So, we went back to the chicken area, where Big Red and Little Red were eating some popcorn that Yanelly must have given them. I gave them some feed and scratch, then looked around for Buffy. She was nowhere to be seen, so I figured she must have finally bit the dust. Also, there were no eggs in their new nest (they have totally deserted the old coop).

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Small-Town Parades ROCK!

Wow! We sure had a fun and exhausting time yesterday getting ready to participate in our very first Cameron Christmas parade. Even more fun was the parade itself.

Getting the float ready. Even Vlassic’s in there, somewhere.

During the week, Kathleen and Mandi made lots of signs for the float, so once Lee and Kathleen very carefully got the thing down to our office, we finished decorating it. We added more and more lights, which was good, because we hadn’t actually realized the parade is in the dark.

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Book Report: Can We, Should We, Be "Happier Now?"

They started a book club at work, where everyone is to read some self help book. Even though I had to miss the first meeting, I have been dutifully reading Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones), by Nataly Kogan. Kogan is a Russian immigrant who founded the “Happier” app, which I used for a little while then got nothing out of, because no one else I knew was using it and I probably didn’t quite “get it” at the time. Still, I figured this lady would know something about happiness, since it was her job.

It’s certainly a cheerful-looking book!

I was dubious about this book, to start out with. After all, I’ve read plenty of self help books about learning to love myself as I am, embrace my imperfections, and be kind to myself. I have said more than once that BrenĂ© Brown saved my life and that I should re-read The Gifts of Imperfection annually. Her books are how I became the much-less neurotic Suna who writes these blogs.

I told myself that, since I have already turned around my negative self-talk (I scare myself sometimes when I find my inner voice saying stuff like, “I feel great!” or “I’m happy today.”), I really don’t need another book on this topic. Of course, I conveniently forgot that I vowed to read books on this kind of thing yearly, to remind myself of how I want to be in the world.

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TEAM: It Sorta Has "Me" in It

Well, apparently I did NOT have an original thought on this topic.

How many times have you heard the saying that “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’?” More than enough, I’m sure. It hints that we should all be selflessly working together to achieve our organizational goals, a thing that totally goes against the annoying American worship of independence, yee haw.

I admit that I have always wanted to be a member of a team. Gosh, if only I wasn’t small, chubby, and extremely slow, I could have even been on a sports team at some point in my life. But, though I was very accurate at kicking and throwing a football, girls couldn’t play on those teams (and my distance sucked). As a young adult, I was politely asked to stop participating on my husband’s volleyball team, because they were actually competitive. Sigh.

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My Hair Scared Me

[First off, my apologies for another post full of pictures of me, but it’s hard to get photos of my hair without me in them. However…]

My Red Period, and a picture of me that I don’t cringe at. I am perfect the way I am! Repeat after me!

As you lovely readers know, I keep changing my hair color, because I love the Overtone color/conditioner. I’m not sure why I, a Certified Tomboy, keep coloring my hair weird colors and getting my nails done, but, that’s just me, I guess. This week, however, I got a hair scare, and people kept commenting on it!

For the past couple of months (starting in mid-October), my hair has been RED. The color of a stop sign, not a ginger person’s hair. When it’s first done, and after the first wash, it’s pretty spectacular and looks good with my complexion. I really enjoyed my Red Period, which is the name of the photo at right.

The problem started when I was unable to replenish the color after three washes, which is what I normally do, since the temporary color washes out.

Over the weekend, I noticed my hair was not at all red. In fact it was quite the Thanksgiving/autumn orange. It almost looked…gasp…NATURAL! What the heck?

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Building Things: Floats, Chicken Coops, More

Hiya hiya (a brand of knitting needles), everyone. I’ve been trying to write this all day, but I can’t complain, because my lunch hour, when I often write, was pleasantly filled with a nice conversation and lunch with my friend Melissa. We had one of our usual hour-long regurgitation of the highs and lows of our lives since we last saw each other, which was way more fun than sitting at my desk typing!

Harvey supervises the painting of our giant wooden Hermann house.

Yesterday was an equally full day. Kathleen and Chris made it to Cameron Saturday evening, so we set out to do on Sunday all the things we’d originally planned to do over the whole Thanksgiving week. Not everything got done, but we sure did a LOT. We’re really grateful to Chris for how hard he worked.

It’s starting to take shape!

Saturday we started out working on our float the the Cameron Christmas Parade. The good news is that we already have a truck and a trailer, so yay. And another good thing is that a marvelous invention, the battery-operated Christmas light, has enabled us to light the float without putting a big ole generator on the back of the pickup.

Vlassic is dubious about the quality of my tree construction. Hey, it’s worth every penny of the $30 they paid for it.
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