Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gratitude, Day Six

Today (or technically yesterday) I am grateful for...
  1. Artistic friends.
  2. Songs about monkeys.
  3. Twenty-four hour emergency vets. (*)
(*) Advice for pet owners: Don't leave a plastic bottle of prescription chewable canine arthritis medication lying about in a forgotten bag because... you know... maybe your smaller, prettier, healthier (but stupider) dog will secretly eat all of it during Bad Movie Night prompting the veterinarian to say things like "You need to come in RIGHT NOW" when you call to ask about overdose symptoms.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gratitude, Day Five

  1. Being home when Brad gets home from work.
  2. Conversations with new friends over coffee.
  3. Magic rubber chickens. (*)
(*) This probably warrants further explanation.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gratitude, Day Four

The series continues:
  1. The triangular patch of velvet fur where a cat's eyes and nose meet.
  2. Gamma World's return to silliness.
  3. Brad's education discount on Apple products.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today's Gratitudes

Three Gratitudes, Day Three

Thing 1: Licensed Massage Therapists

Thing 2: Nasopure sinus irrigation system(*)

Thing 3: Big dumb dogs jumping through the snow

(*) Disgusting, but effective. Don't look at me that way... make your own damn list.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful, 1... 2... 3...

Three Gratitudes, Day Two

Thing #1: Arizona Statehood Day

Thing #2: The Will & Grace generation(*)

Thing #3: Ian Dury & The Blockheads' "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3"

(*) The video is a shot-for-shot remake of Taylor Swift's video, but performed a cappella by the University of Rochester YellowJackets. The guys made the whole thing themselves and ended up winning national acclaim. Anecdotally, I've heard that Roman White, the director of the original video, likes this one better. (Incidentally... the accompaniment is all vocal, including the cymbal crashes and "drum machine.")

I'm back

Long story short:

I can't separate myself from my job. My life is a long "To Do" list, and while I make an active effort to keep my life balanced, my career takes up over half of my time, and I like it that way.

Or I did.

About a year ago I discovered that the little start up business that I had poured my guts into for six years was going to be sold, and that my cut of the sale was going to be about 3%. You have to keep in mind that I had worked full-time for the company longer than the owner. I won the first government contract for the company, and I did it on my first try. I eventually grew that into a million dollar project that became the life support of the company during the recession, when almost all of our other work dried up.

So... that was all kinds of devastating. On top of the fact that I already had misgivings about the direction I had taken career-wise, I was now being told that the work that I had done wasn't valued. It took awhile for that to sink in, but if you look at my posting frequency, you can see that I became increasingly withdrawn, and then in May, I just stopped writing. At all.

Hmm... this seems to be more "long story" than "short."

So, if we just jump to the end... I resigned from my job and started my own business. I'm loving it. I wake up in the morning and bounce to my computer to get to work. My life and my work are all tangled up again, but I find myself smiling and singing at frequent intervals.

That being said, I'm still delicately managing a debilitating run-in with clinical depression. As luck would have it, I recently happened to catch an interview with Shawn Achor on the Groks Science Show (broadcast out of University of Chicago these days!) about his new book The Happiness Advantage, and I decided that I would like to implement one of his behavior modification exercises on the blog, partly to get me writing, and partly to do something that might make other people happy.

So every day for the next month I am going to post three things that are making me happy. I've done this intermittently before, but this is going to be a concerted effort. If anybody else wants to play along in the comments section, I would be thrilled and honored.

Thing #1: Feathered frost on my bedroom window.
This pattern of frost completely covered my window one morning. This kind of self-replicating braided pattern could probably be modeled using cellular automata, but I still just want to call it "magic."

Thing #2: Domestic partnership health insurance in New York.

Thing #3: Friends like you.