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Happiness Project Update 16: Pantene Moments During Crunch Time

8 Nov

“Who is she to talk about happiness when everything in her life is fine?”

She asked the question and I thought about it. And yeah … when I started this whole Happiness Project it did cross my mind. I thought yeah … Gretchen Rubin should be happy. She’s got everything she wanted … everything I wanted, what’s up with her? She doesn’t need any more happiness. She’s got surplus. I could use some. I’ve got deficit … in the trillions.

Yeah it did cross my mind. But as I continued reading and got to the end of  the “Be Serious About Play,” Chapter she brought up a good point:

“Are you more likely to think about happiness — and take action to try to build happiness — when everything in your life is going well, or when you’re facing a catastrophe?”

Dude. Everyone could use happiness, when you’re at the bottomless pit of crappiness you need it. When you’re happy you need to realize that you have it and you should do everything you can to maintain it.

Everybody’s answer is different.

After reading all the responses at the end of that chapter, I realized that for me, it’s a combination of both. I think about happiness during my mid-life malaise and when I have my Holy-Crap moments. On most days I have small moments of happiness … I hear a great song, I dance in the living room, I post on my blog, I eat a great piece of chocolate, I sit in the quiet of the night, or I watch an awesome episode of Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. They’re not ever-lasting moments, but I enjoy them while they last.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Then on some days, like when I accomplish triathlons and Warrior Dashes, when I get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, when I have pizza-making night with my kids, a girls-night out with my friends, or Halloween-athons with the family, these moments last a lot longer. Sometimes the entire day or the whole night and even though I’m tired, weary, or exhausted, I’m so grateful for the day-long happiness — for the Guat smile, for the Guat laughter.

Most of this gratefulness stems from surviving all the crappiness that’s come my way. And since I haven’t had many happiness marathon moments, I tend to really appreciate and savor them when they come.

I recognize them when they happen. It’s like having a bad hair day six days in a row and then on the seventh day, you look like a Pantene model, with soft-silky hair. You remember when this happens.

You try to bank these days.

“It’s like saving money, you can’t save for when you get laid off, or after you get laid off; rather you have to save while you have a job and the money is still coming in. Life is like that, you have to DO while you are able to think of what you want, what you like, what needs it will fill, how it will enhance your life, how it will help you to maintain you, so that you have some reserves when crunch time comes.”

Crunch time. It’s all about trying to have your Pantene moment, or remembering a Pantene moment, when Crunch Time happens. That’s one of the lessons I learned from this chapter. You think about getting happiness when you’re going through a catastrophe, and you’re grateful for happiness when it comes. Or at least that’s the goal.

But I’m also learning what specific things make me happy. In this chapter finding out what “fun” meant for me was a nice holy-crap moment. I mean I already knew what I thought was fun, I was just reminded that other people’s idea of “fun” was different from mine and that was O.K. Even though I may find ideas exciting and great, they might not be fun for me, and I’m all right with that because during Crunch Time all that matters are the little Pantene moments that contribute to the “good hair” days in my life, those little Pantene moments that I can deposit or withdrawal from the bank at any time, during  Holy-Crap moments or catastrophes.

 

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