So, early last week, I was randomly kinda off. You know how that is, that unidentifiable annoyance and frustration. This is surely natural – no one can be happy all the time. There will be “off days”, when nothing seems to go your way.
But, I’m the optimist! When I’m feeling down about something, I try to identify the cause, fix it and then move on. If the problem isn’t something that I can fix, I talk myself through it – or, more likely, talk through it with friends – and try to accept it.
This sounds so vague and weird. Let’s move on with a specific story.
So last week. I couldn’t identify why I felt so off.
Maybe it was work – the novelty was wearing off, and now it just feels like work? I desperately hoped that wasn’t true. I can’t switch jobs each month just so it stays fresh and exciting. What else…
What about friends? Couldn’t be that, though. I was actually having an unusually social week. I visited Champaign the previous weekend, and had a couple dinner dates with friends throughout the week.
Maybe the week was too social? Did I need a night of reading and Netflix?
Well, regardless, it wasn’t something I could identify, so it wasn’t something that I could fix. I was frustrated because it was taking away from my drive at work, which made work less exciting, which added to my weird mood… It was a vicious cycle.
So, one day, I decided to just make myself happy. When I woke up on Wednesday, I just decided that it would be a good day.
And while my friends may think that I do somehow have the power to just be happy, it doesn’t quite work like that. Unfortunately, I can’t, like, summon sunshine and rainbows. I have to work at it! So, I did.
I jammed to some happy tunes. I am absolutely obsessed with Songza’s Sunshine Indie Pop playlist. (I know, it was probably made for me.)
When I got to the city, I grabbed a huge DD iced coffee. I loved every last drop, even though I later remembered that I had already finished a coffee at home. I mean, I was really alert all day…
I specifically walked out of my way to pass my favorite building in the city – no idea what it is, but it’s gorg. So, I stopped for a picture. Let’s set up this scene, for a moment. Under one arm, I was holding that day’s Tribune, which was absolutely enormous. I was holding that size-of-my-head cup of iced coffee, which had started “sweating” and dripping all over me by this point. My big tote bag was slung on my shoulder. Looked like an absolute idiot/tourist/intern but, it was my happy day, so I didn’t care! Awkwardly leaned back for the photo, doing my balancing act (it’s a tall building) and got my shot.
When I got to work, I was determined to continue my happy mood. When I hit a roadblock in a project, I happily walked down the hall to ask a coworker for tips, rather than staring at my computer waiting for the answer to just pop out of nowhere. I got a ton of work done, and the day flew by.
The rest of the week was equally wonderful! Having a positive outlook – even if you’re faking it until you make it – changes everything. I promise.
So, try it out! Put on your favorite playlist, slap on a smile and down a giant iced coffee. Or fro yo. Actually, yeah, fro yo would probably be even more effective.
And, be happy!