counting them

Sometimes you get depressed, and then things seem hard, and
then you have a shitty day, and everything goes to hell and your life is empty
and bleak and nothing is good. Ever! For all time! You are broken and so too is
the world which is a black and sucking molasses pie of hate, baked in an oven
of sorrow and removed with potholders of despair.

I will stop with this metaphor because I am about to start
drifting off into tangents about soggy crusts, and cutting a slice, and
desolation a la mode, and then I will just cease to make sense and gibber like
a monkey who’s been handed a rubber banana, and that won’t be pretty. I will
get straight to the point, which is this: I work in my underpants, and that is
fucking awesome. I get a cat in my lap. My lunch breaks can consist of On
Demand cable, or Netflix movies, or maybe a nap. Once I get my shit together
and a schedule in place (I swear to god, someday soon and there’s another
thing, right?) I’m going to be able to write. As someone awesome said to me
recently–snowed in, and freelancing, and you get to see your boyfriend? It
sounds like a writing retreat. Complaining is real nice, and it is so nice and
freeing to give into your hate and go to the dark side. It is also good to
remember the good things and go oh, hey, yeah. That’s cool.

Oh hey, yeah, it’s cool that my boyfriend lives three blocks
from me, that I live in an apartment that gets so much light and a fireplace
and no neighbors upstairs breaking things and setting off firebombs and making me
weep silently. Plus, the mailperson leaves packages for me instead of taking
them home and burying them in peat moss. I actually got a package yesterday! My
Christmas present, from my very excellent mother, who picked out some gorgeous
jewelry and Hello Kitty pajamas for me and sent the box about a month and a
half ago, in fact. I am wearing the pajamas right now. I have got a cat in my
lap, and a cup of Earl Grey at my elbow, because that is how I roll.

You know what else is awesome? I got a library card the
other day, and with a library card, you can get books! It is a wonderful
system, and hooray for democracy. Hooray also for the fact that the library is
right down the street from me, a half a block away, and they had the silly
books I wanted to read. I can keep them for three weeks, and once things are
not on fire with the freelancing, I will even have time to read them.

Things will not always be on fire with the freelancing, and
I will have time to read. I will have time to draw up my invoices, and bill,
and keep myself in a roof over my head and kibble in the cat dish situation. I got a raise,
with the freelancing, and now I even gladder I took on so much work so quickly,
yes, please, send me another job, and another. And I will work through
everything, swiftly and with great resolve, in my pajamas, because I have got
it pretty good. During my lunch break, I might go take a bath. It might have
bubbles.

It’s the little things that keep my upright. It’s the
complaining, though, that seems to propel me forward. I’m going to probably
complain tomorrow and the day after that and every day that follows, because
that is how we are built, isn’t it? It’s easier to remember the negative
things, the hard things and the sad things and the terrible things. For me,
especially, sure. But have you noticed that you remember far more easily the
awful things that someone has said to you, and it’s so much harder to keep the
good ones close? Maybe it seems terribly rude and maybe like showboating, when
you talk about the good things in your life, the good things you are and say
and do and think and feel. I am so great! Things are just swell! It seems so
hard to say, and embarrassing, and embarrassingly self-indulgent.

But who
cares, right? Rah rah, embrace the positive, you are so lucky! It’s true!
Except oh, that’s not going to fix it. That won’t solve everything, and magic
you into a shining light of grace and upbeat, affirming optimism. Occasionally,
though. You can do it occasionally. Stop and say oh, hey. Check that out. Well,
all right, then. For at least a couple minutes, anyway. 

2 Replies to “counting them”

  1. Methinks you and I are cut from the same cloth, my friend.

    I have to constantly remind myself to notice and appreciate the good things–and I have a lot of good things! But I do find myself often veering down Negativity Street.

    It’s nice to be reminded that that ain’t the only street in town.

    So, yeah, you can go right back to complaining tomorrow and that’s ok because you’re so damn funny (and we’ll be here to remind you that you work in your Hello Kitty pajamas with a cat on your lap and a boy down the street and that life is good).

    But it’s nice that today you stopped to take a moment to see it and say it yourself: Oh yeah, life is good.

  2. “You are broken and so to is the world which is a black and sucking molasses pie of hate, baked in an oven of sorrow and removed with potholders of despair.”

    Swoon. You are my writing hero, Anne!

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