a tiny how-to manual

How to be sad: listen to songs like this.

You used to soothe me
You used to swear with
Heart-crossed conviction
That you'd be there
Where are you now?

Well I'm good--one of a kind
But I would rather be two
And I still speak my mind
But I miss talking with you
And I could hem and haw
But I'll just cut right through
I don't need nothing baby
Nothing but you

Well, I lit a candle
It's burning still
Most every night on
My window sill
Where are you now?

Weren't we something back then--
Thick as thieves?
Who would have ever thought that
You and me
Would let forever come to
Used to be

[Trisha Yearwood, "Where are you Now?", from Real Live Woman, © 2000]

How to be happy: think about what you have, rather than what you lack. My life is complete. It is filled with friends, people that I love and like and admire, and who bring me joy and peace--and much laughter. I have an apartment that felt like home the first time I saw it, even filled with some other person's stuff. I have a boyfriend who is increasingly loving and loved. My family is caring, even if they don't always do it the way I'd choose, and it includes a [perhaps oddly] necessary person whose role defies definition: my former husband. My car is fun and gets great gas mileage, particularly on those late-night driving-to-nowhere trips. I weigh less than my driver's license claims. I have a job that is rarely boring, and that sometimes, in moments of clarity, challenges me.

And yet, for its completeness, my life is still about reaching, seeking, searching, and learning. I would not trade that part of it for anything. I don't want to ever be "done" with it, as far as that goes. 'Satisfied' is a dirty word, in this sense.

To anyone reading this who knows me "in person", I want you to think about the last time a hug passed between us. Remember how it felt, and feel that again, now, while you read this, 'cause I'm feeling it as I write. J#n!c@, Cat, Robert, R, Johnnie (yes, even you, my favorite jackass), DJN. I'm happy, and I love you all, in my way.

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