my love of life has been well documented (or so i hope – at least i think i wouldn’t really enjoy food as much as i obviously do if i thought life sucked, haha) – although i’m well aware there’s probably also a tiny proportion of the opposite… namely worries and fears and general (often self-induced, wince) suffering. but we’re simply really good at bringing ourselves down sometimes, aren’t we? with our worrying and constant thinking, and basically anything negative and, well, dark. as we grow older and grow up, we turn into real experts at the ‘dark arts’, huh?
as professor severus snape* puts it so accurately (and also, let’s admit it, i think it’s just nice to squeeze in as many harry potter associations as humanly possible):
“the dark arts are many, varied, ever changing, and eternal. fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. you are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible.”
(also, can we all agree how amazing it is that such a thing as a harry potter wiki exists…? thank you)
but isn’t this just so spot on? to be positive and worry-free in life is a constant battle… and because i assume we all want to lead a happy life (yay! clap clap! hooray! dance! shimmy!), here is my list of things to avoid at all cost. should you, however, feel that you need a little gloominess to enjoy the ups even more, well, just follow the instructions.
20 ways to make yourself miserable
1 listening to keaton henson
(or any of his like minded singer-songwriters) on repeat. really, however much you like to defend their melodramatic-turning-towards-suicidal tunes, let’s face it they only bring you down. especially if consummated on end. so, unless you want to wallow in misery and a have a good cry for a couple of minutes (i swear we won’t mention it the next day), then i’d say cut the sorry-tunes.
2 obsessing over smp.
ofc, a little wedding planning know-how comes in handy now and again, say, if your bestie is getting married? which is, indeed a very happy occasion! but the many vows and vids and stuff…? no-no.
3 baking cake for no particular reason – and no one in particular (but you). because it makes you aware of just how alone you are. because that cake is really big, and you, you are alone. so the only way out is to eat it on your own. there are better scenarios.
4 turning on facebook (or any other, really) chat. it’s very likely that by tuning into your social media chat, you will feel more lonely than ever. yes, there are a hundred potential people – friends, even – to chat with. but the instant you realise that there won’t be a ping from a message from anyone, anytime soon, you just feel pathetic. i mean, you could always resume to writing to someone yourself, make the first move. but you most likely won’t, because of course other people are surely too busy. so you just stare at the ‘available’ or ‘ready to chat’ or the ‘green dots’ next to their names. not very likely to improve your day, to not be in touch with anyone – while you could – while eating ice cream in bed.
5 putting off stuff that needs to be done. leisurely lounging around on a sunday? pjs all day? yay, count me in, anytime! except, there is maybe always something to do. that pile of unironed clothes staring at you from the corner? yeah, you could always hide it in the cupboard. or you could just do it and enjoy blissful doing nothing afterwards, and feel even better for the achievement. carpe this effing diem, you know? note: clearly, i’m not saying i’m ever following this rule… i’m really good at just sitting on my couch being lazy… like… just this little nap before i’m off to bed… haha. yeah, whatevs, right?
6 not working out. the list of excuses i’ve used to not have to make myself work out, honestly, it’s impressive. i should get the nobel price for my lifetime achievement of sugarcoating being lazy. starting from “all my work out gear is dirty” to “it might start to rain, i can already see a cloud” to “i should really tend to my pedi before showing off my feet on the mat”. i’m a good one for excuses, too (i have so many hidden talents, does it make your head spin already…?). no honestly man, if you don’t want to feel doubly miserable (i mean, kind of on a meta level), don’t go running! because like that you can feel bad for being lazy, too. comes as a bonus.
7 putting yourself on a diet. i’m not saying “eat the whole pack of oreos all by yourself” (and by the way the crumbs are sooo annoying in bed), i’m just saying the whole fruitarian and green juice only is not good for your hormones. oh, and speaking about hormones…
8 forgetting you are pre- or post-ms-y (note: clearly this one is for the girls, only, although i’m not saying boys don’t act weird on various occasions, too, and they don’t even have an explanation, either, ahem). you start to cry because today’s news about the cat who’s missing is just so sad? someone deliberately squeezed in before you in a queue (and that specific person wasn’t half deaf and 80 years older than you)? someone stood on your toes on the bar, without saying sorry? chances are you’re just annoyed. other chances are, you’re pre- or post-ms-y. which is totally okay, you just need to face it, as suddenly everything makes (kind of) sense, again when you can link the ‘evil’ that’s happening to the state of your hormones…
9 thinking on the spot. if we all thought positive all the time, we wouldn’t read this post today, would we now. there are moments when we are just prone to lack faith in the good and a vision for better days. but improvement is, mostly, around the corner. if we remain stuck in our miserable situation, our thoughts evolving only around the “problem”, and not move on (as at the beginning, it’s just our thoughts that drive us forward), then we will be stuck forever.
10 buying expensive beauty products hoping that they will make you more attractive. expensive beauty products are mainly one thing: expensive. they are more likely to tear a hole into your bank account than actually really turn around the way you look. i’m sorry, does this come as a shock to you? yeah, i know, me too. confession: whenever i buy beauty products, it’s a sure indicator i’m feeling blue… d’uh, i’m just hopelessly prone to marketing blah.
11 refusing to laugh because of wrinkles. i’ve met people who are too serious and professional all the time to laugh with their bellies and eyes. i believe in laughing out loud, however much your laughter is inappropriate, overpowering or too loud. i’d say give it a go any time you can. when you laugh with all your cells, even if you maybe don’t feel like it, your mind will follow and your spirits will rise. side effect: yes, it does probably come with wrinkles. so be it. also, if you can make fun of yourself, always make fun of yourself.
12 keeping stuff to yourself. sharing is caring, remember that one? so if you worry about something, if you are having a bad day, share it with your peeps! know that you can always rely on good friends to listen to you and do their best they can to cheer you up.
13 avoiding oxygen. oh, my mom would love that one; as she’s always one for the ‘go get some fresh air, kid” exclamation! but it’s true: oxygen makes your brain work better. or whatever, it’s just somehow good for you. avoid the outsides if you love your misery. shut your windows! hide under a blanket! that’s right. also, proceed with point 6 (actually, point 6 and 13 can very well be combined).
14 coming up with excuses to date. of course, if you’re single, the single best way to stay forever in singledom is not to date. you could maybe make yourself believe that you actually like to be single. or that you don’t have the time to date. or that you are better off with your netflix and your teddy bear. i’ve seen all the excuses and i’ve used most of them myself, that’s why i can see an excuse to date from miles away… of course, if you only ever enjoy your own company and never put yourself out there, risk of being hurt are minimized. congratulations on turning 90 without ever having your heart broken! well done, you!
15 ignoring your gut feeling – and sailing around potential risks. do i really have to tell you about how the brain can trick the guts, successfully, very often? we’re all very rational human beings. when was the last time we did something crazy? you want to reach out and call the cute guy from last night – even though there are a million obvious reasons why you probably shouldn’t? well, if you don’t do it, you’ll never really know what could have happened, afterwards. and it’s always worse to have regrets about the things that you didn’t do, than about the things you did do (wise words, me, you can thank me later).
16 being passionate about nothing. passion might have killed some of the really brilliant ones. like maybe marylin monroe. do you think it’s a reason to steer clear of passion altogether? passion makes us break out of a rut, get inspired, find new energy. it’s the source of life, for me. so whenever i feel miserable, i would just sit there, ignore my camera, my kitchen and my computer and not blog. and it wouldn’t make me feel better. it’s submerging myself in things, ideas and projects – however insignificant for your life in general – that eventually gets me out of whatever hole i’m currently in and forget about whatever black cloud is looming over me. roll your sleeves back and do something! day dreaming is healthy.
17 collecting occasions on which people and life have been unfair to you. so, do you remember how nobody is perfect? certainly not me; and so i’ve definitely wronged a plethora of people in my life… and vice versa, oh, i’ve been wronged so many times. it’s okay to reflect a bit over the unfairness of it all, of people and things in life in general, but to hold grudges will only slow you down. let alone kill your inner goddess (namaste, rené my yogi teacher, i’ve been inspired by you to write this today). learn to forgive, even though maybe the other shithead doesn’t deserve it. learn not to focus on the things that others have and you don’t, but on the things that you have. a very smart (and admittedly severely damaged, but that’s another story) mentor of mine once said that we need to track down our ‘unfinished circles’ in life; stories, where we didn’t come clear with people or things, and make them better. so that we can go into a brighter future. it’s
a bit esoteric, really. but the essence of it is just so right: forgive yourself and forgive others. and move the heck on.
18 wanting people to like you. now who doesn’t want to be loved? i’m certainly not the one who can raise my hand, here. i like to be part of a crowd. i’m comfy around people who ‘get me’, and miserable when people misunderstand me. it’s good to sort of adopt a way to be more indifferent towards what people think of you. only by not really caring can we really find ourselves and be free.
19 letting the dirty dishes pile up in the sink. since i’m a rather orderly person (going towards obsessive cleaning disorder), i don’t like it when my dishes are piling up in the sink. or when my bed is undone, come to think of it. for me, it’s always kind of sign of defeat. that life just brought me down and that i gave in to whatever bad day i was having. so, however bad i’m feeling, i like to just get the dirty dishes done, clean everything up. you can always wallow in misery later, and, as mentioned in point 5, and the misery will feel so much butter with the dishes done, because now you can see to it without any distractions.
20 beeing all scrooch-y or grinch-y about the supernatural. i like sad endings! – said no one ever. because everyone needs a little romance, a little childish dreaming, a hint of fairytale and some good measure of the magic “everything is possible”. life is tough enough as it is, don’t skip the romance just because it’s uncool. seriously, give your significant other a long kiss this instant, if you can, because there is seriously nothing better to hold on to in life than each other. no one likes a spoil-sport, you know! so, perhaps celebrate christmas like there is no tomorrow! go find the tooth fairy with your nephews! believe in as many unicorns as you might find suitable. find a way to induce some magic into your everyday life, and let others partake. be it with a killer hot chocolate that only you master or a surprise gift for a friend who wouldn’t expect it. simple, random acts of kindness make living together this much more bearable and fun, even. embrace the supernatural, the unicorns and the sparks.
of course, because i’m positive and sunny-minded like anyone else, i promise to come up with a couple of ways to really make your day better, formulated the other way around, i.e. from the eternally positivist’s perspective. different technique – same effect. this will be so fun! okay? nod your optimists’ heads and shout hooray! now put on some lipstick and enjoy your weekends and this bloody beautiful and brand new november**, peeps.
* harry potter, for those of you who aren’t in the know. is fine if you don’t know your harry, muggle! of course we can still be friends, silly. not.
** talking of which: did you see my new blog header? mistle toes! it’s the winter edition. can never have enough mistle toes – or kisses underneath, hmm… keep the romance coming.