Thursday, January 01, 2009

An Experiment: Happiness and the Audacity of Yes

Happy new year and welcome to my third annual January post-a-day blogstravaganza! This year the rules are a little different. Over the course of 2008, the rain cloud left my parade and there was a subtle but steady shift for the better in the martinasphere. Goodbye depression of early 2007, hello contentment! I did some good things in 2008 – experimented with vegetarianism (which has evolved into an about 80% vegetarian diet), lost a little weight, started playing violin again, went to the theater more often, stuck up for myself when being bullied (don’t mess with me, I will cut you or at least think NOTHING of passive-aggressively giving you the stink eye when I think you’re not looking, because that is just the kind of badass I am!), helped friends start an independent press, gave up diet soda AND caffeine, and did a lot of reevaluating of what was important to me.

This last piece has become especially significant since September, when my mom passed out when her heart stopped while lunching downtown at Todai and ended up in the hospital for a number of days. Thanks to a new pacemaker, she is better now, but it was scary to go from pushing out of my mind that she is getting older to actively worrying that I would soon be an aging, fat orphan. My mom was always the cool mom all the other kids liked. She has been my best friend since I was young. We always had that kind of relationship, and, I tell you, it was surreal to be sitting in a hospital waiting room all by myself, worrying about her. All the other times, she was there with me and we worried together. It was only thanks to friends (one in particular who called or texted just about once an hour when he wasn’t physically present, but they were all great!) that I didn’t lose my mind.

It was after that incident that there arose in me a discontent with just feeling content. I will be hitting one of the big “0” milestone birthdays this year. While I’m not exactly depressed, I am not thrilled about it either. Life is too short to just feel okay about things. “Good enough” is for suckers! So, I (again) began thinking about how I could develop my own happiness and live the kind of life I want to live. No one else is going to do it for me. So many times we push off doing things we want to do out of fear. You do that often enough and suddenly your dreams have become side tracked and you’re sitting in a boring, uncreative environment jealously pining for the lives of others.

For me, the unavoidable conclusion is that a lot of it is a matter of having the balls to say yes – yes to life, yes to opportunity and yes to ourselves. So, I’ve decided to spend the coming months looking for experiences, things and ideas that better quality life. They may be large. They may be small. They may be old. They may be new. Whatever they are, I will seek them out and post about them. Hopefully, you’ll find in them some things to enjoy as well. If you have any to suggest, please feel free to share.

The primary and only rule is that posts must be used for or to share good (unless, of course, bad is too funny to not share or gets its ass kicked by good). No complaining, fretting or obsessing of any kind (that is, after all, why we have personal journals and long suffering friends who have become adept at rolling their eyes any time our mouths open). As always, any other rules will be made up or discarded as I go along, because if there’s one thing that is NOT conducive to happiness, it is an unbending rule. Rules should be soft and pliant, like the willow that survives by bending in the wind.


Jen said...

Right on!

(I like your blog redesign!)

Martina said...

Thanks, man! The original version had some ugly orange and neon green shit up at the top, but once covered with your awesome collage, I thought it all blended pretty well together.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your mom is ok now... scary!!!


Martina said...

Thanks, Sonya - I am SO happy that she is doing better. I hope you and all your peeps are doing well.