Growing up, we used to play a game as we carpooled to school – a minivan full of crabby, tired, overachieving kids summoning up the energy to make it through another day (and that’s a topic for a whole different posting…more on that later). I’m guessing the view from the driver’s seat was a bit more optimistic – looking forward to dropping off her wardens for a couple hours free from whining and chauffeuring and bickering children (“Be nice to your brother – One day you’ll be best friends!”) So at 7:30 am, we used to pay a game – who could spot the person doing the most ridiculous thing in their car – while making sure we stayed far away from them as doing ridiculous things usually didn’t lend itself to conscientious driving.
Some of the prize winners:
1. tweezing eyebrows
3. singing loudly while dancing
4. changing pants (this really takes some skill and flexibility if you are the driver...)
Today, on my way to an interview, I saw one that wins the gold medal…a guy lifting hand weights, doing bicep curls, and all of the other arm muscle exercises that I would know the name of if I actually ventured to a gym ever. But the most entertaining part to me was that the guy kept glancing around him as if to say “I know, I know, I’m being ridiculous…please stop looking at me”. Then again, it’s LA – perhaps the subliminal message was “Look at me and how studly I am” – sorry sir, but if that’s you’re goal, you are failing miserably.
Sometimes it amazes me how my outlook on life can change in just hours or minutes…
Outlook last night (and why does every thing seem worse at night??): I am going nowhere, I have no possibilities of ever earning enough money to buy toilet paper, let alone support myself. I am delusional thinking I should try being a writer, I will never succeed, I think I’ll go eat worms…
Outlook after bicep man: It’s such a beautiful sunny day in California. How lucky I am to live so close to the beach. I just feel happy for no good reason, it’s a great day to be alive. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands! Clap, clap.
Ideally, I would like to be able to channel this naive optimism, or at least learn how to spread it over a day instead of experiencing it in short bursts that burn out, leaving a mess of ash at nightfall. And again, if I go around clapping my hands to myself in my car, I believe I’ll end up on a whole different kind of list…
Still, in the face of, what would be a optimistic way of putting it…, “life growth opportunities”, there’s something about those unexpected moments of joy and laughter than make me willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other, at least for another day.