For the new year, a list of seven certainties:
Runners are happy people. Look at photos from start lines at races. With the exception of the really serious, competitive people at the front (they’re wearing determined game faces), people are smiling, chatting, laughing. Ask someone who’s finished a race they didn’t think they could finish – an Iron Man, a marathon, a half; they may have thrown up or passed out upon finishing, but they’ve never regretted their decision to run it.
Sunshine makes you high. It does! Think of the best days in your childhood, the best days in your children’s lives, the most lovely unexpected days in the dead of winter or the giddiest ones at the dawn of spring. You were outside. You ran through a sprinkler or were soaked by the Flume Zoom. Your brother drove the boat and your daughter learned to ski. You wore flip-flops in December. You skipped every class that day.
You’re never alone. You may be single. Not married. Divorced. Widowed. Look around you, though. People want to hang out with you, learn from you, tell you their stories, love you. Pick up the phone. Call your friends, your mom, your neighbor, the colleague who loves scotch as much as you do. Buy yourself a gorgeous dress and take yourself out. The world is your date!
Yes is better than no. It takes more mental energy to figure out reasons not to do things than physical energy to actually do them. If you think someone else’s idea might not be worth your investment, find a way to simplify the concept. A time will come when that person will return the favor for you.
Children pay attention. They’re watching us when we think they’re watching TV. They’re listening from the backseat when we think they’re asleep. They’re waiting for us to tell them things they already know (Santa Claus, sex), because they instinctively know that’s our role. They want a parent.
Music alters moods. It can make you sentimental, emotional, determined, amorous. It can make you want to start a riot, end a riot, long for summer, wish for Christmas, text your ex, call your grandmother, kiss a hot guy against a wall, throw your heels across the dance floor. If you’re feeling one way and would prefer to feel another, change the soundtrack.
God exists. Construct your own paradigm here, and develop your own faith. But know there’s something larger than you. Whether it’s mankind’s collective wisdom, science’s unsolved mysteries, a creator with supreme ingenuity and flawless love – or ALL of those things – or all of those and even more! – know there is infinite magic, wisdom and beauty in the universe. If nothing else gives you perspective and joy, let that do it.