365 Little Happy Moments

  • accidentally awesome research for Arthur and The Twilight Zone
  • Emails from Paloma and Judith and Diane, excited about my writing

  • Watching the Christmas movies from years past; home movies!!! (I am a ham for real though)

Last year, as graduate school ended and I faced tough decisions like stay in Canada or leave, apply for jobs in Toronto or Texas or Tennessee or Taiwan… my mom suggested that I focus on just finding three things every day that make me happy. No matter how bleak and uncertain the path ahead looked, I could find three reasons to be thankful, happy, and joyful just looking back on the past 24 hours.

Just 3 Happy Things…

It didn’t help immediately, but now a year later I’m pretty pleased to say that I have a long list of usually more than 3 positive things that happened to me or that I created for myself every single day.

  • Sent off emails and applications–getting stuff off my chest

  • spaghetti squash leftovers

  • Stanley Kubrick exhibit = artist date this week

  • really great emotional connection in somewhere never travelled rehearsal

  • finding ravine, even though I didn’t find the geocache (yet)

  • watched Little Mermaid = cure for headache (apparently)

Scrolling back through the list, it becomes harder to pinpoint when I was working a joe job and struggling or when I was script coordinating at Tarragon and loving my day-to-day experiences. They all blend together into a great big picture of what has worked this year–and what I’ll keep searching to find and manifest in the next.

I know psychologists say that we as humans have a tendency to over-remember the positive events and gloss over the negative–the valence effect. I don’t doubt that this is true as a general rule, but I do think that for those like me who live with anxiety thinking more on the positive side helps the day-to-day feel less insurmountable.

At least the unknown will most likely include some of the following:

  • sun
  • walking to get milk
  • warm tea, tv, and getting shit done on a Saturday morning
  • pancakes
  • wearing purple tights

Even the days where these were the best I could brainstorm, it’s still better than writing down and recording the blues (or mean reds), the negative email, or just-missed streetcar. It’s easy to make lists of all the negative things in the world.

But what can I make from positives?


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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