My apologies for being AWOL. The freelance transcription job that was supposed to be 15-20 hours/week has turned into working from dawn until midnight some days, which doth threaten to kill me, though I do REALLY like the job.
Secondly, today, would’ve been my mother’s 77th birthday. Sadly, she died from cancer in 2007, and I miss her every day. She was one of the sweetest women ever born, who once bought $20 worth of groceries (including a jar of peanut butter and a chocolate bar) for a homeless woman named Jo-Beth, who was living in the restroom at a public park.
When Mom handed Jo-Beth two bags of groceries, she burst into tears and was barely able to whisper, “Thank you.” How many people do you know who would actually do that? And being a bratty 16-year-old, I was a little short with Mom because her act of charity made her 30 minutes late picking me up from work at Wendy’s that afternoon.
“I’m sorry, Mom,” I said, tearing up, overwhelmed by shame, because my only reason for annoyance was that I hated sitting in that cold dining room (where the AC was always up too high) in my ugly, scratchy, polyester uniform that reeked of Ranch dressing and French fries. And I was hungry, but I’d never missed a meal ever in my life, unlike Jo-Beth.
Obviously, Mom was a good person, but she was also the most upbeat/positive person I’ve ever met. Even when she was dying, she smiled at everyone who walked into her hospital room.
That said, in honor of Mom and for other reasons I’ll get to in a moment, I’ve decided to chat about what makes me happy and what makes me SEE RED as Mom would say.
Additionally, my friends are always asking me how I deal the misery that is living with Nana, I also decided to enumerate the positives in my life…and to the particulars of that nightmare (of life with Nana), check out this post:
Anywho, the third reason I chose to compile a list was a book I stumbled upon while doing some research for a project I was working on. It’s called—The How of Happiness. When I read the description on Amazon:
I couldn’t stop laughing. SHIT! No wonder I’m so unhappy! I haven’t developed a strategy, and I don’t have the workbook!! Holy fuckballs, batman, I don’t know HOW I’ve managed to enjoy one nanosecond of my life without this BOOK! DAMN…
It’s difficult to imagine anyone plunking down $10.88 of their hard-earned cash, so that someone ELSE can dictate a formula for happiness?! I was married to a bi-polar alcoholic who treated me like shit. Did I buy a book OR draft a strategy? Yes! I left his sorry ass and didn’t looking back. There. Done. That’ll be $10.88 for all you ladies who might be in similar predicaments!
Okay, so maybe, I’m being harsh. Maybe, some people really NEED a book like that to figure out why they’re unhappy. However, this how-to manual seems like the literary version of the snake oil salesmen to me, simply a con to convince people their product is THE answer to their problem (hmmm…not unlike the answer to infection??).
My mother always said chocolate would cure whatever ails you, but nowadays, I guess, it’s incumbent upon finding a doctor who’ll over-prescribe your poison of choice until the 5-0 catches him, or over-consuming alcohol or street drugs, or last but not least buying yet another self-help bible.
That said, ahem, take note…in lieu of a strategy and a workbook, I have a list:
THINGS THAT MAKE TENACIOUS BITCH A HAPPY GIRL (NOT in order of preference):
1) Eating dinner with my husband while watching Warehouse 13, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, etc., without the soundtrack of mega SIGHS of disapproval from the antiquity known as NANA. To-wit, I say, you have a TV in YOUR room. Go watch the FOOD CHANNEL, C-Span, or Dancing with the Stars in THERE because the Tardis just broke down, and the sonic screwdriver isn’t functioning!
2) Being at the BEACH, ANY beach, anywhere in the world, as long as it’s 80 degrees-ish (Fahrenheit) where I can sit in lounge chair with a good book all DAY long. If I’m with the husband, such is double GOOD or a few friends, but alone is fine too.
3) Doing Yoga or exercising (at home) for an hour without Nana squawking over her monitor about what Paula Deen is making on TV and/or complaining about what Mrs. Obama is wearing at some political function (WHO THE f#ck cares?) and/or without odd looks from passersby (like Max’s friends) who gawk at me in horror as if waiting for my spine to snap, or LEER at me in a way that—um, well, ain’t even going there.
4) Sitting in our hot tub with a cold beer or a luscious glass of Merlot alone or with Charlie in the dark! We’ve been together 15 years, so sex would be a great perk but not required (just so you know…).
5) When my husband does the dishes when it’s actually MY TURN because he knows that my plate of chores is ready to topple over.
6) Thunderstorms—enough said, unless said storm is occurring while I’m in the hot tub~TRIPLE plus good.
7) Reading a good book that isn’t predictable, has original characters and keeps me up at night, regardless of the genre or author – OR watching the Sequel to a GREAT movie that doesn’t suck like the second TERMINATOR…:)
8) Winning another Writing Award, but I don’t have much control over that one, guess that’s because I don’t have the workbook!
9) When I’m having a bad day and unexpectedly find an adorable photo of my kids when they were little.
10) Going shopping alone or with anyone but Nana and her endless, complaining about how no one carries GOOD shoes or clothes that she likes, etc., etc., anymore…and the unrelenting insults about “fat” people, which she MUST utter within their earshot. Just what overweight people need, some 95-year-old stranger making derogatory remarks about their weight.
11) Spending Christmas/birthdays with my family–particularly sneaking off to hang out with my cousins in Indiana.
12) GIRL’S NIGHT OUT!
13) Eating an ice cream sandwich with a glass of Merlot with my cousin Shauna (and her sister and our cousin Sharona if they happen to be about)…just because.
13) Sitting alone on my coma couch late at night reading or watching MY SHOWS that my husband doesn’t like, i.e. The Good Wife.
14) Playing with my cats!
15) Putting on a pair of jeans/sweater/whatever from LAST YEAR that are now too big!
And THAT, my friends is the happy list. Stay tuned for the WHAT THE I HATE LIST…
Thanks for visiting my STOP AND SMELL THE CRAZY life…
~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies…
P.S. Happy birthday, MOM!
** For an amusing post regarding a certain clash with the police when Shauna and I were in high school, check out:http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/08/29/blog-30-%E2%80%93-an-ode-to-barboursville-and-the-days-of-yore/