There is no duty we so underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
So let's delve into my bag of tricks (or Happy Notebook, as it were) and see what we come up with this week, shall we?
1. tree branches covered with ice
2. finally getting the courage to start a conversation with that cute Spanish guy you followed halfway across Salamanca
3. a down-to-the-wire sporting event [not unlike Monday's Patriots-Ravens game, even if it did turn out the wrong way]
4. winning a game of Scrabble against your grandma for the first time [my grandma is a serious Scrabble player, and she does not go in for any of that let-them-win-because-they're-kids stuff, so the first time I won, it was a big deal]
5. singing a duet in a big concert with your best friend
6. Polaroid cameras
7. changing leaves against a bright blue sky
8. auctions [I don't know about where you live, but in Central PA where my parents live, auctions are prime people-watching venues, and you've never seen people spend so much money on a basket in your life]
9. Grand Central Station
What else is new? Well, my boss just announced today that I and each of my co-workers get a day off every week for the rest of the year, including this week, so that's pretty cool. We're calling it "a day on which you report to work elsewhere, and your assignments are at your discretion" because he can't really give us the day off, but he still wants to reward us for our kick-ass productivity. It's code. Shhh. Of course, I'm the juniorest of all my co-workers, so I got last dibs on the days I wanted, and it's kind of annoying to have off on a Tuesday or a Thursday because you can't make a long weekend out of it, but I'll take it.
Sunday, I've been invited to my boss's house for brunch, and according to his latest email, "this would be the perfect time to have our annual round-robin gift exchange." Good holy god, I hate those things. If this is one of those White Elephant things where you pick a gift and open it, then the next person can either pick an unwrapped gift or steal the gift you already opened, I might cry. No matter what I buy, I always feel I've contributed the inferior gift, and I hate the "stealing" part of the whole thing; it makes me uncomfortable. I'd so much rather pull a name from a hat and just buy for that person. So, the limit is $20, and there are 6 of us participating - 4 women (including myself), ranging in age from 26 to 50, and two men, one who's 25 and the other (my boss) who's in his late 50s. What the hell do I buy? I'm thinking wine glasses from Pier One. Any other ideas?
Speaking of Christmas, I still have not started shopping, so that's kind of stressing me out. I have multiple items in my Amazon shopping cart, I just haven't pulled the trigger and purchased them yet because some people (who probably don't even read this) haven't bothered to send me Christmas lists, so I can't be sure if I've chosen wisely or not. In years past, I've been finished by now and on to wrapping them, but since I have to work for a living these days, the time seems to have evaporated much more quickly than I anticipated. Anyone else not finished or not started yet? Make me feel better by commenting, please.
I went down to Richmond this weekend to see my niece and nephew (and my brother and sister-in-law, but who am I kidding? Bring on the babies). I'll tell you what, there's nothing like spending time with people under 5 to make you forget your troubles, that's for sure. I laughed more on Saturday with the two of them than I probably have in the past month at home. I adore them beyond all reason, and just as soon as I come up with fake names for them, you can be sure I'll bore you to tears with tales of thier abundant cuteness.