Happiness: Everyday Magic, Day 245

The cold front powered through, the abnormal summer weather gave way to true spring, and the days of persistent sinus/ear/whatever pain in my head dissolved away. Thanks to the weather and some very strong antibiotic, I’m back in the saddle again and riding (virtually at least) through a beautiful day: big, bright clear sky, and temperatures in the 50s promising to cross over 60 later.

The late great poet Jane Kenyon once wrote:

There’s no accounting for happiness
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

But I think there is some accounting for it at times that has to do with the end of suffering, discomfort, confusion or trauma (although it’s possible to find happiness even in moments of ditzy and exhausted pain). There’s the happiness of release and arrival, the happiness of connection and freedom, the happiness of seeing again after being distracted for a long time, the happiness of coming home to some semblance of balance. For any and all of this, I am grateful and also amazed.

The Problem With Hugging Too Many People While Exhausted (and Why I Can't Get Over It): Everyday Magic, Day 239

We all have our achilles heel, and here’s mine: I tend to get sick easily after exhausting myself, particularly when organizing any big events. It’s gotten to the point where I actually try to plan down time after such events so I can lie in bed, mildly hallucinating, and berating myself for doing too much. In the happy event, I don’t get sick, there’s delights, yoga, friends and other amusements to celebrate.

This time the “don’t get sick” option didn’t fly, and so here I am in my pajamas sick as a dog. I realize as I wait for the bath to fill that one of the reasons I seem to pick up little viruses so easily when run down isn’t just because I’m run down. It’s because at such big events, I hug many people….. repeatedly. I hug old friends. I hug strangers. I hug new acquaintances. I hug presenters who arrive travel-weary and blown away to be in Kansas. I hug my husband. I hug my cat. I hug people in parking lots, entry ways, auditoriums, galleries and grocery stores.

I could hang back, wear a little white mask, lean away when others lean forward, but what would be the point? Sometimes there’s just no cure for happiness and that yearning to connect no matter what invisible travelers pass from someone else to my happy but too-tired-to-fight immune system. So a few days after, when the who-knows-what stomach-sinus-head dealie lands, I lay low. And I don’t regret a single hug.