Manhattan's Mandate

Reasons to Be Cheerful

If life were fair, I would be in Nante, France enjoying Utopiales. I had plane tickets, train tickets and everything. But my child care arrangements fell apart. David and I were planning to travel with our good friends Jim & Kathy Morrow. This was going to be one of those really fun deductible junkets. David got to go with Jim & Kathy and I got to stay home with the kids.

Also, there is this social problem caused by my cold. I'm having a really hard time carrying on conversations because of chest congestion. Multi-sentence utterances send me into fits of uncontrollable coughing requiring albuterol. I feel sort of OK as long as I don't talk.  But I like to talk. (Yes, I know this means that I call the doctor first thing in the morning; his office is closed on Thursdays and I know better to go to the ER unless I can wheeze for them.)

All of this having been said, I'm in a pretty good mood. I've read a whole lot about bleak depression following the election. I just don't feel it. I keep finding reasons to be cheerful, not out of sheer determination but quite spontaneously. My kids are a delight.

If life were really fair, we would all have gone to Nante and somehow childcare arrangements would magically appear in France, allowing me to attend the fine Utopiales program. I like to travel with my kids. And in my utopia, the school district would praise my decision to broaden my son's horizons by taking him along to France; but while we have one of the best public school districts in the country, that is not one of their virtues. They're really determined to keep us from accumulating "illgeal absences."

And if life were really really fair, I would currently be sipping good French wine instead of Pleasantville Red, and the French would be congratulating us on our choice of a new president.

But life isn't fair. I'm not sure whether I'm feeling cheerful because of these obstacles or in spite of them. Certainly, there are things I'd like to change about my life and the world. But it's just not getting me down.

Even without the election, under these stressful circumstances I have plenty of reasons to feel miserable. (Mommy duty, even with David home, runs more than 90 hours a week.) I guess what I'm finding out is that my basic life choices are leading me in a good direction, providing biochemical reasons to be cheerful. So I'm taking my reasons to be cheerful where I can find them really quite effortlessly.

I leave you with a quote from Winnie the Pooh (as quoted in Winnie-the-Pooh's Little Book of Wisdom):

When your house doesn't look like a house and looks like a tree that has been blown down, it's time you tried to find another one.

PS: It amuses me to tell you that the top search words for my blog at the moment are: bush and hitler, large penis, how to fix a tv, male lactation, and bush is the anti-christ. I enjoy the emergent narrative: a voter trying to adjust his TV set to escape the images of a hermaphroditic Bush/Hilter/Anti-Christ coming in through the set; a form of found poetry, I guess.