Oh, I know I have friends who will roll their eyes at this.
“Hunt the good stuff? PUH-LEASE. Like I’m some fucking bluebird of happiness, acting like nothing is ever wrong in my life…”
Uh…that’s not exactly what “hunting the good stuff” is all about. It’s not about pretending to be oblivious to the bumps and stumbles along the way. It’s not about pretending that it doesn’t suck when the only thing your brain wants to do today is try to kill you. It’s not about avoiding the Chicken of Depression entirely.
It’s about mitigation.
It’s about overcoming the negativity bias that can affect our health, our relationships, everything that keeps us stable and upright in the middle of the crap life seems to want to throw at us. It’s finding the little good things, the bits of life that make you smile, make you think that maybe it’s not all going to hell in a handbasket and acknowledging those things, instead of giving SO much damn room to the weasels clawing and biting at the morsels of happiness we’ve gathered up.
I first learned about hunting the good stuff when John was going through Master Resilience Training. It’s a fantastic program, aimed at helping servicemembers and their families weather the ups and down of military life, and frankly, life in general. There are sections on goal setting and conflict resolution and a ton of useful things but John’s a MUCH better person to speak on those things than I am.
I get right with the idea of hunting the good stuff. I post on Twitter, hashtagging the hell out of a bunch of cool things. Then, I fall off the wagon, and I forget to recognize those bits of joy in the middle of the dark, and when I do stop seeing them, EVENTUALLY I realize I miss the bright little candles in the dark, lighting my way up the slope, out of The Pit. Even if they only light my way a tiny bit up and out, it’s still a little bit closer to the top than I was, and maybe, one of these days, I’ll get out of The Pit.
(Trust me, when that happens? Oh man, I’m going to stand on the side and nuke those fucking brain weasels into glass, I tell you what…)
So, with that said, I’m going to hunt the good stuff a bit today and share what’s making me smile.
1- I found out Jimmy John’s delivers to my new office! HOLY SHIT, y’all! That means that when I forget my lunch, I can still eat low-carb and it’s GOOD!
2- John is amazing. He’s going grocery shopping because he has the day off and I don’t. It’s not a huge surprise, because he’s kind of awesome like that but still…it’s SO NICE to know that I won’t have to go tonight when I get home.
3- I am really happy with how I look today. I am not wearing a hugely fancy wrap, or a stunning dress. My make up is pretty standard but I have a sparkly headband on and I feel good. I feel pretty and happy and like I’m in a good space today.
Those thoughts help balance out the sucktacular stuff that’s looking on the horizon and I’ll take the help any time.