Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Schadenfreude, I mean Gratitude, Journal

Okay, I didn't have to go downtown today, so I'm writing in my blog and watching Oprah at the same time.

She's got a bunch of personal growth babes on the program who are talking about how your thoughts determine your happiness.  Think happy, be happy. Stop thinking about how fat, ugly, stupid, old, lonely, wrinkled, horny, whatever you are, and love yourself. Look in the mirror and say, Self, I love you. Yes, these women -- and Oprah , too -- are actually telling us to do these things. One of them wrote a book 25 years ago called You Can Heal Your Life. I'd settle for something to reverse the crease in my smile lines. I had originally said, "FROWN" lines, but that was too negative. I can think happy.

One of the ladies just said, "Consciousness brings matter into being." What do you mean lady? Be alert and you'll notice stuff?

Let's not forget to invoke The Secret, the bible of personal growth these days. The whole Law of Attraction thing. Your thoughts create your reality. Right now I'm thinking I'd be attracted to something to eat.

Does this theory mean that somehow I'm attracting all these weird neighbors? Actually, I have been wishing that their ugly houses wouldn't sell -- to spite the people who built them. Apparently that's working pretty well. Two of them are still waiting, waiting, waiting.

Oprah just mentioned that she keeps a gratitude journal. She writes down everything she's grateful for every day.

I tried that once. I found myself writing things like: I'm grateful that things aren't worse. I'm grateful that the jerk I'm working with didn't piss me off today. I kept dwelling on stuff that was wrong. And very little seemed right, so I stopped trying to be grateful, because it was grating on me.

In fact, on reflection, since I'm clearly too cynical to embrace happy thinking, I believe my personal philosophy leans toward schadenfreude -- the wonderful, uniquely Germanic trait of enjoying the misfortune of others. Apparently that's my peculiar kind of happiness.

For instance, yesterday I had some free time during a video edit so I was Googling. I heard that a guy I knew was being divorced by his second wife, his third relationship. This was something I had predicted, gleefully, since the day five years ago, when I heard she was pregnant with their first kid and he was dragging his feet about marriage. In the midst of my Google, I suddenly wondered about one of his former girlfriends. What was she up to, since her whole goal seemed to be marrying rich?

I found an effusive article about a Hall of Fame award she'd won for her twenty-five years of devoted service to her high school, her church and the wealthy community she lived in. Her list of accomplishments and many board positions went on and on and on. We had been friends for a short time years ago, but, even then, I thought she was a social climber, and not the best mom in the world.

Delightfully, there was another, better Google mention that listed the local paper of the town next to mine. Muffy [not her real name], who now lives in the fanciest suburb along the lake with her new doctor hubby, had been arrested for retail theft. That's code for shoplifter! The article listed her full name, age, complete address, the name of the store, and what she walked out with.

I was joyful. Not that I should be throwing stones, given my checkered past. But, I could not contain my glee at her come-uppance. 

I guess the village trustees won't be asking her to serve on the Fourth of July commission this year. And all those fashion shows and luncheons she plans won't be needing her any time soon.

Her little escapade made me wonder if some of the stuff she'd given me when we were friends hadn't been heisted. After all, you don't start shoplifting for the first time in your late forties. That's a lifelong habit.

She just finally got caught.

Out-f**king-standing. I am a happy camper today.


salemslot9 said...

it is funny that she got busted
I think all the negativity in my life
has caught up with me
feeling a bit fragile
now more than ever
after losing our kitty
I do want to be positive
but, not annoying

salemslot9 said...

Oprah's gratitude journal is probably her bank book
(is that too negative?)

thisismary said...

You are correct Mrs. L, thinking happy doesn't accomplish a thing. Oprah and the thought valium contingent have it wrong.

There was going to be some deep insight here, I have the context but not the words.  Fabiola would know how to say it.  I might talk her into working on it today, and linking to this excellent post.  

swibirun said...

She didn't steal that stuff, it was just attracted to her.  Her consciousness brought it in to her purse, that is.

Have a great weekend!