Someone recently sent me this article on the everyday moments that somehow make us feel like Enlightened, SuperPower Bad Ass People, without necessarily deserving that title. “Sounds like us”, said my friend. Number one on the list? Going to yoga. Now, I know that yoga is no act of esteemed heroicism. I’m not curing Type 2 Diabetes, even if I’m standing sturdy in Warrior 2 pose. Who do I think I am, Gwenyth Paltrow? Taking the subway in lieu of a cab isn’t saving anything besides the money I’m going to spend on brunch tomorrow. But I still feel completely awesome after wrapping up a sweat fueled Vinyasa session. Awesome enough to congratulate myself with a slice of cheese pizza on my walk home. That’s the whole point, right? No? Whatever.
So maybe the things we pride ourselves on aren’t always going to earn us the praise of our peers or the world, like getting a promotion would, or finding a really nice person to marry. But not every “Go-Me” moment needs to have a Hallmark card to make it worthy. Because there’s probably a SomeEcards, at least. If not, I’ll handmade you one myself. Because I am that awesome, and yes, I’m proud of it.
Putting together IKEA furniture
I don’t care what you have to say about the simple design of the Swedish furniture chain, so simple in fact, polar bear cubs can probably do it. All I know is that I started with 16 plastic bags, dozens of nameless metal thingies, and five wooden boards and now I have a beautiful bookshelf to look at from my favorite reading chair. Mission impossible? I don’t think so. And no, I didn’t build this. Build-shmild. I gave it life. And I knocked off a whole bottle of burgundy in the process.
Telling someone you no longer want to see them…in person
Giving a date the old release in person probably shouldn’t be commendable. But text or email break-offs – or just plain dead silence – have become such a common feature of modern dating that I’m actually amazed anytime someone makes the plunge and says it to my face. You probably know when you can get away with the classic drop off and when one of those tell-tale “let’s-meet-for-coffee” dates is more appropriate. The last time I did this with a guy I was seeing, he was totally appreciative. I left in such a good mood and wound up chatting up a guy on the subway, who I ended up going out with for a few weeks. That ended, eventually, with a text from him, telling me he started seeing his ex-girlfriend again. I didn’t really want to see his face anyway.
Leaving a party without a manufactured or elaborate excuse
When a party sucks, you want to leave. But trying to leave a party that sucks kind of sucks even worse. Because if you know the party sucks, then everybody knows the party sucks. And the host is probably somewhat aware of the fact that at least half of her guests are trying to leave. That’s when excuses will stick out like pig roast at a vegan potluck. The best solution if you’re set on leaving is to bow out graciously. Thank the host, collect your severance and ship out. She doesn’t need to hear from one more person who “suddenly feels like shit”. And you don’t need to drag out your stomach flu excuse by missing out on brunch the next day, for fear of running into her.
Not responding to snark
Because I write on the Internet, I’m intimately aware of the ways in which people like to bait the tempers of complete strangers. But it happens everywhere. At work, a sarcastic remark or a snide comment a friend makes over drinks. Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me, maybe it’s a higher belief in the High Road, but I think it’s just plain smart to ignore mean-spirited, degrading, or Grade C standard snark. And the less I care, the better I feel, giving other people more opportunities to hate. People hate positivity! Good for me, good for them. See how well this works?