On the elevator this morning, a man I see all the time but have never spoken to asked me why I was so cheery. Apparently, I had wished him a hearty, cheery, happy good morning and it had shocked him into speech.
I’m pushing back against despair, I found myself saying in a cheery voice, even though it’s never really a good idea to say things like that to total strangers, because it makes them think you’re a weirdo. It’s true, though. Another thing that’s true is that the more miserable I am, the cheerier I get. Oddly, and wonderfully, this man did not push the emergency button and jump out of the elevator. Instead, he lifted his hand in that high five gesture you don’t see very often around the court where I work. We slapped palms, compatriots in the battle against winter despair. Now that’s something I can say with absolute certainty I’ve never, ever done in an elevator before. But it made me feel better (and my next greeting wasn’t quite so scarily cheery.) I am not alone in working hard this January to push back despair.
Really, don’t you think January can be such an awful month? There’s so much RAIN around here, and all the warmth and good food of December has come to an end and things just seem so much colder and grimmer than they usually do. What to do?
Look around you, I think. It’s time for one of those beauty-in-small-things assessments. I suppose in a pinch, I could try alcohol, but that’s frowned on around my office even more than high fiving in the elevator. So, today, I photographed things in my office that make me feel okay — peaceful even. Settled. And this made me like my life a little bit more than I did when I walked in the door that morning and even kept me from weeping when it started to rain… again… and hard … right around lunchtime.
These women never, ever moaned about the rain.
Pretty soon, it’ll be spring.