Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's wrong with this picture?

We took company this weekend to the iconic Red Rocks.  How could I not see the hand in this otherwise well composed photo?  My daughter certainly didn't get her photography genes from me.

Another view of the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just west of Denver, where every well known music act has played, including the Beatles, Grateful Dead, U2, etc. You can see downtown Denver in the distance.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How I've Spent My Summer

I'm feeling guilty that I've neglected my blog for so long.  The purpose of the blog from the beginning was to keep in touch with friends and let them know what I'm doing and thinking, in the hope that I would consequently hear from them as well, as I often do. So I feel obligated to tell you that I haven't done a whole lot since I last wrote here but I want to say hello anyway.

It's been a hotter summer in Denver than I would have guessed.  Most days, it's in the mid-90s and that's been a surprise to me.  The evenings and mornings are cooler, and the air is dry, but it's still pretty darn hot.  So I've spent a lot of time in my apartment, not being super-productive.  I've read a lot and wasted an incredible amount of time looking out the window.  Except for our short stint on 83rd Street in NYC, where I watched incredulously as otherwise normal looking people would pee right in front of our building, I haven't really lived anywhere before where there is so much to look at. We have the long view of the Front Range that's pretty, but not as fascinating as watching people close up as they go about their day to day lives.  Added to this mix is a hotel being built across the street.  It's part of a school for hotel administration, and we've watched its progress since they started digging a hole there in January.  So, while  I'm not proud of this, I get high marks in time wasting as I gaze out on Denver.

I do leave the apartment occasionally - I've been going to my trainer a/k/a Killer regularly two times a week, and I've been volunteering at a women's day shelter tutoring for the GED.  

But I digress.  What I really wanted to write about today was a revelation that I had a few weeks ago.  I realized that I had a sizable chip on my shoulder as a result of leaving my nice life in Atlanta and being dropped in a new place.  Anyone that knows me well has probably heard me say "you have to like where you are because that's where you are."  Alas, I was not practicing what I preached.  This called for drastic measures, and I prescribed a mood makeover for myself.

The mood makeover is still in progress but seems to be moving along at a good pace. I just started being nicer, smiling more and generally trying to be happier. I was surprised by how easy this actually was.  Of course, there are setbacks when my car wouldn't start, the stock market crashed and then crashed again and then crashed yet again, or when there was a leak in the apartment below us and three holes had to be cut into our bedroom wall to find and repair the leak coming from above.  Hey, I'm only human;  I can't be in a good mood all of the time.

It's no coincidence that after I was well into the mood makeover, I started reading a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I haven't gotten far enough into the book to be able to pass judgment on whether it is worthwhile or not.  I promise to write a book report of sorts here when I've completed the book.  But I am interested in the idea of actively trying to be happier and whether it works.  After all, isn't being happy everyone's goal?  Isn't that what we say we want for our children and those we love?  And if there's a way to boost my personal happiness quotient, then I definitely want to do that.  The author quotes Aristotle:  "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."  Can I argue with Aristotle?  Definitely not.

So I will report back soon on this book and my own happiness project.  In the meantime, don't worry - be happy.