Note No. 42

January 8, 2010

I just want to write something really fluffy, like how much I love iced mochas. They’re so creamy and sweet and they make you feel happy, and they have vitamins in them, if you use the powdered chocolate that has vitamins in it, and then there was also a study done recently about the heart benefits of powdered chocolate, which you can choose to believe, if it helps. (Just don’t get the powder sweetened with aspartame. Please.)

And then, if you live in a warm climate, like I do, an iced mocha in the middle of the day is better than, well, so many things.

OK. I know. Enough about iced mochas. It’s just that it’s been a few days since my last post and I am trying to get better about self-discipline in the realm of writing, because that’s what I want to do; right? And that means I should be posting every few days, if not daily, but I am having a focus problem today.

And yesterday.

And maybe tomorrow.

I’m exhausted, for one. Part of it could be that I just got off the phone from having a two-hour chat with my sister, which was great, but I think we wear each other out from laughing alone.

And I think it might also be because I am doing this thing called Trying to Be a Better Person, and it’s hard work. I am not even sure I am doing it right. It involves things like NOT relating your personal experience to whatever someone is telling you, which I am so bad at doing and did not even realize how bad I am at doing until very recently — as in: 24 hours ago.

But my new hero, Stephen R. Covey, is talking about this concept of empathic listening, which means you COMPLETELY focus on what the person is saying (and not how that VERY thing happened to YOU, TOO). You reflect on their feelings and you rephrase what they have said, so that they feel understood, and you do not advise, counsel, analyze, agree, disagree, question, fix — none of that. You just let them speak and have their moment.

So, that’s really got me thinking, because how many of us don’t want to go, “I know what you MEAN” when someone says something, like, “I love iced mochas.” It’s not a thing of detracting from that person’s feelings; rather, it seems a way to show that you are alike in this certain way.
But it’s actually annoying. And demeaning. And we should not do that. And by “we” I mean “I.”

The right thing to say would be something along the lines of: “So I am sensing you like iced mochas. Why is that?”

I am also tiring myself out pondering happiness, and not because I am unhappy, but because one of my favorite blog authors talks a lot about it —is seriously dedicated to it, in fact. So I followed one of her hyperlinks, which went to the Happiness Institüte (I don’t understand their use of the umlaut), where you find all kinds of advice that is SO helpful, like a Daily Happiness Checklist, but I am already way behind on that one today, not to mention my everyday To Do list that just won’t quit.

I know. We all have To Do lists that just won’t quit. There is this one item on mine right now, though. It’s been there all week and it won’t go away. If I did it, it would go away, but I have not done it yet, because I am dreading doing it, but tomorrow is Saturday and I have to do it before the end of tomorrow, because I REALLY don’t want to see it on next week’s To Do list, so I think I might have to do it soon. Really soon. I don’t want to, though. (The Happiness Institüte does not accept unhelpful, negative thoughts.)

Oh, and I got up at 5am. I am on this 5am kick right now, because it’s great for getting stuff done, but it does not work so well when you go to bed at midnight, as I did last night, because I had coffee at the end of dinner, which started that vicious cycle where you don’t get enough sleep (The Happiness Institüte also advocates getting enough sleep) and you feed the deprivation with coffee, like, all day long.

Which brings me back to iced mochas. God, I love them.

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