I’ve always been somewhat of a melancholy person. A cheerful person too, but often, deep underneath, are the still waters of melancholy. I’m oversensitive; I cry a lot, sometimes for reasons that don’t make a lot of sense. During my teens and early twenties, in my age of angst (which was a tad prolonged, I admit), I told myself that this was a necessary condition of being a writer, this feeling deeply. These days, I try harder not to wallow. I have different techniques for warding off the sadness – yoga, meditation, practicing gratitude and compassion, surrounding myself with people who lift me up.
When I was a child, however – maybe around 10 years old – I would find my solace in books, particularly old books, and the lessons they taught me. Books like Little Women and Seven Little Australians. (As a child, I didn’t realize that I’d fallen exactly into the trap these books had set for youngsters like me – that these were moral tales, designed precisely to instruct. If you’d told me, I doubt I would have cared. In fact, I may have even been a little proud that I’d understood the lessons imparted…but I digress).
One of these books was Pollyanna. Do you remember that story? Pollyanna, that bright, audacious little tour-de-force of a girl. Do remember the game she played? It was called The Glad Game. Every time something upset her, she reminded herself of something that made her glad. It reminds me a little of the activities I see on the blogs I read – regular posts on “Things I love” or “Making me happy” or “What I’m grateful for this week”. These are some of the most popular posts around. Pollyanna may have had it right all along.
And one thing that Pollyanna taught was that everyone can play the Glad Game. So here I am, jumping on the bandwagon. Hello 10-year-old me; it’s nice to reconnect.
This is my plan for playing the game:
10 things I’m glad for each month, 1 post per month. That’s 120 moments of happiness recorded each year. Not bad, right?
For 2012, I’ll begin with March (backdated, of course). I’ll cover 100 things this year. I’ll start it slow. I hope it will be as rewarding as I remember.