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I need to shake off the fog and reignite something that resembles a giddy-up, so I’m going to do something out of character. I’m going to actively seek out the good and blatantly ignore the rest. Fingers in ears, hum a song from The Greatest Showman and stare straight ahead. No distractions or deviations.

This is going to be a good day, damn it.

I will look on the bright side of life all day. Okay, let’s be more realistic. I’ll make it a few minutes. Let’s not go crazy. I have my limits. I don’t think it’s healthy to go straight perky, happy-go-lucky without stretching first. I might pull something unfortunate. I’ll be bedridden for days. That just won’t do.

Let’s try some baby steps and see how it goes.

Going an entire day with nothing but positivity is asking too much of myself. It’s an unrealistic goal, and you know what they say about those. They say…Uh… Something along the lines of, it’s bad. Yeah, good one. You sure showed them. Linking thoughts like a real champ, aren’t-cha.

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I think it’s obvious that absolute positivity is a monumental stretch for someone with my twisted psyche. I crack too easily. I cave in without provocation. I’m weak, weak I tell you. So, my friend, let’s set a reasonable goal, shall we? Let’s say, um, one hour of positive thinking. Yeah, that seems doable.

Especially since today has gotten off to a decent start. The wind is blowing violently, and it’s doing a marvellous job chasing the clouds away. Not the emotional kind. I’m not being abstract or artistic. I’m talking about the heavy, grey blobs in the sky that send a payload of damp and shiver.

Those clouds are being torn asunder. A wisp there, a poof here, and left behind is the gorgeous blue spring sky. It was supposed to rain all day, but there’s been a twelfth-hour reprieve. It’s cool and sunny. The air smells sweet.

Thank you, wind! I love you so much.

Who knows how long this will last? I live on the west coast of Canada, and if we’re known for anything? Yeah, it’s our rain. It’s unrelenting and bitter cold. It wakes you up with a slap across the face and a chilly nail down the spine. Shiver. Moan. Complain. Can you believe this weather? Yeah, no, right, eh. 

But spring is here! The weather is unpredictably predictable. Rain, sure that’s going to happen, or it could snow. Oo, maybe it will hail or do none of the above. It’s anyone’s guess. Good luck choosing what to wear today.

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Pro tip: Wear everything you own and just take off what you don’t need as you go. It saves time.

Today, wonders of all wonders have graced us with their presence. The wind shook the trees and scared away the rain clouds. Boo! Bub-bye. It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning. It’s a perfect moment. Oh, I wonder if the buds are blooming yet? 

If we’re going to keep this string of positive energy going, there’s only one thing I can do. It’s time to strap on the boots, leash up the dog, and see where the wind blows me. Hopefully not asunder. Ouch, I’ve never been asunder-ed (is that a word?). It sounds like it would hurt in unimaginable ways.

No! No, happy thoughts only. It’s one hour, for goodness sakes. Pull yourself together.

Sorry, where was I? Boots, leash, dog, and out the door we go. A mini adventure to renew and rejuvenate a weary mind. Mm, this sounds like a great idea, and my dog looks giddy. I’m not going to call myself a genius for coming up with this plan, but it is a brilliant one.

Onwards, to an hour of happiness.

This one hour of positivity has been a choice, not a chore. I’m choosing to walk out of the fog. To do that, I need to focus on the lighthouse. Its bright beam off in the distance is giving me direction.

Wow, the wind is really going wild. The trees bend and wave with a creaking groan. I look up at the blue sky, squinting into the sun, and watch the clouds fly by as if they’re late, late, for a very important date. If they could talk, I wonder what stories they would tell? I bet they’ve seen some things. Good and bad. Naughty and nice.

I wonder…Okay, I’ve been wondering a little too long. My dog’s tugging on the leash and huffing loudly. I’m being judged by a pint-sized ball of fur, and I’m about to be found derelict in my duties. All right, little man, I’m coming. Let’s go. 

Oh, it’s okay for you to stop and pee on every blade of grass, but I can’t stare up at the sky? Double standards aren’t a good look.

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The wind blows again, and my little guy turns his tiny face into it and grins widely. If dogs could giggle, he’d be squealing his little head off like a toddler discovering the joys of gooey slime. His whole body vibrates with pure happiness. He loves the wind as much as I love watching the clouds.

It’s the sweet innocence for me. It makes me laugh and turns my frown a little to the left. Did I want to go on a stupid walk for my stupid mental health? No, I most certainly did not. Is it making me feel something akin to joy? Huh, I think it is. 

I think my dog knows I’m talking about him. He just snorted and yawned with a tiny whine. Sorry little bud, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Stop being so damn cute.

I should say one thing before going on. If you’re struggling with a mental illness, a walk isn’t going to cure you. I don’t know how many people have suggested this cure-all, but it needs to stop. Feeling depressed, anxious, having panic attacks? Go for a walk. The fresh air will fix you right up.

Thanks for the tip, I know you’re trying to be helpful, but it’s a more nuanced problem than you realize. Trauma can’t be resolved by a brisk stroll along the seashore. A severe neurological chemical imbalance won’t be rectified with ten thousand steps. Fresh air isn’t a depression detoxifier.

It does or can ease the symptoms. It can give us a moment of, “Oh, life doesn’t suck as much as it usually does.” It’s like taking Tylenol for a headache or antihistamines for seasonal allergies. Helpful, sure, but it doesn’t eradicate the pollen. Once it wears off, we’re back to playing: Is it covid, or is it allergies?

I hate that stupid game, and Alder can kiss my…

Oo, the cherry blossoms are finally blooming. I’m not a gardener, and I could not care less about horticulture. Of course, flowers are pretty. Does it have to be a personality trait? If you really like it, then yes, be your bloomy self. 

As for me? Nope, it’s not my thing. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a dandelion and a daffodil. But cherry blossoms? I love em.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

They’re like fluffy clouds had babies with cotton candy, and their nurseries are tree branches. Sure, it’s not the safest parenting decision, but gosh darn it, they look so fluffy and sweet. I just want to bury my face or lay on them like a soft petal mattress.

On my must-see travel list is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan. Have you seen the pictures? It looks like the most wondrous, gorgeous, breathtakingly beautiful paradise ever created. If happiness had GPS coordinates? It would be right there. If you’ve never looked up the festival, go check it out. The pictures will put a smile on your face.

Which is what I have right now. A moment to smile and slowly exhale. These few minutes where everything falls into place, and I have nothing to worry about? It’s a green light kind of day. 

Has this ever happened to you? You’re trying to get to an appointment, but you’re running five minutes late. Traffic is horrendous, and you’ll need a miracle to get there on time. You tap your thumb against the steering wheel as you approach a traffic light. It turns green, and so does the next one. Every intersection you come to changes your way. 

The stress melts away because everything is lining up. It’s the perfect merging of hope, desire, effort, and time. That’s a green light kinda day.

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Timing is everything, and it doesn’t have to be the kind of thing that we leave up to luck or fate. I’m trying to be happy for one hour. A dose of perky to lift my spirits. A moment to experience the same level of giddiness as my four-legged floof. Face to the wind, and a chilly ripple of joy rolls down my spine. 

I feel so alive!

This one hour of positivity has been a choice, not a chore. I’m choosing to walk out of the fog. To do that, I need to focus on the lighthouse. Its bright beam off in the distance is giving me direction.

Go towards the light! 

Oh, wait, metaphorically speaking and not a gloomy, boohoo way. We’re all about the positive metaphors, not the RIP kind. Nope, uh uh, don’t get those two mixed up. 

Not on a day like today.

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