Sunday, January 31, 2010

Simple things to put yourself in a good mood

Forget about the therapeutic lifestyle changes and the “feel good” books, but how about some instant gratification? That’s what I’m looking for. Here are some simple, basic things that I use to put myself in a good mood.
1. Music! Naturally, everyone has a song (or songs) that can change even the grouchiest mood. See my top ten list below.
2. Buy someone a coffee, anonymously. I know this sounds rather silly, but it actually works. Sitting in the drive-thru line at Tim Hortons can really piss people off, next time you pull up to the window offer to pay for the person’s coffee in the car behind you. It will put you in an excellent mood, and brighten someone else’s day too.
3. Juggle…anything (soft). Oranges, Hershey’s kisses, Tylenol bottles, it doesn’t matter what, because unless you actually know what you’re doing you will suck at it. The result, you’ll be laughing at your silliness and realize that it’s okay to ‘drop the ball’ when you’re juggling too much at once.
4. Lie on the floor. That’s it. Nothing more. Just lie there and do absolutely nothing, if you really have to do something try to ride an imaginary bicycle like we used to do in gym class.

5. Put a pair of sunglasses on your pet, or a small child strictly for your own enjoyment.
6. Naked sleeping, naked TV watching, naked iPod updating, naked tub scrubbing…need I go on? (and step away from the mirrors)
7. Google an old boy/girlfriend see what they’re up to. If you’re impressed, drop them a line – even better, if they’re scarier than hell, you will be incredibly happy that you dodged that bullet.
8. Watch a bird, squirrel or any wildlife for a while. Let yourself be amazed at the simplicities of life.
9. Think of a TV Show you used to watch as a kid and look it up on YouTube. 10 minutes of H.R. Pufnstuff and I can’t help but be in a happy mood.
10. Tell “Bob” jokes. They are so stupid they are funny. In case you’re not familiar here are a few to get you started:
What do you call a man with no arms and no legs:
In water – Bob
In leaves – Russell
On the wall – Art
In a fire – Bernie
Under your car - Jack
On the floor – Matt
Sitting on a grill – Frank
His wife - Patty (lmao)
11. Send a friend a card. Not an “e-card” or an email, an actual Carlton card just because.
12. If you have the time, watch an old movie by yourself. I did this purely by accident on a Sunday afternoon, after the first 15 minutes of feeling guilty that I was accomplishing nothing just sitting there. I started actually enjoying the movie “13 going on 30” yes it was no blockbuster, but it was a mindless feel good movie that brightened the rest of my day.

Now what about those songs? Here’s my list – I’m hoping to get input on others.
1. I Saw her Standing There - Beatles
2. Walkin’ on sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
3. I feel good – James Brown
4. Shout – either the original version with Lulu or the remake by Otis Day and the Knights
5. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
6. Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benetar
7. Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
8. Kodachrome – Paul Simon
9. Rockstar – Nickelback
10. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
11. Stuck in the Middle With You – Stealer’s Wheel
12. Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
13. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
14. I want you to want me (Live) – Cheap Trick
15. I Played Chicken With the Train – Cowboy Roy with Big ‘N Rich

Honourable Mention to the Swingers Soundtrack and anything from ELO.

There are so many more I’m sure I’m going to add to this list constantly, but I’d like to hear from others.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010 is a point of view

It’s been 8 months, 25 days and 18 hours since my last blog post. I know, that goes against every bit of blogging etiquette, and I have no real plausible excuse. My only reason for neglecting the pleasure of writing my blog is that 2009 sucked. Yes, sucked. And to sit in front of a computer and bemoan that fact just seemed too depressing for me and anyone who happened to read it.
So instead of writing, I relied on my other great passion to get me through … music. For the last eight months I reveled in losing myself in songs. It’s amazing how easy it is to find solace in music.
We choose songs to:
Enjoy our happiness (James Brown - I Feel Good),
Lift our spirits (Walkin’ on Sunshine- Katrina & the Waves)
Get pumped up for a big game (BEP – Let’s Get It Started)
Celebrate a victory (nothing does that better than Queen’s We Are The Champions)
And, of course, to make us cry - because misery loves company, and a good song is always a welcome guest.
Songs that have helped me wallow in self-pity over the years include At Seventeen by Janis Ian (the epitome of teenage angst), Don Henley’s End of the Innocence and more recently Soulmate by Natasha Bedingfield.
Even Taylor Swift helped to numb the pain with White Horse “I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale. I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet.”

But 2010 is all about having a different point a view. It took a very special friend to remind me that music and songs play a role in every part of our lives and nothing warms your heart or gives you goose bumps like a song that seemed to be written specifically for you.

That revelation has reopened my eyes to this optimistic point of view. I’ve evolved from Nickelback’s “Gotta Be Somebody” to “Never Gonna Be Alone”.

Like Monty Python would say Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
“If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
and that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.
And...Always look on the bright side of life.

Lyrics just don’t get any better than that!