Sunday, September 23, 2012

Go to your happy place

The weather is getting cooler, kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change color - all sure signs that autumn is on it's way. Fall/autumn is by far my favorite season of the year. I love the colors of the trees, the pumpkins, the cinammon-y baked goods, the crisp weather, and the seasonal makeup releases in shades that tend to right in my color wheelhouse.

It is currently beautiful outside my window - what I consider perfect weather. Sunny, cool, slightly breezy - and you might be able to see in the picture above, taken from my balcony, the leaves are now just starting to turn those beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow that just warm my heart. It's the kind of day that just pumps up my mood, and brings a spring to my step. The kind of day I need to wrap myself in and fully enjoy, so I can remember it on those not-so-perfect days - which unfortunately, can make you forget the great ones.

I am not naturally an upbeat person. I'm introverted, can be short-tempered, impatient, and judgemental. This pleasant combination of attributes means that there are times when I can be a full-on bitch - and have even been accused of making someone cry. This was pointed out to me many years ago, at a time I thought I was being perfectly pleasant, and have spent a long time trying to be hyper-aware of suppressing this tendency ever since. As someone who was bullied quite a bit in my youth, I never want to be accused of being a bully to others. I may internally roll my eyes when someone says/does something stupid, maybe vent to one of my friends, or put on angry music and punch the air when I get home, but I try really hard not to snap in front of people.

The thing is, there are times that people at work can drive me nuts. Sometimes family members can say something that really challenge my vow not to give unsolicited advice, not to mention have to work really hard not to blow up in a shouty rant. Some days I'll have interactions with "customer service professionals" that make me feel like I just survived psychological torture. And there are days when everything seems to go wrong, everyone seems to be determined to annoy and/or hurt you, and even your body seems determined to challenge any attempt you make to get rid of the black cloud that seems to be following you around. On those really bad days, I try to take a deep breath, put on some headphones or find a quiet corner, and go to my happy place. Sometimes if I'm lucky, I can literally go to one of my happy places - and that can make the darkest of days seem a little brighter.

Some of my physical happy places are:
  • Libraries and book stores. Perusing through aisles of books, doing some reading, discovering a new funny gem, occasionally seeing little kids getting a kick out of new books, can really turn my frown upside down.
  • Beauty supply stores. Maybe it's the bright lights, the many stands with rows of colorful shiny products, the opportunity to perform some aromatherapy by sampling perfumes, the chance of a makeover, or a combination of the above, but sometimes all it takes to improve my day is a 20-minute visit to Sephora or Ulta.
  • The breakfast nook at my parent's house. Sitting knee-to-knee with my parents having some food, reading the paper, shooting the breeze, is one of my favorite places to be in the world.
  • My makeup desk. Sometimes all it takes is sitting at my little desk, and I can feel my mood improve. I may be applying a full face of makeup, maybe I'm not going anywhere and all I'm doing is sitting there to apply eye cream and lip balm, but it is definitely one of my favorite corners of my house. As a matter of fact, I've noticed that those black cloud days tend to happen when I haven't had a chance to sit down and enjoy some quality time there. 
One of my happy places: my makeup desk.

The weather is beautiful, my loved ones are well, and I plan to spend some time at my makeup desk before heading out and hopefully making this day a good one. I hope you all have a good day - or that at the very least, you can take a minute to go to your happy place, and hopefully turn it around.

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