three good things

Stephanie Klein, Mother

I‘m sitting here with a stack of Blood Sugar and mostly anti-grain cookbooks stacked before me, what with the New Year breathing its frosted resolution breath in the face of my slight double chin, why not? I don’t have high blood sugar, but I think we can all stand to eat as if we’re diabetic. Before I can break into any of the glossy heavy books, I crack into this one, titled, Flourish; A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, and am determined to do an exercise titled, “Three Good Things.”

We instruct the students to write down daily three good things that happened each day for a week. The three things can be small in importance (“I answered a really hard question right…”) or big (“The guy I’ve liked for months asked me out!”). Next to each positive event, they write about one of the following:
Why did this good thing happen?
What does this mean to you?
How can you have more of this good thing in the future?

I don’t have a week’s worth, so I’ll use today of all days, a day I spent indoors, still in my pajamas. I see very clearly that this is an exercise in “spin.” How well can you spin the story of your day, your ordinary dipped in glitter. Be an optimist, focus on what’s right. This is so in sync with the film I watched today, About Time.

The scene is this: A woman on nearly her last lap before age 40, spends the day in her workout clothes, the ones she wore yesterday, then slept in, and is still in, and remarkably the clothes still smell freshly laundered. Her sparse eyebrows are growing in, so that’s something. She’s been home, awaiting a delivery that will arrive some time between 11am and 5pm, and has been mildly productive, downloading eight episodes of Season 4, Downton Abbey, and setting up three blog posts to be published. Her daughter has a birthday party to attend in the evening. But, oh dear, Miss Stephanie has zero desire to socialize because socializing, even quick hellos, require hair to be comely, makeup applied, coordinated clothes, even if they’re workout clothes.

The spin is this: My heat is working, and I’m cozy beneath the covers, looking out at an overcast day, enjoying the luxury of living a life without a reporting structure, sans attendance slips and timestamps, a delicious life of Chinese dumplings and fanciful downloads. I feel moved enough by a film to write about it, feeling the weight of its message, not just receptive to it, but ready to act on it. When the beans spill in from school, I make popcorn, turn off the lights, and hug them until they squirm, kissing their fragrant heads, thankful. They watch a movie, and I phone Phil, asking if he might be home in time to take Abigail to her party. Beautiful man says he’ll do his best, and I am hopeful and grateful at once. I may luxuriate in my sweats and play with my sweets.

Three Good Things From Today
1. At first I was miffed at the thought of having to race out for a birthday gift for tonight, but by the grace of gifting gods, I already had a wrapped present stowed away in the closet! Why did this good thing happen? Because I was prepared and organized! Love being this type of prepared person, who has everything at the ready, just in case. #thingsahoardersays
2. Hugging these sweet beans as they spill through the door, their faces cold, their mouths eager, and their subsequent delight when I offer them popcorn and a movie! Delicious. What does this mean to you? This is what makes memories, what makes a home, comfort and stability, cozy mamma at the ready. Never underestimate the power of just being there.
3. Today I posted a blog post about how I’ve been avoiding writing a blog post, how I’ve been pouring myself cocktails of fear and sloth, and now it’s out there. Out of me, at least somewhat. And that makes me honest, a strength of mine. How can you have more of this good thing in the future? Continue to be that kind of honest, to get it out and shake it off.

What are your THREE GOOD THINGS from today?

Why did this good thing happen?
What does this mean to you?
How can you have more of this good thing in the future?

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  1. Hey,
    I enjoyed your blog today. You fought the inner critic and won!
    I will check in and hopefully get started myself.

  2. Author


    1) I awoke hungry, which means I didn’t gorge last night.
    2) When saying goodbyes to the beans this morning, I opened the door to discover a package of Florida Oranges had arrived, courtesy of my mother, and the one I tasted was the best orange of my life.
    3) I’ve just downloaded the Dec 2013 Christmas special of Downton Abbey, having now finished all of season 4, so I have this one episode left!
    4) I’m watching the movie HER later. And just a day away from Oscar nominations!
    5) It’s raining. I love the rain.
    6) I’m still totally avoiding doing this book proposal because I cracked it open yesterday just to see where I am with it, and it feels so disjointed. But rather than let it ruin my day, I’m just going to ignore that bit, circle back to it, and press onward, beginning with the structure of the book. The overview is always the hardest part of any book proposal!

    1. good luck w/ your book proposal! i love these new posts, this new outlook on what doing what matters & actually fulfills you.. trying everything and gravitating towards those things that feel GOOD and make you HAPPY and keep your connection to the world and the people you love strong. you are on the right track.. you are being so patient & compassionate w/ yourself and that’s wonderful.. the best kinds of gifts you can give yourself. for the past 6 mo. i’ve written down 3 things i was grateful for at the end of the day and i love this new spin on it… adding the questions as well. thanks for the exercise and keep indulging in what brings you JOY!

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