Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 31

 Today's happiness -- Not alone. Last week I was tired because I found myself doing more than my fair share of the work for my "team." Today got off to an equally exhausting start because, even though we were charged with coming up with even more new ideas by end of day, my art director told me she couldn't really work on it until 11:00, after her pedi. Yes, she made a pedicure appointment during work hours because, well, with work from home, who's to tell if we're home or not?

Why not stick me with the lion's share of the work again? It's what she's been doing for years anyway.

At 11:00 we talked for a while. We agreed to flesh out ideas independently and touch base again at 1:00. I tried to stay upbeat because 1) she did just get over a bout with breast cancer and I don't want to beat up on "cancer girl" and 2) this is who she has always been. She's 59 years old. She's not going to change now.

Well damn if she didn't! Of the 5 new ideas we sent to our boss at 4:00 today, two were hers! I had to tweak them a bit and she balked at first. But I explained that my little changes to her concepts would amplify what made them unique. 

Then, to assuage her wounded ego, I told her something that was very true: I am grateful for her input.

I cannot do everything all by myself all the time.

Isn't it nice when a day starts out crappy and ends surprisingly well? Isn't it nice when people surprise you for the good?

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To
 participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.  

1. What are you currently reading? The Reagans: Portrait of a Marriage by Anne Edwards. I recently watched, and enjoyed, a Ronald Reagan movie on TCM and it occurred to me I know very little about the man. Oh, I know about his Presidency and I admit his worldview left me cold. Today I'm curious about Ronald Reagan, the person, not the politician.

So I picked up this book by Anne Edwards. Ms. Edwards writes highly readable biographies. This is another. It's moving along at a brisk pace and yes, so far I'm getting an idea of the man behind The Reagan Revolution. I admit I like the old boy. An interesting combination of spiritual, optimistic and remote. That ability to withdraw, to keep a part of himself to himself, seems to be the coping mechanism of a preternaturally upbeat man who grew up loving his disappointing alcoholic father. 

Nancy is even more complicated. She loved her husband sincerely and put him first. Ahead of all else, all the time. This made her a deficient mother, stepmother and employer. The book attempts to explain this by sharing Nancy's childhood -- her father abandoned the family, so her mother left two-year-old Nancy with grandma when she traveled with a theater group and just swooped in and out of the girl's life for years, then Nancy's adored stepfather was reluctant to adopt her and give her his name. This left Nancy insecure, and caused her to cling to "Ronnie" desperately. OK, that's an explanation but not an excuse for how she treated her household. You would think that a woman who longed for her own stepfather's love and approval would have been more sensitive to Reagan's children by his first marriage. I guess this is a real-life example of how toxic family cycles come to be.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Someone We Know by Shari Lapena.  Plot synopsis from 40,000 feet: Raleigh is a typical teenager with a penchant for computers and a bad habit: he breaks into neighbor's homes, and their laptops. Not to steal! Just for kicks and to make a little mischief. When one of the neighbors is murdered, the fun goes out of Raleigh's "game." The community has to face that fact that "someone we know killed someone we know."
This is really about much more than that. What's really going on? With your neighbors ... in your marriage ... with your kid ... Does anyone truly know anyone else and what they're capable of?
This paranoid little yarn has many twists and turns, but I was able to follow each one and never felt deceived. The plotting is that good. Shari Lapena has a new fan.

3. What will read next? I don't know.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 30

Today's happiness -- These two. That's former Cub first baseman Anthony Rizzo on the left, former Cub manager Joe Maddon on the right. Monday night, the Yankees played the Angels for the first time since Rizz has been on the team, and these two shared a moment on the field. It delighted me to see them together, looking like they enjoy each other.
These two veterans of the 2016 World Series will always have a place in my heart, and I've always been more than a little in love with Joe Maddon. He gave me words to live by: 
•  Don't let the pressure exceed the pleasure
•  Do simple better
•  Try not to suck

And Rizz? When he's not winning Gold Gloves and swinging a bat, he is helping children and their families battle cancer. (He raised over $650,000 in one month before being traded.)

Unfortunately one of them had to lose last night and it was Rizz. But he went 2-for-4, so I think his Covid slump is over. YAY!

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.