"Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification. " --Italo Calvino
This week's list is Ten Things to Lighten your Mood.
1. Play with the dogs. Of course, you may end up with rope burns from little Coco's leash/tie up contraption, but playing with animals (domestic, of course) is sure to bring at least a little smile.
2. Read a favorite book. I return to Jane Austen when I need cheering.
3. Plan a dinner party. The planning is a big part of the fun for me. Invite the best conversationalists you know, dress the table in your prettiest linens and dishes, and make a delightful meal.
4. Blow bubbles. If you have the dogs from item #1, they will probably chase the bubbles. It can get hilarious.
5. Go for a long bike ride or run or whatever your favorite exercise is.
6. Help someone else. Volunteering in an organized way, or simply helping someone carry a baby carriage down the steps can go a long way to lightening my mood.
7. Write. Sometimes I can write my way to lightness. Sometimes I write all the darkness out of my head and can then live in lightness.
8. Go to Vespers. No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs may be, Vespers make for excellent meditation. If you attend in a beautiful church or chapel, you may have the added pleasure of soaring architecture, meant to lift the spirit closer to God or lightness, whatever a lifting of the spirit may mean to you.
9. Write a long letter in which you describe to the person you are missing just how the light looks and the air smells and the coffee tastes. Describe everything you love about that person. Describe your loneliness for them. Describe your joy in them. Make your descriptions over the moon. If the person is alive, mail the letter. If not, give it to another friend, sealed in an envelope addressed to you and ask her to mail it to you in a few months.
10. Watch the Marx Brothers. There have been many times in my life when my spirit has needed lifting. From the frightening days just after September 11, 2001, to days waiting for news about all sorts of worrisome things, we all have sad, heart heavy days. When my ex-father-in-law approached me after the funeral of a young woman who had died far too young and said, "C'mon, let's go home and laugh," I knew he was right. For me, the sad days cry for Harpo and Groucho. Even the mildly sad days are improved by their antics.
What do you do to lighten your mood?