After a rough day at work that mainly served to emphasize what a tenuous, confused and sometimes scary industry I’m in, I decided I wasn’t going to let anxiety and lack of job security ruin a gorgeous April Thursday.
So I dug up my sneakers – and I do mean that literally, as it took me 15 minutes to find them in my closet, buried under scores of boots and heels, blatant proof that I haven’t exercised in ages. I headed out toward old city, running as far and as fast as I could (note: not very far and not very fast) while attempting to ignore the passersby surely gawking at my lack of endurance. And when I came back, I felt better – a little lighter, somehow.
I threw on some clothes, including a bra I’m fairly certain neither matches nor is fully covered by my shirt, and ran for the train, which is where I sit currently, off to the burbs to meet one of my old reporters for sushi.
That takes care of two out of the three steps on my “Calm the F Down and Get Over It, Life Is Still Good!” plan. Do you have one of these? Or am I the only one in need of such contingencies? My plan is pretty simple: sweat, eat (preferably with friends) and then read or watch something produced by someone who’s either a- funnier than me or b- more optimistic than me. (And yes, I realize the majority of the population falls into these two categories.)
Sometimes it’s old snippets of Weekend Update, back when Jimmy and Tina cracked me up every week. Sometimes it’s a page or two of Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott, one of those rare people who kills two birds with one stone (pun intended), by both making me laugh and pushing my attitude toward the positive.
Today it’s J.K. Rowling. Specifically, her 2008 Harvard commencement address and specifically, this quote, one of my all-time favorites:
“I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
You can feel free to watch the whole speech here. But personally, I feel better already.