Anyone who knows me knows I am sickeningly optimistic and cheerful and upbeat and always looking on the bright side of life.
Anyone who knows me even better knows that’s a carefully cultivated habit, devised and adhered to by one of the most worried people on earth.
Though the past five months have been trying, indeed, for me, I have awoken every day counting my blessings, focusing on gratitude, and acknowledging that no matter how lonely, scared, and unsettled I may be, I remain among the luckiest people in the world.
I made up my very own mind to cancel my plans to drive to Ocean City, Maryland, for Jeep Week this week. I chose not to take the risks associated with that journey; I am sure that people down there are nowhere near as finicky about masking and social distancing as I and my fellow Connecticut residents have been, and no matter how much I long to swim in the waves and bask on the beach, it’s not worth throwing away all these months’ worth of vigilance for one week in the sun, salt air, and sand.
I was fully prepared to spend a week at home, feeling sorry for myself.
Instead, the most magical thing has happened.
Probably through some unknowable mechanism provided by the universe, every moment of my “staycation” has felt delightful and meaningful. I’ve talked to friends, taught yoga, lounged on the hammock, read the new issue of Bon Appetit and started a silly Nicholas Sparks novel. I’ve set up my new tent in anticipation of my new camping career; I put the rear wheel back on my bike after fearing that I’d never get that right. I’ve napped with my sweet kitten, grilled a nice steak, made a martini.
And in so doing, I’ve shown myself that all those platitudes are true. Happiness happens when you make it. Joy is in the appreciation of the moment. Life is good when you decide to make it good.
I sincerely hope that everyone taking part in Ocean City Jeep Week has a terrific time. I’m there in spirit — and my Jeep and I are having some awesome adventures of our own this week. Happy late August, you!