Thursday night I walked home in a typhoon. That’s an exaggeration, but you know that already because there are no typhoons in Washington.
Anyway. I had just left the gym, where I had taken my sweet time rolling-out and stretching—the way I used to following track practice in college. I probably rehabbed for a full half-hour before I decided to brave the storm and head home.
Since it’s always 90 percent humidity in DC and tends to rain, oh, every-other-day, I always keep a spare umbrella in my desk at work. [I also keep a spare pair of heels in case I want to go to happy hour, emergency socks in case I forgot to place a pair in my gym bag, and a sweater in case the air conditioning is blasting at 50 degrees, in case you care.] But since I just started my new job, I haven’t yet assembled my Kara-emergency kit.
Fear not, because my job unleashes a behemoth of swag on each new hire—including the biggest umbrella I have ever owned. This thing is ridiculous! It’s so oversized it comes with a strap. I shit you not, I looked like Robin Hood walking through the Sherwood Forest as I marching up Connecticut Avenue en route to the gym.
But man did that umbrella do the trick.
So here I am, walking home in the hurricane 100% dry, and I can’t stop thinking about how grateful I am to have this Sir Lancelot of an umbrella in tow. Then I start thinking about how much I enjoy the work I’m doing, how pretty DC looks even when it’s flash flooding, and how much I like walking on cobblestone sidewalks rather than cement.
And without thinking, I pulled out my phone and texted my bro, “I really like my life right now.”
My phone buzzed before it was back in my bag. “Really!? That makes me so happy! Honestly, that is the best news I’ve had all day.”
I’m pretty sure the only time(s) my brother has ever texted an exclamation point is when he’s swearing about the cable company.
The people who care about you want nothing more than to see you happy.
Honestly, I meant nothing by that text (other than what was written, of course). It was just an offhanded comment. I did not expect my brother’s reaction. He was so genuinely happy for me, I texted two more people—my friends Meg and Keena—the same thing.
I have this saying, “Don’t spread the bad.” It means don’t keep talking about something hurtful, painful, or infuriating; because it will just force you to relive it. Until I sent that text, I never thought of the flip-side: Do spread the good.
We tell our friends and family about our bad days. Those people deserve to hear about the good days too.
We (I’m tempted to write as a society but I hate writing in clichés) want to hold a megaphone to our accomplishments, adventures, and social activities. We’ll take selfies at a bar all-day long, just to prove our lives are exciting and our social status matters.
It’s annoying as hell, and we all do it. I’m also fairly certain we all secretly hate it.
What we don’t do is tell the people who genuinely care about us that we are in a good place. Not that we went skydiving, got a raise, or threw an awesome party—just that we had a good day. We bitch and moan to our friends and family members when we have a bad day, why not do the reverse?
Attitudes are contagious. You laugh when other people laugh. You get pissed-off when your best friend is angry at someone who wronged her. And everyone around you—at least those who matter—will be very happy to hear that you are happy too.