St. Martin's Day

I have no idea what happened other than that I've been continuing to read Martin Seligman's book on learned optimism, but I haven't felt depressed in days. It's like a miracle, truly. Maybe it is just a mood. But maybe, just maybe it's actually a real change. For days now, I've been willing to believe that maybe all those stories that I used to tell myself about how everything that went wrong was my fault were, well, stories and that I don't need to believe them anymore, and it is like a cloud has lifted off of my life that I wasn't even aware was there. I'm not saying this well, but maybe that is to be expected when a whole new world opens out in front of one.

I feel so happy. So light. So able to get things done. I even wrote the first of those letters of reference today. And I had a great conversation with one of my students about how to answer that video. And I have learned that, indeed, reading my blog has been of help to one of my friends. And that, in fact, I have friends, more friends than I knew. Funny, that. All because I now recognize the lies that the Demon of Pessimism has been feeding me more or less all of my life. About how the reason that I am no good at sports is because I have no talent (persistent, pervasive and internal) rather than that I just need to practice more (temporary, particular and external). About how it is all my fault that so-and-so hasn't spoken to me in years rather than that there are things she might need to work out herself. About how I've made all of these mistakes in the way in which I've done my work rather than that maybe I've taken on questions that will take a bit of time to work through. And so forth.

Our marriage counselor was skeptical on Monday evening when I mentioned that I'd been reading Seligman's work. She says he's too flip, that being happy isn't the only thing that life is about. Me, I'm happy to be flip for the moment. I've spent way too long feeling burdened with thinking everything was my fault.


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