An article in the NY Times on Thanksgiving encouraged readers to keep a “gratitude journal” reporting that just by writing down the things that you are thankful for you will become happier. A doctor once told me if you smile as soon as you wake up, that will make you happier. I think both suggestions really are just positive reinforcements – if you think about being happy you can become happy.
I thought a lot about being happy as I drove the 450 miles from my home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington DC to my sister’s 1911 Dutch Colonial house in Buffalo, NY the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I listened to Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band and even yoga chanting to keep from going into continuous road rage. I had hoped to leave at 1pm so that the 8 hour drive would get me to Buffalo by 9 pm, getting through most of the Pennsylvania mountains in the daylight. Unfortunately, I loaded my Subaru Forester in front of my Art Deco apartment building – with luggage, wine and my cats – to then back over a sewer cover which gave me a flat tire. Leaving at 4pm then put me on the Beltway right in the middle of rush hour – and 2 hours later I had only gone 50 miles and was still in the DC Metro area. This really got me thinking a lot about the carbon impact of all those cars, every day and the 40% population increase projected for the DC area in the next 10 years.
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