There was an intriguing program on PBS the other night about what makes people happy and I caught most of the middle of it. The presenter cited evidence that people are generally very adaptable to situations they can't control, some of them just horrible. He interviewed a man who'd spent about four years of his life as a prisoner of war, and this man described how he'd lived in his head and communicated with other prisoners by means of what seemed to me a very complicated morse-code variation, tapped out on his wall. He'd imagined, in detail, the house he would build for his family one day, and when he finally gained his freedom again, he made this house a reality. Many other people have adapted to bodies severely handicapped by accidents and illness by finding purpose and meaning in their new, different lives.
And then, behold the rest of us--we who are not incarcerated in any way, we who have not lost an unexpected amount of command over our bodies--who are often bored and depressed. Why? It appears that if we see our problems as something that can be fixed, then we will never be truly content. And if we take an objective look at what comprises our problems, we might be able to whittle them down by changing our attitudes. Just change your mind! It sounds so simple. It may also be that some of us lack the mother of invention: a serious problem, something to light a fire under our--butts.
I haven't been reading much, but this week's running log is longer, so perhaps I will make myself happy by losing those pounds that recently started hanging on me.
And then there's Pandora--why didn't I know about this before? Go over and whisper a favorite music artist or song in her ear, and she will channel that kind of music for you all day while you're surfing. Pretty cool.