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Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 11)

In other words, I had a very happy day.

The other week you told Melanie Lynskey, “I don’t know if I’m happier but I’m older.” Why are you afraid to be happy? And why do I feel like I have to justify having the exact kind of day that makes me happy? I understand why happiness scares me. It’s still that kid protecting herself. Childhood happiness meant exuberance, an explosion of all that joyous energy that kids are expert in. It generally only lasted a moment, however, before I got told, “Don’t get carried away.”

And then there were those times that I thought I should be happy—I earned one of the lead roles in my high school’s production of Guys and Dolls or I was accepted to every college I applied to or I was in the top 10 of the 746 students I went to high school with. But when those moments were met with a “meh” or scant acknowledgement, I was plunged into disappointment. So not only did I learn to associate happiness with disappointment, but I learned to mistrust happiness and to not think I deserve it. Happiness became a quagmire of, “What’s the right way to respond?” with the underlying fear that no matter what I just wouldn’t solve for the right answer.

And perhaps that’s what you were talking about with Melanie Lynskey. It’s hard to have perspective on happiness for those of us for whom it’s a little bit of a shape shifter. But as I’ve grown older I’ve grown more comfortable with the idea of it. I will even admit to joy, which I think of as even deeper than happiness, a sort of bone-deep contentment and perspective even in the midst of struggle. I can revel in happiness and feel safe. I’ve stopped looking at disappointment as an inevitable downswing triggered by happiness and have come to understand that sometimes disappointment follows happiness not because I don’t deserve happiness but because life is ups and downs, and we have limited control of when those ups and downs fall. The relationship between happiness and disappointment is not one of causality; they merely throw each other into relief.

To be continued…

Hitting the Links (9/19/09)

dining1web

A detail from the Freeman house tour on style/swoon

Behind the seens. An interview with architect/designer Dee Dee Taylor Hannah thanks to Ronda over at All the Best.

The cat’s out of the bag. Uhm, not really sure how I’m going to keep my tote bag (it’s-almost-an) addiction under control when people (like Oh Joy!) keep pointing me to (easy-on-the-wallet) cutie patooties like these from MAPTOTE. Go Queens!

Icy hot. This is the coolest housecleaning (by which I mean, of course, making a humongous mess while I move the furniture yet again) tip ever! Thanks for giving me a clue Shelterrific.

Picture this. Do I really need to explain why I think this is the coolest idea ever? Hmm, wonder if I can barter for this using my roll of 4th-of-July-in-the-neighborhood photos I never developed by which I mean uploaded or even downloaded from the camera . . . . (BTW, this is thx to Shelterrific.)

Full House. I’m a little in awe of this house which mixes country, vintage, and Old Hollywood elements (check out the chandelier collection!) with aplomb. This is the kind of place I’d never get invited to simply because they wouldn’t be able to get me to leave. I’d be too busy ogling, groping, and otherwise interfering with all their treasures. I particularly like how well their collections are integrated into the decor and the folk art elements that are scattered throughout so they add a bit of sweetness rather that kitsch. Yep, I’ve definitely got a heart-on for this habitat. (Thanks to style/swoon for sharing.)

Hitting the Links (9/25/09)

clever cupcakesweb

Golf cupcake tier by clever cupcakes from Flickr

First, I apologize to anyone who thought I was actually making a golf reference and is now dismayed to find out that it’s just little old me working some puns to entice you into my little old shelter blog. (And come on people–me talking about golf? Have you met me?)

Instead good folks, today’s blog will be a hurlyburly hodgepodge of the groovy tips and treasures that take my fancy as I take my daily passeggiata through cyberspace. Enjoy!

First up, by way of Design*Sponge, check out this gorgeous stationery from oh joy. Yes, yes, I know e-mail is quicker, but really, I can’t be the only one that appreciates having something show up in my mailbox besides my American Express Bill, can I? And with folders this pretty, I might actually file my receipts rather than just making a big pile of them in my closet to file “some day.”

Again from Design*Sponge, a round-up of reasonably priced hardware. Updating drawer pulls  or hanging a few decorative hooks to corral coats and such is the easy-peasiest of upscales. It’s especially handy if  you’re a renter like me who wants the design pick-me-up without the permanence. Upgrading the hardware is also a perfect way to put the “It” as in “I want it, need it, gotta have it” into your IKEA finds. (Hint: Anthropologie often has swoon-worthy hardware at thrifty prices on its sale page!)

Today’s house tour from Apartment Therapy makes we wonder why the heck I left Chicago, especially the gorgeous view of downtown from the ubiquitous Chicagoland porch. What I really love about this post are these priceless words to live by from Sarah & Steve.  “We’re finally at the point where we love pretty much everything we have. . . Since we started buying less and spending more time waiting for the right piece, our home has improved.”  I also heart the list of sources at the end of the article, which prove that IKEA, craigslist, and haute hand-me-downs can be a designing diva’s best friends.  By the by, my fellow leasees, note that this cool pad is a rental, which means  that “But my landlord won’t let me . . . ” is no excuse for not dishing design in your (temporary) digs.

Speaking of IKEA, I kinda fell a little in love with this headboard this past Saturday. (There were a couple of others, but the images don’t seem to be available online.) Now if I can only figure out how to sell my current bed—which was a present from my mom and sis—without having said mom and sis disown me, or worse, stop giving me their clothing/accessories/chick lit castoffs.

Lena Corwin is one of my favorite bloggers. I really love the visual lushness of her blogs and the spareness of text. (Which is kinda weird since I’m a writer, right?) And yes, I have blatantly copied Lena’s style  for many of my own posts. BTW, she and fellow artist Maria do lots of lovely partnerships–like their new Plants journal–which they sell on their even lovelier Web site Lines & Shapes. I’m thinking the Lena-designed travel poster will be winging its way to some folks for Christmas this year . . .

I have a glue gun. I have tons of fabric. Now I can have a groovy magnetic knife rack thanks to this DIY to-do from The Farm Chicks. So who’s giving me a ride to IKEA? I’ll treat for the cinnamon buns!

Full disclosure: I did not just “happen” to run across this next—and final—link in my “daily passeggiata through cyberspace.” I sought it out. For you. So you wouldn’t worry that my obsession with/stalking of 20×200.com had abated. So here’s “Hot Dog and I” by Fernanda Cohen, which I’d really like to get because it reminds me of Ignatius J. Reilly and a particularly amusing section of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, but I’m not sure if good Christian girls should have pictures of naked men eating hot dogs on their walls . . .Sigh . . . .

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