Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you want to know joy?

I have a simple prescription.

1. Work your ass off all day. Get yourself good and hungry. Make it a rewarding day somehow; one in which your students express unbridled enthusiasm, understand you, appreciate you. One in which the faculty member who's been cranky or troublesome smiles and says hello. A day which started at the gym and ended with the impression that you're doing it right.

2. Trudge up the hill, without an umbrella, at dusk, in the rain. Your obstacle needn't be a hill and it doesn't have to be raining. You can choose your own obstacles, but the point is to make your return to your car as urgent and discouraging as possible.

3. When you start your car, feel once again a surge of relief from the knowledge that it's been a good day. Tell yourself that you've turned a corner; tell yourself that you're back on track.

4. Arrive home. Allow yourself to be greeted by the cat at the door. Hold the cat. Talk to the cat.

5. Take from the refrigerator the following: a frozen pizza, a handful of fresh, raw green beans, and a plastic tub of calamata and oil-cured olives. Stand at the counter. Look at the olives.

6. Eat a calamata olive. Tell yourself you have never tasted anything so perfect. Tell yourself, "this is joy."

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