I’d like to make this one thing clear: I’m not sweet. Got it? I’m not. I may be a passable human in most social circumstances, but sweetness is… well… right next to cuteness in my nonexistent book. I am neither of those. Here’s what I am. Flawed. Okay, that’s a no-brainer. So are you. I am also, as my patient husband likes to put it, “complex.”

Now, my husband, he’s nice. Complex is the nice way of describing silently-stormy, potty-mouthed, moody, grumpy, irrational. (No, I’m not listing the Seven Reprobate Dwarves!) You get the picture. No, you don’t get an actual picture. No pictures, dammit!

Anyway,  a while back, a friend with a serious health condition retreated from folks to “take care.” I worried, so I would send an email and get a small one back in return days later… a wave. I would wave and wait for a wave back. A sign of life. Yes, I’m morbid like that. Morbid is one of the dwarves.) So it went for awhile. Wave. Wait. Wave back. Wave. Wait. Wave back.

Then one day I woke up in one of my usual sunny moods—a mood made only better by the endless dreary winter and the threat of economic disaster—and I realized that I had to try a little harder. I needed to make my gesture more than a wave. I needed to make a gesture requiring nothing in return. I had to get my head out of my you-know-what and stop moping. I had to give—dammit!

So, we’ve established that I”m not sweet. Nevertheless,  I made a commitment. I’m lousy at commitments. I exercise sporadically. I tell myself I’m going to do XYZ and get distracted by, well, anything else. So making this commitment was scary. If I don’t commit, I can’t fail, right? Right? Anyway, I made the following commitment:

‘Tis February, and the doldrums are trying to take my attention and energy. Damn doldrums. So I decided that I would make sure to notice at least one nice thing a day and share it with you. I know… there are a gazillion nice things every day, but it’s the noticing and sharing part that’s important here. And it’s the letting you know I’m here part too. So…

And so it began. I wrote that first Nice Thing, and then another, and another, and another. Remember: I’m not sweet! I had no idea how this daily exercise would affect me. And yet, it did. There were days when all I wanted to do was cry,  but there was that damned Nice Thing hanging over my head. It made me stop, shut my but-but-but-I-can’t up, and search.

A nice thing, a nice thing, a nice thing… a cheese plane… the sound of “melty-ness”… the noise a squirrel makes when it husks a butternut… making things… redemption… perspective… creative evolution. Yep. I noticed all these things, and it helped. It’s made me less what my dad would call “temperbitual.”

Anyway, all these things I noticed started to pile up. I showed them to a couple of fellow writer friends, and they thought I should let other people read them. I’ve tapered off a bit, but figure this isn’t a race, it’s a practice. Sometimes I’m good at it, and sometimes I let the “mean reds” win. But I can always find my way back. There’s so much to notice.

Anyway, this blog still doesn’t make me sweet. I’m sure I’ll gain more than you will… like that karma stuff, or whatever.

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