Training a Happier Brain — Week Two of Three

Mindful awareness of three grateful items a day for 21 days in a row will train your brain to be happier. That’s the theory anyway.

Week one of brain training came and went with no noticeable attitude alterations. Skepticism is on the rise at the kickoff of week two.

Hope the brain of a hippy, dippy, trippy believer is not necessary for this 21-day experiment to reach a successful conclusion. Trusting in the power of crystals, copper bracelets or OTC cold medicine is not in my nature.

Mom had to remind me to write my three grateful items for today. Week Two is off to a weak start.

That being said, I am not a quitter. Here goes for Week Two of gratefulness.

Day 8

Maintaining an exercise regimen for the noggin is just as difficult as frequenting the gym with regularity. I am excited that Mom is going to join me on this mind-altering adventure. Going to the gym is easier with a friend.

Errands and laundry are not on the agenda today … so far. Hairballs on beds are unpredictable. As of now, the situation looks promising.

A special thankfulness goes out to my Medium Facebook friends. A request for support on a story sitting at an eerie 666 claps was met with applause. Evil has been thwarted on this hot as hell Thursday.

Photo by Master Wen on Unsplash

Day 9

Braum’s skim milk is healthy and delicious. Ya gotta love that!

After retiring from accounting, I have the time to run errands at a more relaxed pace. No more rushing around over lunch, after work or on weekends. Ok, a little rushing to beat the thunderstorm, but bonus … I get to enjoy the sights and sounds of a nice thunderstorm!

I learned two fun things about my Recipe Keeper software today. 1) Recipes in the meal planner show up on the side of the screen the day you need them. Sweet! And, 2) after using an ingredient, tap on the ingredient in the recipe and the text turns light gray. Missed ingredients pop out at you. Brilliant!

Day 10

(Some days are a test of endurance filled with an abundance of unpleasantness and a meager sprinkling of what remains of a silver lining. Day 10 was one of those days.)

A long hot shower cleanses the body and the mind at the end of a long, hard Saturday.

A tall cold beer drowns the taste of an ugly day.

An almost clutter free home is the perfect sanctuary from which to escape the messy world.

Day 11

We sold the last of a deceased relative’s silver tea sets today! Winning the lottery would have been better, but this is an unexpected joy, albeit on a much smaller scale.

A quiet, brisk Sunday morning walk to the river and back with few encounters with other people. Yay! Had to dodge one smoker, but no bikes, scooters or panhandlers. Always grateful to avoid poisoning, stitches and wondering if karma is going to get me for cautiously hanging on to my hard-earned money.

RICE, the acronym not the grain.Took the time to rest, ice, compress and elevate my aching knee this afternoon. Karma may be teaming up with aging joints to trump my morning dose of CBD oil.

Photo by Izabelle Acheson on Unsplash

Day 12

The ability to find pleasure in the small things is a special gift. A cup of tea, the calming effect of solitude, the aroma of freshly baked cookies … small things felt in a big way.

Donating a hatchback full of items to a thrift store feels good. Helping others while diminishing the mess of materiality restores a little hope to my skeptical heart and a sense of control over my old nemesis, clutter.

Squishing Homer’s medicine into a hairball treat works beautifully. So much easier for him, and us, than popping a pill down his throat every day. I want my sweet orange tabby’s final days to be as comfortable as possible.

Day 13

The taste buds have been treated to River City Brewery pizza. Washed down with top notch craft beer, of course. And RCB is a short walk from home. A thankfulness hat trick!

Love attending Hops Club once a month at River City Brewery with my husband and his work friends. They accept me even though I am not IT; I mean really, no idea what language they speak sometimes. Don’t care — See the RCB pizza and beer comment above.

The neighbors are not building crates in the hall today, so far. Nice to be able to hear myself think. Thinking is beneficial to writing.

Day 14

How did we live before Google? Today’s search for information included side effects of Homer’s medicine and how to convert a regular cookie recipe to a pan cookie recipe.

My little Dillons store has a small but well-done produce department. So refreshing to witness employees care about providing quality service in exchange for a paycheck.

Mom’s new heart doctor is trying to help her feel better. Too bad this is a surprising action worthy of gratefulness instead of a fundamental expectation worthy of gratefulness. Our elders are worth the time and effort.

Week two is in the history books.

Update: Hairballs did indeed happen later on Day 8, but it was on the concrete floor which translates to easy clean up. Gratefulness held steady.

Is there a subtle change in my innermost thoughts? Maybe.

Or maybe the morning dose of CBD oil is calming my desire to strangle neighbors who build wooden crates in the hallway and motorists who drive less than the posted speed limit.

At minimum my attitude has not deteriorated. Sustainability will be the next hurdle.

Deflecting the bombardment of thoughtless, inconsiderate acts and the inevitability of death in life is a relentless battle. My bank of gratefulness is faced with a concerning risk of rapid depletion.

One step forward and two steps back may be the demise of this experiment. To be continued …

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Ex-accountant, lifetime cat lover and avid wearer of hats. Exploring a creative path during the second half of my existence.

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