Pollyanna

Some small parts of life have become difficult lately and therefore not-so-small and instead rather large and all consuming. Trite as it sounds, when I feel this way I find the best cure is to do something for someone else. And luckily we are in the phase of life where there are always babies and heartbreaks and bare walls and empty bellies. Double luck: the skills I have honed all lend themselves to these situations perfectly.

This may look like a garage, but I know that it is a hangout for two old men who play chess together with the doors open and grow tomatoes in front of that fence.

This may look like a garage, but I know that it is a hangout for two old men who play chess together with the doors open and grow tomatoes in front of that fence.

Roof leak on its fourth return? Cast on a baby sweater.

Spider mites in the fig? Write a love note.

Laid emotionally flat by a stranger’s road rage? Say yes, without hesitation, to something, someone.

Anything having to do with health insurance and the marketplace ever? Carry the neighbor’s groceries up to the third floor with her. Roast a chicken for the ones you love. Check in, hold space, repeat.

I don’t have any logic to back this up, it’s just a recipe for small happinesses.

A note on Pollyanna: the version I think of is this one, where Pollyanna very much resembles my mom as a little kid. But, plot twist, the copy we had was recorded off the TV by one grandparent or another and cut off abruptly with P. in the hospital in a bad mood and unable to walk. That unintentional editing resulted in a very different moral than the original, but I must have picked up on it somewhere else.