January always finds me hoping to catch an extra hour of sleep. This month rests solid in my personal history. I don’t like it, and I know exactly why. The why is depressing, and thinking about the answer shows me the limits of mindfulness.
This term is THE WORD of 2011: Mindfulness. I write about it for work. I edit copy centered on this great, good thing. I love learning about ordering my thoughts and throwing out the negativity. But man, I am too good at examining my life. This goes hand-in-hand with that age-old desire to be perfect. Add in resolutions, which seem to be January’s word every single stinking year, and man, no wonder I want to go back to bed.
Dr. Richard A. Friedman seconds this notion in today’s New York Times. (Or should I give him first dibs? Am I merely repeating his thoughts?) “Researchers have known for years that depressed people have a selective recall bias for unhappy events in their lives; it is not that they are fabricating negative stories so much as forgetting the good ones,” he writes.
So I need to get over myself and those sad childhood stories. Or at least not dwell in them. Process them, and move the heck on. Happiness awaits. Sit in the positive place. Wait, is this mindfulness again? All I know is nudging myself up and out from underneath the covers and into exercise changes my mood every single day. I am putting laughter on the calendar. And February is right around the corner.