Last night, like every night before it these last few weeks, was one of the most glorious of my life. It was midnight, and I was walking through the woods, alone. The trees blocked most of the moonlight and starlight, but above and below and all around me, I was surrounded by fireflies.
All at once, I felt secluded in nature, and like I was scuba diving, and like I was riding Space Mountain, and like I was on some kind of drug that just makes you love everything around more than you thought possible.
One of the most important lessons I've learned as a dog owner (other than, "Keep the Christmas truffles on the highest possible shelf," "Don't assume they won't knowingly jump off a balcony chasing a squirrel," and, "Leave the tent door unzipped or else!") is that many of the health changes we assume are natural parts of aging... are actually symptoms of something totally treatable.
They say money can't buy happiness -- but they're totally wrong. First of all, on a log scale, more money does mean more happiness:
Liberals Shouldn't Let Conservatives Own Patriotism (And The Confederate Flag Has NO Business Flying Beside Our Flag)
I've spent 11 of the last 36 months traveling. From Austria to Cambodia to Honduras, I've blogged about how travel can teach you how to be happy; how travel is like being in kindergarten, college, and adulthood, all at once; and how there's no limit to how much you can learn (and teach) while abroad. I've seen wild orangutans, herds of elephants, five different hornbill species, 900-year-old temples, blue flame volcanoes (seriously!), and so much more.
Despite all this, when people ask me to pick my favorite country, the answer is easy:
America is the best country.
The craziest thing happened on my way home from a party a few months ago. I thought I was saving this girl from being sexually assaulted, but instead, I almost had to fight her.
That was the night I realized my pepper spray was basically completely useless to me.
This is just a quick public service announcement that, while karaoke and open mic and musical theater and bar jams are all on hold right now... there is endless fun to be had, right there in your home, for less than the price of a beer.
All you need to do is buy the music used -- you'll be paying $3-8 per book instead of $18+.
"What about y'all?" a friend asked recently after during our nightly Zoom call. He'd just introduced everyone to his newborn baby and shared the birth story. "What's new with you?"
"What's... new with me?"
It's the lockdown. No one had much to report -- and certainly nothing that compares to birthing a quarantine baby. Finally, I said, "Well... I found a box of my old clothes from high school and middle school in the barn. They're in really good condition, and I think they still fit."
Spring break is canceled. Your summer travel plans are canceled. Date night is canceled. Open mic, karaoke, sports, concerts, birthdays, weddings.
It's all canceled.
Even your ability to hike in local parks or surf local beaches may be canceled.
And one way to cope with these losses may be a small investment in a starry night or ocean projector.
When people ask me what my blog is about, I want to tell them, "Playfulness." Playfulness is why I started this blog. It's on my About page; it's discussed on some of my most popular posts...
Yet one recurring theme has been assertiveness. Assertiveness seems at odds with playfulness... but, in fact, I've found assertiveness to be a crucial skill that enables my playfulness.
And it's probably one of the most important possible social skills you can learn and use during the current lockdown/quarantine/social distancing protocols.
You'd think, from the hysterical way white dudes drinking cheap beer at hostel bars tell white women they need to "cover up" while traveling, that I'd've offended someone by now.
(I mean, other than said white dudes. They, like certain parts of certain cultures, do not deserve my respect.)
But no! No bikini, shorts, or tank top I've worn has ever offended a local -- in fact, most seem absolutely delighted for the chance to chat, question, or take a photo with me. Especially the women.
But... there is one thing I wore once that was super offensive, and just thinking about it makes me cringe.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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