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Quick guide to being blissfully unhappy

[ 2 ] October 8, 2010 |
The Scream

The Scream (image courtesy Wikipedia)

I talk a lot on this blog about how to be happy, but there are some people who really aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. So, here’s one for them.

In my world, it’s day 16,802, which happens to be a big birthday for someone who is important to me. Although I am off the hook for dinner, I’m in charge of the cake. I’ve done a great job of giving myself a lot to complain about today. Here’s how you can do it, too.

  • It helps to plan, prepare, and do things ahead of time. Having a lousy day is no exception. Get a head start by putting things off all week, so that when the big day comes, you have a whole week’s worth of people you feel guilty for not having contacted, and a whole week’s worth of work you feel guilty for not having done. In the short term, absolutely do not buy ingredients for the cake before the last possible minute. There is nothing like going to Kroger when you’re already way behind, to wait behind some strange recluse arguing over the price of the last package of pastrami, which of course does not have a bar code and had to have the UPC phoned over from the deli department. This person will pay with pennies and coupons.
  • Make an impossibly long list of things to do. Be sure to spend some time visualizing how miserable you’ll be if you don’t accomplish each one today.
  • Don’t read the recipe or measure. Just wing it. What could go wrong?
  • Always let the urgent take precedence over the important. However, if everything is urgent, make sure to start with the big, hard projects rather than the easy ones you could quickly do and check off the list.
  • Set a completely ridiculous schedule, and fail to take into account the fact that everything takes longer than expected. In particular, do not allow time for the cake, its filling, or its frosting to cool.
  • Take Bill Cosby’s nutritional advice and eat leftover cake scraps for breakfast. Mmm, it’s good for you! Stay away from protein or anything that might balance the sugar crash.
  • Freak out as much as possible. That’s sure to make things happen faster!
  • Think about all the things you’d rather be doing than the stupid things you are doing. Bitterly wish you were one of the lucky ones who can do whatever they want (never mind if you don’t actually know anyone like that—rest assured, they’re out there).
  • Cake (cropped and enchanced)

    Image via Wikipedia
    This is not my cake! But doesn't it look good?

  • Be sure to avoid activities that make you feel better, such as taking a walk or listening to music. There’s no time for that! Also, scowl at everyone you meet, so they know what a hard time you’re having.
  • Think about how much you’d like to scream. But don’t.
  • Micromanage the ganache. It will cool faster if you hover over it and direct all of your force of will at it.
  • Complain to everyone you can, but if they have advice, don’t even think about it, just argue about why it wouldn’t work.
  • It’s good to think ahead, so take a break by pondering other upcoming days that you expect will also suck.
  • Don’t forget to freak out extra hard about being late to work, which there’s no way you won’t be at this rate!
  • Don’t let yourself laugh at the way you’re acting. (Oops! Failed that one!)

Have a good day, everyone. Breathe, smile, and don’t do like I’m doing!

About Cara Stein: I'm a writer and dreamer with a PhD in self-reinvention. (Or was that computer science?) Whether you're stuck, lost, or just looking to enjoy your life more, I want to help because I've been there!

Comments (2)

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  1. Birthday Person says:

    Most awesome cake, for the win!

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