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 I don’t reckon misery loves any damn thing at all.

Bruce Machart, The Wake of Forgiveness

People say that they desire to be happy, but then they do everything to guarantee that they are not. I speak from experience on this one. I used to be one miserable chick — full of pessimism, doubt and frustration with this thing called life. Then, I learned something that changed my life, forever. Misery is a choice. So is Happiness. I get to choose, and so do you.

So, if your choice is misery, here are 23 ways that I have personally tested and proven.  These darlings work like a charm:

  1. Decide that you can only be happy when other people behave differently. Do not (I repeat), do not feel good around others until they are acting in a way that satisfies you.
  2. Only do things when you think you’re ready, unicorns are flying around and angels are appearing. Wait for that feeling and those signs before you start anything.
  3. Surround yourself with anguished, dramatic and pessimistic people. Wallow in that energy as much as possible.  Have dinners with them, invite them to coffee and make sure that a day doesn’t go by until you’ve connected with at least a few of them.
  4. Live in sweatpants and t-shirts, seven days a week. Never dress up or take the time to look your best.  It’s a waste of time and money anyway.
  5. Never leave your house.  Except maybe to buy groceries, so you can do #6.
  6. Eat junk food (and lots of it).  It tastes so good, so bon appetit!  
  7. Sit on the couch as much as possible and watch trash TV.  Drown your mind in mindless activity and keep your remote control by your side.
  8. Devour self-help books.  One a day is recommended.  DO NOT read a beautiful novel, spend time learning a new language or engaging in a new hobby. You must fix yourself first.
  9. Constantly focus on all that you think is wrong in your life.  Write it down in a journal for extra credit.  Your bank account, lack of love in your life, your weight…focus on it as much as possible.
  10. Create as much drama as possible — pick fights with others, sulk and pout, scream at the dinner table or anything that brings negative attention into your life.
  11. Worry about money 24-7.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a buttload of debt or have millions in the bank, you should worry.
  12. Live in clutter and chaos.  Never clean your house.  Do #7 and dream of a clean house instead.
  13. For chrissakes, don’t be grateful, because there are way too many things you don’t have that you need to focus on.
  14. Always, always be prepared for the worst – a tsunami, the death of a loved one, running out of money, the apocalypse.  Stay alert and ready.
  15. Wait until the perfect time. I know you haven’t ever experienced it yet, but I’m sure it’s right around the corner.
  16. Blame your parents, the Pope, the President, your past or anything.  Just blame. It’s not your fault.
  17. Think about your self as much as possible.  Examine your thoughts, pick apart your flaws and defects, figure out how you can fix yourself.  Whatever you do, don’t focus on a positive happening outside of yourself or how you might be able to add cheer to another person’s life. Focus on you at all times.
  18.  Find a person to reform.  It could be a partner, your child or the neighbor, but choose one that you want to fix and don’t give up until that person is exactly the way you want them to be.
  19.  Don’t be adventurous. Travel is dangerous.  You might get hurt.  It’s just not a good time.  Do #8 or #15 instead.
  20.  Make everything about youThe reason your spouse is grumpy, the boss is an ass, your friend hasn’t called you back…it had to be something you did.
  21.  Compare and be jealous.  They are taking something from you.  Of course, you should feel deep envy.
  22. Do NOT slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures.  Life is a race and you are probably behind so go, and go fast, and whatever you do, don’t STOP!

And, saving the best for last . . .

   23.  Be mean to yourself.  Self-love is out of the question.  There is no room for that kind of airy-fairy non-sense. You need to beat yourself up to get the results you want in life.

Or . . . you can just choose to be happy!

It’s always a choice.

And, I’m sure I missed a way or two to be miserable.

Care to add to the list?  Let’s have some fun in the comments below.

Choosing Joy,


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