"To Nourish Love, Feed the Birds"—to get out of a rut, sometimes one needs a new hobby to see things anew;
"How the 'Dining Dead' Got Talking Again"—if a chatty Kathy, don't let screens get in the way;
"So how are you?!” a friend asked me at brunch recently. I hadn’t seen her in a while and thought for a moment. “Great!” I replied. “Things have been going really well for me.”
Even I was surprised by my response; it’s rare that I don’t have a complaint at the ready. Apparently my friend was taken aback too. “Really?” she asked. “That’s awesome. I’m happy for you.” And there was an awkward pause. In the silence I realized I had violated an unspoken code. The answer to “How are you?” is supposed to be “I’m so busy and stressed!” And indeed, when I asked what was new with her, she stuck to the script, rattling off complaints: annoyed with her mom, drowning at work.
Joy, it must be remembered, is nothing like happiness, its milquetoast cousin. It is instead a vivid and extreme state of being, often arrived at in the aftermath of great pain.