There’s snow on my Jack-o-lantern. As much as I speak the value and virtue of perspectives, there are times that “reality” gets the best of me. Among the things I ask of the Universe is that we make it through Halloween before winter really kicks in. Give me trick-or-treat with a zero flake-count. I should not have to shovel so costumed-children can make it safely to collect their candy.

You know those guys who tell you that attitude is everything? What happens when they sit on a hot stove? Some situations do inherently suck and sometimes you just have to vent. Here comes a tricky paradox that actually will increase your happiness. When you feel irritated, frustrated. or some other “negative” emotion, the feeling arises with a judgment that you shouldn’t feel that way. Most of us grew up where at least part of the emotional spectrum was not welcome. Trying to push away a feeling tends to keep it in place. Resistance causes persistence. Allowing yourself a chance to feel what you are feeling paradoxically allows that emotion to pass more quickly.

Before you think about the fifty reasons you are grateful to have the life you have and put on your happy face, let it be okay to be human and be annoyed for a moment or two. If white stuff on top of your pumpkin feels like someone has peed on your cornflakes, go ahead and rant for a minute. It is cathartic and makes it easier to get back on the road to happiness.

And if you are feeling a little down, consider the San Francisco Giants: coming back like no other team from being down to the Reds 0 games to 2; beating the Cardinals after being down 3-1; and winning the World Series. May your luck turn, too. Here in Edmonton, I look forward to seeing my lawn again in April. The upside: if I were back in my native NJ, my anticipation of my favorite childhood holiday might literally be blown away.

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