Jumper Cables

I chose to wake up happy, and it sort of works when I’m well-caffeinated, and away from things that make me anxious, and the kind of low-key busy where I’m pleasantly occupied without being overwhelmed. I chose to wake up ‘happy’ and exercise and start flossing my teeth again and read past the front page of the newspaper, and use a blue lamp when I need to.

I decided it was time to start complimenting things aloud like the quality of the day (nice, good, warm, bright) and the calm of the lake (smooth, endless, creamy blue) and the beauty of the way you lay out words in sentences (as strong as gold-dappled evening sunshine). It was time to start asking questions again, and time to call back, and time to speak to people without being afraid of what thoughts were running past unannounced inside their heads. It was time to compliment more often than I apologize and listen until eyes alight.

It was time to wake up to an alarm and to start things that I care about (a job a book a friendship) without continuing to coast in neutral, time to escape the habit of not starting things to avoid failure, interaction, or introspection. I chose to wake up happy (lots of days I painted the face on, really) because I didn’t know how much longer I could coast without collision and I knew that a hollow, inauthentic try would not only be shameful but unsustainable, what with sixty-odd years left to live. I told myself I was waking up happy even when I basically wasn’t, to start. To get going. Like using jumper cables on a car.

Small things warm me inside, like sparse well-chosen words and braided sunshine-bleached hair and the twinkling tips of lapping waves. Soft, loose fabrics and dogs that press their sides against your legs. I’m here to gain electricity, to keep going. I just need to find what can give me a jump.