I made the bed. And I said no to drama.

Now, those that know me well understand that I only make my bed for fun on the odd occasion. This could have something to do with growing up with an impossibly complex bed with rows of pillows that are overwhelmingly difficult to assemble. So, as an adult with free reign over the status of my own bed, I’ve reserved bed making as a voluntary activity, either because I am in the mood or because someone is coming over and I ought to pretend from time to time that I’m fastidious.

Now, there were 2 special things about making the bed today. 1) Fall/Winter bedding and 2) the dog. I recently invested in some bedding that I thought would be fitting for a different season from my bright yellow florally down comforter set. This set is calming and blue with flowers and spectacular, fanciful birds that are anything but anatomically correct. The point is, they are fun and they make me happy, and that is the important part. The trick is to actually make the bed when the dog feels rather territorial about said bed. You see, Lola Lovepuff (yes, this is her official name) has claimed the right side of the bed pillows as her evening lair. She likes to perch atop high stacks of pillows. Anything high really. I think it has something to do with surveying and guarding the territory from cars on the street.

Anyhow, this particular dog could just not stay off the bed. Peeling back each layer was an acrobatic feat as the dog would pounce right on the section I was trying to dismantle. She would scurry around the bed in circles as if trying to keep the territory in order. So I’d try to use nice words and pick her up and place her on the floor, but then she would insistently jump back up with her pink, floppy toy. Had it not been the Joy Experiment, I would have admittedly been very annoyed. Geez dog, go away. But, placing more focus on this experiment, I’m leaning away from feelings of irritation and seeking more amusement in my reactions. And the scenario became hilarious and endearing. Her enthusiasm around the whole activity was really the best part. It was so cute to see her having so much fun driving me crazy. I’m grateful for that little Lovepuff - she keeps life light.

I also had a lovely brunch with a darling friend who has been going through crazy nonsense with some relationships in her life. We discussed the commonalities in our experiences and came to the conclusion that it’s quite alright and indeed rather healthy to walk away from toxic relationships. Where you have the choice, it’s really not necessary to hold on to dramatic, hurtful, nasty experiences. When you happened to be related to something of this sort, there is a certain freedom to be found in letting go of the expectation that someone is going to change. There is a particular character in my life who I will name Madame. She acts in wily, crafty and manipulative ways, quite a piece of work. She has a particular way of making you feel like you are crazy. Sparing the drama, it suffices to say that after years of dealing with this person and trying to help her to change and be more reasonable, I’ve accepted that this person is consistently unreasonable. The consistency of the crazy is the only thing I can reasonably predict.

And so it was that I was enjoying a glorious morning to myself. I made the aforementioned bed, enjoyed my tea and slowly cleaned the house as the sun streamed in through the windows. It was just somehow clearer than it has been in the past couple months. Somehow focusing on enjoying the little routines in life rather than looking at them as chores really flipped the experience for me. I allowed myself to be sporadic and completely non-linear with the cleaning, jumping from one task to another, but eventually circling back to each one, completing all the sweeping, organizing and arranging. Then Madame called.

The thing about Madame is that she likes to own the show and tell you how things are going to be. After this lovely sunshiny morning, I was really in no mood to be thrown into drama. And because of the Joy Experiment, I gave myself permission to say no to Madame. She was pushing an issue, and I simply said no, I’m not doing this right now. It was a befuddling moment for the caller, but it was liberating nonetheless. I don’t think I’ve ever given myself permission to not engage in another person’s drama, but I’m going to give the green light on this more often than not! It was a fantastic, joyful experience to claim sovereignty over my own emotional space. This is my life and since my focus is on cultivating more joy and less depression, I simply will choose what emotions are best for my well-being. I’m really enjoying this newfound freedom. Enter a happy dance of your choice.