|Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) by Astronaut Ron Garan|
The human mind has a tendency to focus on the negative things that have happened to us. Memories of traumatic events are more deeply formed than the positive ones. Science blames the hippocampus for ensuring that we recall bad events. An adaptive mechanism to prevent these events from reoccurring in the future. One dwells and reviews images of a poorly edited movie, which rely on perception provoked by negative emotions rather than factual memories.
The positive events are mundane in comparison. We take repetitive stability for granted. The human mind does not think about "it could be worse", but is dissatisfied that "it could be better" and is not. Such is the human condition.
I attended a series of mind-opening and -altering lectures, during which a gifted professor introduced me to the concept that the quantum path not taken might be the alternate path we would not want to be on. In simple terms; the bad things that did not happen to us. If we were to keep track of them, we would quickly realize just how fortunate we are. He listed a few examples and I was inspired to do the same.
It helps that I am a compulsive list maker and keep a (somewhat sporadic) writing journal. Writing a Proustian list of aggravating and disappointing events is easy. Writing a list of the pleasant moments takes a little effort; the "small stuff" is so easily forgotten.
The 2011 list of random small good things:
1. I started a blog. Glad that I did.
2. I met some incredible people in the blogosphere and am impressed by the quality of writing. I have come to think of many of you as my geographically challenged "friends", although I still think it is strange that I am communicating with people whom I have never met. I am working on that.
3.Then again, I had a fascinating conversation about art and science with a complete stranger in an art gallery.
4. I bought art supplies, books and journals.
5. I bought other things, but this list is not about "stuff".
6. Nothing unreasonably heavy fell on me.
7. Nothing unreasonably large ran me over.
8. Someone I was not particularly fond of has retired.
9. Spawn is taking his medication and I still have all of my digits.
10. Sharing hilarious moments with HQ, my friends and select relatives.
11. Had an argument with someone about a scientific theory when he walked into a mailbox, which I used to prove my point. And it was not "Hrunmpf!" Still laughing.
12. Living with a circus troupe of feline entertainers.
13. Finding lost treasures while organizing.
14. Finding pebbles, leaves and interesting things while hiking.
15. Watching birds and other wildlife.
16. Watched a group of fat squirrels put on weight for the winter, this amuses me on an annual basis.
17. Learning something new.
The list is long. Life is short.