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My Happy Place

Posted Aug 01 2011 9:01am

(Did you say it this morning? I did!)

Happy August!

July was pretty amazing and it’ll be a tough month to top, but I’ve got a great feeling about this week and about the month ahead.

If you’re just tuning in, here’s what you missed over the jam-packed weekend:

Not a bad weekend. Not bad at all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. The other night I was talking to a cute friend who sometimes brings me cake , and we were discussing our “happy places.”

I think everyone has a happy place.

Sometimes it’s an actual place, like Central Park or the California Grill in Orlando…

Oh California Grill, I love you and your chocolate cake

…or by the fireplace at my parents’ house in New Hampshire…

Merry Christmas! We are happy.

…or on a dance floor. Any dance floor will do.

Dancing with my dad at a wedding

Performing with my college dance team. Try to spot me.

Dancing on a cruise ship. My dad is my favorite dance partner. Clearly.

Other times it’s a state of mind, like “anywhere there’s pizza.”

Mmmmmpizza

That's a mighty BIG pizza. I probably didn't share, either.

(Mom, relax. I’m super sober in both those pizza-eating photos. Seriously. No drinking either time.)

Your happy place is a place you can channel when you’re feeling upset or discouraged, and it’ll put an instant smile on your face or bring you a sense of calm.

My parents have a timeshare in Aruba, so for a long time my happy place was on the beach in Aruba, relaxing with a strawberry daiquiri (admittedly the times I went to Aruba I was not even close to being 21, so I’m not sure where the daiquiri fantasy came from, but it was a crucial addition to my happy thoughts).

But now, with few things on my mind besides the fast-approaching Hamptons Marathon , my happy place has changed.

The first place that popped into my mind when asked about my happy place: a finish line.

Crossing the finish at the Fairfield Half Marathon

It doesn’t matter which finish line I’m crossing — it could be the finish of a 5K or a half marathon. But nothing beats that feeling when you see the finish approaching, you push as hard as you can toward it, your legs start to feel like jelly (or lead) and then your foot finally touches down on the speed bumpy sensor thing that catches your time.

If I’ve had a great race, I’m proud to be wrapping it up with a smile (and perhaps a fist pump, or maybe some jazz hands).

A strong, proud finish at the National Half Marathon

If I’ve had a tough race, I’m happy it’s over!

Happy to be done with the Healthy Kidney 10K

Finish lines are the best.

Almost every day over the past week I’ve found myself picturing the finish line at the Hamptons Marathon.

I’m so excited that my parents are coming down for the race and in one scenario I picture myself crossing the line and hugging them, and in another I’m barely making it over the finish and I’m collapsing onto them. Either way, I will cross that line and I will finish my first marathon.

(There’s a third scenario, too. In that one, my friend who is a man and who accidentally put on a pink robe before our massages yesterday is there, too. In that scenario, I get a little/giant kiss at the finish. We’ll see…)

For the next 53 days (holy F), that’s the happy place I’ll be channeling. And I hope that after September 24, I’ll fondly look back on that specific finish line as my new happy place.

Other happy places of mine include Australia, where I studied abroad in 2005, Fire Island (Lauren, take me baaack), dog parks (no, I don’t have a dog of my own, so please stop judging my puppy stalking tendencies), the East River at sunrise and Lincoln Center.

TIME FOR SHARING AND STORYTELLING: I told you my happy place — now tell me yours. Is it on a massage table, getting a rubdown? That’s one of mine, too. We have that in common. Cool. Is your happy place in bed? I like that one. Is your happy place on a spin bike? Oh hey, me tooooo! Except for this morning’s spin bike, because I got my butt seriously kicked and it wasn’t really fun but rather grueling and painful. Anyway… Talk to me.


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