BYOH: Build Your Own Happiness or How to hack your own happiness buttons.
Today, the topic is dancing.
I have loved dancing for as long as I can remember. My brothers and I used to watch “Dance Fever”, every week, in the 70s and practice the moves that we saw. Then, in the 80s, we had our own little break-dancing troupe (cardboard box, parachute pants, and all). Those are the most fond memories I have, as a kid; memories that I will always cherish.
I’m more of a freestyler, although, I did do cheer-leading in high school, and tried out for musicals and dance squads, I was never as good as the other girls. I was never going to be Jennifer Lopez. But, if you put on a decent jam, I could strut my stuff with the best of them, just not if the steps had to be in a particular sequence (it took me until my 30s to get the Bus Stop and the Electric Slide, down). But, once I learn a step, then I’m all over it. I remember how proud I was when I learned to moonwalk. That was awesome.
I used to go to the club, pretty regularly, until my 40s. It seems like, nowadays, the cover charge to get into the club is like buying tickets to see “Hamilton”. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
But, not being young, and not having money, doesn’t keep me from dancing. If I feel like it, I do it, no matter where I am, no matter who’s watching. Superbowl Half-time Show? I’m dancing in my living-room and annoying the hell out of my family. In the grocery store, picking up some milk? I’m getting my groove on. Walking home from work, waiting for the “Walk” signal? I have no problem busting a move.
I know people are watching, they are probably amused, annoyed or believe that I am disturbed. But, I try to ignore that, in favor of savoring a bit of good music and not letting it go to waste. I get upset if I hear “Uptown Funk” and I’m in the middle of something that prevents me from shaking my ass. It’s kind of like the feeling I get when festivities are cut short between my partner and me. It’s a real bummer, let me tell you.
Just the other day, I was at the store and some song came on and I couldn’t help myself, but to bust a few moves. I was in a hurry, so I had to cut my dance break short, but as I rounded the corner, I came upon another customer doing the exact same thing. She was so embarrassed that I had “caught” her, but I acknowledged, to her, that if she had rounded the corner, before I did, she would have seen me doing the same thing. She just smiled and walked away.
At work, I stand for several hours, folding clothes or ironing lab coats. Standing in one place, for too long, is bad for me. I have arthritis, so I have to move, but when I have a lot of work, that is not always as feasible as I would like, so it is not unusual for customers to “catch” me dancing while I work, to keep my joints from stiffening.
Yesterday, I was getting down to “Happy,” by Pharrell, and going to town, lip-syncing, while I worked ,and this lady walked in and gave me the brightest smile. She did not say a word to me, at first, but on her way out, when she was done with her laundry, she leaned in and told me, “It’s awesome to see you dancing.” My dancing made someone else smile. What a wonderful way to get my happiness buttons pushed!
This world is so angry and sullen, sometimes, and it is difficult to get your happiness buttons pushed, externally. It is so important to find ways to comfort yourself and build your own happiness. One thing that I have found is, love it or hate it, very few people will say a single word if you sing to yourself or dance by yourself, no matter where you are.
So just @#$%ing dance! You will definitely put a smile on your own face, burn some calories, while you are at it, and you may even make somebody else’s day, either by encouraging them to dance or helping them to see what another happy person looks like.
And, don’t just do it BECAUSE you’re happy. Do it because you’re angry, or sad, or anxious. Do it because it’s free. Do it because it feels good. Do it JUST BECAUSE.
Dance even IF other people are watching.
Feel free, to visit my Facebook page and tell me what kind of things that you do to push your own happiness buttons or drop a line in the comments section. I would really love to hear from you.
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