The Irony of the #1 Happiness Trick

After Saturday’s 10 mile run, I decided to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. There is this place I’ve been going for a few months now that does a great job for $25 for both, and I was excited when they had an appointment available with my favorite technician, Michelle. Even though I have tons of magazine subscriptions, I rarely make the time to read them at home, so decided to bring the newest issue of Health Magazine with me with Jillian Michaels on the cover.

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Once I settled into the chair to get my pedicure, I dove into the magazine and found one article in particular that struck me called “#1 Happiness Trick”.

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It said to write down five things you’re grateful for once a week, every week. People who did that activity in a study felt happier, healthier, and exercised more after 9 weeks, and writing down what they were grateful for made them focus more on the blessings and less on the shortcomings in their life. I made a mental note to write about it on here because I think it would be a good activity for me to do each week for at least a little while, but then backburnered it once my pedi was over.

Fast forward to Monday, and I woke up with my middle finger being a little sore around the cuticle. I didn’t think too much of it, but then when I woke up in the night yesterday from it throbbing, I realized something wasn’t quite right. I slathered it with Neosporin, went back to sleep, and then woke up to a swollen and very sensitive middle finger yesterday morning. It felt pretty silly making such a big deal of it since it was just a finger, but as the day went on, it was getting worse and worse.

It doesn’t look too bad in the photo, but I promise you, it was very painful.

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Sorry for over sharing in advance, but towards the end of the day, it was throbbing so bad and felt like it was burring, and then when gross stuff started coming out of it, I knew I needed to see a doctor. I ended up going to Urgent Care, and as I was sitting in the room waiting patiently to see a doctor and feeling pretty annoyed that I got an infection from the mani/pedi, my mind went back to the article that I was reading while the transaction was taking place.

Rather than focusing on the fact that I was waiting to see the doc, I decided to take some time to think about what I’m grateful for. When all was said and done, I was sent home from the doctor with antibiotics and assurance that my finger would stay attached to my body. I also was sent home with this list of things for which I’m grateful fresh on my mind, in no particular order:

    1. My health. I never take it for granted anymore and am humbled every time my body does something amazing for me, like carries me 10 miles.
    2. My family. I am very close with my immediate family, and I don’t know what I’d do without my sisters and my parents. It’s funny because growing up, I was never THAT close with my aunts/uncles/cousins, so I didn’t quite have my head around what a close relation that was. Now that both of my sisters have kids and I am their aunt, and one day my kids will be their cousins, I can’t imagine not seeing them as much as I can and having them be such a major part of my life.
    3. My career. Every job has its pros and cons, but I am very lucky to have a mostly-pro list for mine. I work with really awesome people that I actually enjoy being around, have the opportunity to do a lot and really own the program that I manage, and get a steady paycheck twice a month. I well aware that a lot of people don’t have all those luxuries.
    4. Weight Watchers. I loooooove having not just the program itself to follow, but having the opportunity to be involved in it with it on so many different levels through this blog and through Leading the meetings. I had my 5th week of my Tuesday morning meeting, and each week I am loving it more and more. Starting the week after next, I’m taking on a second meeting Monday evenings, and I feel so grateful to be able to pay forward everything that WW has given me considering how much it changed my life for the better.
    5. My friends. I know this sounds like the most cliche thing ever, but I really do have the best friends in the world. They’ve been by my side through thick and thin (literally) and have been there at the drop any time I’ve needed anything. When I ended up moving into DC, I moved within just a few blocks of two of my best girlfriends and I feel so lucky to be so close to them and to have them in my life.

Please share one thing (or more) that you’re grateful for today!

14 Comments on The Irony of the #1 Happiness Trick

  1. Diandra
    February 22, 2012 at 9:09 am (9 years ago)

    Hot ginger/lemon tea. ^^

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    February 22, 2012 at 9:14 am (9 years ago)

    Oh man- that’s really unfortunate about the infection! I hope your finger is feeling better. The littlest things (like cutting a cuticle or something like that) can be the worst annoyance!
    I’m already paranoid about my feet getting that way because of all the issues revolving around running, but to get one that I technically paid for? I’d be pissed!

  3. Jennifer
    February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am (9 years ago)

    Oh man, I think I had that happen to me once before, so I know what you’re talking about. I hope your finger is better soon. I won’t tell you about the horrible thing that happened to me during a pedicure once, but let’s just say there is a reason why many states banned those razor things to take off calluses. (feeling faint)

    Cliche here too, my friends are beyond amazing. The friends I currently have have been whittled down to a core group of women that I know I will still know and love when we’re all 90 years old. We’re gonna kick ass when we’re 90, too!! 🙂

  4. Lynette
    February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m so thankful that I found your blog! You inspire me to continue with the running program I started last April, and to strive to do more!

    I’m also very thankful for my husband, for sticking by me through my running journey.

    Very thankful for my kids for putting up with me while I run or work out ~ poor kids have to wait for dinner ~ but all kidding aside, they are proud of me.

    I’m so thankful for a group of women I met on the WW boards, we’re known as the War Turtles ~ we all went through the C25k program together and we still communicate via Facebook every day, some of us are meeting up in Virginia Beach to run an 8k together.

    A year ago, I never would’ve imagined myself a runner and it’s people like them ~ and you ~ that have kept me going!

  5. Life's a Bowl
    February 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh no, not cool about the infected finger :/ Hopefully it’s doing better! But where did you find a $25 mani/ pedi?! I always pay at least $50+…

    This week I am grateful for beginning to seriously plan our wedding! Let the vendor interviews and dress appointments begin 😀

  6. Hilary
    February 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Ewww….so sorry that nasty infection happened to you! I’ve started keeping a gratitude journal where I write down one thing I’m grateful for each and every day, so same idea just on a different scale. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to go to the doctor alone this week to hear about different tests I had done.

  7. Becky
    February 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm (9 years ago)

    So sorry about your finger! I hope the infection clears up.

    I am thankful for the fact that the only problem with my feet is arthritis. The podiatrist told me there was no fracture and I have never been happier. I will not let the arthritis stop me from being a runner. I will accomplish my running goals!

  8. Kim
    February 23, 2012 at 12:54 am (9 years ago)

    I am (most) thankful for my husband. He is my inspiration, my dedication, my blessing, my best friend. 🙂

  9. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    February 23, 2012 at 7:58 am (9 years ago)

    Ick- I can’t believe you got an infection from a nail salon! That makes me very uneasy… I know that most of the nail salons that I can actually afford to might not have the MOST sterile practices, but everything has always turned out okay.
    The grateful list is a great idea- and I should really do that. Man, I should do it daily! Good for you for focusing on that instead of just thinking about the bad luck from the nail salon- don’t know if I could have done that!
    My husband and I started sharing ‘5 good things that happened today’ over dinner each night. But, our answers started being the same every day, so now we just say “what was something that was good that happened today” which can be something as simple as hitting all of the green lights on our street. 🙂

  10. Barb
    February 23, 2012 at 8:56 am (9 years ago)

    Hope your finger is feeling better soon!!

    There are a few things I am most grateful for:
    1. My kids (I have two sons). They are healthy and good kids and I am so grateful that I have them in my life.

    2. My husband. He is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, he gets on my nerves from time to time but overall he’s a great guy and a great father,

    3. My immediate family. I am the only girl and the oldest sibling. I am very close to my two brothers and one has moved to Wisconsin from Philly with his wife and they are expecting their first child. I’m a little bummed that they aren’t closer and I won’t get to spend as much time with their son (Yup, they’re having a boy – Jacob Henry) as I did my other nephew and niece 🙁 I’m close to my other brother and his family as well. Also my mom is my best friend. We talk every day 🙂

  11. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 23, 2012 at 9:01 am (9 years ago)

    Aww, hope the finger feels better! Maybe after a mani/pedi get in the habit of putting some Neo around the cuticles for “precautionary” purposes?

    I will never take my health for granted again. I’m currently dealing with pneumonia and you don’t realize how you take a pain free day for granted!

  12. Roz@weightingfor50
    February 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm (9 years ago)

    Sorry ’bout the finger Beth. OWCH!!!! I know it’s no consolation, but the color of the polish is super pretty!!!!!!
    LOVE the gratitude list, but have to correct you….I actually have the best friends in the world…HA!!!! Kidding of course, having good friends is truly a gift, and sounds like we both have amazing circles of support and fun around us!!! I’m really grateful for them, my husband, that my parents are both (touch wood) well and still with me, my cat who makes me laugh every day, a great bite of chocolate I shared with a work friend today, and the fact that the worst of winter is over and brighter sunnier days are ahead. Enjoy your THursday…thanks for the reminder to be grateful!!

  13. Natasha
    February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm (9 years ago)

    I got a staph infection in a tiny little cut on my middle finger several yrs ago. I ignored it for over a week thinking it’s just my finger and it’s so small. I went to the Dr one morning after my little cut was looking grey-ish. The Dr freaked out and I ended up needing needles down the webs of my fingers to push out infection while he cut around my wound, and ended up on heavy antibiotics. Good thing you went, as small as it is, or as silly as it seems it can be serious very quickly. I learned my lesson! Hope your finger is feeling good now! Love the gratitude idea 🙂

  14. Jesse
    March 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I just recently discovered your blog (from HTP) and I’m really enjoying reading through it and I’m learning so much. I really love that you shared about that article because I recently started doing a “thankful” post on my blog every week and I totally agree with the article. All week long it makes me think about all the little things in life that bring me joy and happiness and it transforms my mood and outlook. I’m looking forward to reading through more of your posts in the future 🙂


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