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October 16, 2011

Happiness Graph

This past week my coworker introduced to me the concept of the Happiness Graph, which she learned about from one of our guest conductors. At the end of each day, you rate your overall state on a scale from one to five, and you document the factors that contributed to it. Over time you can graph your feelings, and learn some interesting things about yourself. Maybe you're happiest when you've talked to your mother. Maybe you're saddest when it's sunny outside.

My coworker has been doing this for a few years, and was surprised to learn that she's most unhappy during the time between Christmas and New Years, when she has nothing to do and this feels unaccomplished. The conductor, who was back this week, told us he learned that being in a relationship has absolutely no bearing on how he feels-- when he's with someone he's a 3.8. When he's not: 3.8.

I've been feeling pretty badly about myself for the past couple of weeks, which I can mostly peg to an obsession with the series Breaking Bad. When I start a new series I race to finish it as soon as I can, gorging on episode after episode in a race to be the valedictorian of couch potato-ing. So for the past few weeks, instead of making a good dinner or going to the gym or cleaning the apartment, I was parked on the couch. I spent the work day in a haze, counting down the minutes before I could watch another ep. I felt awful after each round, so upset at all the time I'd wasted, but eventually my obsessive consumption had a different goal: I had to finish watching so I could be free.

I finally finished yesterday afternoon, and since then my life has been awesome. I did laundry. I'm back at the gym. Dude and I went to a concert and then paid homage to the new frozen yogurt joint in the hood. I ran into my buddy Merch at a yoga class and had a lovely time with her afterwards at the neighborhood tea shop. I read the Sunday paper. I made a delicious dinner and enjoyed it with Dude and my Star-Crossed Roommate of Yore. I'm blogging again. Post-Breaking Bad, my life has been a solid 4. Maybe a 4.3.

I feel pretty confident that I know what it takes to make me happy, but how long until another must-see show comes along and ruins my life?


  1. This is so...interesting. I bet there are a lot of people in the same boat with you. But what happens to me is I want to prolong the series and so I limit myself to one episode a night...and delight in the nights that are too busy to watch even one. Then I have another night to watch it! When the end finally comes (and if it was a good series) I feel like I do at the end of a good book: what to do now that I can't see those "friends" anymore? Oh goodness, if only we could figure out our own psychologies...

  2. I laughed when I read this! I did the same thing with the Sex and the City series. I meant to...I really meant one episode a night. Instead I had to go through the entire DVD in it's entirety. Each night. And there were how many years of episodes? My family wasn't fed, they would come home to find me in the same chair that they'd left me, I developed a shoe obsession. know. Until one night they came home to find me crying in the chair, the TV screen blank. "My girls" were gone. There was great rejoicing well as clean clothes and real food. Welcome back to the world Neenuh!

  3. stephanie fischlerOctober 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Haha i am in that state right now! used to be like that with SATC. and now with HIMYM! and it feels bad going to sleep after an evening of watching episode after episode instead of cooking, reading for school or something else that would be useful...haha i am more than half way through :-)