You’ll be as happy as you let yourself be. At least that’s what my mother’s always told me … and I’m happy to report she’s right. I’m based enough in reality to know I’m no Pollyanna, but you’ll never meet a more optimistic idealist than me.
I think that’s one reason that I love the romance genre so much. Regardless of how many times our heroine’s kidnapped or how battered the heart of our hero, they’re going to find a way to be together at the end of the story. The gal always gets the guy. The guy always gets the gal.
It’s been my experience that happiness spreads. I did a little experiment over the past two weekends. Nothing scientific, mind you … I am a writer and marketing guru in the real world, not a scientist. It went something like this:
Saturday number one, I went to Nordstrom’s in the morning, and then drove across town to Wal-Mart. I shopped around both stores by myself, kept my head down and ignored everyone. When someone caught my eye, I kept my expression bland. Their reactions were pretty obvious, and pretty universal—they treated me with the same indifference. No surprise. I took about an hour to have lunch and hang out at the library, and then retraced my steps. But this time, I met the gaze of everyone I passed, smiled and nodded, and spoke to a good handful of them. The shift was remarkable, because everyone reciprocated in kind. Everyone was happy.
Saturday number two, I chose Macy’s and Target, but took my son with me. Our trips were quicker since he’s even less enthusiastic about shopping than I am, but we followed the same pattern—grumpy, introverted and nonchalant in the morning; open, direct and cheery in the afternoon. And while most people were less likely to be visibly rude to my son, the afternoon leg of the experiment was extraordinarily more pleasant than the morning.
So it served as a useful lesson for my son, proof for my mother’s lifelong beatitude, and a great topic of conversation. Happiness spreads easily. It’s free, it’s painless, and it certainly brightens the mood of everyone around you.
It’s a shame that we’re inundated by sorrowful, violent, panicky news on a daily basis. Natural disasters, suicide and unemployment are on the rise, while hope, R&D, and healthcare are on the decline. I’m lucky that, as a romance author, I have the power to create a happy ending.
You see, every story deserves a happy ending. That’s my motto … and I’m sticking with it.