Outside In: Cookie Monster Edition

I feel like I need to fill in a lot of blanks here. In case you’re new to this, my name is Heather. I am a writer (in that I write, not that I am widely published.) I work in arts and culture. I have a mental illness. I am also short, but that makes for far less interesting blogs. Besides, I’ve dealt with the challenge of my shortness. I am not shy about asking strangers to reach my canned goods in the grocery store.

Every year, around this time, I face the more serious challenge of seasonal depression. It’s not a massive change from good old regular depression, but it’s more intense and, when I try to tango with both at once, I usually trip over all the feet.

I fall down, is what I’m saying.

This year, I’m being proactive about it all. I have a list of things I know might boost my mood. I give myself a stamp every time I do one of those things. Seven stamps in any one column and I get a treat. It’s a bit pavlovian, but lest we forget, he was a Nobel Prize winning scientist, not just a guy who ran goofy tests on puppies. He made some really terrific discoveries about how we train our brains and…

None of that really matters because when it comes to my brain, I do what works.

As to what works, well, it’s a pretty short list at present. Knowing that, I’ve taken a sort of low-key poll to find out what others do to boost their mood. My goal is to try them all and see what I can add to my list.

The first one I tried was the simplest. I watched a video on You Tube.

This video:

It made me smile, which is something. In fact, it makes me smile every time I watch it. It does not seem to be getting any less sweet. Even better,though, is the comment that came along with it:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.56.11 AM

There’s a lot going on here. I’m asking for help (and not just to reach the cream corn.) I’m being heard. Someone is sharing what matters to them. They’re teaching me a bit about keeping my eyes open for the good stuff happening around me.

Whether or not this video gets added to my go-to list of mood ticklers remains to be seen. But Sara’s advice, to look for the bits of the world in which people are being good to each other? That I’ll try to do more of. And if that fails, I’ll try the Patton Oswald solution:

Picture 2

Take that depression.

(Also, if you were wondering what you get if you google Crime and Punishment and Cookie Monster, wonder no more. It is this:


A truly tragic tale where Rashkalnicookie tries to justify his cookie theft by explaining that those with a natural inclination to steal cookies are, in fact, right to steal them. He is eventually convinced by a loving Prairie Dawn that he must confess his crimes. He is exiled to public television, but their love pulls him through.)


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