a peek inside the fishbowl

16 Feb, 2008

A few thoughts about Operation Feelin’ Great

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

It was a great day. It really was, all except for one small incident that happened when I was trying to exchange Sarah’s mittens. 

I was practically accused of lying.

I have a thing about lying. I’m not a liar. I am the straight goods. I don’t even know how to lie, and even if I did, I couldn’t even live with myself.

“I don’t even know if she bought them here!” said a haughty saleslady. I felt all the warmth and kindness seep out of me, as if the bottom of a barrel had suddenly cracked open. All that bubbly liquid warmth was replaced by a cold hard sweat.

I turned to face her straight on. I had trouble maintaining an even keel.

“I did buy them here.”

I felt like adding something else, like how I’ve spent four freakin’ hundred dollars at this store in the past year.

Then someone checked their customer database. And lo,’ there I was.

Mittens were readily exchanged.

Perhaps I will make Operation Feelin’ Great a monthly thing. The whole day served as a giant reminder to me. And I don’t want to get all melodramatic on you but the truth is this:

I create my own days.

Fer chrissakes, I even have it typed out in my own sidebar as a reminder to myself! Life is an adventure of my own design. Every day is a gift.

For sure, there are people who suffer from depression and things like that. I’m not one of those people. I only know what works for me, and what kinds of things make me happy and feel great.

Here’s a few:

Notice I didn’t say cleanliness. Ha. I don’t need my floor to be so clean I could eat off it, but I definitely don’t like stepping over piles of crap. (Mark is reading this right now and is very close to typing out a comment like “THEN WHY DON’T YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE BASEMENT?” Well hon. I don’t like the mess, but as you know, finding the energy to tackle it is something else altogether.)

Going for walks, fresh air, and yes, even going to the gym.

A sense of acheivement
I recently had a special preview screening of a video for which I wrote the script, and it looked fantastic. I always enjoy seeing The Finished Product, no matter what it is. CheapEats Ottawa v2 is out now, and my name is in there as a contributor. I went to the launch party and felt postively glowy inside. That’s a good feeling.

Planning and thinking about special projects
Like the Trust Experiment, or the Shopping Embargo.

Positive feedback
In other words, acknowlegement. Oh, and FLATTERY WILL GET YOU EVERYWHERE. Related to this: reciprocal kindness. It makes me feel great to be nice to someone, it’s a double whammy if that kindness is returned.

Time to focus on myself
No need to expand on this one. The self-encouragement, the long shower, the healthy breakfast, the socks, the time at the coffeeshop, the (free!) meditation podcast I listened too … these all contribute immensely.

Love and friendship
I have lots of love in my life, but to be honest, few people whom I would call Very Good Friends. This is a sore point, perhaps worthy of it’s own post someday. Culivating friendships make great days too. I hope to improve in this area.

I don’t have the luxury of time to do this kind of thing every day (i.e. lying in a puddle of sun while I’m meditating, taking long coffeebreaks and eating baked goods at the local coffeeshop), but it really doesn’t take that much mental effort to stay positive. The best advice is this: Act how you want to feel. Smile like you mean it. And be kind to others.

It works.

I need to start taking better care of myself – ’cause you know what they say –  if mummy isn’t happy, no one is happy. Right?

4 Responses to "A few thoughts about Operation Feelin’ Great"

2 | Julie

February 16th, 2008 at 10:12 am


I admire that you were able to plan and follow through on a great day. I don’t however, think it’s in the cards for me. It’s sad, but the “goodness or badness” of my days often have very little to do with me… it’s not just me is it? I know, I know, I shouldn’t let other people’s moods affect mine, but sometimes I just can’t find another way. Anyway, I think I just might try it and see how I make out…

3 | porter

February 16th, 2008 at 10:22 am


I think it’s called balance.

4 | Chantal

February 16th, 2008 at 2:29 pm


I think what you are doing is wonderful. I would like to incorporate those types of things if my days. I will work on it. I know people who could really use your outlook. I feel sad for them, that they get so bogged down in hardships (that aren’t really hardships). It is nice to know I am not the only one who feels I deserve the best. We all do.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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