where wildly different is perfectly normal
The Henny Penny Challenge
The Henny Penny Challenge

The Henny Penny Challenge

henny penny challengeWell, at least it wasn’t Eeyore.

I got called out the other day, and I had it coming. Until about 2009 my default switch was Optimism, and it got me though a lot. It was who I was. Then late that year things started to go downhill, pick up speed, hit some potholes, go airborne, and eventually come to a stop in some brambles. I’ve been pulling out thorns and licking my wounds for well over a year now, grumbling the whole time while insisting I wasn’t really grumbling. My default switch got knocked to FML without me realizing it, or even caring. Those thorns weren’t going to pull themselves out, you know.

All that thorn-pulling and wound-licking and what-iffing is unhealthy after awhile. Sent out a gazillion job applications and not so much as a “you suck, don’t bother us” auto-reply…licklicklick. Everywhere I look there is something wrong or broken or in desperate need of attention…licklicklicklicklick. What the hell happened to my creativity I used to be funnier and a better writer and OMG I have a book I’m supposed to be writing and I have all these blog post ideas that are stuck in my brain and a great idea for a new website but no time or energy or inspiration for anything and could you all just be quiet and let me think for awhile and what the hell has happened to my life???…sluuuuuurp.

So after trying the other day for gabillionth time to write something and finally coming to the conclusion that mental constipation is a real thing, I made an offhand comment on Facebook, that I seemed to have lost my muse, mojo, and mind.

And my friend Kate called me out on it in the nicest way:

Your muse, mojo, and sanity will return when the happy effects of positive are dwelled upon longer than the negative. I hereby dare you to three yes. THREE positive and happy things every day (EVERY DAY) through the month of June.
Everyday, Henny Penny, you must share three positives that have occurred and have brought you joy.

Crap. Henny Penny. Chicken Little. The Sky Is Falling. AGH! I hate admitting it, but she’s absolutely right. Not that I hate admitting she’s right, but I hate that I had let things slide to that point. Not a lot of positive thinking in the cranium as of late, and it’s only been getting worse. So I’ve accepted her challenge, and the carrot she’s dangling. Kate is a photographer and has offered to come take pictures of my family if I pull this off. Truthfully, I don’t know if I can. Pulling the switch from FML back to Optimism is going to be tough, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Seriously, what do I have to lose? I doubt I’ll miss the mental misery a whole lot. Every day I’m posting on my personal Facebook three positive and joyful things that have happened, and if I remember I’ll post them on the Laughing at Chaos page as well. By the end of the month I hope to be a lot more optimistic and happier.

Because at least it wasn’t Eeyore. I can’t stand Eeyore.


  1. Kim

    I have some thoughts on this that I may save for a phone call, but my life has taken several twists and turns, lurching in unexpected directions due to an HG (2e?) child and I, too am much less chipper and optimistic than I used to be. Or maybe it’s middle age, world events or global climate change, but I’m there with you in many ways.

    1. Jen

      It’s like being on the old Nickelodeon show (before Nick went south) “You Can’t Do That On Television.” You just never know when you’re gonna get slimed.

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