In early 2006, I was at the Verrazzano Castle winery with friends, on the outskirts of Florence. Giovanni da Verrazzano was born there and later went off to find a passage to Asia and sailed into the mouth of what would later be called the Hudson River. As she explained all this, our friendly guide tossed a sideways glance waiting for the association, a connection that my raised-in-Hawaii brain was not able to make. Later that year, I passed the Verrazzano Bridge in New York and quickly took a picture of what symbolized a joyous, albeit slow, synaptic event.
Whenever I look at this picture, my senses first remember the crisp, wood smoke scented air of a hillside in Italy and then I remember the warmth in my brother's car as we headed for the airport on a rainy morning. Then, I see the modern structure of steel and concrete. Quite a different reaction would occur though, if I passed the bridge everyday or had never experienced the other Verrazzano landmark. Luxurious, five-star hotel suite memories rise first.
I thought about this when I read Gretchen Rubin's "Dealing with Post Election Blues". Research has shown that we tend to overestimate how bad or good we will feel about a particular outcome. "The identity of the President is important, but it won't be the only thing that you think about on November 5, and December 12, and March 19, etc." Rubin says. Either way, we'll just keep on keeping on.
While we may not be able to accurately forecast the weather, the elections or the future, we can predict, very accurately, how we will feel about a particular event. Even though we might overestimate the intensity of our feelings, we know if we will feel good or bad. That becomes our story and we stick to it. With that capability, why would anyone choose to feel bad? And, if you could choose to be happy, then why wait for the future?
When I choose to feel good in the present moment, whether I'm in a castle in Italy or the back seat of a car on a rainy day, it impacts my future. When I have to pass through all of those good memories before I react, chances are that the actions I take and the decisions I make, will be in pursuit of the same.
That's it, I've made my decision. I vote to be happy no matter who becomes the 44th president of the Unites States of America and I approve this message.