Most days, I post a resolution on Facebook. I need to post something, and since I don’t have cute cat videos, dear dog photos, or pithy thoughts that can be posted in the few words that most FB perusers can absorb in the few seconds they allow per post, I’ve been posting resolutions. Even if no one reads them, it’s a way of concentrating my thoughts on a particular area I need to work on that day, and it helps. Yesterday, for example, I knew I would have to be conciliatory and kind to someone I wasn’t feeling kindly toward, so I posted, “Today I will be . . . humanitary.” I couple of days ago, I needed to be firm and steadfast in a decision, and so I chose “staunch.”
At the beginning, I just chose one of the words from the word art I use as my cover photo for my profile — words such as playful, daring, intense, bold, whimsical, mysterious, legendary. But when I stumbled on the book, The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, I started using words that few people knew, words such as alcatory (depending on luck or chance), magniloquent (lofty in expression), veridical (truthful), cachinnate (laugh loudly). The odd thing is that most of the adjectives in those 192 pages were not exactly uplifting. As interesting as the words look, dysphoria, fractious, louche, purulent are not states to which I aspire.
It’s become something of a treasure hunt to discover hidden gems such as eupathy, which means a happy condition of the soul. Don’t we all strive to be eupathic? It gave me great pleasure to bring this jewel to light.
Today I discovered another wonderful word. Habromania — a kind of insanity in which there are delusions of a cheerful character or gaiety. [It comes from the Greek words habros meaning graceful or delicate and mainesthai to be mad] I don’t imagine that it’s a comfortable state since it is a form of insanity after all, and yet, those who have it would, by definition, be happy. David E. Kelley, the man responsible for Ally McBeal, seemed to like habromaniacs since he used them occasionally in the series. In one show, an old man was wonderfully happy, giving away his fortune to the dismay of his children. It wasn’t until the man’s wife died and he found himself unable to cry or even be sad at her passing that he allowed himself to be treated.
It seems to me our world could use a few more habromaniacs — people who are happy even though sanity seems to dictate misery.
So, today I will be . . . habromaniacal.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.