This morning, an author named Richard Conniff wrote about insect and bug bites on -- of all places -- the Times's "happiness blog" (here) which is "a discussion about the search for contentment in its many forms — economic, emotional, physical, spiritual — and the stories of those striving to come to terms with the lives they lead."
Conniff wrotes about a guy named Justin O. Schmidt who keeps meticulous track of all the bites and stings that he gets -- and channels the experiences into something approaching happiness. Conniff says the key is that Schmidt allows himself to feel the "flow" of the being-stung-or-bitten experience:
Positive psychology types like to say that savoring the moment is a “crucial happiness skill,” and that’s what Schmidt does next: “So I pay a little attention to the type of pain it is, how long it lasts, how intense it gets.” A harvester ant, for instance, “felt like somebody was putting a knife in and twisting it.” A wasp known in the American Southwest as the “tarantula hawk” made him lie down and scream: “The good news is that by three minutes, it’s gone. If you really use your imagination you can get it to last five.”This is great stuff!! I can barely wait to get bitten next time and experiment with Schmidt's approach. I'm definitely skeptical but it's also fun to think about things in completely different ways.