A Little Happier: Why I Remind Myself, “Get a Hold of Yourself, Meredith.”

You know how sometimes you hear a story, even second-hand or third-hand, and it sticks in your mind? My college roommate told me this story years ago, and she’d heard it from her friend, who had heard it from his sister, in her letter from summer camp. So I’m getting it fourth hand, yet I’ve never forgotten it!

So my college roommate’s friend’s younger sister Meredith was at summer camp, and she was miserable. She was writing long, unhappy letters back to her family—about how homesick she was, she was crying, she wasn’t having any fun. Then, in one letter, after writing for pages about how sad she was, at the bottom of the last page, she wrote, “Get a hold of yourself, Meredith!”

I’ve never forgotten this story, and this little girl giving herself an encouraging shake.

And whenever I find myself going into a downward spiral, and going on for pages and pages in my own mind about everything that’s going wrong, I think to myself, “Get a hold of yourself, Meredith.” If Meredith can do it, so can I!




Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.