Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy people live secure in the knowledge that the activities that bring them enjoyment in the present will also lead to a fulfilling future.

~Tal Ben Shahar Ph.D.

from the book Happier

This quote hit me right between the eyes. I read it several times to get the full effect. It is so simple yet it seems like new information to my tired brain.

This book focuses on the science, philosophy and trends within the pursuit of happiness. It is based on a course that this guy teaches at Harvard.

Some other thoughts to ponder, just 16 pages into the book:

  • Happiness is a continuum and not a destination.

  • The real question to ask is, "How can I become happier?"

  • Create rituals rather than forcing self discipline.

  • Keep a gratitude journal--remember 5 things nightly about your day of which you are grateful for. Studies show that people who do this are more happy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Swap Party!

I was at the dentist today, in anticipation of my much awaited root canal and was given a magazine to read. In the Better Homes and Gardens current issue, it suggests hosting a swap party. I think that is a lovely idea.

So, I propose we spend January going through our prospective junk (I mean treasure) and prepare for a shindig during the dead of February when it is cold and there is a lull in the action.
We can bring our items and swap for other items that are being laid aside.

Here are the rules for the swap. One rule is that once you bring an item to the swap it is no longer yours. All left over items will be donated to the Columbus Catholic Worker Free Store.

February 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm. If you are interested, let me know and I will send you along an invitation with particulars. There will be warm drinks and light refreshments provided.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hiccup Cure--Not!

The kids and I were in the grocery store the other day and Alea said she had the hiccups. Being the good mom that I am I tried to scare her hiccups away. I tried a, "Boo" as I turned toward her looking all googly eyed.

She said, "Mom, your not scary!"

I exclaimed, "I'm not?" Looking dejected.

Kye pipes up, "Well, Mom, you are like a protector, how can you be scary?"

I like the way the kid thinks!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Had the family over for our Christmas celebration today. We always get together after the holiday to ensure that each of us will be present. In times past we sometimes found that one of us had to be at the in laws and it would not feel quite right. So we decided to ditch the whole, "have to have Christmas exactly on December 25th" idea. It has worked out beautifully.
Today was no exception the food was great, company pleasant and we had a great time.
We tried out a new game called Quelf that I purchased for my niece Becca. Loads of fun. Also very silly and game challenges you to step outside of your comfort zone--not too much, but enough.
Whether it was adding the suffix "izzle" to every statement or pretending you are a pilot doing announcements, there was some fun in it for us all.

Whilst playing the game, I did come to a realization though. We were almost done, needed to close up shop at 7:00 and had about 9 minutes to go. It was my turn and my instructions were to point up to the sky, announce that my turn was completed and then continue to stare off "into space" until my next turn. I dutifully followed the directions on the card and several folks interacted with me and noticed my gaze was not with the board. My son Quinn was most perplexed and felt he needed to poke me and verbally challenge me to give him eye contact.

I remained stead fast. I was determined to live up to the challenge.

Then as three others took turns, I realized that a question was popping in my head. Do I stick it out --tenaciously keeping my commitment to off staring or do I decide to take a penalty and join the group in their revelry?
I decided to spend the following 4 minutes engaged in the activity rather than fulfilling the card requirement. I do not regret my decision. Others noticed I failed my task, but it was a small price to pay for I chose the path.

This silly little exercise did make me think though. How many times do I stick with something that ultimately will leave me unfulfilled? How often do I let stubbornness or determination get in the way of my true why behind? How much of my life do I live according to "the" rules or my own preconceived rules?
The simple act of taking stock and seeing choices really helped me to recognize a path rather than living blindly. Now there is something to be said for going with the flow or respecting rules. There is a time for everything. This exercise was one of just realizing that we do have choices in each situation and making them consciously can be a really good thing.

An author whom I like, Seth Godin, has a great little book that gives guidance about this very thing. The name of the book is Dip; A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick). You can take a sneak peek here.

Now, if I can only remember to stop, reflect, and's to consciousness!