Monday, April 30, 2012

My Happiness Project?

Have you ever had a great idea?  The kind where you are just sitting on the couch one night and you think, “wow, I am so smart, why has no one ever thought of this before me?”.  You sit there for a while, enjoying the thought that you have discovered something that no one else could possibly have discovered.  You go to sleep, you dream of sharing your idea with others, becoming a millionaire from your discovery…and the next morning when you turn on the Today Show, they sit down to interview the founder of the exact same idea.

When I decided to do this blog, the main agenda was clear to me:  help people to look for the good in life.  I’ve always been a writer, and also a positive thinker, and as I saw some of the people that I’m closest to in this life going through some really hard times, I decided that my words could possibly be a comfort to them, and perhaps to others as well.  And so, the brainstorming began.  I got on my laptop, started making notes about the different posts I would write, the different ways I could help my readers live a happier life.

The next day, I decided to start looking at some other blogs to get inspiration, to decide on a name for my blog, and to see how other bloggers were making their sites interesting.  The first thing that pops up on my screen is an advertisement for the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.  Basically, she had stolen my idea.  She had climbed into my head, taken all of my brainstorming notes, and written herself a little book.  And it just so happened to be on the New York Times Bestseller List.  Darn her!

I have to admit I was disappointed.  And in the days following, I also found other similar blogs—with an intent to brighten people’s days, to help them focus on the happiness that can be found in a not-so-perfect world. Each new “happiness blog” brought my level of happiness even lower, and I almost decided against starting this blog.  But, alas, here we are!  I finally came around, and realized how ironic the situation was…I was planning to write a blog about trying to be happy, while at the same time I was getting upset about it before it even began!

And so, this is my Happiness Project.  I have started to read Gretchen’s, and it is a great read, but who says mine can’t be a great read, too?  There’s room on the internet for all of us, and my agenda remains the same:  to help you, all of you that have so graciously decided to read my blog, to have a better day, a better week, a better outlook on life.

  Mondays will be devoted to looking for the good in this life.  And I did pick Mondays for a reason!  No matter what your worries, your struggles, your unhappiness…please don’t start your week off on a negative note.  Join us here each Monday morning for a dose of “happiness in a blog”.  And most importantly, after you finish reading my words, it’s your turn.  Take those happy thoughts into the workplace, or into your home with your children, and spend the rest of the week reflecting on them.  Believe me, no matter how bad your Mondays are, it’s not worth it to worry so much.  Just take a deep breath, smile, and say “Bring it on, life.  Bring. It. On.”

*To follow Gretchen's "Happiness Project", or to find information on her book, go to

Sunday, April 29, 2012



On Sundays we will be celebrating the element of surprise.  What would life be without a little spontaneity, little surprises here and there?  No matter how big or small, surprises have always been one of my favorite things.  Surprise parties, buying the perfect unexpected gift, surprise visits from friends and family.  Seeing the look on people’s faces when something unexpected (and pleasant) happens to them is priceless!

When my husband and I bought our first home, we didn’t even tell anyone that we had met with a realtor.  We were moving closer to home, and we knew everyone would be excited.  So, we had secret meetings with our realtor—it was fun sneaking around and looking at houses!  When we had found the one, we signed the papers and drove straight to my parents’ house to tell them.  What a shocking knock at the door that was!  After my parents recovered from the surprise, we made the rounds and drove around to the rest of the family members’ doorsteps to tell them.  What a fun night! Everyone was very excited…they only had one complaint:  all of them thought we were showing up on their doorstep to tell them that I was pregnant!  (Don’t worry, they didn’t have to wait long…about a month later we were making the rounds yet again to share that baby #1 was on the way!)

I know that some people are not really big fans of surprises.  My mom would fall under this category.  However, my dad and I continue to surprise her year after year at her birthday.  Haha, Mom!  So, for those of you who prefer a heads-up, who like your days to be scheduled and predictable, I apologize in advance for my Sunday posts! J  I’d like to think of them as “grab bag” posts—a day to hear from guest bloggers, a time to discuss topics that maybe don’t fit into our other daily themes.  And yes, we may literally talk about surprises, too!  I have to admit this is one of the areas I’m most excited to work on…and I’d love to hear your input about what you’d like to read on your (hopefully) lazy Sundays at home with your families and friends.

Two questions for you today….first, are you a surprise-lover or a surprise-hater?  And second, what are some topics you would be interested in reading about on “Grab-Bag Sundays”?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Journey Begins...

“Look for the good in people.” (Pollyanna, 1960)

Such a simple phrase, yet could we ask for any better advice in this life?  If we learn to live our lives with this thought in mind, this world may begin to look very different.  The grouchy cashier in the grocery store check-out lane becomes a fellow mother, one whose tired eyes and unkempt hair remind us that she, too, endures sleepless nights and devotes her life to her family.  And perhaps the endless, mundane workday becomes instead an opportunity to reach out to others, to be the bright spot in perhaps another endless, mundane day in their lives.  You really never know when your words may make someone’s day, change their outlook, or even save their life.

 I’m not denying that there is pain, suffering, and just plain evil in this world; it is all around us.  But that doesn’t mean it has to be in us.  Think about your daily life—the things you talk about with your family, your friends, your co-workers.  Are the topics cheerful, encouraging, and uplifting? Or do you find yourself complaining, worrying, and gossiping?  None of us is perfect, and therefore we tend to let the world get us down.  But don’t give up; don’t let the world win.  Every time you feel a complaint or a negative comment coming to mind, try to think about the consequences of what you are about to say.  Is there really a reason for saying it?  Will your comment change the situation, or just add to the problems?

And so my blog is born.  With little Pollyanna’s optimism in mind, I am setting out to look for the good—in people, in life, in my community.  Please join me on this quest, this journey to a new outlook on life.  I guarantee that the journey will not end in a perfect world, nor will your troubles be erased.  But perhaps I can send you off to work each morning, or off to bed each night, with a happy heart and a hopeful thought for tomorrow.  Stick around…”the best is yet to come”.

**BARGAIN ALERT!!!  If you live in the Quad-Cities and you are looking for bargains this weekend, head out to the CITY-WIDE garage sales in Blue Grass!  Today (Saturday, April 28th) from 7:00-2:00.  Happy hunting! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

5 Days til Launch!

OK, so I got a little too excited after sending out the message about my blog starting up......I couldn't wait any longer to post something!  The first "official" post will be Saturday, April 28th, as scheduled.  (I have been writing the posts ahead of time for about a month now, so I've got them all ready to go, but I have to stick to my schedule! Neurotic, I know!)

So, think of this little post as a "preview" or a "welcome" to all of you who have already checked out the page. I appreciate each and every one of you, and I look forward to making this blogging journey with you!  Thank you for your interest in my words!  I will see you back here on Saturday! :)


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