Sometimes a good life is a great outcome.
Saturday, December 31, 2022
Saturday, November 12, 2022
|Not the lean, but you get the idea.|
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
the key to happiness is to notice the little moments of our lifeI remember thinking she was lovely and all but that was way too hippy-dippy for me so I moved on.
Well now that I'm older I totally see what she means. We don't remember the hours in our days, we remember the brief moments that made us feel alive and stick with us. One of my first real stick-with-me-moments was the day I was graduating from high school and not for the reasons you might think. It was because I noticed how my forest green gown perfectly matched the venue we graduated at: Ravinia. It felt like we were all one, in this big group of people (friends, family, teachers) I cared about, in this beautiful place 🌲🌳🌲🌳... and that felt emotional and magical.
I have attended many concerts there since and I always make a point of pausing for a moment to feel the audience sing in unison. Yes, I like the performer/s on stage, but it's the unison that gives me chills. People harmonizing together in joy is one of the best things to ever be in the middle of.
Seeing my book on the shelf after a year and half of work to write it- a moment!
When I feel sad or stressed I try and look for little moments of joy and it changes my mood immediately. And it doesn't have to be anything big. The other day I enjoyed a perfectly ripe mango and the moment was wonderful - the color, the smell and the taste- JOY!
Last week my family and some dear friends got together at a lovely winery to surprise my step-mom Bobbie for her 80th. The wine, food and chocolates were fantastic but the moment for me was when I read a poem I had written and I looked up and and she was teary (which is very rare for her). She said as a step-parent you don't always know if you've made a difference in your kids' lives and it meant a lot to hear she had 😊
Music, plants, food, wine, loved ones, a movie, a song lyric, a sunset, a kiss ... there are many things that make me stop in awe of how beautiful life is. So yes, that therapist was right all those years ago-- moments are what make our lives happy. Therefore if we want more happy, we need to stop and breathe in a few more as we live ours.
And if this reminds you of anyone who's helped make a happy moment for you, please share that with them, it'll probably create another one just enjoying the memory of it together.
Cheers to Bobbie 🎂 and all the bonus parents that enrich our world, to the therapists that leave us with nuggets, and to the Happy Moments of our lives 🍷
Sunday, August 28, 2022
For those that don't know I at one time had a little thing for Louis CK. I know, I know but gather yourself and let's move on to the insight this brings me to...
We had been chatting about a Happy Mind and one of the keys to that is a clear conscience free of shame, guilt, regret and bad vibes. If we are haunted by things we've done, even if we have lots of happy in our life, this shadow of darkness will follow us.
There is a reason that 12-step programs include steps of inventorying and making amends to people that we've wronged and most religions have some form of atonement for bad acts we've committed.
Recently an ex texted to say they were sorry about how things didn't work out with us and they hope I will forgive them someday. And it reminded me of Louis CK's big SORRY sign 😏
Sure it's nice to hear someone is sorry but it only counts in my book if they clean up the mess they made along with the words they speak (or in LCK's case, stand in front of). The onus is not on the person that's been wronged to forgive someone if it's just blah, blah, blah to make them feel less guilty. True forgiveness is earned by correcting the behavior, owning what they did, and restitution to make things at a minimum as repaired as possible.
Where did you own what you did?
What have you done to clean up your mess?
And where is the restitution to make up for the damage you wrought?
We all mess up. We all cause pain even when we're not trying to hurt someone; but when we know we did something truly bad we can't just text/statement it away.
LCK used humor and the fact that some fans didn't care what he did to salve/ignore his guilt. Not good enough. He owes the women he harassed compensation for what he did to them. There were women who suffered career and other real damage from his actions. The 10ft tall sign was bright and flashy alright and I did actually watch his special to see what he had to say- but there was no sorry in his act or actions.
Again, the human condition is we all have a level of meanness in us, none of us is so saintly that we don't ever do anything wrong. It's hard, painful and sometimes costly to clean up our messes so we mostly don't go there. What a waste because if we cleared our conscience and did the hard part we would have a happy healthy mind, heart and future.my book, only the one about love comes before it. Because a festering ick in our life just gets ickier!
Someone once described a clear conscience as being able to walk into any room with your head held high no matter who you might run into and I think that's a pretty good visual.
The irony is if we summon the strength to own our messes there is a pop of relief, peace and closure that is worth the effort and humility on the other side.
So if you're regretting something you've done or your conscience is not clear, don't let your pride, stubbornness or fear stop you from getting things handled. Map out what is there for you and don't get overwhelmed, but just do a little step at a time to clean up your karma.
Otherwise, you'll be the one sorry you didn't 😌
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
What have you learned about yourself this year?
and so I wanted to share what I told her....
What struck me is how we are back to almost normal again and I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing. Of course the return to living is truly wonderful but that we have seemingly forgot all that we went through (and lost) is a bit surreal to me.
Two years ago at this time I was celebrating my birthday on the phone/zoom with my friends and then alone with a cocktail on my deck having a drink to my health; my birthday wish was for the end of the isolation once the vaccine was approved.
As you can see by my cheeky post thanking my friends for their bday messages- what I was looking forward to most was hugging and being with people again 🤗 . And here we are two years later and I think we've forgotten and are taking for granted how great it is to be back out in the world. I know I have.
I actually was getting ready to push meeting Vickie until next weekend because I was feeling tired Sunday morning and then I remembered how two years ago I would have done anything to be able to be out to lunch with a friend.
Bad dates, family obligations, long check out lines-- pick a gripe we have now and boy would I have loved to have been doing any of them that summer.
So much has changed since around that time. New home, new job, have had some great dates (and kisses) and gotten settled into my blondness. All in the last two years.
Lucky me, I got to spend time with my sister at the art museum and strolling around Long Grove with Vickie last weekend and some more plans in the upcoming days... so my birthday this year has been fantastic!! But what has made it even happier is remembering how precious it was to have all that alone time so that I now treasure even more the time I get to be with those I love (or even like a lot 😉).
So Happy Happy Birthday to ME!! And here's hoping this reminder is a little gift to you that each year is to be celebrated and to be out in the world and healthy is the greatest of joys!
Cheers to You, Me and all there is yet to be 🍷🍸🍹
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Suffering is when we try to stop our sadness from being fully felt.
I got this image of a box on a shelf and that we suffer when we try not to be sad about something ever again instead of putting it on a shelf and then taking it down and being sad whenever we needed to be sad. Suffering is resisting our sadness. Suffering is trying to numb our pain instead of feeling it.
It wasn't that I was never going to sad about something ever again, but that I didn't need to carry it with me. I could actually put it down and not drag it around like an anchor.
What a revelation and relief! Life has sadness and sometimes it feels good to be with it and get a good cry in and feel the loss. And then we can put it back where it belongs and not lead with it and not sprinkle it on our current happy life. I now don't avoid being sad, I feel what I'm feeling and sometimes I cry out, and even wallow in, how much I miss Chris and Ted or wish my Nonne was here to make tortellini with.
When I went back the next morning I was greeted with concern and kindness and then relief that I had figured out how to release my own suffering. I hope to save you the suffering you might be doing about your own suffering now that you see how happy we can be to be sad sometimes. Keep your sadness as long as it takes, and as close as you need to. But I offer up that it doesn't need you to keep it with you.
No one you love would want you to suffer in their absence (whether because of death or circumstance), it would not be their wish to be the source of your pain. You know they would want you to live a happy life in their honor not in your darkness. Not to mention, if your suffering isn't about love but about trauma that was done to you, be clear... nothing that was done to you is worth stealing your present and future joy. Feel your sadness, and then take a deep long breath, add a loud sigh if called for, and then release it until you're ready to be with it again. And if it is still deep inside and clinging to you, please get help to put it in its proper place and free yourself of that burden.
Time has healed most of my wounds but sometimes when I need a good cry I'm happy that I loved a few deeply enough to be worthy of my tears.
I hope you take the time to feel your sad tears as well and they bring you some relief. And when you're ready, that they dry and you can get back to a Happy Happy life.
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Oh, and did I mention I was still recovering from a breakup. Ya, it suuuucked!!!!
I was so so sad and had white-knuckled it through until that Fall when I hit a breaking point and needed to do something. So I attended a weekend workshop: Landmark Forum. And, hated it! Well I hated the first day, then got food poisoning the second day (from a local lunch spot, not their fault)... but then on the third day it all came together and I've never been the same since. There has been plenty written about Landmark so let me be clear, yes it is a little cult-y in that you get pretty high on the transformation you undergo and then they want you to tell everyone you know about it; but no, it's not a cult. I can't be sure if this is what they actually meant to teach us but this is what I got out of it...
The key to understanding life is that we suffer because we're meaning-making-machines that take our past experiences and interpret what's happening now through those old tainted lens. So when X happens we project our past onto the situation and tell ourselves a story (Y) about what's happening as a way to understand its meaning which we then believe is the whole and real truth when it's simply just our version of what we choose to believe.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Focus on what is great about you!
What's something beautiful about you?
Friday, February 18, 2022
Happy Dating [Part 2]: SEX
🚨Warning: Do not read this post if you don't want to know about my sexlife 😜
I'm great in bed!
I don't give out my number until after our first date for my own safety and privacy.
Sunday, February 6, 2022
It's a numbers game, try on your non-types and make sure to have some fun!
I also pulled off the shelf my pal Amy's fantastic book: Meeting Your Half-Orange. This little nugget alone changed my dating mindset:
- Join Bumble to start. Lifetime membership is $230 and worth the cost because I've found it's the highest quality easiest to manage site. The filters alone are worth it.
- Crushes: Author Gretchen Rubin shared a friend's philosophy that it is always better to have more than one crush at a time so you're not needy and don't get overly-invested too soon. I think 3 crushes is ideal 😉
- Screeners: Trust me I hate that this is necessary but I do ask people three questions before I agree to date them:
- Are you vax'd?
- Did you vote for Trump?
- Do you believe in the literal word of the Bible?
Yes, I'm open to meeting people of differing opinions but I've found these are values-dealbreakers for me and I had to implement them after several run-ins with anti-vax-Trumpers who feel if only I believed in a talking snake we would be perfect together 😳Again, this is why paying extra for filtering is SO worth it!
- Pre-Meet: I am a big fan of a call or video chat before you agree to meet up for a face-to-face date. Saves you the time, energy and disappointment of an awkward encounter. I've found if they don't want to speak before you meet there is probably a good reason (if you know what I mean).
- It doesn't always go this nicely but that's my goal. Had to move on from cute-Ken because though he wasn't anti-vax he hadn't gotten his by late summer and that was not going to work for me. Even though he had his solid rationale (and a minor in microbiology), I couldn't get over his reasoning so I sent him the kindest note I could explaining why. I think it's the least we can do for each other.
- The other thing I've discovered is people pop back up on other sites or in real life (like at a friend's birthday party 😬) so don't ghost or be jerky unless they really deserve it.
- Try Them On: My sister thinks I have a type- she's not wrong mind you- but I have gone off type before. Actually way way off type, but that didn't work out so great so I was back to looking for what I thought I wanted when I got a like from a guy who I had already passed on. But when he showed back up again I gave him a chance and sent him a rather playfully sarcastic note about how I didn't think we were a match but was I missing something?
He sent back a funny confident reply that had me amused and intrigued... and yada yada yada... a few days later gave me one of the best kisses I've ever had! So, though he didn't match my image of what I wanted he was definitely worth the try-on.
- Modify the List: My friend Diane tells of how she got serious about what she was looking for and made a map of the qualities she wanted and then her Dave appeared. Which is a great story and start. But I've learned now that I'm older different things are more important than even a few years ago: kindness, calm, self-awareness. I'd rather have a person who loves what he does then shows off what he has; cares about listening to me and creating together how we want things to go; that gets why his previous relationship wasn't his last and can own his part in it. That's sexy as hell to me now!!
Today I care less about his looks and more about how it feels when our legs touch while deep in conversation; he can be shorter if he's got a huge heart; and if he's working out some large challenges but has great communication skills, watch out I'm a goner 😍
- Guys say they like humor and are "fluent in sarcasm" but don't test this notion until you meet them and make sure they're at least as funny as you are. Learned this the hard way (sorry, CL 😕).
- Text only in the first 48hours then meet or at least talk before more texting. It's really easy to be misinterepted and have things go off the rails or acquire a texting-buddy which is not good for moving things along.
- Dating is suppose to be fun... so get a few cute outfits, have some light stories you can share if you get nervous, and remember if it doesn't feel fun you never have to see them again... and if does, YAY you might get to see them again!
- We never know what someone is looking for so just be you and if you're not their person that's great you now have another card turned over and one less non-monkey to worry about.
- If you're joining an online site make sure you have a friend take some new flattering pics of you. Don't cut your ex out of old pics or use ones that don't look recent. If we're friends, I'll even do them for you. You deserve to go in with the best snapshot of what you have to offer -- of course, no false-advertising but certainly don't sell yourself short either!
Saturday, January 22, 2022
How to Happy
You silly girls, even on your worst day millions would gladly trade places with you.
And I'm not talking the latest iPhone, I'm talking a toilet. A decade ago I came across a posting for World Toilet Day (Nov. 19th) to raise awareness that even in these modern times 4.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation. Think about that!
Anytime I'm being bratty or grumpy I remind myself how lucky I am. My friends sometimes get annoyed because I'll often say there is nothing to be upset about if we have running water and a toilet. Mostly I'm joking, but not really.
When Mr. Klemm said millions would trade places with us, it's actually probably BILLIONS! 💩
💀 Ok, by now you might be thinking: alright Joy enough with the goodie-goodie aren't we lucky to be living in today's times and have basic creature comforts. I've got some stuff to be really unhappy about!
Well to that I would say: Yay you!! Because if you've got real problems then you've got a real life and are alive to figure those things out.
See because the other big life lesson I learned is Memento Mori: Remember that you die!
This Latin phrase has been used by religions and philosophers over the ages to remind us that life is impermanent and we need to therefore cherish the time we have alive. So if you are having a hard time or suffering in any way I know it's difficult but try and remember that we are all lucky to be alive even through the sucky times in life. The alternative is to not be unhappy at all, ever 😬
Again, I don't have it all figured out but when I contemplated what to share with Sheryl this is what came to mind. Several specifics on other life topics popped up as well, so for the next few months I'm going to write a bit about other ways I try and be happy. If you have any topics you'd like me to opine on please send me a comment/note and I'll see if I can include them.
I have hope that 2022 is going to be wonderful and I have perspective, gratitude and death to point me in this direction. Come follow along with Sheryl and me as we explore it even further. Cheers to teenage angst, toilets, time here together and finding the JOY and the Happy 🤗
Saturday, January 1, 2022
When I was doing my year end summary and Creating 2022, all I could think about is how weird the last two years have been. I mean as you'll recall I had high hopes for the new decade and thought 2020 was going to be amazing. It was alright, in that I was amazed at how crazy things got in our world.
Then 2021 comes and I'm sure it'll be so much better, how can it not?!
Well let's see, an insurrection, an impeachment, our top olympic athlete has the spins, abortion is once again (read: still) dividing the nation, tornadoes, fires, vaccine deniers, anti-maskers... and did I mention while the world was spinning I was in search of a new home, job and love?Amanda Gorman?), we're back in the Paris Agreement, vaccines are here, Simone Biles left us even more inspired and we can at least have a semi-nornal life again. Sure some of it was super surreal, like how I found myself cheering on Liz Cheney who of all people is fighting to save democracy.