March 18, 2013

Happiness is....
Happy Monday, and welcome to the first day of Act Happy Week.  I hadn't heard of this particular celebratory week, but I've long believed that putting on a happy face establishes the tone for the day.  What's the saying?  If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!  Maybe that's why I always sang You are My Sunshine, slightly off key and with a twang, as I woke my kids when they were still at home.  Fortunately I have a partner in crime when it comes to the rise and be happy school of thought, as I am married to a man who tends to leap out of bed whistling.  It's such a nice way to set the morning off on a good 'note'.
The rationale behind Act Happy Week is that scientists are discovering that even if we don't feel happy, by acting happy and visualizing happiness our brains release chemicals in the body that can be beneficial to our health, wealth, and friendship.  Dale Carnegie, an early proponent of positive thinking, emphatically believed that if we "act as if [we] were already happy ... that will tend to make [us] happy."  I keep a quote from Martha Washington displayed on my refrigerator that reads "I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.  For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but but by our disposition."

 Bookmark - Happiness is A Cup of Tea and A Good Book
So in order to celebrate Act Happy Week, I asked my family at our St. Patrick's dinner last night what made them happy and I'll share the results of my unofficial poll with you all week long.  I'll start with a short list of some of the things that make me happy. 

lilacs in springtime
lilacs from my backyard displayed in an antique pitcher from my parents, doily crocheted by my mother

a Miss Marple mystery
chin drippin' juicy peaches
The Big Peach Orchard in Indiana that my dad and I always loved to visit
pretty aprons
and finding a Walton's re-run on television
I loved John-Boy and wanted to be a writer just like him....(and for the writers who read my blog, I do know that I should correctly write "wanted to be writer just like he (was a writer) but I am deliberately using idiomatic English instead, because it sounds artificial and pretentious to say 'just like he'.  I just wanted to set the record straight, in case my mother reads this....)
 and here's one of my favorite spring poems to start the week on a happy note:


By Billy Collins
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Unfortunately, today is NOT that kind of day, as a new snow storm started up shortly after I posted this blog, and another 2-4 inches of snow are piling up outside.  This weather is seriously delaying lilacs and peaches, but thank goodness for Miss Marple and John-Boy on television!  I'll try to keep thinking happy thoughts in spite of the snow and I'll let you know how it worked tomorrow....


  1. I used to sing Carol King's 'Beautiful' when people were grunchy on rising.
    "You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
    And show the world all the love in your heart
    Then people gonna treat you better
    You’re gonna find, yes you will
    That you're beautiful as you feel."
    Not sure it always helped, but at least they knew there was an alternative!

  2. I'm a bit down at the moment, but it doesn't help if I make a sad face. :-) Looking at the bright sides. There are many. I love John-Boy Walton, tea, a good read too.