Happiness is Realizing Life is Pretty Good

I was looking back through some old photos recently and realized I was pretty damn cute back in the day. “The day” was the time when I thought I was fat, ugly, and hopeless. Nope, I was cute, and in the pictures I’m surrounded by friends who have their arms around me, laughing and happy. So today I realized that I’m still pretty damn cute, and that I’m surrounded by friends, and that I am happy. I’m with Colette on this:

How did you realize you were happy this week?

51 thoughts on “Happiness is Realizing Life is Pretty Good

  1. Yesterday my hair decided to do nice things, I could wear my cool boots instead of my snow boots, and since I have been doing my annual diet, my bluejeans weren’t tight. I felt pretty. Watched Groundhog Day with friends. Cookies would have been nice, but pants fitting was sufficient.

    Here’s to appreciating the now!

  2. I can identify with looking back and realizing that back in the day, you were cute. My sister shared some old photos (when I was in high school) and I was pretty hot. At the time I was comparing myself to anorexic teens and felt I was fat.

    I did go through a phase in my life where I decided that I’d rather be fat and happy, rather than skinny and miserable. I’ve now moved on to realize that I need a healthy body, which means healthy eating habits, if I want to live a happy life (i.e., be able to take care of myself and my family, and eventually use all of my fabric). In the three years since that, I’ve done pretty well.

    The best part of this past week was my weekly phone call with my dad. He sings to me and I sing back, which always makes me happy.

  3. Happiness is your son being two weeks into recovery from major surgery and able to care for himself and being happy and upbeat!

    Happiness is waiting for your ride to the airport knowing he doesn’t need your help anymore, but that if he does anything you’ve got wonderful friends in his town who will act as substitute moms.

    Happiness is hearing that your brother, who had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery a few days ago, has been moved out of the ICU last evening and is now able to get out of bed and sit in a chair for a short while.

    Happiness is knowing you’ll see your husband and your cat today and be able to sleep in your own bed once more.

  4. Happiness is getting together with my small group of witches to celebrate Imbolc and have a feast (which was really just some wonderful soup our resident professional cook made, plus bread and cheesecake).

    Happiness is also finally having the temperature go above 15 degrees F. Right now the thermometer is reading 47! *sings the heat wave song*

        1. I like my neighbors too much for that. It’s bad enough they have to put up with Veronica’s barking.

  5. Happiness is having a day where you do nothing and enjoy it. I didn’t leave for errands or events. I cooked, I ate, I watched TV. I read. I kinda decluttered the desk. It was a nothing I *have* to do or nowhere I’m *obligated* to be.

    Happiness was leaving my phone at work yesterday and not going today to fetch it. It was refreshing.

  6. Happiness will be hanging out with my kids and watching the Super Bowl while the rain comes down. And I don’t have to cook as my daughter’s guy is the chef of the day. No marketing, no cooking=happiness. Maybe I’ll be assigned clean up, but that’s okay.

  7. I stopped doing something for people who were making me crazy. The moment of ‘I quit’ was so liberating, I stood back and wondered at the energy wasted on those things. Once again, took the time to realize and appreciate my amazing good luck and happiness.

  8. It has been a pretty good weekend so far. Friday my husband and I had lobster and scallops for dinner. I saved some of the lobster for a lobster salad. I’m not a purist having just lobster and mayo on a toasted roll, I added things to make it stretch. (chopped celery, scallions, thinly sliced grape tomatoes) That way it makes enough for two. Yesterday my family came over and my husband made an Italian feast, meatball subs, penne with broccoli in a cream sauce, chicken parm. But the highlight was all the desserts. It was a cake galore day. (no ice cream except for the mini ice cream sandwiches in the freezer). My husband had bought a Black Forest cake, our son had stopped at the market and brought three cakes from the almost-expired-but still-good section of the bakery. (red velvet, German chocolate and a chocolate mousse cake) Seriously we couldn’t keep them all but divided them up for everyone to take home. And the vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting – gone. The kids brought there almost year old pup which was the first time for her and she roamed over the house inspecting everything. When it was time to take her for a walk my granddaughter pick up her leash and the dog also picked up an end and walked to the back door with it . What a smarty. These are my one step forward moments. I’m going to take a nap before the Super bowl.

  9. I have been struggling with happiness. The doctors have decided that my cancer is back and they are plotting accordingly. They keep going “what do you think about this” or “what do you think about that.” And now my brain hurts.
    But I made a fabulous turkey pot pie and my bird feeders are full of lovely critters. Last week, I had 14 cardinals at one time.

    1. If it came back, it can go away again. Hold on to happiness and listen to the docs. We’re all sending you good health vibes.

    2. Its rough when it comes back but hang in there. You might have some rough days ahead but if it went away once, it can be conquered again.

    3. Oh, oh, oh. All the good hippie vibes – strengthened over the years – go forth to you. May your brain lighten and lift …

  10. Super Bowl Sunday is our guacamole-with-chips day, yay! Earlier in the week, Coffee Wednesday with the usual monthly crew and lots of phone photos shared. Late lunch with a good friend at a local joint. For three hours, we held down a corner of the bar with a bottle of bubbly rose and watched through huge windows rain cascade down canvas awnings, a rare occurrence hereabouts. Rain!

  11. This week ended a lot better than it started. We reached the great YouTube Compromise of 2019. YouTube is allowed on the TV in the living room, where it is easy for parents to keep an eye on what is being watched. It is not allowed on tablets. As a bonus, it forces the kids to share and take turns so no one can get too caught up in it for too long. I got my happy sweet 10-year-old back.

    Happiness was also getting my hair done with turquoise streak.

    1. We have a similar youtube in public policy so I have watched a lot of funny cat videos recently. Bongo Cat is a particular favourite.

  12. Today is our watch the ads and halftime party with our neighbors and our son came home from college for it.

    My husband is making Gouda and grape pizza in his excessive pizza oven.

    And I’m starting to get through a ton of overdue work which means I will be less stressed soon.

    Also my husband and I figured out how we are going to help our foster daughter in her deep financial hole without either bailing her out or having her move back in so that’s a huge relief.

    And it’s warm!

  13. What with Bujold’s new novella and the Sharing Knife books on my mind, I recall a character in the fourth book, Arkady, telling Dag “Don’t forget to take joy.” So I don’t forget.

    My joy right this minute is getting dressed to take my daughter to dinner and shopping. She just asked if I was ready to go. 🙂

  14. Happiness is knowing that the temperature is going to be a lovely, balmy 23 degrees C today, and not kick-in-the-teeth 39. We had a visit from my FIL over the weekend, which was lovely, and it ended with a hilarious family game of Monopoly.

  15. Happiness for today is temps above freezing! It’s in the 40’s and I got a lot of the ice cleared off my driveway. I also went down to the canal path and tried cross country skiing for the first time this winter. I knew better than to go far for the first time so was only gone for half an hour. I definitely feel it in my legs even with that precaution. If all goes well, I will go again next weekend.

    Now I am sitting in my glider rocker with a cat giving himself a bath on my lap. I have a half finished book awaiting my attention on the side table

  16. It’s still cold here, 28 degrees F, but so much warmer than yesterday! It’s supposed to be nearly 50 tomorrow, so I will move wood, and enjoy what will seem very springy! I doubt that all the snow will melt tho – because we have feet of it. 2 feet at least, maybe more.

    I’m going to try not to drive the next couple of days because the road is bound to be a river of melting snow over frozen dirt. I’d pretty much have to luge down the hill.

    I’m feeling mostly content, if not actively happy. I sometimes feel guilty about things I haven’t done, or are doing when I should be doing something else, but when I do (feel guilty), I try to remind myself that I don’t have to. I’m not letting anyone down, not even myself.

    I joined an online group for training agility dogs and that’s made me ridiculously happy. Ridiculous because one of my dogs won’t even come when she’s called!! I don’t know that I’ll be able to train her to do anything. But you know I don’t care, either she will or she won’t. And I’m pretty sure Oreo will, and then Pip will see her getting rewarded and will get in the game too. That seems to be the pattern since I got Oreo. It’s like a lightbulb goes on in Pippin’s head. “Oh, if I do what my person asks I get love and sometimes treats. Isn’t that novel, I never knew.”

    But we’ll see…

  17. Happiness is a 13 km (8 mile) cross-country ski with friends this morning. It snowed heavily yesterday, so conditions were excellent. We had the trails pretty much to ourselves and with snow falling lightly as we skied through the woods, it was spectacular. I count myself very lucky to have friends who like to ski and to live within the vicinity of top notch trails. Retirement is still a couple of years away but it makes me happy to know that I’ll be able to ski as much as I want.

  18. Happiness is when I wake up the snuffling and wagging tail of my 13 year border collie cross, and watching the French Bulldog work the goats and chase the deer as if he were the herding, working, ranch dog. Happiness was being able to have my first Imbolc bonfire at the new farm, and looking around as the rain pours down around us….not skyclad lol. grateful to be healthy and strong and living.Happiness in making fresh bread from scratch that comes out perfectly and helps feed loved ones.

  19. I’m happy about the way things are moving forward at last. The cream paint is looking so much better than the pink it’s replaced. And today I’ve got a friend staying for the night: it’s fun to have company. We went for a walk in the sun this morning.

  20. Happiness has been doing a daily index card collage as part of Lee’s #dailyFeb2019 art project…and kind of learning Instagram. Although it only took to Day 2 for me to realize I’m basically psychoanalyzing myself in public.

  21. I’m happy today because life is imitating art! Yes, back in the day, Warren Beatty wrote(screenplay)/(co)directed/acted(did his own football stunts in the big scene!) in a movie in 1978 called Heaven Can Wait. In this movie, the Rams made it to the Superbowl. Wearing blue and yellow jerseys. With a quarterback wearing #16. Named (Tom) Jarrett. (Sounds just like Jarod when the crowd is yelling or when the movie’s radio announcer calls him by his last name.) When asked about all this (prescience? esp?), Warren Beatty gave a great interview (L.A. Times/San Diego Union Tribune/New Jersey Herald) in which he sort of marvels and chuckles. Yes, today’s Superbowl is like the sequel to his movie… yep. Meanwhile, Dyan Cannon (who starred in that movie as the scheming wife, and was sad to miss the filming of the big football scene in it, because she was out of town and couldn’t be reached in time) is vowing to be at the game today, wearing a Rams jersey. What number? Well, 16, of course! (Gotta love it…) !!! 😉

    1. And by the way… speaking of things to be happy about… I seem to recall that there was a wistful Crusie comment at one point about the idea of owning one’s own jukebox. ?! So here’s a possible happy-making purchase (Amazon!) 🙂 It’s a MINI jukebox! (All the joy and half the clutter!) 😉

      –Wow, is that a long website chain, ack! Just copied/pasted, had no idea it would be huge! …hope it works?!– 😛


  22. This week I finished reading all the past entries in you blog, Jenny. I’m all caught up and excited to read the new novel when it comes out. I also have been exploring my artistic side which I have ignored for 20 years. The joy of putting pencil and paint to paper and canvas are slowly returning, and I am very happy for the opportunity to try again.

    I live in western Canada near the Rockies, and we have been blessed with a mild winter until this point but today it is -40 C (which is close to -40 F if I recall), so spending the day with the hubby and kitties and staying warm. I hope the vortex moves along and gives all of you in the east some relief!

  23. School is back today! Which honestly is enough to make me happy all by itself. But as we were biking away from home, my kid had a huge grin on his face. The morning sun and light breeze on his skin made him feel good, and his joy-in-small-things happiness (not really his usual approach to life) made me feel good too.

  24. Lani said something years years which really resonated with me, that you will never be younger than you are now, so don’t be so hard on your appearance, as years from now you’ll look back and wonder why you thought you were fat/were embarrassed of your nose/cellulite, when you looked perfectly fine. I find this approach has been hugely helpful on those days when I just think “Blech!” when I look in the mirror.

  25. I’m happy the snow didn’t arrive as predicted b/c crazy drivers here. Grew up driving in the snow and it can be scary when the white stuff sticks on the west coast. Cold but no polar vortex.

    I’m happy I spend Saturday with a dear friend who was teaching on hearing God while a roomful of very creative artists painted, sketched, wrote words of encouragement for others as the spirit moved and we received. There were four delicious soups and buns and butter and desserts which we devoured at break time and the weather outside was blustery. It was inspiring to see the paintings and sketches and the smiles on the women when an artist said it was for them. I wrote rather than paint. I received two cards, a pastel drawing with the word “flow” on the back (the artist said she got the word while drawing) and I got idea for making a legacy artwork for each of my siblings. There were two paintings with bible pages incorporated into a 3D effect on canvas. And, I received a deep flash of an idea, not the same but something unique using photos and Mom’s journals and heavy paper torn and…the ideas keep coming. I can see it.

    Must just go with the “flow” and no inner thoughts or nagging responsibilities stop me. Yep, shut down the office and go play.

    Totally relate when seeing photos of younger self , so insecure about my body and looks. Looking at old photos, I see pretty young woman having a blast. Why I ever thought I was fat? Crazy!

  26. …and we’re back from dinner and shopping therapy.

    Dinner was at Longhorn Steakhouse. We never eat there because of the long lines to get in, but it’s “super Sunday,” so everyone else stayed home. MY Jennifer had sirloin and shrimp, cauliflower au gratin and so forth. I had sirloin and Parmesan crusted chicken and stuff. Stuffed mushrooms were an appetizer.

    Shopping is sometimes as much to walk off dinner as to check off grocery lists and the like. Shopping started at Home Depot. Plants and grow lights. Moved to Publix. Veggies, nuts, hamburger, pork chops, blah blah blah. We ended up at Target for sundries plus Valentine’s Day stuff for the kids to take to school.

    The whole trip was barely sweater weather. It’s only down to 48F now, and since I didn’t turn off the heater before we left, my garage apartment was 81F when we got back. Tomorrow they’re predicting 62F and Tuesday 71F. With any luck, all the mosquito eggs will hatch before it plunges back below freezing on Saturday.

    Time to get back to reading Wrede. All y’all be well, y’hear?

  27. Happiness is a day off work, a delicious breakfast, the satisfaction of having gone back to Krav Maga classes last night and the memory of cuddling a warm puppy on Saturday morning. 🙂

    Also Australia is finally winning a cricket match, and women’s AFL is back and being televised. We are making very slow moves towards equal opportunity in professional sports but all progress is worth celebrating, right?

  28. I’ve never been cute. Two results of that are that I don’t make a big deal over physical attributes and I really dislike having my picture taken.

    While this means I’m weirded out by conversations about body parts and beauty products, it has also helped me find the sorts of people with whom I share interests that do matter to me. Also, when I taught in a boarding school, I was assigned the “odd ducks” for advisees instead of the “normal” kids. Lucky me — my advisees were — and are — fantastic people.

    Anyway, I’m happy because my lingering cough/cold/sinus drip is finally going away and my husband’s cold is getting better. And we’re dealing with our joint issues. Good times.

  29. I realized I was happy after making a crack about knocking on our possibly-outgoing-client’s local competitor’s door for a job, which made my next-up-the-chain (and also possibly out of a job if our client departs) dude laugh. Just one of those “not much point in stressing out about this, is there?” moments.

    It’s been a long six months. We are both a little punchy.

  30. I have another happy to report. We are in a heat wave here! It’s in the upper 50’s; I took a half day off, and am standing on my back deck with the cats. In the distance I can hear noises which sound like the heavy equipment they use to break up the ice flows in the creek…which means no flooding in my neighborhood this time!

    1. I had an appointment today and went out without a coat, it’s that balmy here (50s). Three days ago it was below zero.
      Weather is weird but so lovely today.


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