The Importance of Happiness

I was thinking the other day that the most valuable and important posts I make here are these Sunday happiness posts. They’re valuable because they make us think about the good stuff that so easily gets drowned out by the bad, and they’re important because sharing them spreads the peace and joy as we read about others’ happiness, like a contact high. I would also defend Good Book Thursdays to the end, and I think Working Wednesday is good because we get to stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute, I ACCOMPLISHED this,” but the ones we really need are the happiness posts.

So please tell us what made you happy this week. It’s important to us.

92 thoughts on “The Importance of Happiness

  1. I got a new job! I know jobs are not always a source of happiness (to put it mildly), but I’m teaching ESL part time to adults which is exactly what I wanted.

    32+
    1. If it makes you happy, it makes us happy.

      “This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.” – Francis Bacon, Essays

      14+
  2. I am happy that Amazon has their A-Z guarantee.

    Remember that talking meat thermometer I had ordered? I got it. It didn’t talk. It didn’t even have the promised VoiceButton, so even if it had wanted to talk, it couldn’t. I contacted the seller and asked for a return and refund of the product. They asked why, so I explained, but they first refused to accept that I had got another product than the product description had promised because “my product matched with the photo of the product on the page”, and then proceeded to stonewall me when I sent them proof of having sent me something else than promised by showing them the product page from the site of the company that makes this thermometer where the description matched Amazon exactly but there was another photo of another thermometer, clearly having a voice button (friend and I found this out thanks to Google). So I gave up on solving things with the seller and went to the Amazon chat to ask what I should do about it, and the chatbot suggested a refund, which meant the A-Z guarantee claim and because that damned thing had cost me more than €60 (around $66), I went for it. I’m not gonna pay 66 damn dollars for a product I did not order and can’t use. Especially not when Fiancé later saw the same non-talking thermometer somewhere else for €11.

    Amazon has approved of the claim and will pay me back. The seller of this damned thing mailed me during the process (which I found out they are not allowed to) and tried to make me draw back the claim, but even if I had wanted to (which I didn’t because I felt swindled and pissed), I couldn’t because Amazon sent their approval the same day.

    So I’m happy because this story is over and I’ll get my money back and can look for another thermometer instead. Christine Ha, legally blind winner of Masterchef America 2013 or so, apparently uses an iGrill which you connect to your phone via bluetooth and the phone keeps you updated about the temperature, so I’m considering checking that one out.

    Speaking of Amazon; Jenny, I checked the old post about Beemer and clicked the amazon link you had posted there. It looked like there is still one of those dragons for sale, for all U.S-living Arghers out there! 🙂 For $77-something. (Seller does not ship outside the U.S. and it was nowhere to be found at Amazon UK or DE.)

    Have a great and happy Sunday and week, everyone!

    18+
    1. If you keep going down the rabbit hole, the original seller still has a site, but the Beemers are gone, so I’d be wary. I don’t remember how much I spent, but it was a lot, and the only reason was that I needed a ridiculous stuffed animal for the book and fell over Beemer while surfing and he was so perfect, I had to have him. Book research.

      Backing up your experience with Amazon chat: They appear to be there to make sure you’re satisfied. I’d let Amazon know that the seller tried to bully you, too.

      13+
      1. I had a similar experience with a vendor. I bought a pair of vibration reducing garden gloves (because mowing the lawn was giving me carpal tunnel). They said they shipped it and charged my card, but it never showed up. After I inquired, they checked with the Post Office, who said they never received it to ship.

        The vendor then tried to tell me they’d be keeping my money while they worked things out with the Post Office. I threatened to go to Amazon and they immediately generated a refund.

        As an Amazon vendor (with two books out there), I have to say they’re not much fun to work with from a supplier standpoint, but as a customer, their service is great.

        10+
        1. My son could have used those vibration reducing gloves when he operated a Jack hammer while working a construction site in Boston years ago. The length of time it took to get the feeling back in his hands equalled the time using the equipment.

          8+
      2. They did indeed make me feel real uncomfortable. They went with the “please pull back your claim, my company is in danger and your claim might throw me into bankruptcy” tactic. They said that if I only agreed to cancel the claim, they would pay me back and I could “keep the product as a gift”, but I would have to cancel the guarantee claim first because as long as it was still on review, they could not pay me back. (“BULLSHIT!” Fiancé exclaimed.)
        That’s when I started googling on the effects of an A-Z guarantee claim on sellers and found out that they are NOT allowed to contact the claim holder during the time it takes for Amazon to review the claim and make a decision. Fiancé and I discussed the option of withdrawing the claim, and he said that as soon as the threat of this claim was gone, I would probably not hear a word from the seller again and definitely not get my money back. Furthermore, if you cancel an A-Z guarantee claim, you can not reopen it again, which means that if I did and then did not get my money back, it would have been my own stupid fault for being trusting and I would’ve been twice as angry as I already was, but then at myself and not at them. And I wouldn’t get my money back at all.

        Anyway, next time I opened my email, Amazon had approved, so I can not do anything about anything anymore anyway. But I kept thinking that, like you said, Jenny, I should contact Amazon about the mail from the seller. So I might do that this week, when I have gathered some courage.

        11+
        1. They tried to guilt you? My mother is evidently running an internet business from her nursing home.

          20+
          1. I had a telemarketer yell at me once that he wasn’t going to make his quota and that I was responsible if he didn’t get paid when I tried to say “No, thank you”. I hung up on him.

            10+
  3. I’m happy that the power is on, and I’ve got groceries stocked up, and can sit here in bed with tea looking out the window as the snowstorm starts. Nowhere to go today, and I don’t have to work today either.

    May knit a little bit later.

    16+
    1. My power is on, too, after PG&E initially said they’d cut off my block. That was almost entirely good news, although it meant I didn’t have an excuse to eat my 1-1/2 quarts of ice cream before it all melted in the freezer. So now I eat all the ice cream only if I jolly well feel like it. And in the meantime, I can read under light while I think about it.

      11+
  4. I’m happy. I got a great night’s sleep, and I’m able to keep my leg elevated while watching TV. And very thankful for my kind and loving husband who is taking care of everything while I’m recovering.

    21+
  5. I’m happy because, although I didn’t have a good nights’s sleep, it’s Sunday so 1- I don’t have to deal with people all day on 2 1/2 hours of sleep and 2- I can take a nap if I need one. I had to get up early despite not sleeping well because I had an appointment to donate blood at 9 AM. This makes 5 times so far this year and I am hoping to make it to 6 before the end of the year.

    Also, my cat, who had to have 3 teeth pulled earlier in the week, seems to be feeling better and is being lovey dovey again (without benefit of pain medication).

    20+
    1. I perhaps should clarify that my cat was on pain medications for the first 3 days after the surgery. Today is the first day without them and he is happy and purring while sitting on my lap.

      16+
    2. Twenty plus years ago, I got back into the habit of donating a pint every other month – they even sent a bus around to the prison I worked at for our convenience.

      Then one day they came with a new questionnaire, this one asking if we had ever been to Scotland. Well, I had, and when I totaled the days physically present, it came to about 180 days. Six months. Which put me in the potentially exposed to mad cow disease – do not accept donation category. I’ve never given since then.

      7+
      1. That would have seriously compromised our blood banks: I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen here. And I haven’t heard of any resulting contamination.

        5+
  6. On holiday in Corfu, an Island I’ve wanted to visit since I was 9 and read Gerald Durrell’s My Family & Other Animals and his sweet book, The Donkey Rustlers also set on Corfu. We’ve been blessed with glorious weather, swimming, mythical sites and a side trip to Albania. Storing up some sunshine for the long winter ahead.

    23+
    1. I’ve wanted to visit Corfu ever since I read This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart. I hope your trip fulfills all your childhood fantasies.

      18+
  7. I’m happy because I made carrot ginger soup, homemade whole wheat bread, and chocolate cake. It is a delight using our new induction stove, and having a reno’d kitchen that has a place for everything.

    14+
  8. I have a student, a really good one, who has had to take a break for pregnancy and another for illness. I ran into her this week, just as she turned in her dissertation. She was heavily pregnant with number two, due in 12 days. We jumped up and down, and hugged, and cheered. I thought “This is why I do this!”

    25+
  9. I am happy because I just got off the videophone – my nephew Frankie placed the call through Facebook – with my oldest brother. He’s visiting Frankie in California for his 50th birthday. I got to wish Frankie a happy, and chat with Big Bubba, whom I haven’t seen face to face since 1985. (I suppose I still haven’t, technically, but 21st century! Videophones! Skype! Facebook! Yay!)

    I made him laugh when I called him “Willie Lump-Lump.” Nobody had called William “Billy Boy” Jordan that since, well, our middle brother passed away.

    Happy!

    21+
    1. Sounds great! Maybe this will inspire me to set up Skype on my computer the way my brother in France keeps asking me to do.

      11+
  10. I went to the local farmer’s market with my sister yesterday. In addition to getting delicious food, and wandering through a park with gorgeous fall leaves, it turns out there was a costume contest going on. So there were plenty of adorable small children, including a small child in an AWESOME astronaut costume. As we were leaving they announced the winners and our astronaut placed, which was very satisfying. Go science!

    17+
  11. I went to visit my brother today. He has IQ of about an 18-month-old-child and lives in a facility. We played this game where you touch the tip of his finger with the tip of your finger and make this “bzzzt” noise like you’re being electrocuted and he laughed so hard he wheezed.

    And that made me happy.

    42+
  12. This week’s satisfactions include Zapp’s Voodoo potato chips which are hot and sour and spicy and salty all at once. I know that they are bad for me, but they certainly are fun.

    The sun is out today after a full week of cold and rainy weather that did nothing for my mood or my cold. The timing is especially fine because the leaves are approaching peak color and I want to get out and appreciate them.

    Last night I got the best night’s sleep I’ve had for a very long time and so my cold is a little less severe than it was yesterday. I am now convinced that it is a cold, which is lucky since I’m pretty sure my allergist has retired.

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading that people enjoyed 3 of the books I recommended on Good Book Thursday. I rarely write much more than the title and that I liked the book so the fact that people tried and liked the 2 books I tried to endorse more fully really makes me happy. I feel more involved in the community and less like a lurker.

    19+
    1. I love following up the books people recommend here. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don’t, and it’s always a delight when I find something I love.

      15+
      1. I trust that the recommendations I get here are much more likely to be in tune with what I’m looking for, and I’ve read some amazing stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t have looked at because someone here suggested it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out (I’m still struggling to get into the Ben Aaronovitch books – so many people here like them, and they sound like my catnip, but they’re just not doing it for me) but more often than not it does.

        8+
        1. Almost everything I’ve read this year came from here. I’m so grateful for everyone’s recommendations. And I get a pretty good hit rate – argh people must have similar taste to me, which is really nice to find.

          10+
        2. Emily, I’m with you on the Ben Aaronovitch books. From the description, I should love them – they combine all the sorts of things I like. But there’s something about the voice that I just can’t get into.

          5+
    2. I might not say thank you to specific people (because I don’t often remember details) but you all should know I appreciate all the recommendations you make. So thank you and please do keep on doing it!

      7+
  13. I’m happy that the fires here in California have not yet affected me. The one that sprang up earlier this morning was only 8 miles or so away, so evacuation was a concern, but it was brought under control before that happened. The poor folks further north of me have not been so lucky – their fire has been burning for days and is not expected to be out until November 7 (?????).

    I am also happy that I’ve had power all weekend; others around here have not been so lucky since the power company has turned off power for huge numbers of people as a fire-prevention activity, because of hot weather and high winds.

    16+
    1. Oh my gosh — good luck! Those fires look otherworldly. I can’t imagine leaving my whole home and life behind and hurrying away, just hoping that it will ever be there again for me. Hope it doesn’t happen to you or yours.

      7+
  14. I’m happy because a fanfiction I started as a short story has blown up into something a lot more, and it’s hugely fun to write, and I’ve been getting some great feedback.

    I’m also happy, in spite of the dust allergy attack, because my eldest son’s room is finally sorted and spring-cleaned, and he’s happy with it.

    12+
  15. Spring sunshine made me happy this week. I’ve been inside much more than usual this winter, because my cranky hip meant I couldn’t go for walks, and I think it was affecting me more than I realised. Winter miseries that crept up on me. But the sun is gorgeous, and I’ve been gardening and eating my breakfast outside on nice days, and generally feeling so much happier.

    Plus my friend’s baby girl was born by C-section yesterday, and mother and daughter are apparently well. It feels quite extraordinary to remember that I was at the birth of the little girl’s father.

    13+
  16. I’m happy because I can call myself a USA Today bestseller now, thanks 99% to the energy and persistence of the lady who put our anthology together. I’m of two minds whether it’s a valid designation, since it wasn’t a solo effort, but since publishers have been using the anthology method for eons, I guess I should just accept it and be happy.

    I’m also happy because the Dell techs fixed my computer, which broke while I was on holiday in France and Italy. Since that meant I couldn’t write, I didn’t even try, which made it an even better break.

    Another happiness was finally seeing Rome and Pompeii, and also a little bit of the south of France where Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk takes place. I sprained my ankle just as we arrived, so didn’t get to do everything I wanted, but it was still a wonderful experience, especially the Pont du Gard, which was well worth the long hobble to get there.

    22+
    1. I’m a USA Today bestseller based on two (or maybe three) anthologies, and I do feel a little silly using the title, but my publishers (both the one who got me the title and the upcoming one) use it, so I do too. I’ve come to accept it’s just a marketing thing, not how I define myself personally.

      5+
    2. Those of us still looking for the title would take it anyway we can get it. It sounds a little like you are suffering from imposter syndrome to me. You were part of a best selling anthology – take it and run!! Don’t deny yourself the joy because your inner voice is saying you don’t deserve it (for whatever reason). Congratulations!!!

      3+
  17. I did some sewing this week – altering curtains to fit the dining-room. Which involved setting up Mum’s Featherweight Singer sewing machine (gift from Dad on their first anniversary in 1954), which hiccuped gently and then worked fine; and then hand hemming four long sides. Which all felt very satisfying.

    My sister-in-law bailed out of her visit to me: she got stuck on the M25 by Heathrow. But I’ve still been enjoying my clean house and the fancy food I bought us. And my planting plans for the garden are finally gelling.

    Today I’ve been enjoying the sunshine, first while I worked, then while I had lunch in the garden and finished ‘False Colours’ (I’m on a Heyer binge), and later while I went for a walk in the woods with my camera. I had fun playing with long exposures of a couple of streams, and ended up walking down the hill in the dusk. Very peaceful. (I posted a pic of the view from the wood on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4IeqPenD78/)

    14+
    1. I used to drive the M25 near Heathrow on my daily commute (from Harpenden to Brunel Uni). Thanks for a whole new happy thought today, Jane – I’m now glorying in the feeling of not doing that every day. Although I do miss Radio 4 (old before my time 😂). And English countryside – lovely pic.

      4+
      1. That stretch is notorious: I drive it several times a year, on the way to a good friend who lives near Leatherhead. There’s no good way to avoid it, unfortunately. And my family all live in the Brighton area, so they’d have a long diversion to avoid it, too. Doing it daily must have been bad.

        Radio 4 does a lot of podcasts now, by the way – although they may not be available overseas (I think you need to be a licence-holder to listen online, but I usually get the podcasts via iTunes).

        5+
  18. I’ve been cleaning and reorganizing All the Things (including my office/dining room, which was starting to feel very cluttered) in preparation for letting the new kitten loose downstairs. It has been exhausting and I haven’t gotten any writing done this weekend, but the neatness makes me really happy.

    I took the giant whiteboard off the wall and replaced it with two smaller ones (I never really used the entire space anyway) and took down the giant cork board that I’ve only been able to use the top section of since I got kitten Harry Dresden (now two) and discovered that he has a fascination with pushpins. Oy. So the wall is way less overwhelming, and everything is neat. For now.

    Also, I let the kitten loose in the living room with all the other cats for a while. Harry played with her, Koshka looks askance but did nothing, Angus ran away, and only Ember (the only girl) growled and hissed and looked as though she might do something Not Nice. As a first trial, not bad. So I’m happy about that.

    13+
    1. Our older cats are generally quite nice to kittens. Often they just ignore them. Our oldest cat used to adopt any new kitten and teach it to hunt, but last time a new one showed up (they’re always strays), she didn’t try as hard. I think she’s just too old to want to play mom anymore.

      10+
  19. A very happy week in which: a massage, lunch on two days with two friends, dinner with another, and yesterday, the local art theatre screened “Babe,” which a friend and I went to see. Add in two rough drafts of poems, and it’s been stellar, on top of the beautiful day today, perfect for a walk.

    8+
  20. We’re moved! To our temporary space, much larger than our own abode, which little space will be transformed when we return. So huge accomplishment which gives much happiness. What pleases, too, is I am not running around stashing Things but waiting until a need arises, then rooting through boxes and bags, finding the Thing, and then allowing it to find its natural place. I call maturity, and I’m sticking by it.

    10+
  21. Happy week. I decided to buy the original watercolors instead of getting prints. I’m looking forward to picking them up at the end of the week when the exibit ends.

    The Candidate Forum the League of Women Voters held went off really well.

    And 6 dogs and 1 cat were succesfully removed from an absolute hellhole (hazmat suits, mold in the house, dogs smelled so bad they needed 3 baths, nails going in circles-hellhole) and were placed in rescues. This was a 2-3 day operation and everyone was really relieved when Tracey, our hero, reported all the animals were out.
    .
    Five of the dogs were shelties and were turned over to the rescue my little Tantaka came from. I’m fostering one.

    Jazzy is an 11 year old male and is very mellow. Not housebroken, of course, and is getting secure enough not to cringe but to repond to my dog’s challenges (uh oh, will need complete supervison). So life will be busier.

    13+
  22. I picked up some original water colour paintings on Thursday. Three Christmas presents down. Several years ago whole family met at Cannon Beach in Oregon. It was a fun trip. I bought mini water colours, really little paintings Inch by three inches. If I had Instagram I would take photos.

    Spent weekend at annual writer’s conference. Really tired. Met some interesting people. Loved spending time with my friend Laura.

    Going to finish the Ewok costumes by Tuesday. Cutting it very close.

    7+
  23. So happy to be home after a successful set of jewelry shows in the Bay Area. It was cool and wet when I got up, so I had a good excuse to sit around and read, but when the sun came out, I virtuously put up the rest of the outdoor Halloween decorations (which took 2 hours), and made cookie dough, and did laundry, so virtue won out afterall.

    8+
  24. Lots of happiness this week. Our “new” (2 year old) cat is fully integrated and has persuaded even the crankiest holdout cat to play with him, oldest kid had a great orchestra concert, we ran around a cornfield maze because what’s fall without that, and I got my 120 bulbs planted, so I can look forward to grape hyacinth, tulips and narcissus in the spring.

    12+
  25. I’m sitting in the conservatory in the sun, so I’m very hot but relaxed and admiring the lawn I mowed earlier. The lawn was squelchy wet – we need to get a drain put in – but I managed to mow it anyway. There’s rain forecast all week so it couldn’t wait.

    I spent most of today proof-reading a friend’s nearly-done thesis, which is fascinating and really well written, a real pleasure to read.

    I spent the last two afternoons out walking and – again – found that a track we did a year ago was much easier now. Last year we turned back well before the end, yesterday we not only made it to the end but took the much longer, higher route back. Okay, so I was stuffed after that but I recuperated with real fruit icecream.

    Life’s pretty darn good, really.

    12+
  26. Next door has put up Halloween yard display heavy with — I think — zombie scarecrows.

    A Florida journalists’ association has applied to trademark the phrase “fake news,” which makes me happy since I become unhappy with the completely sloppy use of English. Apparently future incorrect use of the phrase — which apparently has its definition included with the application — will generate Cease and Desist letters. I envision them, filed for the ages, in the National Archives . . . .

    9+
      1. Color co-ordination is an extra cat ability. My siamese always prefers to sleep in his bed with a black fleece liner or on the blue coverlet. He looks spectacular in both locations.

        9+
  27. Got to spend time in the garden, hang out with long-time friends, and celebrate a 5-year-old’s birthday. Exhausted, but happy. 🙂

    8+
  28. Our trick-or-treat dragon made her 20th appearance yesterday, with treats sliding down from the attic window and out through the dragon’s mouth. We had about 400 kids, and I’m still smiling.

    After the hours of putting up and taking down decorations, I virtuously did my tai chi opening/loosening exercises, took a hot bath, and iced. So today I can walk!

    12+
  29. Happiness is watching the Great British Baking Show on my phone with the dog in my lap. Well, one in my lap, one squished up beside me and one on the floor nearby. It was stormy out side and we were snug in our armchair.

    7+
  30. I had a grab bag of happiness. My friend from Arizona came to visit so played lots of Skipbo on an original card set I got at a thrift shop for 1.00.
    We saw Anastasia at The Pantages Saturday and Sunday we walked on the beach. I haven’t been to the beach in two months and it fills my soul. We topped it off by finding a great thrift store to browse. https://www.helpinghandthriftshop.com/
    and seeing JoJo Rabbit at The Grove.
    Back to work on the website.

    6+
  31. A little late for last week’s happiness, so an early entry in this week’s happiness: there’s a new emoji for garlic, in plenty of time for the release of my garlic farm mysteries (first one in April 2020). My editor alerted me to it, and then my agent weighed in, and finally Kensington posted a meme about it in response.

    You can see the thread here (with the Kensington post in a reply, so it may not be immediately visible): https://twitter.com/normajeanesays/status/1189180533214994432

    5+
  32. Oh lord, three days late and possibly off-topic, but this article made me very happy this morning:

    https://www.themarysue.com/neil-gaiman-fan-reaction-aziraphale-crowley-good-omens/

    The phrase I particularly liked was part of their description of why the shipping of Aziraphale + Crowley was important to people: “We’re especially starved for stories of this nature with a happy ending: with the triumph of affection—and our real natures, rather than the roles we’re assigned—over all the forces that heaven and hell can muster.”

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