Choose Your Own Happiness

I wrote a really depressing happiness post. Then I realized that was a contradiction and not helpful and that I should do better, but nope, I got nothing.

What made you happy this week? Secondhand happiness is also good.

60 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Happiness

  1. My publishing friend and I decided to launch our own romance e-book publishing company about a month ago now. The odds of it ever being something we can live on are…not great (we’re liberal arts majors), but it’s been so much fun to throw myself into a project and learn more things and hang out digitally with one of my favorite people.

    Other fun things: my goddaughter is a whole 10 lbs. If possible, her cheeks have gotten EVEN ROUNDER. Also my sister moved to a new ground floor apartment, which means her cat saw a squirrel for the first time. It was very exciting.

  2. This was tough week. Lots of anxiety about starting school again at age 61. However, one of my dahlias bloomed – a single perfect yellow flower. Replanted lettuce and turnips seeds on Monday and had sprouts by Friday, despite rainy weather and cool temperatures. My neighbours gifted me a lovely pot of succulents and my flower subscription arrived with an extra arrangement of purple and white glads – my favourite late summer flower. Fall is definitely on its way.

  3. Sometimes it’s okay to accept that this moment is not okay and that happiness is not happening right now.

    After a shite week last week, I’m picking up again now. I finished a flannelette nightgown that I was sewing for myself, and it’s so warm and comfy. I had a conversation (there may have been tears) with my youngest son’s teacher, even though I hate reaching out when I can’t even articulate what I’m asking for or worried about, and she was terrific, and gave me some suggestions that my son is on board with. And I had a moment of unintended cleverness in writing that I’m still feeling smug about.

  4. This from The Washington Post today: “Glitter is key, according to numerous women in the group, because once it gets on your hands or in your car, it will be there for weeks. Maybe years. “Glitter is the herpes of the crafting world,” one woman declared in a social media post.”
    The article was about people stealing Biden signs in PA. Apparently, you mix the glitter with vaseline and apply it to the sign. If you’re really feeling nasty, you add cayenne or Tabasco.
    I’m not feeling like going high after the past week so it made me smile.

    1. When my sister ran a nursery school she used to refer to glitter as “the G word” because although the kids loved it, cleaning it up made her life hell.

  5. I was going to wait until Thursday, but if you’re a Carl Hiaasen fan, you’ll probably like his latest – Squeeze Me. It’s a satirical look at Florida, the current administration, 70 year old Palm Beach presidential groupies, and giant sized Burmese pythons. It also features the return of Skink. The person in the center of the action is a former Wildlife officer who served a year in prison for feeding a poacher’s hand to a gator and she’s a force to be reckoned with.

    This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed reading more of Hiaasen’s skewering the powerful and pompous. It took my mind off current events for awhile and made me laugh.

  6. I swept my dining room, which doesn’t sound like much, but it seems to always take me an hour once I get started, so it is hard to talk myself into doing it as often as I should. Though I also did the kitchen, bathroom and entry way floors, including mopping, so the house feels clean and I feel virtuous. Ate some nice things. Had a nap. A successful Sunday.

  7. Although it’s not a fun thing to do, I got my hedge trimmed. It needed it very badly and now I don’t have to think about doing it again until next summer. ( it’s 8 feet high and about 30 feet long so it is a challenge to do).
    I did enjoy meeting in a chat room with fellow fans of Megan Whalen Turner this evening. We are meeting once a week to discuss her previous books while waiting for the release of her newest (and final book of the series) in Oct.

    1. How wonderful you belong to a group of people who also love Megan Whalen Turner! I just finished rereading her books in anticipation. I particularly enjoyed Thick as Thieves. I feel somewhat the same about her books as I do about The Goblin Emperor and the Penric series.

  8. Trying new things this week, I am not very adventurous musically, tend to stick to the same genres, but I discovered Ethel and the Chordtones and am enjoying songs on their album. Also watched a few heartwarming romantic short films on Omeleto (youtube channel), which I may have have clicked on because of it’s similarity to omelette and also found a video for one pan egg toast, which looks delicious and I have to make.

  9. I wound up not having to go on the road trip with my mom, my dad went instead. It was happy because I really didn’t want to go but Dad was supposed to be going to work but his work truck broke down so he went.

    Paul was happy I stayed home and I had a really peaceful day. I am enjoying my audiobook more that I thought I would, so that helped.

    1. Also, I had a funny. The other night I went to bed late so it was dark when I put the dogs out. I looked out a couple minutes later and there was a light bobbing around the yard. One of the solar lights had been knocked off its post and Freddy was carrying it around!

  10. Happiness was hard to come by this past week. I copied what I thought was a humor post, and accidentally triggered people. I read books. Lots of women praised one I thought was full of triggery rape stuff… I liked it other than that. What I don’t call mixed feelings, but pureed feelings.


    Something made me think about my best friend from high school, Daniel Frederick Riley Rushing, Junior. Dan would say, “Call me Lance.” He wanted a “cool” nickname. Nobody called him Lance. Anyway, I hadn’t seen him nor heard from him after I joined the navy in 1970. He’d moved away, I moved away… Five or six years ago, I tried to find out what had become of him. You can find out, too, by entering daniel rushing donut in your search engine. He is now classified as an infamous Florida Man, as in Florida Man Awarded $37,500 After Cops Mistake Glazed Doughnut Crumbs For Meth. Dan always had a sweet tooth for Krispy Kreme donuts.

    That’s a happy memory.

    What else. I have an HP inkjet printer. It doesn’t want to work right, and it’ll be in the trash momentarily. I have a Brother laser printer on the way. It should be good for 12,000 pages, i.e. the rest of my life, give or take. That’s good for a smile.

    No dinner or shopping with the dotter today. Frown. Going tomorrow instead. Smile. I have an actual shopping list. Big smile.

    Be well. Or get well.

  11. Yesterday we went to farmers market and I bought lots of fresh veggies and admired lots more stuff at other stands. Admission is controlled so there are not too many people at one time.

    I know everyone is hearing how awful it is in Portland right now. I live here and if it wasn’t for the news I would have no idea of any of the violence. I still have about 100 walkers and joggers passing my house everyday and tons of kids playing in the par/traffic island.

    Whenever there are protests in Portland, we have to worry about agitators showing up and trying to start fights and riots. Before Trump sent in his goons it had settled down 300/400 people showing up. Some of the kids would stay late and spray paint things (it’s questionable to consider them protestors. Most were just looking for trouble or excitement). After the federal goons came in, things downtown got tense there. And now someone is organizing groups to come in to attack protestors (many wearing Trump gear). I get the impression that if Portland burned, Trump would be thrilled. Right now I am spending time listening on Youtube to Vote Him Away #2 which is really great. Very funny.

  12. Is it Milton? I imagine there won’t be much easy happiness for a while. I’m sorry.

    Even if The Girls can’t send bluebirds of happiness just now may they at least vanquish depression?

  13. Here’s my big happy for the week:

    On therapy day, I had a talk with my therapist as to how much to contact the crush without, I dunno, freaking him out or scaring him by being Too Much or whatever. I have a huuuuuge complex from a commitmentphobe ex about being Too Much, Too Clingy, and Too Smothery and even though I objectively know now it wasn’t me, it was him, it’s in the eye of the beholder, whatever, I still have that going on. She said to do half of what I want to do: if I want to be having text conversations with him every day, only do it for half the week. Which I do because since his house burned down and I feel the need to check on him since I literally can’t do anything else. He writes me back, but his area of freakout is initiation and he’s told me that, so it does have to be me, as he doesn’t write first unless he has an excuse to.

    Though on the good news for him side, (a) some strangers volunteered their large, animal-friendly house for them to live in rent-free until it’s sold, and (b) our old director collected a large amount of money to donate to him. (I am still annoyed that the books I ordered for him appear to be, guess what, lost in the mail though.)

    Anyway, I did initiate texting him three times this week, and we ended up texting for an hour on Tuesday, two hours on Thursday, and a half hour on Saturday.

    I guess the best I can do for him these days is to distract him, so I am telling him very silly stories and sending him a ridiculous link on “dick towels” and recounting the plot of a musical I was watching online. He actually did some online flirting with me–neither of us is very good at that so that was an amazing development for us! Hopefully this can continue in the future. “Pants” became a running joke 😉

    I am debating giving him my guitar–he plays and I was terrible at it and had no clue and haven’t used mine in years–but I haven’t gotten up the nerve to ask if he’d like it so far. I’m not sure how I’d deliver it these days (ding dong ditch at the borrowed house or his job?) and I admit I kinda want an excuse to see him under the terrible circumstances. I think I want to give it to him regardless of whether or not I see him because if there’s literally anything I can do to make him feel less awful, I’d like to do it. But I admit I am tempted to break all of my safety rules–which I have been 100% strict about, like not even hugging my mom the one time I saw her, and refusing to see friends from a distance because distance seeing people makes me horribly sad–and go hug him. Except then I will probably cry all over him. It’s not a good idea, it’s not safe at all because he is out in the world and not safe and I don’t know how to deal with these feelings. I guess that’s the therapy topic for the upcoming week. But losing your house is so bad that my previous plan to avoid him along with all other humans for years on end feels like it should be thrown out. I don’t know.

    Anyway, pardon the devolving into angst thing there. Bottom line is, I’ve talked with him more this week than I have been able to for probably all of 2020, and that’s a happy. I just want to make sure we’re still connected enough for the possibility if this ever ends.

  14. I’m happy because my Amelia/cooking buddy from Mobile, AL, phoned tonight to thank me for some cookbooks. We’ve been online friends since FALCON AT THE PORTAL in 1999, but never spoken on the phone before! She suggested I might like the Fremont Jones mysteries and introduced me to a new — to me — website for Instant Pot recipes. Wow, the IP porn pictures!

    Also happy because my brother popped in Friday to tell me that I’d had a call from A Man. It’s been nearly fifty years since any man called me at that phone number — my mother’s house! — but as it turned out, the mysterious man was from my hair salon, to tell me that I can come in for my scheduled appointment on Wednesday. As I haven’t had a haircut since the first Wednesday in March, my hair is now longer than it has been since my college days, though now silver instead of dark. He’ll probably be pleased to see how well his March haircut still looks, but I’ll be delighted to have hair out of my eyes.

    Kittens are now much more active than before and have learned to escape from the original arrangement of cardboard boxes and chairs, so Bob rearranged everything. We’ve progressed to three beautiful blue eyes and one still a bit of a work in progress, but much improved. Names still being negotiated between Bob and our tenant. They came from a cat colony, so they can’t be purebred, but they definitely are sealpoints.

    1. AND what should turn up on the old hard drive now being transferred to the new PC but EXPERIENCES IN THE LIFE OF MARY PENINGTON, the missing text. Now I won’t have to think about retrieving a copy from some Russian copyright-infringing site!

  15. A quail strolled through our back garden today, complete with a cute crest. I haven’t seen one here in this part of the city before. And it’s been feeling very like spring, with warm days and lots of daffodils. We had friends over and that plus the weather even motivated me to do a little bit of work in the garden. Lots more to go, but I’ve got all spring to do it, so I’m happy.

  16. I’ve had several conversations recently with friends who are struggling with joylessness. And this is NZ, where things are pretty good.

    We booked to do the Milford Track (3-4 day hike*) in April. The season sold out in about half an hour on booking day, so feeling lucky.

    There is blossom on my fruit trees. (although the apricot was hit by hail 😭).

    Yesterday we spent the afternoon at a high ropes centre ‘Adrenaline Forest’. Was very cool. And a bit terrifying. Left me feeling buzzed.

    Australian Ninja Warrior. Who needs the Olympics? Olivia Vivian is awesome. If you can access this series anywhere, watch it! Competence competence competence. It makes me happy.

    Singing along to Disney songs in the car with my 12 year old. Trying to remember to love the little moments.

    *In NZ we call hiking tramping.

    1. The really nice thing about ANW is that all of the competitors are going against the course, rather than each other, so they all rout for each other. It’s as if they are all on the same team, and one person’s success is cheered by all.

    2. Tramping! When I was little my father used to say “Let’s go for a tramp,” which meant walking around the Matlick’s pasture and up the creek. Happy memories. I wonder now if he picked that up from Australian soldiers during the war.

  17. I spent last week at my daughter’s house to take care of the cats while she was vacationing in Bavaria. It was half relaxing holiday and half writing retreat – as it turned out, I got a lot of pages for my new project written which made me feel really good. Now if only her cats would like to snuggle, it would have been perfect, but I’m told that British Shorthair cats don’t like to do that. So it’s also nice to be back home with my very affectionate cat who would sit on my lap most of the day if I’d let him.

    1. I’m cat-sitting for a couple of weeks. It’s the perfect arrangement – I love cats but I’m allergic to them and can only stand them for a short while. One cat never sits on people and the other only sits on people. Apparently they got the first one to be company for the second one but they have nothing in common. They both like us though 🙂

  18. I got my radiation treatment done this time. I was a little less freaked out by the shots, since I’d had them the previous week. And I was fascinated by the process of bringing the pill into the lab – big bulky lead boxes wheeled on a dolly. The pill itself was in a lead egg-shaped container. After all of the precautions, it seemed a bit anti-climatic to just down one pill with a glass of water. But it’s done. I get a scan this coming Wednesday to confirm that all cancer is gone.

    I also got good news from my great niece. The chemo has been working, and her tumors have shrunk considerably. Since the cancer has been responding, they’ll do another round of chemo before scheduling surgery.

    And my guilty pleasure, the Tour de France, has started. I love looking at the countryside they ride through, and I’ve come to appreciate the athleticism and tactics. I also enjoy just having it on and having the announcers voices as housemates for three weeks.

    1. The TdF is the only sport I watch. It’s like a 3 week soap opera. Eventually everyone else in the house starts watching too. Must be Stockholm Syndrome.

  19. On Friday, I gave up a secure full-time well-paid job to go part-time (in the middle of a global pandemic and worsening economic crisis), so that I can try to write a book. Today, I’m happy.

  20. My laptop cord broke so I’m typing one finger on my iPad. It’s weird being without a keyboard, but I am learning a lot more about the tablet. Also it’s not a bad thing to be offline for awhile. New cords arrive tomorrow, so that’s fun, too.

  21. Very happy here. The days have cooled down to mid and low 70s. Local peaches, pears, and apples are ready to pick up at the farm. Asters are blooming like crazy.

    I am learning how to walk correctly (I had knee surgery in June). Heel, toe. Heel, toe. I’m swaying a lot less. Also, I now have an insert in my left shoe because the physical therapist discovered that my right leg is a tad longer than my left. Every day I’m a little less Igor.

    Read Georgette Heyer’s short story collection Acting on Impulse. Love the story called The Old Maid. And the one called The Bulldog and the Beast. And …

  22. Over the last few months I think I’ve become the voyeur of the neighborhood. Being retired also gives me great latitude in observing others in their new habitat. For instance it looks like couples week on Noah’s Ark with the two by twos day into evening. Also, how many times can the street sweeper make a pass on any given day? Answer, a lot. The funny ones are the cutest. I’ve observed a man taking his then puppy for walks only to have pick him up and continue on. Now the dog is almost as big as his owner. Not so great is the verbal exchange between our neighbors. Actually that has been going on for years to the tune it goes in one ear and out the other. Although our son was here the last time they went at it and in his best imitation of his CPO’s voice told them to take it inside. Maybe they never knew how their voices carried. We shall see what we shall see.

  23. Last week a friend was in town, so she and I gathered on the rooftop deck of another friend for some wine and sushi. The weather was spectacular that evening, so it was really quite perfect.

    Now that it’s not 9000 degrees and 1000% humidity outside, I’m forcing myself to take more regular walks. Nothing calms me down more. I am listening to Thief of Time as I walk this week. One of my incentives is to pick books I really like to listen to, and to only listen to them as I walk… I find I walk longer that way.

  24. My husband gave me a haircut and is so pleased with his work that when I started to trim my bangs, he said, “Don’t destroy my art!”

  25. Our weather broke so it’s much more comfortable. I finished the plein air painting I started, and I’m very pleased with it. I learned how to make beef with bulgur and spices and herbs, it was very good. I sent 26 lbs of old documents to the shredder, so, accomplishment.
    I was saying to a friend that I’m not sure if I’m in the moment, or in denial.

  26. My brother sent me a picture of his son, DIL and their new daughter, Leila. That baby is so cute and there is unfettered joy and amazement shining out of her parents’ faces. I’m sure that I will revisit that picture almost every day. It is also amusing to see how my nephew looks more like his Dad every year.

  27. I’m not comfortable with phone banking, so I signed up to text bank for Biden/Harris. Assisting with ousting this administration makes me happy and gives me hope. If anyone else wishes to sign up, the website where I signed up is

  28. We re-homed some very nice glasses that didn’t make the Portugal cut (we have a *lot* of glassware!) to friends, and made an event of delivering them by going to lunch and having *the best* burger in LA currently (Papilles on Franklin in Hollywood, fyi). It was nice to get out of the house, which we don’t do much, and to dine out (only our second time since March), even if it was in a parking lot in the shadow of the 101 freeway. 🙂

  29. Every year around this time we get a day where it feels like the first day of autumn. It isn’t, it’s a trick, but today was that day. I always enjoy it because it gives me hooe that the hot days will soon be ending.

  30. I had fun showing a friend who’s new to the area some of my favourite walks – we were out for most of the day on Tuesday. Also had a good, slow day today, mostly sitting in the garden and reading, plus a bit of photography at the allotments.

  31. 1. pumpkin spice lattes are back, I don’t care if it’s still triple digits I am drinking fall
    2. I set up my Panda Planner through February so I can plan happiness
    3. After months of work on that part of the house, the workout room is back together and much improved (I don’t care if it’s weird, happiness is a squat rack)
    4. my sunflowers are enormous and ridiculous and I smile every time I look at them

  32. I started watching the Eco-Challenge. Those people are amazing and totally crazy. It’s a 600km race around Fiji that takes 11 days.

    I get to skip this week’s chemo. The doctors are hoping a cycle off will help with the side effects. I am looking forward to not feeling lousy this week.

  33. My niece and her husband are moving from outside of Philadelphia to Milwaukee. When they went to pick up their U-Haul, they were presented with one 4 feet shorter than what they had reserved. Hearing that they managed to fit everything in the smaller truck made me very happy because Tom has to tow a trailer with his car on it behind the truck and Emmy is driving the whole way with their either irate or traumatized cat in her car. I hope all 3 of them arrive in good shape and that they don’t arrive too late to get any help unloading.

  34. Sister-in-law had her esophagus removed on Wednesday, but she is recovering *much* better than expected so far, so we’re encouraged by that.

    Last week was a bit depressing as the fencing club I’ve been going to for years closed permanently after 6 months of no income and no re-opening of indoor athletic facilities in sight in Michigan. But yesterday I went to an outdoor fencing practice, wearing face masks under our fencing masks and maintaining social distance, but at least I got to fence for the first time in 6 months.

  35. I don’t have much. It has not been great here.

    But I am looking forward to a vacation mid-month. Six days hiding in a rental house in the Catskills with a friend and her dog. And a river in the back yard. So, prospective happiness. Sometimes that’s the best you can do.

  36. All is going to plan, except we’re not going to finish shearing today, so we need to magic another morning tea for tomorrow. Thankfully they shouldn’t need lunch!!! We’re 663 sheep deep into shearing at lunch on day 3, everything hurts, the weather is ok and I’m feeling accomplished.
    That’s a pretty happy week

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