Happiness is Work That’s Going Well

You know what I love? I love it when I think, “What was that book I was reading? That was really good” and realize that it’s the book I’m writing.

What did you realize about happiness this week?

86 thoughts on “Happiness is Work That’s Going Well

  1. Family.
    Kids that come by and hug you tight.
    Parents that lighten up your mood at occasions that drag you down.
    Kids that choose their friends well so you can allow them to host a dinner party, so that we can come back and not find a wrecked home but kids who had a fun night.

    1. Kids and dinner parties–brings fond memories of DD and her high school friends making dinner and experimenting with fresh garlic. The aroma lingered for days.

  2. Happiness is being in London, England for the week. After an hour and a half wait because our airplane had to be…rebooted. I am not making this up. Anyway, my husband is here on a business trip so I am carrying his bags.

    1. Ahh. London. I wish I could spend six months there. At least. There’s way too much to see and do.

      We were in London in November for several days. Completely by accident, we ended up at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross, and I bought my granddaughter a Hufflepuff mug. Very happy about that (still am) and so was she.

        1. So much Harry Potter Merch in London, spoilt for choice. Forbidden Planet off Shaftesbury Avenue is the biggest Merch shop for sci fi/fantasy, with a basement full of books and graphic novels. Also if you want to catch a show the tkts booth in Leicester Square Park has discounted tickets for that day

          1. I think my husband and I would love Forbidden Planet so we’ve put it on our list for this week – if I can trick him out of working – thank you! We’ve already bought tickets for Motive & Cue and for Guys & Dolls (an oldie but one of my favourites and supposed to be a great staging). I may still try to get some discounted tix though.

        2. Tammy, have you seen the webcomic My Life As A Background Slytherin? The merch there is great too.

      1. I’m planning to go to the Victoria & Alberta Museum tearoom on Thursday and I will drink a cup of tea in your honour.

          1. They call it a café and I call it a tearoom but apparently it’s the oldest museum restaurant in the world

        1. Better yet – they have a Chanel exhibit that I’m itching to see doing that at the same time.

    2. Sarah-Kate Lynch wrote some of my favorite books while accompanying her husband on business trips.
      Heavenly Hirani School of Laughing Yoga sprang from going to India with him, for example.

      1. Sad to say, I’ll be a lot less creative than that. I’m interviewing two people today – does that count?? Maybe I could work in a question like: “Tell me about a time you had some downtime and yet made it productive…”

  3. Happiness is a basement garden.
    Happiness is a hydroponic farm.
    Happiness is growing living things
    so you can kill and eat them.
    With salad dressing.
    Just add meat and cheese and croutons.
    Happiness is meat and cheese and croutons (while the croutons are still slices of whole wheat bread). Black Forrest ham. Baby Swiss cheese. A dash of mustard.

    Happiness is decaf coffee and cream with chocolate flavored stevia.
    Happiness is decaf tea with lemon-flavored OR orange-flavored OR mint-flavored OR un-flavored stevia.
    Happiness is chocolate cocoa. Swiss Miss or some other variety.
    My Keurig makes me mildly happy. Push a button, hot drink in seconds.
    But I still enjoy decaf diet coke or diet A&W or diet sprite for cold drinks.
    Or just plain bottled water.

    I’m going to enjoy some soup today. Because I can and I do. With crispy stuff – wontons, I think, today.


  4. Happiness is staying home. The snow hasn’t quite stopped yet, and we haven’t begun digging out. That will have to happen eventually. But until then, there is something lovely about the enforced stillness.

    I’m cleaning in little chunks, and wrapped up a bunch of Blind Date with a Book paperbacks in pretty Valentine’s Day paper for my booth. I don’t know if they will sell, but I am excited about it. People have a tendency to rudely open things when not supervised, so this will probably end with me hauling a lot of unwrapped books back home, but maybe someone will pick up something they come to enjoy.

  5. I celebrated my 79th birthday this week. My youngest son in Arizona called, and we had a lovely talk, which ended with him telling me “You are entering your 80th year.” That did not cheer me. My brother called later in the day, and I told him about that, and he said, “If you lived in France, you’d be 80 now. They count the actual birth day as age one.” But we also had a nice discussion. Then I went to my elder son’s house, where we had takeout from a favorite restaurant. Mine was fish and chips, with coleslaw. It was great! Happiness is family, for sure.

    One of “my” Opossums came back two nights ago! They disappeared about the time it got so very cold and snowy, and also at the time I was babysitting my granddog, and let her out late at night. She proceeded to sniff all over the yard, which probably scared the Opossums. (Not to mention the piles of poop in the yard.) From then on, I kept her on a leash when I let her out at night. It warmed up, and I picked up the poop. Now we are under a winter storm watch, so I’m hoping they will come back early at night to get something to eat.

    1. Happy Birthday Jan! I’ll be 79 next month. Just this past week I received a high school newsletter that someone must have signed me up for. Reading names and putting faces to the names and all they are doing is a fun part of reading about former classmates.

      My grandog is still sleeping upstairs going on to eleven a.m. She is not a fan of venturing out in the weather. We’re having rain so far along the coast. She’ll even turn her nose up at wind. Until there is absolutely, positively no hope but to go outside.

    2. Happiest of birthdays to you! Train yourself not to think about the year. I never do unless asked, and then quickly forget. Again, happiest of birthdays to you!

    3. Happy birthday!

      My Aunt raised two orphan opossums this year as well and completely fell in love with them. She released them into the wild in the Fall, but one came back to say hello the week before Christmas.

      I got her a little book, When In Doubt, Play Dead by Ally Burguieres, who also raised possums and she really enjoyed it a lot.

  6. Happiness at this exact moment is sipping a very good cup of English Breakfast while having a moment to myself before the kids get up.

    Happiness this week has been setting up this year’s planner. I finally found one that focuses on self-care, that provides a fabulous layout that’s like 4 planners/notebooks in one, and that I actually used for a full year (last year was my first). It even comes with stickers.

    Happiness this coming week is that we will finally be getting some winter weather! It is currently -16C/3F instead of the Spring weather we’ve been having, and snows, finally, before dropping to -40 at night with a lovely high of -28C/-18F. We need the snow, and while the temps are a bit extreme, they usually come with bright sunshine.

  7. I was in a weird health fog last week and am so thankful to feel mostly normal again.

    I am also thrilled that I got year end accounting done at work while still in the fog – not sure if fog made it better or worse actually, but DONE! W2s, 1099s, state tax report that is always hard to balance, DONE!

    Also discovered I had made an error and overpaid my sister’s federal taxes last month, which actually worked out for the best for complicated reasons I won’t go into. Serendipitous error for the win!

    A week from Monday I am starting the annual “ fit in my clothes” diet, so enjoying left over goodies this week. Last night we had brownies with whipped cream. So good. Ham and egg on English muffin with cream cheese coming up later today.

    I missed last week, so going on a bit this week, sorry. A few years ago, someone here said they did an adjective or feeling rather than a resolution, which I am very enamored with. I have chosen Satisfying for 2024. My food, my activities, my relationships, my accomplishments- it’s really universally applicable. Satisfying everything for all!

    1. I adore the idea of “satisfying” as a set point for the year! Thank you for sharing.

      Satisfaction plants me solidly in appreciation and counting my blessings decidedly fosters happiness for me.

  8. I think I mentioned it before, but I decided this year’s motto is “Fuck it, I’m doing this for me,” originally thinking it would mostly apply to my storytelling, but now I’m realizing it can apply to everything in my life. And it’s making me happy.

    Also happy to have received an email from Romancing the Vote (group of mostly-romance authors who organized auctions of books and crafts to raise money to combat voter suppression), and they’re gearing up for an event (or multiples?) this year. I participated in the past, donating little quilts, and had so much fun, while doing a good thing (and finding homes for some quilts that I made for the heck of it and didn’t have specific uses for).

    1. There’s a book written called the Way of Fuck It with drawings by the author’s children. It’s a American-Italian couple who live in Italy. Can’t remember their names, will try to find it later.

  9. Happiness is being able to sing along to a song on the radio, or feeling like I want to dance to a song, or wanting to respond to the DJ’s comments. At my darkest points, I’d lost the joy music and interacting with the radio brought me. (5FM here, if you’re curious.)

    Happiness is doing the all-new yoga with Adriene Flow series, even if I do a part like 15 minutes of the session because I am also doing somatic exercises with Workout Witch and seeing a HUGE improvement.

    Happiness is watching Wonderland of Love (Chinese approximately Historical) or Lovely Writer (Thai MM) and giggling about it later. Both are funny.

    Happiness is seeing the haze in the air during yesterday’s heat and knowing it may rain today and still feeling balanced when the clouds rolled in this morning, instead of getting mopey.

    Happiness is an almost fully repaired phone so I can start posting here more frequently.

      1. Oh, I think you’ll like her style. Somatic exercises are gentle versions of natural movements and postures that bring relief to the nervous system. Just doing some of the movements brings immediate relief. There IS sometimes an emotional release but it’s worth going through the experience to get through the other side.

      1. Yes. Liz Tenuto. She’s got enough shorts that you can do exercises without buying a course. I *will* buy one, I just gotta pay down other things first.

  10. Happiness is a winter storm that isn’t quite as bad as it was predicted to be. We’ve got quite a bit of snow–probably 5 or 6 inches so far, and it is supposed to keep going until the late afternoon, so we may hit the 9 inches they predicted–but we didn’t get the high winds, and it isn’t the super heavy wet stuff. I think the plow went by before I got up and I haven’t seen it since, so there have been about three trucks going by all day. Very quiet. Quite pretty, especially the bright red cardinals out at the bird feeder. The power stayed on, which is the thing I always worry about. And hey, it’s upstate NY and the first storm didn’t hit until January 7th, so I feel like I got 2 months out of 5+ out of the way already for winter.

    Happiness is making progress on the magical realism novel, and hopefully making the revisions my agent wanted so we can send it out later this month. It has been a couple of years since I submitted a novel, and I really want this to succeed. I like writing nonfiction, but I miss fiction. And after a few years where I could barely write at all, making noticeable progress that’s I’m almost completely sure doesn’t suck…very happy.

  11. My motto for 2024 is be the fountain not the drain. Big mental shift for me.

    Happiness this week is baking SD bread in my new kitchen. I haven’t baked since late October when kitchen reno started. It will take a bit of time to get back into the baking routine but having a slice of SD toast for breakfast is the best way to start the day.

    Happiness is also making a meat lasagne and having DS eat and enjoy it. He’s a very picky eater and I gave up worrying about what he eats years ago. But it was nice to see him enjoying a meal I made. Both he and DH complimented me several times.

    Had a short walk and tea with a friend I don’t see very often. She has long Covid and gave me a few suggestions for recouping my energy after my recent bout of Covid. I’ve not been sleeping very well – not unusual post-Covid. She noted that light exercise has be proven helpful and suggested I might sleep better that night. Not sure it was the walk or the YouTube videos of older English women making paper crafts but I slept better than I gave in weeks.

    1. I was chewing over “be the fountain not the drain” and realized I don’t want to be either. I want to be a still pool reflecting the moon.

      (I don’t like sourdough, but even if I did, the best toast is raisin bread toast. I need to make raisin bread more often.)

  12. I really enjoyed being out of work and in the psychiatric program. I also got into Fiddler on the Roof. I got a callback but no part. I am flattered just to be nominated, really, especially since I don’t think I fit any of the parts I read for. I usually don’t get callbacks, so yay for that happening for once.

    I am forced back to work on Monday.

    I am screwed. My HMO REFUSES to diagnose me with something they somewhat admit they think I have, because IT’S JUST TOO CONFUSING if you have more than one issue at a time, even if all of those issues are related! They have punted it to my next doctor, who I can’t see until the middle of the month. I needed to get a diagnosis–or at bare minimum a doctor writing what my issues are for accommodation–and while I finally got that second form in snail mail, he didn’t write anything on it other than I’m waiting for diagnosis. Which they are refusing to do.

    My deadline for this shit is January 15, I don’t see the doctor until two days after that and I have no idea if he’ll cooperate (he’s been highly recommended, at least) or how quickly or slowly he’ll do anything if he wants to do anything. I have nothing to postpone my firing in time. My HMO won’t move on this and I’m going to get canned.

    God wants me to be fired from this job and have a firing on my record, it seems. I did everything I could and I just can’t save myself. I’m not even functional enough to job hunt now and I shouldn’t be hired and I’ve been told disability isn’t an option (which I get, for many reasons). At this point, I’ think I’m gonna drown.

    1. I guess, if you’re absolutely certain you will be fired, you could quit the day before, and not have a firing on your record. Everything seems to be pushing you in that direction. I wasn’t unable to function, as you seem to be, but I remember quitting a job that was horrible, demeaning, and consisted of dealing with misogynistic people, daily, and the relief I felt after I moved on. The universe kicked me in the behind, and I needed that kick. Sending positive energy your way.

      1. Talk to your union. Quitting makes you ineligible for unemployment in most cases and I can’t tell whether you will be eligible for unemployment if they fire you.
        Being fired is not the end of the work. It feels bad but if your HMO can figure out a diagnosis for you then you can learn what kind of job you can do well and what accommodations you need. And also get treated if you have something like depression.
        Also see if your union can postpone your decision date pending the doctor.

        1. Union guy said he’d negotiate me quitting in exchange for getting my record cleared. But either way you aren’t easily eligible for unemployment if you quit or are fired for cause in the way that you are when you are laid off. If you file after that, it depends on whether or not your employer permits you to get it. Who knows there.

          I asked about postponing, but I haven’t heard back from him yet and they already postponed for two months. I highly doubt they’ll let it go any further and even if I said, “please wait until the 19th,” that doesn’t mean my new doctor or HMO will move fast enough.

          1. I think you get unemployment if you get fired, no matter what. But not if you quit. You should probably double check on that. I got fired from a few jobs when I was younger (mostly around the years when I was sick but hadn’t been diagnosed yet) and they were all, in theory, for cause. And I’m pretty sure I got unemployment. And lots of people get fired at least once over the course of their lives. Don’t let it get to you. I promise, it’s not the end of the world. In the end, it definitely seems like you’ll be much better away from this job.

    2. I’m sorry Jennifer. That’s such a hard spot to be in. Do you have family close by that you can lean on while you’re working through all the medical hoops?

      1. Well, my mom is nearby-ish. I’m not sure how helpful she is up to being. I told her today she needs to think out this offer for me to move home if I have to do it, because there’s literally no room for me at the inn over there. She doesn’t want to discuss it because she’s a hoarder, so….

    3. Visualizing miracles and the universe sending good things your way, even if we can’t predict what they will be.

    4. Sorry to hear that after all your efforts, you’re still encountering road blocks. Any chance the union would help you buy more time with your employer? I’m in Canada so not familiar with US benefits, but wondering if you’re entitled to any unemployment benefits if you’re fired? Crossing my fingers that there’s a resolution in your favour.

      1. I asked, but I haven’t heard back yet (weekend) and since everything has been postponed for 2 months already, frankly, that might be a NO. Especially since the HMO is being so slow and so stalling that there’s no point where I’d know for sure that I’m likely to get either paperwork or a verdict.

        You aren’t guaranteed employment if you are fired for cause or quit, only if you’re laid off. My friend tells me that when she’s been fired, it depended on whether or not your employer wanted to allow you to get money (hers did because she works in Big Tech), I don’t know if that would happen for me and I’m trying to plan assuming I will have no income at all indefinitely.

    5. Under the ADA, you can request work accommodations, and they have to give them to you for a certain period of time. You can call the hotline to find out more. As you’ve demonstrated that you are actively seeking diagnosis and are waiting for trreatment you should be covered by the ADA (or whatever the equivalent is if you’re not in the US). But you do have to use specific language that cites the ADA for it to count. Hope this helps.

  13. Much happy-making stuff happened this week. Grand dog, Juno stayed two full days and an overnighter. Darling little puppy. GGs and Juno spent Wednesday, of course, we went shopping, lunch out and spoiled them. Youngest chose a navy hoodie with “Barbie” emblazoned across the front, bc “I just had to.” Older sister chose a white hoodie from Aritzia. Juno loves us. GG has very strict rules with her phone now. It has changed her demeanour. No moodiness. Happy to be with everyone. She is back to being a happy child. That was the biggest and best happy. DIL quote “Technology is such a mood disruptor.”

    All is well for the first week of the year, with the exception of Marlowe, 13 yr old grand dog. We know it is coming. Hold on, buddy. The best dog ever.

  14. I’ve really enjoyed the responses to my emailed overseas Christmas cards: feel reconnected to people. It’s been a lovely surprise. Also had a peaceful, happy time with my friend Jenny, who came for New Year. And I got out in the sun yesterday, and enjoyed the golden winter sun on the trees.

    I took my tree down yesterday, and though I loved its dark magic, as always, the living room is now light and clear, and I’m ready to start the new year.

  15. Happiness was taking the bus to NYC to see “La Boheme” at the Metropolitan Opera. What an opera. It’s the one I would take someone to to introduce them to opera. I met an old singing friend, we stayed overnight in a nice hotel, and met other old friends for a long lunch. Then back on the bus, getting home around 11 p.m. Happiness is also getting into your own wonderful bed.

    Also, we have snow! I don’t have to go anywhere, so I can stay inside, make cinnamon rolls (ruined a batch last week; killed the yeast), and clean off my desk.

    1. La Boheme at the Met! makes me think of Moonstruck with Cher and Nicholas Cage and smile.

  16. Happiness has been a week in Samoa. Beautiful country, welcoming people, and time away with my sister. Happiness will also be getting home again to sleep in my own bed with two snuggly cats.

  17. We have snow “scheduled” for Tuesday, an 80% chance of 6-ish inches, which is the greatest percentage of chance and the most accumulation we’ve had forecast this entire winter. I’m happy to see it but wish it was coming over 3 days not one.

    What Deb said about 2 free months out of 5, except here it’s 2 free months out of 7. It’s arfing cold though, and getting colder over the week. It’s supposed to warm up by the end of the month though, which is good because we have company coming for the last weekend (note to self, clean guest rooms). The dogs are not happy with the cold. I put Hannah out and even she was dancing around keeping one paw up off the ground after only a couple of minutes. I was out with her.

    My presumptuous co-worker asked if I’d give her 2 of my shifts this month. I said no. I don’t make the schedule and if she wants more hours she should talk to the manager and not bitch about working Saturdays.

    Now that we have the dogs on a separate feed schedule and everyone is eating happily out of their own bowl, we can put Fred and Hannah on food that’s not nearly $90 a bag. Jasmine needs food that won’t upset her stomach so she has to stay on the spendy stuff.

    I’m learning about propagation boxes and how to propagate plants and following way to many house plant accounts on Instagram but that’s okay. I now want grow lights and moss poles and to make my own chunky potting mix (I’m seriously rolling my eyes at myself right now).

    1. I have five different cats eating three different foods (2 of them expensive prescription foods) in five different rooms–twice a day. Gives a whole new meaning to the term “herding cats.”

  18. Happiness is realizing that I can use the dues for the gym membership I plan to buy towards my spend down for my medical card. Earlier I received a letter, which I can no longer find, telling me that the state was raising the amount of receipts I must submit to get a medical card by about $35 a month. Since the copays on my meds have decreased, I’ve been having trouble meeting the old amount and I have been paralyzed by the realization that I will probably lose my secondary insurance a few months after open enrollment is over. Since I screwed up the password on my online account shortly after I opened it I cannot check to see how much credit I have amassed towards the next month’s spend down and it has been keeping me up at night. But today I realized that the amount off increase is almost exactly the cost of a senior membership at the health center I have been considering for months. Now I just have to submit every last receipt I can find and join the gym and I should be okay for the near future. I have tried every year for the last 3 years to reset my password so that I can see if I am about to lose my medical card, but that has never worked.So I am delighted to think I’ve found a way to cope with it, at least in the short term. And this will motivate me to finally join the gym.

    I am also very happy that I finally ordered a new cell phone. It should arrive in a few days (if the Post Office cooperates!) and then my only challenge will be finding somewhere I can borrow a phone and a computer to activate it. The only problem with that is that they are predicting a new snowstorm every 2 days next week, followed by a cold snap which will make getting over to my sister’s house much more difficult. We have had very little real winter weather this year, so I really can’t complain about that, but all the holiday goodies I ate will make fitting the long johns under my jeans a challenge. I seem to remember bitching about this a year ago. Some of us never learn.

    1. The organization you have your online account with should be able to send you a link that allows you to set a new password for it. People lose their passwords all the time. The only time I was shut out like this was by my old mobile phone provider, who somehow shut me out of my account and couldn’t reconnect me despite hours on the phone to their tech support.

  19. Happy that a combination of daily sun lamp + art has noticeably reduced fatigue. I’m looking forward to Daily February!

  20. Happiness is teamwork-playing videogames with Sven and MIL over at MIL’s on Saturdays since before Christmas. Spending time together and laughing and cooperating to solve puzzles, navigate and fight in the game, such good times. We’ve still got plenty of playing-hours to go and I think all three of us enjoy it lots.
    Happiness is Matcha crawling onto my lap to snuggle. She’s been very clingy last days, wants to be close. She’s only a lap-cat if she gets to choose the when and how, and she’s been choosing a lot of whens since Friday. Today she even came to stand beside my chair when I worked on the dragon-egg at the dinner-table and threw questionmeowmarks at me until I lifted her up. She’s never wanted to be on my lap there before. Normally she’ll jump off directly if I lift her and put her on my lap regardless of where, but today she laid down purring like a tractor. The love.
    Happiness is Triple curling up on my lap, putting her kitty-feet and snout in my hand with 100 % trust and love and completely relaxing. Always feels like we connect on another level when she does that. The love.

  21. Happiness is watching Pixie enjoy the snow. Happiness is only 3″ of the snow. And, it will all be gone on Tuesday when we will get a lot of rain.

    Happiness is coffee after moving 3″ of snow off the walks and driveway. And not having to move the car until Monday. I really like sitting around the house watching the dog nap.

  22. I sprained my wrist last night, playing with the kitten. (Lost my balance and landed on the wrist). I tried to drive to the drug store to get an ice pack but couldn’t get the car into reverse. I couldn’t push down hard enough on the gear to change it so ended up walking to the drug store (a short walk but it had already started snowing). Today, after 7 inches of snow had fallen, a former coworker messaged me and asked if I needed help clearing the driveway. A short time later, her son and grandsons showed up shovels in hand and cleared the driveway and walkway for me! Happiness is having great neighbors and coworkers (even retired ones, like me).

  23. Happy today was having the liberty to do absolutely nothing but lounge in the den reading and watching RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race all afternoon while the cold wind blasted the neighborhood.

  24. Happiness is a trip to Brussels and London and catching up with old friends. And discovering that one has moved back to Brussels so we can catch up after 12 years…

    Happiness is keeping up with journal.

  25. Not to take away from Gin’s book launching, but DEMON DAUGHTER by Lois McMaster Bujold is now available on Kindle. It’s on my Kindle.

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