April 20, 2009

little ways to drive up closer to happiness

one of my favorite sayings about happiness comes from a television show....."money may not buy happiness, but it can buy me a red corvette so I can drive up really close to it." it makes me laugh - because I know in this crazy world that money does not really buy happiness - it just fills a lot of holes we have in our loneliness, anger, or sorrow. but, in the midst of all of that - I can find joy in little bitty things, little nuggets that bring me laughter and that leads to smiles and that...well, it leads to some happy.

so, given my current financial status - how do we do that?

1 - we find bouquets of wildflowers in an vacant lot. we pick them and bring them home to make joy last for more than one day.

2 - you work out trades with talented artists and have beautiful packages arrive in the mail. her cards are even more beautiful in person.

3 - you play silly games on line like "mafia wars" or list five things you will have handy in case of a zombie attack.
4 - you make yummy black bean salsa and grill out a family dinner.
Black Bean Salsa
1 – 2 Medium tomatoes chopped
3 – 4 Green Onions (whatever you like)
1 Can Black Beans (rinsed)
1 Can Corn (I like shoepeg but any works)
1 -2 4-6 Ozs. Of Feta Cheese (I like the tomato/basil kind)
½ Cup of Xtra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ Cups of Vinegar
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Sundried Tomato/Basil seasoning (add more if
you like)

5 - buy magazines featuring articles about thrifting or repurposed items. think of ways to repurpose things you already have. haunt thrift stores looking for the perfect find.

6 - you dream about the perfect vacation to take once you find a job again. and then you plan to lose the five or so pounds you put on eating chocolate cake while planning that vacation.

7 - play with the puppies.

8 - plan the perfect bedroom. try to think of how to combine current linens and find something along these soothing lines. continue to scout thrift stores and antique stores to find a beat up mantle.

9 - call an old friend that you haven't spoken to in a long time. talk about the times you froze everyone's bras or put becca's hand in the warm water to see if she would pee (she didn't). then cry when you hear her talk about her daughter's first prom and how beautiful she looked.

10 - watch the Sex and the City movie for the 100th time. cry each time Big proposes to Carrie. then watch The Way We Were and cry when Katie says, "your girl is lovely Hubble."

11 - buy a box of cracker jacks and eat them. even though you only get a lousy tattoo now, rock the tatt in the funniest of places (unless of course you're going on an interview).

12 - wash your linens and then spray them lightly with a mix of lemons and water or if you prefer, lavender water. take a shower and go to bed on the freshly washed linens. sheer heaven.

13 - register for pandora and create your dream play list. they will also suggest artists that sound similar and you might find some new music. better yet - create a playlist feature songs from high school and rock as hard as you did back then. be sure to dance and prance in front of a nearby mirror.

14 - pay something good forward. it will repay you in happiness tenfold. it doesn't have to be money - any good deed will do.

15 - draw a picture for your fridge. better yet - draw your dream picture and include any wishes you want to make happen.

16 - make a collection of your favorite quotes and keep them handy. life is a struggle and there are days it's easy to forget to be motivated. so nothing is happening right now? (true that) we have to stay motivated to work towards building that dock. believe me - I know it is tough to continue to be motivated. I'm not making light - I'm just reminding myself.

17 - instead of wondering "what's in it for me" think about what you can do for someone else. sometimes all someone needs is another person to listen and say, "I care." just doing that can remind you that you are not the only person suffering.

18 - go to the library and check out your childhood favorite books. read them. maybe even out loud. laugh at the funny parts.

19 - channel laurence peter to release some of that anger. (When in doubt or danger, run in circles, scream and shout.)

20 - fake it until you ake it. I know that sounds like a cop out and weird advice to fake it...but it actually works sometimes. that we fake it so long that we forget why we were so mad. finally....blog it out (said like Ari Gold). write about happiness, wishes, dreams, wants, needs. sometimes it takes writing it down to realize what you do have working for you.


  1. Love this! Tonight I am going to treat myself with a nice cool shower before bed and slipping into fresh clean sheets...oh I can't wait! And Pandora radio rocks!!! OMG...I can't get enough!

  2. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Jim Morrison... "There are things known and things unkown and in between are the doors." I like to think that at any time I may open one of the doors and something neat will happen. It gives every day a sense of anticipation. But I have to remember to recognize small things not just keep looking for the biggies.

  3. i love lists, but this one is an especially good one. thanks for these little reminders, as i start to feel weak during austerity april. i will make it!!


  4. Love your list! I truly believe in faking it until you make it.

    The quote that Cedar posted by The Doors is amazing too. Never heard it, but is so true!

  5. So I heard : "There is something thing money can not buy, For everything else... there is MASTERCARD!" (from mastercard advert).

  6. So refreshing to read through you list... and filled with such Joy! Sometimes open spaces are exactly what we need. I wish you all the best on your job search...

  7. No. 18 would make me happy too..

  8. i have to agree with you on just about all of these except the cracker jacks. funny, my brother is a quadriplegic and lives a difficult but happy life. he always says that he knows that money does not buy happiness, but he will try it out and if it really sucks, he will give it back. have a great day!

  9. OMG...did you you see my post today??? we soooo need to get together for a weekend of pure fun !!!

  10. this is awesome, Char.

    when i went to work out on Sunday, i ran into an old friend who i have not seen in years. she now has three kids, and her husband just lost his job. since he was in business for himself—a contractor for another company—he is not eligible for unemployment. hardly seems fair.

    anyway, it made me realize that i have it a lot better than some people. my husband still has a job, i am eligible for unemployment benefits and we don't have kids to feed. i needed that dose of perspective, because i was starting to really feel woe-is-me-ish. you have a great outlook here. i like that! keep it up!

  11. I'm all about 8 and 12 right now. It helps to focus on stuff like making things pretty or being creative when life isn't living up to its potential in some areas (like jobs). And blogging is ALWAYS good :)

  12. Oh, I love this! I can't wait to do some of these things, like spraying the linens. It sounds wonderful.

    My sister recommended pandora on my last visit but I totally forgot about it. I'm going to check it out now, thanks for bringing it back to mind.

  13. Like your list and love the ending. I have seen other blogs today writing of gratitude. In keeping with that spirit I have written you a thank you note on mine after receiving my photo yesterday.

  14. ...a wonderful list! It makes me smile and I will be trying that Black Bean salsa soon! If this is fakin it you are doing a wonderful job!

  15. i am side by side with you Char Especially pandora, drawing, & clean sheets ...so basic so uplifting

  16. such good tips! i think you could publish a small book with these tips and your photos!

  17. This is beautiful myfriend. I wish it was so easy to always find the good in every situation :o)

  18. I like your list, which means I like how you think! You're a "glass half full" type of girl. Sometimes I just "shop" my house. Looking in closets and such and finding things to decorate with I'd forgotten I had.

  19. I absolutely loved this!! :D


  20. I loved this list Char. Had to smile about the Way We Were line ... I know that exact line and it always moves me to tears. You have the right attitude for the place your life is in right now. You are finding the gifts in this time of challenge. We are all pulling for you -- and the tide will change. It's the law of nature.

  21. Fab post! I love no12. Bed is truly where we spend so much of our time...lavender+lemongrass for me. Reminds me of a spa in Bali! ~XO*

  22. What a great place to park myself in my insomniac ramblings.

  23. Love love LOVED this list of simple pleasures. Lovely images too.. your posts always brighten my day.

  24. Awesome list. Today I think I'll accomplish #19. But the salsa looks good too. :)

  25. I'm going to put this list where I can look at it every day. You have to be the most positive person I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Thank you.

  26. What a wonderful list, Char!
    What? Only 5 pounds gained? You are so lucky. And I love those movies.

  27. Ooooo... This is a good, good list. Am so loving this post.

    As to the unemployment, I wish I had wise words or a job to offer. Instead, I'll say a prayer. It is more effective anyway.

    Take care. Be well.

  28. Oh that quote made me chuckle too!


i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.