friday’s “secret”: to be happy, make someone else happy

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”

– Gretchen Rubin

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shenna “LaShay B” Townsend for another Enjoy Life interview. Shenna is currently working on a project that she started three years ago, a part of which is collecting and donating prom dresses for girls. I will post this interview within the next couple of weeks. And if you have any dresses that would be suitable for a banquet or prom that you no longer need, I would like for you to consider donating to her project. I will post details in the interview.

I took a dress to donate to her when I did the interview. It felt wonderful. I felt happy.

How are you going to be happy this week?

enjoy life…

enjoy life guest post: joy anderson

I am so excited to feature my first guest post on the blog today. Joy is one of my external motivators on Fitbit. She is always initiating Challenges which help keep me moving throughout the day.  She also introduced me and encouraged me to listen to what has become one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. And finally she is my sister-in-law-in-law. Is that a thing? But we were friends long before my sister and her brother decided to be together.

This is how she enjoys life.

Joy Anderson and Quabbin

Joy Anderson and The Quabbin

Two of my personal commandments (Another Gretchen Rubin fan here. Hello!) directly relate to enjoying life: (1) Treat yourself and (2) do more of what makes you happy. In my sometimes successful pursuit of following these commandments, I’ve combined two of my favorite things: listening to podcasts (treat) while walking outside (doing what makes me happy).

My spot to walk (sometimes hike) is the Quabbin Reservoir. Whether it’s sunny or overcast, the Quabbin is gorgeous. After being cooped up all week at work, in my car, or my apartment, it’s glorious to be outside. The Quabbin, the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, also has an interesting history. In the 1930s, four towns were disincorporated – homes, businesses, and cemeteries were all relocated – and the area was flooded to become the primary water supply source for Boston as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. The Quabbin covers 38.6 square miles, and has several park/recreation areas like the one near my home. While working out in my tiny studio gives me a mood boost, it’s nothing compared to walking/hiking in the fresh air. Last Sunday was warm and sunny and I conquered the Visitor Center Loop Trail. I got lost last time; need to work on that sense of direction!

And why not make a good thing even better? I love listening to podcasts, but I have trouble finding the time to listen to a whole episode without interruption. It’s such a treat to listen to my favorites all the way through while walking the Quabbin. Listening to Happier inspires me to try new things, or I can learn something new on Hidden Brain, and even get in a core workout by laughing along with the hosts of Another Round. I ignore texts and phone calls and just enjoy life outside – away from walls, work, and worries beyond how I can incorporate Happier’s Try This at Home Tip into my week.

 I definitely enjoy life more when I have me time (even if you live alone, you still need “me time”) and the Quabbin is my spot. If it’s not snowing this weekend I might consider exploring another trail or maybe I’ll stick to something familiar. We’ll see 🙂

If you don’t already have a favorite spot of your own, I hope you find one.

You can keep up with Joy on Pinterest and on Tumblr.

enjoy life…

friday’s “secret”: set a few intentions and achieve them

Beach Sunrise. My Intentions

This week, I have been reviewing my intentions and highlights from 2015. I hesitate to call anything a goal because I have failed to achieve my goals year after year after year. So I started referring to them most often as “intentions” in 2015 and have had a greater success with that small change. It feels easier to me; less intimidating.

I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish quite a few of my intentions for 2015, my main one being becoming more comfortable with this whole “mommy” thing. Jessica Quirk of What I Wore expresses my sentiments along this line so well in this post: Post Partum Identity Crises. It was a real thing for me last year but I think I might be beginning to see a way clear.

Here are my Intentions for 2016

  • Run 6 races, including the Bridgestreet Half Marathon in April. In order to do this, I am going to have to be in the best shape possible so those foundation habits of eating, sleeping (or trying to with a baby), staying hydrated, and training are going to have to be on point.
  • Read 36 books, one more book more than I read last year. I believe I can do it, if I do not gorge on television and it’s various iterations: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the oh-so-convenient network apps. It is so easy to fall down those rabbit holes, isn’t it?
  • Which brings me to my next intention, staying out of rabbit holes that do nothing for me. I really want to be intentional about my entertainment choices and only watch things that I find enjoyable and/or useful. I am really looking forward to the encore presentation of BBC, PBS, and Masterpiece’s Special, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride this weekend. I missed the January 1st premier.
  • Write more, which will include posting to the blog weekly. Oh boy! You guys are going to have to hold me to this one. LOL!
  • Remove anything from my life that is not useful, beautiful, or loved. I start with my wardrobe next week and will work my way around the home through these dull winter months. I probably won’t have anything to wear! Eeeek!
  • Give a “durn”! Being a mom, it is super easy to fall into the “oh, why bother” mindset. Buddy Man is just going to mess it up anyway! But I feel so much better when I care. So, more often than not, I want to be put together rather than thrown together. I also think I want to color my new short cut. We will have to see about that though!
  • And finally, being a stay-at-home mom has kind of taken a toll on me, socially. I am very thankful for my family and friends who have kept me sane with their phone calls, opening up their homes, and visits. I want more of those experiences! I want to feel more connected to people, even through digital mediums, this year! For an introvert, that’s saying something!

What are your intentions or goals this year?