Jenny: The Secret of Happiness . . .

11 Nov

So we’re in New Jersey.

Catching up with Krissie’s post from yesterday:

The rental is fine, except for the dearth of beds which I have fixed.
The garage at the cottage wasn’t cleaned out as had been promised, so we had to put the stuff from the truck into the house while the guy I’d hired to unpack the truck unpacked the garage.  All is fine now.
As for New Jersey, it’s a big state, and Krissie didn’t grow up in this part of it, so I’m hoping she moves past entire-state-loathing and grows to like it here.  Because I’m not going back to Ohio.

As far as I’m concerned, the secret of happiness is not letting the past define the present; that gives the past way too much power and poisons the future.  That was then, this is now, nothing but good times ahead.

However, your mileage may differ, so tell us three times you learned the secret of happiness this week.

35 Responses to “Jenny: The Secret of Happiness . . .”

  1. Mary Stella November 11, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Glad you made it and that the snafus are fixed. I also hope Krissie gets past loathing the entire state. Although I’ve lived in Florida for 11 years I am a bred, born and raised Jersey girl. I love my home state.

    Earlier this week I wrote a post about sometimes needing to help out our happy. It’s like anything else that we value and want to preserve/protect.

    I found happiness in things great and small this week. The outcome of the presidential election; the American kestrel perched atop my boat antenna, the spa day I treated myself to yesterday. It’s no secret these all brought me happiness.

  2. Catherine November 11, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Pure happy when a friend I was meeting for a walk also turned up in a dress and flip flops( we usually walk seriously) …Our attire defined our pace somewhat. However we were pretty happy to be strolling and still walked for 30 minutes. Happy.

    My sister sent me through a pic that said, ‘ sometimes the first step to forgiveness is realizing the other person is batshit crazy’.

    Then she sent through a pic of Elmo under a newspaper with a few bottles of Jack with a sign saying ‘ will work for tickles’. Both pics underlined our earlier hours long telephone conversation. Our connection, love of words, tenacity and peculiar sense of the world is one of my chief sources of happy. We met 21 years after I was adopted. I’m happy that we’ve now known each other longer than we’ve been apart.

  3. Liz Flaherty November 11, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    I was happy to be a poll worker this week.

    Today’s Veteran’s Day and I’m happy to still be with my own personal Vietnam vet, who remembers–I think–more than he wants to, but hasn’t let that part of the past define him.

    My kids and most of my grands have been in and out this week, which takes me beyond happy to nearly giggly no matter when it is.

    I hope NJ is wonderful for you, Jenny, and that it becomes a happy place for Krissie, too.

  4. Beth Matthews November 11, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    1. Hasn’t happened yet but I am happy in anticipation of having a “date” with my nephew today. We’re going to see Wreck it Ralph and have lunch at Islands.

    2. Finally got my diet back on track this week (the brief Islands cheat today notwithstanding). I’ve been going a bit crazy with the fast food and over-indulging lately but I seem to have my head back in the game.

    3. Watched all of Season

    • Beth Matthews November 11, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Oops, published too soon.

      #3 should read: Watched all of Season 1 of Once Upon a Time this week. That show is addictive like crack. And I LOVE Snow/Charming and RumBelle.

      I love that Snow White meets her Prince Charming by bashing him on the head with a rock. That’s my kind of “meet cute.” :D

  5. Kieran November 11, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Damn, I miss those diners in New Jersey. And I love the people. And I love the Shore. New Jersey is stunningly beautiful in so many places, too! Plus, the shopping is great, you’re close to Philly and NYC– what more could you ask?

    1. Ridding myself of a 72″ across Drexel Heritage round dining room table I could have sold for a thousand bucks–easy. I called Habitat for Humanity instead. It made me happy to give them a beautiful piece of furniture with no dents/scratches, etc. And I needed that thousand bucks. But when the table was gone I thought, I will always ‘need’ that thousand bucks. Now my dining room is my office. I love shaking things up! We have a small table in the big living space now where we eat. I read in The Barefoot Contessa that eating in unusual spaces is fun. She sets up dining areas in crazy parts of her house when guests come over.

    2. Getting a haircut and the stylist washing my hair– the water was the perfect temperature, and the scalp massage was awesome. No wonder she made twice the average teavher’s salary last year. I tipped her an outrageous amount.

    3. Hearing my 15-year-old call me Momma. I never get tired of it. I always called my mother Mom.

    2.

  6. cleo November 11, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    It was a rough week – a dear colleague died after a long struggle with cancer and then I learned that a good friend’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    1 – I felt particularly sad and vulnerable right before I had to go teach my rowdiest group of freshmen, so I told them how I was feeling and why, and asked them to be gentle with me in class. And they were. It was so touching.

    2 – flower buds on my Christmas cactus.

    3 – watching the Daily Show election night coverage with my husband

    • Kelly S. November 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Sorry for your loss

    • Lee November 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Hugs to you, Cleo. And kudos to your students for their compassion.

  7. Skye November 11, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Lunch with a good friend and all our conversation, some of which comes in secret, coded, inside jokes. Plus it’s hard to believe he had double bypass surgery in January: he looks totally buff, and not just totally buff for a 63 year old (as he likes to put it). He has taken his health very seriously this time around and has inspired (and cajoled) me to be more serious about mine. It’s nice to be told you are important to someone. Maybe that’s the secret?

    Reading a fantastic book, a long book, that took me all day and evening to read (and I read fast!). I seldom sit back for an all-day read fest anymore.

    Instant messaging makes me happy because it keeps me in touch with some of my friends and it feels intimate. Maybe because the friends I keep in touch with over it engage in real conversations over it. Sometimes just sending random silly links over it and sometimes just flipping each other shit over it, just like real conversations. Conversations with friends make me happy.

  8. Maria Powers November 11, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Ah, three hits of happy this week.

    1) My sister sent me a picture of a rainbow the day an inspection ended. Prophetic and wonderful. Sisters are the bomb.

    2)Went to a chapter meeting and saw my friend from another chapter. WOOT! Here is Southern California we have 4 local chapters. I belong to 3 of them and they are all special. Love my SoCal Writing Community.

    3)Realized again how much I love living where I do. Tuesday it was in the high 90′s and last night was going to reach a recorded low. After chapter meeting, went to my brothers, met up with my sister and mom who were there too, and ended the afternoon being the net for my niece to practice her volleyball serves. As my sister and I stood there with our hands up, I looked at her and thought, “What other family would let a kid serve a volleyball at their unprotected faces and yell out advice on how to serve better?” Yep, I love my bat-shit crazy family, each and every one of them.

    I’m not sure saying Happy Veterans day is quite right, but I have to say that I am happy for each and every veteran who has been in my life. Here’s to those who serve.

    • Lee November 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Amen. Here’s to those who serve. I am thankful for each veteran who has touched my life, whether directly or indirectly. And especially to that dedicated student years ago when I was just starting college, whose serious answer to a casual question had a more lasting impact than he could ever imagine.

  9. Redwood Kim November 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Well, the election has to top my list. All of it, from the FB update convos I was having while my husband worked late, to the teaqrs when they called it, to the acceptance speech – all of it has brought me a profound hope for our country.
    The kitten continues to delight me. He still likes to hang out on my chest, although he’s getting a bit big to fit.
    The third one is a bit weird, but both of my kids were sick enough to stay home from school this week. And I had a few moments when I looked up and they were both playing quietly in the living room in their pj’s, with nowhere to be, and it felt they were both little again. And it made me happy. Plus I got a ton done.
    (and it looks like I don’t have to travel for Thanksgiving. I have to whisper that, because that means I don’t see my 92yo grandmother, but man, it will be nice not to be on the road.)

  10. Cindy November 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    It was a good week.

    1) Election night gave me so much hope. And watching clips of coverage on the Daily Show gave me little hits of happy all week.

    2) Going to the salon with both daughters to get haircuts. The 12-year-old is looking like a teen, but still being so sweet. :) And the now 17-year-old has been feeling well enough to enjoy herself more. Seeing her at the salon smiling was a treat.

    3) Talking on the phone with the mom of a sick 17-year-old girl from TX. We met online in July through a health board. Both searching for a diagnosis for our daughters. In the end they both were diagnosed with the same thing. She’s become a great support system and someone I consider a friend.

  11. McB November 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Gorgeous weather that allows me to sit out on the deck in mid November. Spending time with friends. Flowers still blooming in my garden. A call from my nephew last week. BFF bringing my mother flowers from her garden. Fun e-books downloaded from the library.

  12. inkgrrl November 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    The week started out rough, with the news that a third person I knew and cared about had died suddenly – comes in threes right? So we’re done with death for now. But the election results were a huge hit of happy, snuggling with The Prince and both puppies on our bed was a huge hit of happy, and I have a hot date to see Skyfall this morning with that same Prince. The puppies will no doubt resume snuggling on the bed in our absence.

  13. Carol November 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    1) The election, obs.

    2) A semi-impromptu dinner with friends after seeing the Caravaggio exhibit at LACMA turned into a waltz down memory lane when we discovered the husband was working in San Diego while I was in high school there, so our paths probably crossed, which was kind of a hoot.

    3) Yarny goodness.

  14. Maine Betty November 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Waking up Wednesday morning, I was very happy with the election results.

    Read “Paladin of Souls” by L McMaster Bujold, just sat down and read it on a rainy day. Good book.

    Walked my big dog. Since I don’t live with her anymore, I am a rock star when I come to see my folks: a rock start to the dog, that is. (The folks are happy, too, but they don’t run in big zigzags around the yard at the sight of me.) Then we go on a nice long walk and check out the neighborhood.

  15. Kelly S. November 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Being able to sleep in.

    Fleece sheets – so wonderfully snugly warm the moment you crawl between them.

    Finding McKenzie’s seasonal hard cider in stock at a local specialty store. So tasty!

  16. Terri Osburn November 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    My number one happiness for this week is this post. I’ve been thinking along these lines a lot lately and this just backs up where my brain has been going. Nothing but good times ahead.

    The other two would be:
    Finally getting a good promo shot.
    Spending time with my daughter (mostly at the mall) and watching her get excited for the concert we’re attending Thursday night. It’s one of her favorite bands but I’ll admit, I like them too so I’m kind of excited. Feels a little like being 17 again. :)

  17. Terrie November 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    1. The election. Not only the presidential win but the gay marriage results. Happy, happy, happy.

    2. I pulled out a quilt project from a couple years back and hunkered down and have made a lot of progress. Not finished, but much further along.

    3. I’ve been going to yoga for a little over a month now and I can stretch further than when I started. Still overweight and trying to lose and seeing wee bits of progress on that front, too.

  18. Gail November 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Finally got around to watching Arthur Christmas; haven’t laughed that hard at in quite awhile. Recommended for all ages.

    Spent Sat. hanging with friends.
    First tried ariel yoga (yoga with a big hammock) with one friend. It was fascinating and might be the only thing that ever pulls me into a yoga studio. Friends + stretching comfort zone = good.

    Then chilled with another good friend who is briefly back in town. We got to enjoy unseasonably good weather (which has vanished today in a deluge of chilly rain) and both unburden ourselves of current stresses for a bit.

  19. Lois November 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    1) The siding on the final wall of the house! And a roof over the door. It looks so odd after all these years.

    2)Dogs. They really make the world a better place.

    3)Bright,beautiful stars in a very dark sky. Especially after a nasty rainy day. Altho the thunderstorms were nice instead of a blizzard – which is our usual Nov.

  20. Brussel Sprout November 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    1 Teachers made positive and encouraging noises about Minion No1, refreshing change after weeks of moans, groans and abysmal feedback. Better than that, he’s been showing some motivation and interest after months of depression/self-harm.

    2 Gorgeous autumn colours all over Brussels, beautiful lovely trees looking golden and russet and elegant.

    3 I know it wasn’t my election, but it did make me really happy.

    Otherwise, tough week – a lot of work writing job applications, and the news that a contemporary from school died quite suddenly of leukemia. I saw her June 2011, and she was in a great place, full of excitement and enthusiasm after a tough time work and love-wise, then diagnosed over this last summer and now gone. I didn’t know her well, in my school, if we weren’t in the same house, we rarely got to know each other that well, but it’s a John Donne kind of feeling for Georgina.

  21. KellyR November 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    1)This conversation at work: Coworker: “What? Who’s smoking pot and getting married now?” Me: “Anyone who damn well wants to, this is the great state of Washington!”

    2) Notification that this quarter’s financial aid is coming through at last.

    3) Finding out overtime is being extended through Wednesday (I need the cash!)

  22. Chris S. November 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    1. The election results — and it’s not even my country! Yay!

    2. In relation to the above, I am currently very happy that our own federal election campaigns last 8-12 weeks, maximum.

    3. In the midst of a stressful day, I caught a red light at exactly the right time. The grey clouds shifted just enough to let a little sunlight limn their edges. The leaves on the trees around me glowed gold, and a song I love came on the radio. I stretched out my arms; took a few deep deep breaths. A moment of solid peace in an outrageously busy week.

  23. Micki November 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    After going around with a co-worker for the last two weeks (he’s trying to micro-manage something he knows very little about because the boss didn’t give him something to do) I realized, I tried three times to make him (and us all) happy. Now it’s his turn to make himself happy. It was very freeing, and who knows? That might lead to happiness once I let go of the pissiness about the micromanaging in the first place. All will be well in that case, even if *he’s* not happy.

    I’m trying to be happy because I got some stuff done this week, but it’s a very fleeting happiness — because there’s still a whole pile of stuff left to be done.

    Realizing that I’m learning and growing, though, has brought me a lot of deep, short bursts of happiness this week.

  24. Carol November 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Riding my bike with the big guy and our granddaughter twice this week, stopping for coffee and cinnamon sticks and a very long swing ride (granddaughter) at Centennial Beach. Much joy watching Gray on the big slide and me catching her.

    Booking the cabinet installation for Tuesday.

    Watching the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa.

  25. oneoftheotherjennifers November 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    -elections
    -skating
    -finding a house sitter for Jan-Jun who is perfect and will adore my kitty appropriately

  26. Stephanie November 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    I had dinner with my best friend. It was so good to catch up – even if I had to share her with the kidlets.

  27. H November 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    shopping for jeans for my daughter with my mom — and when I went to follow her into the changing room she stopped me with a hand out and said “I got it mom” (she’s 4)

    our sweet but nutty 9-mo-old foxhound mix crawled up onto the couch the other night and rolled around looking silly until my daughter paid him some attention. he adores her.

    my boy (almost 8) piled into my lap for snuggling – I take every moment of snuggling I can get from him now, and really appreciate the spontaneous snuggles

  28. KateGeorge November 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I gave myself permission not to go to anymore writer’s conferences, and I’m going to go to RomCon in Colorado next year mainly as a reader. It’s not that they don’t have anything to teach me, it’s just that I’m feeling so socially awkward and I didn’t win any of the raffles! I’m tired of feeling unconnected and spending too much time in my room. That decision made me happy.

    Listening to a good story to and from Boston.

    Picking up an Agent at the airport for the committee, and just chatting as people, rather than worrying about pitching. (I’m published, but I don’t have an agent.)

    Oh! the best thing? Watching my twins in Taming of the Shrew! They didn’t have big parts, but they were excellent in the parts they had. I’m a proud Mama.

  29. SusanM November 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    We met with DS’s teacher earlier this week to discuss his progress, rather than his behaviour. He’s getting along with his classmates, participating in the majority of activities and successfully resolving most conflicts on his own.

    I got up early 3x this week to walk the dog. Despite the cold, the sun was out and we both enjoyed ourselves.

    We went to dinner and the theatre with friends on Saturday night. Dinner was excellent and the play was very good. And DS got to hang out with his favourite babysitter.

  30. Thea November 12, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Oh, the joy! We were in Australia touring heritage rose gardens with a right fine crew of fellow/sister lovers of the old, the vintage, the sensual. We came to see a particular collection and found it charred in unseasonal heat, “cooked” is the word the Aussies use. Still found it wonderful and worth the innumerable hours in airports and air. And there were sublime gardens and quirky, happy people and grace moments all along the way. Not the least of which was experiencing – for the sixth time – Moliere’s “School for Wives” presented at the Sydney Opera House. We walked there and back and saw a candlelight White Dinner and all the lights of Sydney, including Luna Park. Moliere was translated by an Australian, great strong translation, very much of Australia. Not all that much laughter from the women in attendance.

    We’re back from Australia, with emails from new friends. Garden survived, doggies survived their Golden Paw spa/kennel time.

    Yesterday sat in an old garden to celebrate an old woman, botanist, plant collector, and nurserywoman Kate Sessions on the occasion of her 155 (156 by my count) birthday. She walked the brick paths, knew the old oak in the yard, the parterre planting of the courtyard. Sky washed blue after rain, white scudding clouds, Girl Scouts Chorus serenading Kate with “Happy Birthday.” And cake!

  31. molly November 12, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    1) election night
    2) later in the week when the Teabag lady in a local race conceded the election
    3) I’m getting a health insurance discount at work because I quit smoking in 2005.