Summer

Wrapping Up Summer

September 16, 2019

Photo by Jade Seok on Unsplash

Do you smell it? Pumpkin spice is in the air! Summer is about to give way to fall—at least in my imagination. Time to wrap up summer and move on to my favorite season, fall. Despite the recent turmoil, it wasn’t such a bad summer. I checked off most things on my Summer Fun List (completed items highlighted in red):

  • Read by the pool
  • Attend yoga classes at Karma (no affiliation) while our circuit training class teacher is off having a baby 
  • Schedule a massage
  • Create and read from a Summer Reading List (post to come about this)
  • Escape for a beach weekend with my husband

As far as my Summer Reading List goes, here are the books I specifically mentioned, finished titles again highlighted in red:


Mansfield Park, Jane Austen.


Ride with Your Mind, Mary Wanless.


The Foundling, Georgette Heyer.


Also of note:

I went on a Lucy Knisley graphic memoir binge (my favorite was either Kid Gloves or Something New)

Read or skimmed several books by Alexandra Stoddard

Revisited Agatha Christie’s The Tuesday Club Murders (first appearance of Miss Marple)

This summer has felt long and hot and impossibly difficult at times, but things are looking up. Problems are resolving. Work is coming my way that is helping to pay for the recent horse and car expenses. When you read this, my husband and I will be road tripping in New England. I’m so grateful for all the good in my life, and all the kind words and thoughts you’ve shared with me. I’m breathing big sighs of relief, and actually looking forward to what comes next.

I hope your summer was just what you wanted it to be. What was your favorite moment? Any simple pleasures or everyday adventures you’d care to share in the comments below?

In other news, click here to read my article, “Tantalizing Tallahassee: A Tampa resident’s visit to Florida’s State Capital!”

People

Meeting Awesome People

September 13, 2019

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

“I know it sounds like a cliché but you do get to meet some awesome people traveling around the world. There's so much negativity in the press, but doing what I do makes you realize that 99.9 percent of people on the planet are really decent people. We just tend to concentrate on the small percentage who aren’t.”
—Will Hide, travel writer

My husband and I are about to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation together, and we expect we’ll be meeting awesome people while we're away. I’ve set up some posts for Catching Happiness while I'm gone, but purposefully, I'm limiting my access to email and comments. Have a happy couple of weeks, everyone!


Happiness

Double Nickels

September 09, 2019

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

This week I’m celebrating a milestone birthday—55—“double nickels,” as they say. I wanted to write a post like, “55 Things I’ve Learned in 55 Years,” or even just share a few nuggets o’ wisdom with you. 

Well, I would if I could.

Instead, what I’ve learned over the past couple of months is that I still have so much to learn! That even at the mature age of 55, I make dumb mistakes, feel at a loss when faced with certain problems, and that the depth of my resources for coping with a series of mishaps and inconveniences is not as robust as I would like it to be.

All good things to learn, if a bit humbling. Does that happen to you? Just when you feel like you have a handle on life, it all goes catawampus?

For too long, worry, stress, and frustration have been my frequent companions.  If you read August’s Happy Little Thoughts newsletter, you know that Tank has been having a problem that could become quite serious, our truck died and needed a new engine, and this weekend my car had to have an expensive repair. Oh, and the reason this post is going up after 7 p.m.? My laptop keeps crashing every time I type a few letters into my word processing program.

I have been trying (oh, how I've been trying) to allow simple pleasures and everyday adventures to shore up my happiness during these difficult times. What has helped most is knowing that these frustrations have a shelf life. The vehicles will, eventually, both be fixed. Tank has been improving and seems out of danger. Some personal stuff will also eventually resolve. What I need to do is pay attention, be present, and act with maturity. I’m doing my best. 

And that's not a bad lesson to learn, no matter what your age: do your best. Assume everyone else is doing the same. And, as someone once said,  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

What is one of the most valuable things you've learned in your years of living?



Aristotle

One Brief Time of Happiness

September 06, 2019

Photo courtesy lucasphotography from Pixabay

“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”
—Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics 

Animals

Labor Day Weekend Link Love

August 30, 2019

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress of Hurricane Dorian this weekend. It’s not supposed to reach us until Monday, and as I write this, we don’t yet know where it will make landfall. Some models show it crossing from the Atlantic over us into the Gulf of Mexico, so keep Florida in your thoughts. Other than last-minute hurricane preparations, this weekend we’re expecting a visit from my mother-in-law, celebrating our son’s birthday, and my husband and I are attempting to repair something on my car—wish us luck! I might do some baking—maybe chocolate chip cookies or some type of muffin. We’ll see.

Just in case you have some free time on your hands this weekend (a three-day holiday weekend for most of us in the U.S.), here are a few items of interest I’ve come across recently. Enjoy!

“How to Manage Your Energy to Get More Done” was a timely read for me, as I’ve been dragging lately. Going to pay more attention to renewing my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy.  

Have you ever tried to “Follow Your Jealousy”? As Sheila Devi writes, “Jealousy tells you what you want more of. What if you listened to it?”

Check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “Rom-Com Syllabus” if you’re looking for something fun and light to watch over this long weekend. There are some great additional suggestions in the comments, too.

This long essay by Roy F. Baumeister examines the differences and similarities between happiness and a meaningful life.

I totally understand and identify with “Pet owners share 55 hilarious rules their animals have made.” The animals are clearly in charge.

What do you think about research that shows that trying to be happy can result in feeling less happy? “Quit Doing 1 Thing Today, and Science Says You’ll Feel a Lot Happier (It's Counterintuitive)” is worth a read.

This is an oldie, but still hilarious. My husband showed this to me again this week, so I hunted it up on YouTube for you:



May you have a safe, relaxing, and happy Labor Day weekend!


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