Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Today was our first day back from Christmas break.  We were supposed to go back on Monday but we had 2 "holy crap it's below zero" days.   So today was the Wednesday that felt like Monday.

I can't believe all the places I am finding information for my quest for happiness.  Today it was an article in Prevention magazine, "The Healer".  An important point from this article is "mindfulness is powerful medicine."   I'm having a hard time practicing mindfulness (choosing to be in the present moment) when I'm so adept at multi-tasking and planning ahead.  It's something I'm clearly going to have to work on.  Honestly, I'm thinking of writing the word "mindful" on my hand to help me remember!  ha, ha.

Gratitude:  my students, my job, my work friends, Rachael's safe return home, love.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back to work

Well, I'm afraid I have been "off the grid" for the last 2 days.    The weather has been sub-zero, schools have been closed, and I've been creating.  I painted, made sugar scrub, and crocheted.  I've had several fights with my husband. (sigh)  I think we've been together too many days in a row.  

Something interesting I discovered today, believe it or not, on the Queen Latifah show.  It was Deepak Chopra and his 7 levels of happiness.   Something like that.  But one thing he said was the need to create is something we need to be happy.   I have found in the last few years that is soooo true for me.   When I hit my "oh my God, I have a child who is now old enough to drink" crisis, when Joseph turned 21, that's when I taught myself to crochet and the creative flood gates were opened!  I have been crocheting, making homemade Christmas cards, painting (just started that in September or October), and next month I'm going to try mosaics.   I also have this weird need to learn how to play the violin.  

Sidenote:    I intend to read Deepak Chopra.

Gratitude:  not having to go out in deep freeze weather, hot food, again my cats, my kids, my husband, being able to help Rachael if needed, time and supplies to create.
crocheted earwarmer

My painting "Winter Tree"

Lemon eucalyptus sugar scrub

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day Four

Today I am thankful for old friends and new ones.   I ran into an old friend from high school before Christmas and today we were able to get some coffee together and catch up on our lives.  It was complete chance that we saw each other, but I am so happy we have reconnected.  Of course, he lives in Texas and I live in Indiana, but I still feel good about having another friend in my support system.

Then, later today Steven and I had lunch with a friend we had previously only known through Facebook. It was great to finally meet him in person!  Another connection made.

Gratitude:  a warm house, the love of my cats, my friends.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Day Three

Happy Anniversary to me and Steven!   A year ago, Steven and I went down to the courthouse with my parents and Aaron and were married by Judge Hancock.  He made it a very nice moment for us. It has been an up-and-down year, but overall I am so glad we got married.  I am proud to be his wife.  I love his generosity, his affection, and his sense of humor.

Happiness thoughts today are really more on hope:

"Hope matters.  Hope is a choice.  Hope can be learned.  Hope can be shared with others.
Hope is not optimism.  You're optimistic if you believe the future will be better than the present.  Optimism is merely an attitude.  Hope, on the other hand, is belief PLUS action. "

(from an article by S. Levitt called "The Hope Monger" in livehappy, February 2014 issue)

I am universally hopeful.  I always think the future will be better and I'm always making plans.  If I have a plan, I feel better.

Gratitude:   The chance to sleep in, time alone with my husband, payday, the boys home safely.

That's all for today.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day Two

I can't believe all the "happiness" that has been popping out at me today!   Today my husband and I flew home from Killeen, Texas to Dallas to Louisville to home.  While we were browsing in the Dallas airport, I saw a new magazine called livehappy and on the cover was Gretchen Rubin, whose book I have been reading!  Lots of good articles and things to think about, including an article on hope.  Hope is an interesting sidebar to this search for happiness. I will have to explore this later.

I also found this really good article on Facebook linking to Edutopia about happiness in schools:
One of the happiness points is "get outside"!  I have been saying this all along!  I have always believed in getting the kids outside if only for a few minutes every day!  Fresh air, sunshine (or at least natural light), and movement:  you can't beat 'em for waking up your brain.

Finally, I completely forgot to mention one of my main inspirations in the pursuit of a happier life:  Joel Osteen's book Every Day A Friday!   The books states that people are 15% happier on Fridays......just because it's Friday!  If I could, I would copy Chapter 6:  The Right Perspective and hand it out to everyone I know. 

Gratitude:  2 safe flights, the fact that I had my husband beside me all the way (and I could put my head on his shoulder when I was sleepy), the fact that I did NOT throw up when the 2nd flight got bumpy, my dad picking us up from the airport, and our good dinner at Tumbleweed.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day One

Hello!  My name is Jodi and this is my happiness blog.  It's hard to explain exactly what I'm doing here, but basically one of the ways I hope to hold myself accountable to my projects and goals is to post daily to this blog, as a way of logging my progress.  What I'm trying to do is hardly original:  people having seeking happiness in their lives for centuries.  All I know is, a few months ago, I started looking to broaden my life, to expand my experiences, to become a multi-faceted, interesting person.  Hell, maybe this is just my version of a mid-life crisis, although "crisis" is hardly the word, more like "mid-life EVENT".

I have been inspired by many sources, but the most influential have been The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and Britt Reints' blog In Pursuit of Happiness and her book, An Amateur's Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness.  I am not necessarily looking to write a book (at least not on happiness) or launch a website.  In fact, my goals I have set for this month and for the year are modeled after Gretchen Rubin's happiness project.

Anyway, here I am:  Day One.  I am not a superstitious person.  But I read an article via Facebook about New Year's traditions and superstitions and one of them was that whatever you do on the first day of the new year will be what you will have in your life throughout that year.  I like that thought.  So today I have had good food, time with family, SUNSHINE, and exercise.  I have also talked over my ideas and goals for my year with my husband and played with the dog.  All good, positive things!

For January, I am copying straight from Rubin's project and her first month's theme:  Boost energy.  Under that, the goals are:
1.  Go to sleep earlier and reinstate "quiet time" in my house.
2.  Exercise better.
3.  De-clutter and organize the master bedroom (to help facilitate #1).
4.  Act more energetic.

Gratitude:  I am grateful for my children, my family, and for "down" time!
That's all for now.  There will be more every day.