Shower Door Messages and the Key to the Good Life

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This is the view through my shower door. Just what you wanted to see! You’re looking out to a window and a light to the right over the sink. The other day, I looked not through the door but at the door. I saw the word:


“Joy” written in shower drips. “Look again,” I said to myself. I saw:


I kid you not. I had to squinch my eyes to see “happy,” but it was there.

I’ve never seen words in shower drips before and have yet to find any since. I don’t know if my mind or eyes or heart or brain was playing tricks, but I’ll take those signs of joy and happiness.

This brings me to the finest TED Talk I’ve watched. It’s based on a 75 year Harvard study of life. Promise me you’ll watch to learn the secrets to joy and happiness, which perhaps you’ve known all along. Thank you, Robert Waldinger.


The Prettiest Girls


This statement by Audrey Hepburn took me in:

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

When we reach a certain age, we learn some things about happiness.

That it’s up to us.

That it’s ninety-some percent attitude.

And that the greatest happiness often comes from giving.

There’s been discussion, perhaps since the beginning of time, if happiness is a choice.

We menopause girls  think it is, mostly, don’t we?

We’ve figured that out along the way.

And thanks to Audrey for helping us understand:

Pretty is as pretty does.

Audrey Hepburn is ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female film legend of all time.  As her life went on, she spent less time acting and more time traveling  the earth campaigning for the welfare of children.

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Cookbook Winner: Congrats to Louise, the winner of the Reader’s Digest Diet Cookbook!

Grandchildren, Grandmother, Grandparents, Menopause

Happy Sitting: An Idea for the New Year

On my first official babysitting gig

At Kath’s house a few months ago,

We played, sang, read,

And sang some more,

And then one of us

Cried, really cried.

Oh no!

Grandma KK, the other grandma,

Had visited in the morning

And lulled baby to sleep

With persistent rocking.

So that afternoon,

Mazen and I rocked

And rocked and rocked,

Until finally, he slept.

Tiny zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

I looked around for a

TV, a book, a magazine,

A computer, a phone.

Nothing in my reach.

Not daring to move,

I sat, still (almost) as a portrait

Until his mama came home

And snapped this picture.

Smile, Grandma!

That hour in the rocker

Was oh so grand.


A New Year’s resolution:

More happy sitting in 2013

With or without baby.

No grumping

No to-do lists

No figuring out

No planning ahead

No worrying allowed.

Just sitting

Being happy.

(That’s why it’s called happy sitting.)

Will you join me?

Life, Mood

What the Psychologists Say and a Giveaway!


A few years ago, my friend Lisa and I led a women’s retreat on the subject of happiness.  That’s when I realized there are people who study the subject officially and write books about it.  Fun!

While looking at happiness literature, I found this neat little title:

 Here are ten of my favorite tips from the book (although I like all of them).

Secret 12:  Have realistic expectations.

Secret 22:  Pay attention.  You may have what you want.

Secret 34:  It’s not what happened.  It’s how you think about what happened.

Secret 38:  Share of yourself.

Secret 49:  Be a peacemaker.

Secret 51:  Make your work a calling.

Secret 59:  Be Your own fan.

Secret 71:  Don’t accept television’s picture of the world.

Secret 82:  Don’t dwell on unwinnable conflicts.

And here’s a good one if you’re feeling extra wrinkly today:

Secret 98:  You have not finished the best part of your life.

Author and psychologist David Niven does a great job expounding on each secret with succinct  explanations, suggestions, and easygoing examples.  And he backs each secret up with psychological research.

Yes, a lot of the points ARE really simple, but I’m kind of slow to get some of this stuff.  It helps me to read it in happy black and white. I like to pick this book up sometimes when I’m feeling grumpy or at loose ends, and you will too.  That’s why I’m offering it as a GIVEAWAY.  Post a comment below or send me an email saying  you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.  I’ll choose a winner at random on March 8.

Photo at the top of the post was taken by daughter Kath  at a  funky sandwich shop in San Diego this week.

Photo below is my daughter Laura, the school psychologist, at her graduation from Northeastern University last spring.  (Since Laura spent seven years studying psychology as an undergrad and graduate student, I’m taking this motherly opportunity to post her picture on this post related to the study of the mind and human behavior.)

The book is One Hundred Simple Secrets of Happy People:  What Scientists Have Learned and How You can Use It.  David Niven, Ph.D.  Harper One, 2006.