Archive for the ‘Happiness Project’ Category

make a difference

This week’s challenge is to make a list of the times when you felt like you made a difference in someone else’s life.

Not long after I began writing romance novels, someone wrote to me and told me that my books saved her life. She said she’d lost all hope and after she read one of my books, she’d found it again, along with the will keep going.

I can’t even begin to describe how that made me feel. I was so humbled and so incredibly touched, I think I cried for two days.

Anytime I have a bad day or am doubt what I’m doing or question where I’ve living a life of purpose, I think of the words she shared and keep on keeping on.

Has there been a time you’ve made a difference to others?


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This week’s challenge is to list the ways you enjoy investing in your mind, body, and soul.

* Faith – is an investment my heart, mind, and soul need.

*Laughter – is one of the best medicines out there and I am blessed to be married to someone who makes me laugh all the time.

* Self-help books – I’ve read many, enjoyed several, cherish a few. If you’ve never read one, why not give it a try? I think my favorite is probably The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

*Meditation – When the weather is nice, I give myself “sunshine breaks.” I go sit out in the sunshine for 10-15 minutes and do nothing. Just sit there, close my eyes, and let peace wash over me. CC will ask me if I got my sunshine break in when he comes home from work. If I haven’t, he gives me a look that let’s me know he thinks it’s important I not skimp on that quiet time either.

*Joy and Gratitude – I think we have a daily choice to make… we can choose to be grateful and we can choose to be full of joy. When we choose those things, we invest in our happiness, and that, my friends, is priceless.



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list 1

I didn’t get my Happiness List for last week posted, so I’m doubling up today.

The challenge for week 23 was to list simple ways you enjoy being kind to others.

This is a fun one.

I think my favorite ways to be kind to others are the following:

  • Smile. It always brightens my day when someone smiles at me. I try to smile at people I encounter when I go to town – even the people at the grocery store. Some people smile right back, others take a little time. Some scowl. But at least the effort was made.
  • Offer a sincere word of praise or thanks. If it comes from the heart a “kind word in due season” can mean so, so much to someone. I know a kind word from others has changed me whole outlook when I’ve struggled with a tough day.
  • Be thoughtful in actions. If there is something I can do that will help another, I generally try to do it, even if it’s just holding the door for someone with their hands full. Little acts of kindness go such a long way.

Are there acts of kindness you like to do for others?


The challenge for week 24 is to list every color you can think of what mood you associate with each color.

Wow. This could be quite a list.  I won’t list every color I can think of, but will hit some of the highlights.

Pink  – (One of my favorite colors since I was old enough to pick what colors I liked!) I like shades of pale pink, peachy-pink and bright pinks (like raspberry), but I’m not a fan of the in-between shades (think Pepto). Pink makes me think of roses, which makes me think of summer, which makes me think of things I love. In essence, pink is just a happy, lovely color for me.

Green – (Another favorite!) My favorite shades of green are again on the ends of the spectrum… mint green, sage green, hunter green and forest green or my greens of choice. Mint and sage I find calming (think spa days), while hunter and forest are rich colors that put me in mind of fairy tales and royalty.

Burgundy – Again, makes me think of fairy tales, castles, and royalty. A rich, deep color full of possibilities.

Blue – My favorite blue would be the shade of Captain Cavedweller’s eyes and cobalt blue always brings those amazing peepers to mind. I like sapphire blue (again such a rich hue). I also like Robin’s egg blue (which puts me in mind of spring!). I’m also a fan of navy blue. It’s just a classic color that makes me think of Jackie O and elegance.  And I love the gorgeous blue of a summer sky. Makes me feel free and takes me back to the summers of my childhood.

Red – I tend to favor the blue-red shades over orange-red. Red is a powerful color that can evoke strong emotions (like passion or confidence). Years ago, when I had important meetings with one challenging boss,  I would wear red for an extra boost of confidence.

Brown – To me this is an earthy hue that makes me think of rich soil and early spring or late fall.

Yellow – I really like soft, buttery shades of yellow and cream. Yellow is a cheerful color that can brighten up a dreary day.

Purple – I’ve had a love/hate relationship with purple. Certain shades I love. Certain shades I detest. But if it is one I love, I really, really love it! Purple has a richness, a depth to it that just makes me think of something elegant and luxurious.

Black – To me,  black is a very functional neutral that can look quite classic on its own or serve as a background for pops of other color. Other than associating it with funerals, I don’t know that I necessarily tie black to a particular mood.

White – This color (or lack of color) has always seemed serene and peaceful to me. I think it gives a hint of purity. It can also appear crisp and polished.

And there you have my basic color list.

Focus on your happy color (s) this week. When you see that color, acknowledge the feeling it brings you. Make it a goal to incorporate more of that color into the space where you spend the most time in your day.

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work first

This week’s challenge is to list the things you prioritize before doing what really makes you happy.

My parents (especially my dad) always taught me to work first, play later. Oh, we still played a lot, but the sooner you got the work done, the sooner you could play.

I still following that.

If there’s something fun I want to do, I get my work done first so I can fully enjoy the fun stuff.

When it comes to daily priorities, though, I love, love, love what I do for a living, so writing isn’t work for me – it’s the fun stuff. So, I try to get all the “work” things I have to do completed, then the rest of my day is free to enjoy doing what I love.

What about you? Are you work first or play first kind of person?


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This week’s challenge is to list the opportunities that others have given you throughout your life.

I’ll hit some of the lightlights:

  • My parents gave me the opportunity to grow up on farm where I learned all about hardwork, responsibility, basic survival skills, how to use your imagination, to be resourceful, and to enjoy the lighthearted, fun moments.
  • The college dean who gave me the opportunity to take extra classes so I could finish my degree not only on time, but early.
  • My auntie who gave me the opportunity to freely express my thoughts and nurtured a girl’s tender little heart.
  • The accountant who hired me  after my second year of college in spite of the fact I had no idea what I was doing and spent the majority of the summer I worked there with my foot in a boot cast. I needed the job and he was a patient boss.
  • The company that allowed me to intern with them. I learned more in those four months than I’d ever imagined… not just about my chosen field of work, but about life, people, and myself.
  • My first full-time after college job where my boss took the time to help me grow as a writer and encouraged me to keep learning.
  • The job I had that gave me the opportunity to flex my creative muscles.
  • The job I had that allowed me to learn the fine art of hospitality.
  • Captain Cavedweller – who has given me the opportunity to know what it’s like to be loved completely, unconditionally, and unreservedly. He’s the one who said “take the leap” and made it possible for me to start writing full-time. He’s also the one who encouraged me to try writing my a romance novel in the first place. This guy – has given me opportunities to soar, to follow my heart, and make my dreams a reality.

I’m truly so, so grateful for all the many opportunities and blessings I’ve been given.

What’s one opportunity you’ve been given that makes you especially thankful?

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happy people 1.jpg

This weeks challenge is to list the happiest people you know. I wrote out my list then looked at the similarities in these happy-hearted folks.

Here are the traits they share:

  • Optimistic
  • Hardworking
  • Love to Laugh
  • Laid-back
  • Forgiving
  • Caring
  • Honest
  • Don’t hold a grudge
  • Don’t judge
  • Playful
  • Engaging
  • Interested in Life
  • Grateful

What traits have you noticed in the happy people you know?

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z love yourself

This week’s challenge is to list the things about yourself that you do not need to change.

Here are a few things I would not change about myself:

Sense of humor














What about you? What are some things you like about yourself that you definitely would not change?

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