friday’s “secret”: “make someone else happy”

One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin has the following quote:


Make Yourself Happy

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.

I have shared Jennifer Belthoff’s The Love Notes Project here. What’s so great is that it was an experience that keeps on giving. On The Love Notes Facebook page, a fellow member posted about the Chemo Angels Program.

This simple but truly wonderful program supports individuals battling breast cancer matching applicants together based upon age, gender, interests, etc. You then send your assigned fighter cards, letters, and small tokens of positivity, support, and encouragement through good old-fashioned snail mail. The goals of the project are to show individuals battling this terrible disease that they are not alone and maybe help fuel a positive attitude to aid their recovery.

There are two kinds of angels: (1) Card Angel and (2) Chemo Angel, which is a little more involved than a Card Angel. To be a Card Angel, all that is required is that you send one card or letter once a week – 49 cents per week = $27.44 a year. Once you have accepted your assignment, you commit to sending something every week. It is worth noting here that Chemo Angels and Card Angels is a very serious commitment. Someone is counting on your notes!

I applied last month for a number of reasons:

  1. Making someone else happy would help make me happy!
  2. If I were ever diagnosed with breast cancer, I would love to receive notes of encouragement. “Do unto others…”
  3. By writing someone who is in a more challenging situation than myself on a weekly basis, I will be more grateful about my own life and my own circumstances. I received my assignment two weeks ago: a young woman, my own age with three young boys! Mission accomplished!

If you are able to spare the time, please take a look at this program and if you feel so inclined, please sign up. It’s such a little thing to do that could have a HUGE impact in the life of someone else. The website is: and link directly to an application here.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {november 2015}

quick lit-november 2015Today I’m linking up with one of my favorite haunts on the web, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. The site is great for a bookman like me. Anne reads a ton; I mean, I thought I read a lot but there really is no comparison.

This year, I am on target to read 35 books. Initially, after the birth of the Buddy Man, I lowered my expectations dramatically and set a goal of 12 for the year. Well, needless to say, I have smashed that goal and am still going; and a lot of the books that I have read this year have been based on reviews and recommendations by Modern Mrs. Darcy. Thanks Anne!

Once a month, she hosts a monthly link-up on her site called Quick Lit where she and other bloggers, like me, let you know what we’ve been reading lately. So here’s my round-up for the month. It’s weighing heavily on the self-help shelf. I’m planning to lighten it up bit over the Holidays.


  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin: A re-read because I used it extensively during that presentation I made in October. I talk about what I learned from that experience here. A quote that hit close to home: “Stress doesn’t necessarily make us likely to indulge in bad habits; when we’re anxious or tired, we fall back on our habits, whether bad or good.”
  • The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson: Read this as a part of a Facebook 21 Day Personal Development Challenge Group. Thanks, Randi! Very easy read for me and due to the inability to sleep a couple of nights, pulled this off in a little over three days. I appreciated the concept that our actions, however insignificant they may appear at the time, are always tending us either up or down, positively or negatively, forward or backward, and through the compound effect, these actions will determine whether we are successful or unsuccessful at life. Not a new concept, but I appreciated the simplicity of the writing and the reminder to keep working on the things that I am working on, even though I don’t see the changes or results right away. They will happen if I don’t get give up! Favorite Quote: “It has already been proven that information and technology alone are not going to create real change….Information needs to be coupled with a community to have any real life-changing effects.”
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: Even though I read it early last month I am including it in this month’s edition because Elizabeth Gilbert and her podcast, Magic Lessons, where Brené Brown was a guest, is one of the main reasons I had to pick up Rising Strong. I have to say that these two books go very well together. Quote I try to remember every day:“…my fear was boring. Mind you, my fear had always been boring to everybody else,…”
  • Rising Strong by Brené Brown: I have failed at so many things so many times that I was interested in the research about what it took to keep trying in spite of failure; to get back up on one’s feet and do it again. I have completed the book but know that I am going to have to reread it again to really digest all that was there. I am really looking forward to sinking my teeth into the meat of it in the new year after digesting Daring Greatly. One of my favorite quotes:“…absolutely no amount of experience or success gives you a free pass from the daunting level of doubt that is an unyielding part of the process.”

Currently Reading:

  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: After reading Rising Strong, my first book by Brown, you know I had to go back and read the one before it. I must say that I would probably have preferred to have read this before I read Rising Strong. I was reading this one at my usual pace and then realized that I wanted to study and really internalize the material. So I am slowing this one way down and thus it will take a while to read it.
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton: This is my first novel by Kate Morton and I must say that she writes beautifully. I love books that describe settings vividly. It helps me visualize the story. However, I am having trouble moving through this book due to the sheer volume the descriptions. The story is moving a little slow for my taste but the writing is lovely and I will eventually finish this one, even if I have to check it out again from the library.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the following:

  • L M N O Peas by Keith Baker: This one is read, and reread, and then reread again almost every day! Favorite quote and the one that sparked the title for these Quick Lit posts: “We’re readers! Next page, please!”

What books have you been reading lately?

enjoy life…

friday’s “secret”: “this life right here, right now is beautiful.”

writing in the night

“This life right here, right now is beautiful.” – Jessica Flannigan

As I am writing this, it is 12:45 AM, on a Thursday morning. Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I value my sleep. I am one of those individuals who needs 9 hours a night. Or should I say, I use to be one of those individuals who needed 9 hours a night. With the arrival of Buddy Man, 7 hours is an absolute luxury!

Sleep often eludes me once I have had to wake up and tend to Buddy Man’s needs; my brain will often go into overdrive thinking of all of things I need to do, worrying about stuff, just refusing to go down again. Buddy Man often follows his pattern of refusing to go down again, which keeps me up even longer.

However, over the past couple of months, instead of fighting valiantly to the bitter end to go back to sleep, which is really nothing but staring at the clock as the minutes tick mercilessly by, I have decided to embrace the solitude and do things that, if attempted during the daylight hours, would be interrupted.

One of my very podcast is The Lively Show and on October 29, Jessica interviewed Jessica Flannigan of Live the Fancy Life. You can listen here. It was a good interview and a lot of things were very helpful to me but the quote that stuck out and that I am trying to remember daily is the quote that I started the post with and bears repeating again:

“This life right here, right now is beautiful.”

Even though my eyes are slightly heavy, and I know I will have a sleep-deprived headache in the morning, my life, “right here, right now is beautiful.” I chose to enjoy that I am able sit in my bed with my Mac Book Pro and write in the stillness of the night. I chose to enjoy this season of life. “Live in each season, as it passes,” said Henry David Thoreau. I chose to enjoy the seasons, as tired as I may be.

enjoy life…