The Golden Lining: How To Laugh In 5 Minutes Or Less

Life Tip #24: when you’re tired, stressed or hungry, it’s easy to take yourself too seriously.

Today, I had a really tough workout with my personal trainer and my body intimated it might want something more substantial than the quinoa salad I had planned.  Hubby, who’d had his own tough workout, was pretty exuberant about the idea too.  We rushed out the door, eager for some good grub, when my daughter mentioned she had to pee.  Luckily, we hadn’t gotten far, so we turned around and took her home to use the bathroom.

She told me she “couldn’t push it out.”  Big sighs by Mom, who is now really freaking hungry.

You see where this is going right?   (more…)

Is Your Family Killing Your Curiosity?

Anyone who’s ever read this blog knows my family is at the top of my priority list.  But as someone who writes about the difference between happiness and a happy life, I feel obligated to share some disturbing news: families may be hazardous.

Penelope Trunk, one of my favorite bloggers, recently linked to an article in New York Magazine titled All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting.  It wasn’t like I hadn’t noticed during my childless years how most parents seek out company with hopes of dumping their parental responsibilities.  But turns out there’s also a ton of research, including work by Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman, that shows “parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so.” (more…)

Honoring Fathers-in-law

Honoring Fathers-in-law

Father’s Day has become a bit complicated for me.  My own father is deceased.  My husband, who is an awesome father to our daughter, is also my romantic partner.  So while my appreciation for what he brings to our family runs deep, celebrating him as a father feels a bit weird too, kind of like kissing your cat on the lips.

Fortunately, I have another father in my life well worth acknowledging: my father-in-law, Dave Gresham.  I’m not sure why mothers and fathers in-law don’t get more appreciation, but if sit-coms are any indication, I seem to be really lucky. So I thought I’d share just a few of the wonderful qualities one can inherit through marriage.  You may recognize some of these qualities or others in your own father-in-law.  Take today to thank him! (more…)

Making Friends With The Big Bad Wolf

If you think you have nothing to learn from your kids (or even someone else’s kids), check out this amazing video from TED Talks, which I discovered at the blog Natural Papa.

“Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.”

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Sing Along to Happiness

Sing Along to Happiness

I’ve always been a sucker for musicals.  Not so much for the dancing parts, since I’m really pretty uncoordinated.  But there’s something about putting action to music that makes it magical: Maria teaching the kids about A Few of (Her) Favorite Things, or Eliza warbling about the rains in Spain.  As much as I enjoyed them though, I couldn’t quite get over the fact that life isn’t like that. (more…)

Making Contact: Mystery Pen Pals Of The Modern Age

Warning: this is a true story.  I was a little on the shy side growing up, but I still loved making new friends.  Thus, the idea of a pen pal was attractive–it eased my stage fright, but lent itself to a quick, personal relationship.  As you can probably tell from this blog, I’m not a “how’s the weather” kind of gal.  I like to talk about things that matter.

I don’t remember how I got the idea to have a mystery pen pal, but once conceived, the idea was electrifying.  I wrote a  letter sure to engage whoever found it, tucked it into a plastic sandwich bag, then tacked it to a tree near my bus stop.   (more…)