Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy is as Happy Does: One Little Word for 2019

a little bit of Happy
I found at breakfast on
Christmas morning! :)
Hello! It's nice to be back after the holiday break -- which, in all these years of blogging, I have never taken until this holiday season! 

It's been refreshing to step back, to enjoy simple pleasures with my family without feeling pressured to email or Tweet or blog about it. 
(This pressure, of course, is self-generated. No one is making me keep an active digital life! So the limit-setting was an experiment, and you know what? I really liked it!)

And now here we are, gathering for our first Spiritual Journey Thursday of the new year. Be sure to visit Ruth at there is no such thing as a godforsaken town for Roundup! Traditionally this is the time we reveal our new One Little Words -- a practice I myself have been keeping since 2008. 

I've known since mid-November what my 2019 One Little Word would be... sometimes a word just calls and calls, refusing to budge. This one is like that! 

Actually, that graphic feels a bit much for the feeling of "happy" I am going for... I think my happy is more soft, sunshine-y yellows and flower blossoms and fuzzy kittens, but this will do for today. :)

I am drawn to the word "Happy," because I believe happiness is a choice. I think we can cultivate it in our lives. We can choose Happy each and ever moment.  

I'm not the only one who feels this way. Consider the following quotes:

"Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be." - Abraham Lincoln

"It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will."
- L.M. Montgomery

How do you know if you're happy?
Take the quiz! And/or consider these quotes:

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
- Joseph Addison 

"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour." 
- Unknown


Ways to Cultivate Our Happy:

"Living our life deeply and with happiness, having time to care for our loved ones, this is another kind of success, another kind of power, and it is much more important." 
- Thich Nhat Hanh

"Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment – a little makes the way of the best happiness." 
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." 
-William Shakespeare

"Perfectionism is the enemy of happiness. Embrace being perfectly imperfect. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself, you’ll be happier. We make mistakes because we are imperfect. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and keep moving forward."
- Roy T. Bennett

"Happiness is a function of accepting what is." 
- Werner Erhard

"The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up."
- Mark Twain 

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
- Dalai Lama

Some Ways I'm Bringing Happy Into My Life This Year:
Daily readings from A Year of Tiny Pleasures calendar
Daily readings from SING A SONG OF SEASONS
Participating in the Bas Bleu book club
More just-because-we-want-to travel with my husband
Less travel-for-books
Serving my community by running a reading series
Serving my community by continuing to facilitate a Wild Reader (kids) Book Club at our local library
Continuing many of my favorite writing practices, including ARTSPEAK!
Embarking on a new writing journey based on THE BUTTERFLY HOURS by Patty Dann memoir assignments (I'll be posting these here throughout the year!)
... and who knows what else?? I am leaving room for Happy to find me.



  1. Wishing you big fluffy piles of happy, Irene!! xoxo

  2. Have you read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin? I really liked the book and its sequel, and I listen to the podcast too. Sounds like it would fit well into your plans for the year! Happy, happy New Year!

  3. "Leaving room for happy to find me" . I love this. And your collection of quotes. I especially like the one about being perfectly imperfect. I beat myself up over imperfection all the time. Happy can help us feed our souls with things that make us happy rather than working so hard to make others happy.

  4. Way too many ways for me to get distracted as I read these posts. I've just spent the last bit of time checking out Bas Bleu. I'm looking forward to your Artspeak (as always)! and interested in the writing you'll be doing from The Butterfly Hours. Those students are so lucky to be in your Wild Reader Book Club! Love how you're welcoming happy and leaving room for it to find you too! HAPPY New Year, Irene!

  5. Happy is such a delightful word for you, Irene. It makes me smile thinking of how wonderfully committed you are to your one word. Your post speaks of positivity and of course, this line from your post caught my eye since it includes my one word: "Embrace being perfectly imperfect." I send happy thoughts to you as you walk your journey. I am sure that you will notice every instance that brings happiness. I look forward to hearing more about your OLW this year.

  6. What a great word for 2019, Irene. And your graphic was eye catching! I took the Happiness quiz, and it says I am a happiness expert! Some of the questions challenged me, though. Even though my word, boredom, doesn't initially seem to exude happiness, I think that by allowing myself to experience more boredom, I think I will also discover greater happiness!


Your thoughts?