Week #157 – Another Wave! (Reflections at the Three Year Mark)

"A New Wave" (photo credit: Grace Church)

(A gift from Pat & Tom — photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #157 – Another Wave! (Reflections at the Three Year Mark)

Greetings Tribe — and Happy Friday!

Last week was a mash-up of anniversaries: Rob, the blog, 9/11.  The dates came at me faster than I could process.  Add to that the current activities in my day-to-day life — not to mention the events in Texas and Florida — and there was very little time to reflect.

I couldn’t catch my breath.

So I did what surfers are taught to do: go under.  I put my head down and let the white water roll over me.

It reminds me of a game that Rob and I used to play when we went to the shore as kids.  We called it “Over and Under.”  We would stand at the break line and call out a challenge as each wave rolled our way, “Over!” or “Under!”

“Over” meant we had to try to go over the wave.  If it was small or it hadn’t broken yet, this was easy.

But when the wave was big or it had already broken and the white water was on the move…the easiest and safest place to go was “under” the wave.

There is a permanence to Year Three.  Rob is gone.  Really gone.  And I will not see him again in this lifetime.

And yet, I will paddle out to catch another wave of Happyness this year.  And if I listen closely, I can hear him yelling to me once again: “Over!”

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: OVER or UNDER?  Are waves coming at you faster than you can handle?  Or are they crashing so violently that you’re getting tumbled?  Don’t be afraid to go under it all.  It’s great pre-game talk to glorify running head-on into challenges and getting banged up in the process…but sometimes the safest (and most peaceful) place to be is UNDER the wave!

Spread Happyness — and find peace UNDER the waves this week!

To Life!  To Love!  To Happyness!

9/15/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #156 – Three Years! (and 156 Ways to Spread Happyness)

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

WAVE BIG!  (Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

Week #156 – Three Years! (and 156 Ways to Spread Happyness)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to WEEK #156!!!

Three years ago on September 5th our world changed forever — and on September 8th, SpreadHappyness was born!

As friends, neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, service-providers, professionals, and other acquaintances lined up in their own distress and sadness to pay their respects, I recognized immediately that we were not alone.

You had lost someone, too.

Rob was important to us all…each in our own special way.

And so, I pledged to deliver a little dose of him every Friday morning via this blog — along with a little challenge to keep things going.  SpreadHappyness was born because I believed Rob’s legacy was his natural ability to spread happiness to anyone who crossed his path — and I didn’t think that had to die with him.  

Cancer wasn’t the only thing that could spread…I knew happiness could, too!

So, here are all 156 ways we have Spread Happyness from the very beginning!  Have a favorite?!  I’d love to hear about it!

(Have an idea for a future post?  I’d love to hear that, too!)

156 Ways to Spread Happyness!
#1 – Wave Big!
#2 – Say Hello Like You Mean It!
#3 – Nicknames…and other ways to win friends and influence people!
#4 – Build Your Character Muscles
#5 – How to Be Beautiful (in Three Easy Steps)
#6 – Pure Energy: Are you an outlet or a plug?
#7 – Don’t Pretend…Make Plans (Go get your wings!)
#8 – Are you a Smiling Guy (or Gal)?
#9 – Who’s ready for some “Strange Magic?”
#10 – What’s on your wish list?
#11 – There’s no “I” in “Generous.”
#12 – There’s no “I” in “Thoughtful” either!
#13 – Hey, how ya’ doing?
#14 – Do you have a “Happy Heart?”
#15 – Looking Ahead: Remember the Why behind your What!
#16 – Can you say, “I love my life!”?
#17 – Ten Practical Ways to “Spread the Warmth” this Cold Snap
#18 – Roll Me Away: What’s your escape song?
#19 – You are worthy!
#20 – How about a “Breath of Fresh Air?”
#21 – Have a “Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#22 – Come on, get happy! (And give some, too!)
#23 – “Fitness never takes a snow day!”
#24 – “Keep it shiny side up!” (Dedicated to Gregory Pellinger)
#25 – “Ride the Wave!” (Reflections at the Six-Month Mark)
#26 – There’s always…Bowling!
#27 – “Let the balloon go…” (What are you holding on to?)
#28 – “Take the long way home…”
#29 – “Where to now?” (Happy Spring!)
#30 – What is your “Always…”?
#31 – “Honoring & Remembering”
#32 – “Where do all the socks go?”
#33 – “Heavy on my mind…” (Who are you thinking of?)
#34 – Start with your Heart (Nine ways to be “Truly Compassionate”)
#35 – “My sunshine on this earth!” (What weather best describes you?)
#36 – “Remembered Always…” (Putting the Memorial back in Memorial Day)
#37 – “The Power of Love” (What’s on your summer playlist?)
#38 – “Keep Going!”
#39 – “Summa-time is Funna-time!” (Are YOU having FUN yet?)
#40 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Come play with me!”
#41 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Ride the Rides!”
#42 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Family Time!”
#43 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Walk the Boards and Ride the Waves!” (Dedicated to Rob Kalp)
#44 – Summer Fun Challenge: “One Tank Trips!”
#45 – Summer Fun Challenge: Pool Volleyball (and other ways to GET WET!)
#46 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Quiet Time!”
#47 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Lessons Available!” (Learn to ___________!)
#48 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Just Watch!”
#49 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Feeding Time!”
#50 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Keep ’em Flying!”
#51 – Summer Fun Challenge: “CELEBRATE!”
#52 – Endings and Beginnings (A big wave hello or goodbye?)
#53 – The Next Wave
#54 – Welcome Fall! (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)
#55 – Which way to Happyness?
#56 – Looking for Signs (Which do you see first?)
#57 – Are you “Loving Life” in 2015? (Ten weeks left to make it happen!)
#58 – Ten Weeks to Happyness: “Get your priorities straight!”
#59 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: “Don’t dream it…BE IT!”
#60 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: CONNECT! (Dedicated to Jodi Lupo and her beautiful Val.)
#61 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: TAKE ACTION! (What coffee cups and Christmas Trees taught me this week!)
#62 – Six Weeks to Happyness: EXPRESS YOURSELF! (Happyness in Action – with Scott Cuzzo)
#63 – Five Weeks to Happyness: TOYS for…TRUCKS?! (Happyness in Action – with Amy Wood-Oblen)
#64 – Four Weeks to Happyness: RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS (Happyness in Action – with Kindness for Christopher)
#65 – Three Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD THE WARMTH! (Happyness in Action – with Aubrey McCarrick)
#66 – Two Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD THE LOVE! (Happyness in Action – with Sarah Harmeyer)
#67 – One Week to Happyness: SPREAD HAPPYNESS!
#68 – One Surefire Way to “Love Your Life” in 2016!
#69 – Back to Basics: SMILE!
#70 – Back to Basics: WAVE BIG!
#71 – Back to Basics: Say Hello Like You Mean It!
#72 – Back to Basics: Hey, how ya’ doing?”
#73 – Happy February!  “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#74 – “I believe in you!” (Encourage someone today!)
#75 – Rough Road? (Take a closer look!)
#76 – Lose someone? Tell me…”What was he/she like?”
#77 – One Year, Six Months: “Ride the Wave!”
#78 – “Forever Young!”
#79 – Hidden Treasures
#80 – To Life! (Happy Spring!)
#81 – Row or Float?
#82 – What color are your memories?
#83 – “All I need is a pair of wheels…”
#84 – What is Your Art? (Dedicated to Phil Hirlemann)
#85 – Mother’s Day is May 8th (Read this before making reservations!)
#86 – “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)
#87 – “Keep playing that guitar!” (Don’t let your dreams gather dust!)
#88 – Go Fish! (What’s on your mind?)
#89 – Remember: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day!
#90 – Summer Fun List! (37 random ways to have fun this summer)
#91 – Father’s Day is June 19th! (Read this before you buy another necktie or coffee mug!)
#92 – Watch for Rainbows!
#93 – Live Your Legacy (in memory of Sean Rollnick)
#94 – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of…Happyness!
#95 – Hard at Work?  Stay Cool!
#96 – Sit down and rock a while!
#97 – Start spreading the news!  (The news you want to see!)
#98 – Stop and smell the… (whatever makes you happy!)
#99 – Go Ahead…Reminisce (and Remember Together)
#100 – Just…Breathe.
#101 – Good Company
#102 – The Gift of Time
#103 – No Regrets (What’s in your bucket?)
#104 – 104 Ways to Spread Happyness!
#105 – Another Wave!
#106 – Welcome Fall!  (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)
#107 – “How can I help?”
#108 – When in doubt, reach out!
#109 – Send a smile…send mail!
#110 – Countdown to Happyness! (Spread the Word!)
#111 – Ten Weeks to Happyness! (“Go get your wings!)
#112 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: Vote “YES” to Happyness!
#113 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: Thank a Veteran!
#114 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: Spread Kindness!
#115 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings!
#116 – Five Weeks to Happyness: Monster Trucks for Toys!
#117 – Four Weeks to Happyness: Send Happy Mail!
#118 – Three Weeks to Happyness: Spread the Love!
#119 – Have a “Happy Heart-mas!”
#120 – Did you “Love Your Life” in 2016?
#121 – New Year, New View! (What are you looking toward in 2017?)
#122 – Plan Ahead (Your year…at a glance!)
#123 – Lower the Ladder!
#124 – Back to Basics: Smile, Wave, Say Hello, and ask “How are you doing?”
#125 – Valentine’s Day is February 14th!
#126 – “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#127 – Prepare to FLY!
#128 – Happyness in Action (Take the Giving Challenge)
#129 – WANTED: Happyness Spreaders!
#130 – Two years, six months: “Ride the wave!”
#131 – Out with the old!  (What are you holding on to?)
#132 – “We’re all on our own stage…” (In memory of Cindy Tedesco)
#133 – Feedback & Follow Up!
#134 – Forgive!
#135 – TO LIFE!  (What are you looking forward to this spring?)
#136 – Repost: “All I need is a pair of wheels…”
#137 – “Grab a coffee!”
#138 – Mother’s Day is May 14th!
#139 – “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)
#140 – Clear the deck!  (Summer’s coming!)
#141 – REMINDER: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day
#142 – It’s Graduation Season! (What’s the best/worst advice for grads?)
#143 – Father’s Day is June 18th!
#144 – BE STILL! (Celebrate the Solstice!)
#145 – Summer Fun Lists: What’s in YOUR top ten?
#146 – Summer Fun: Take a hike!
#147 – Summer Fun: Take a seat!
#148 – Summer Fun: Take a drive!
#149 – Summer Fun: Make memories! (And share them, too!)
#150 – Summer Fun: Invite someone along!
#151 – Summer Fun: Mentor someone!
#152 – Summer Fun: “Take your baby to the carnival…”
#153 – Summer Fun: Spread Good Words!
#154 – Summer Fun: Play Tourist…in your Hometown!
#155 – Summer Fun: Spread Happyness (and start with yourself first!)
#156 – Three Years! (and 156 ways to Spread Happyness)

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: I WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!  It’s that time when I have to think about the year ahead — and the future of SpreadHappyness.com.  Whether you’re a first-time visitor — or you’ve been with me since the beginning — I’d welcome any input.  What do you like most/least?  What has been most helpful to you/others?  What else/more would you like to see?  How can I make SH better/more relevant?  How can SH help spread EVEN MORE happyness in the year ahead?  I invite you to respond to me in the way that works best for you: through the comments, on Facebook, or at the email below.  Your perspective is invaluable — and I’d love to know what you think!

Whether I hear from you or not — let me take this moment once again to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who have logged on, followed along, shared your thoughts, supported the effort, and above all — who SPREAD HAPPYNESS this past year!!!  Year Three has made things real and permanent — but once again in the “doing” of this blog, there was direction, and in the direction there was hope, and in the hope there was Happyness: one week at a time!

To life!  To love!  To Happyness!

Grace (aka “Rob’s sister!”)

Spread Happyness — please share your thoughts in the comments!

9/8/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #155 – Summer Fun List: SPREAD HAPPYNESS (and start with yourself first!)

"No Regrets" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“No Regrets” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #155 – Summer Fun List: SPREAD HAPPYNESS (and start with yourself first!)

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!!!

We’ve been counting down the Fridays to Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  as I’ve said each week — while most adults are sure to plan their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And here we are!  It’s Labor Day Weekend!

Do you know where your fun went?  😉

Now, before you tell me all the things that happened that STOPPED you from having fun this summer…I want you to know I understand.  We’ve had deadlines, drama, distractions, diagnosis, car troubles, work, travel, overwhelming heat, places to work, and bills to pay.

But we cannot expect Happyness to come to us.

It is an inside job first.

Labor Day Weekend marks the “unofficial” end of summer.  I hear many people say “Where did the summer go?!” and “It seems like just yesterday it was Memorial Day!”

But there are some who’ve racked up memories and stored away their summer fun for years to come…

…and others who are still pressing forward to scratch things off their summer bucket lists and squeeze every last drop out of the Summer of 2017!

Which one are you?  Which do you want to be?

There’s still time!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Spread Happyness (and start with yourself first)!!!  A long weekend awaits (and a possibly rainy one on the East Coast).  Is there something you wanted to do this summer that you haven’t gotten to yet?  Is there a project or day trip or promise that you made that’s nagging at you?  Make it a point to put yourself first and complete something FOR YOU this week.  We’re seeing reminders all the time of what’s truly important in this life…don’t put yourself off one more day!

And in case you need a few ideas, here’s a recap of this year’s Summer Fun List:

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!

9/1/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #154 – Summer Fun: Play Tourist…in Your Hometown!

“Which way?” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #154 – Summer Fun: Play Tourist…in Your Hometown!

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!!!

We have been counting down the Fridays to Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  as I’ve said each week — while most adults have been sure to plan their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And with only two Fridays left to go…I want to make sure you’ve had some fun too!

But with summer practice sessions kicking in and some kids already back to school — the idea of a one-tank trip may be fading fast in the rear-view mirror.  So this is a great time to tighten your radius — and look for adventure in your own backyard!

Here are some ideas:

History – Do you know the origin of your town, who founded it, and how it came to be?  Don’t let these details slip by you!  Google your town’s name and learn a little bit about how it came into existence.  I live in the second largest city in the country — but I did this recently with the neighborhood I live in and uncovered a rich history of the missionaries, indigenous tribes, and the vegetation that gave my neighborhood it’s name!

Parks/Recreation – Have you visited all the public spaces in your town?  Do you even know they exist?  We tend to drive by these things on our way out to somewhere else (in my case, the beach!).  But again, in my exploration of my neighborhood here, I discovered an 18-mile long bike path, a dog park, a walking path, and a reservoir — all within a mile or so of where I live!

Attractions – We tend to take our own culture for granted — but chances are your town has a local museum, mill, farm, zoo, estate, party boat, monuments, architecture, town hall, or theater that holds some significance.  You may have lived there all your life and never set foot in those places.  Now is a good time!

Food/Drink – The lake town where I grew up is great for this!  Growing up — most of us felt like we needed to go somewhere else to enjoy a good meal.  Not always true!  Take note of the breakfast nooks, sit down restaurants, take-out counters, and ice cream stands in your area.  Get some good recommendations and then give them a try!  And don’t forget to look for craft breweries or wineries, too!

Scenery – If all else fails, get in the car and take a driving tour.  Go from one end of town to the other, around the lake, over that bridge, or down that one road you’ve never gone down before!  Chances are you will see something beautiful, something new, something you’ve never seen — and you just might be reminded of how lovely your little town really is!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Play Tourist…in Your Hometown!  If a friend visited you — where would you absolutely have to take him/her?!  What would you want to highlight that makes your town special?  Then get out, stretch your legs, meet some new people — and explore your own backyard!

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”  
(George Moore)

Spread Happyness — share your town’s highlights in the comments!

8/25/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #153 – Summer Fun: Spread Good Words!!!

Rock Hunting (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #153 – Summer Fun: Spread Good Words!

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!!!

We are counting down the Fridays between now and Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  as I’ve said each week — while many adults are sure to plan their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

So I want to make sure you’re having fun too!

And given the events of this past week…that might seem silly or futile.  As I wrote last November…dissension and divide continue to dominate our news.  And it’s leaving many of us wondering what we can possibly do to make a difference in the world.

For two women on my Facebook feed this week…the answer was to spread goodness, one word at a time.

(I’m hoping to feature these ideas in more detail in the coming weeks as part of my Happyness in Action series.  But for now, and especially this week, I am very eager to share!)

TWO GREAT WAYS to spread good words in the week ahead!

1. Rock Painting/Hunting — A friend from home turned me on to this.  I’d been seeing her posting photos of cute little painted rocks — but it wasn’t until this week that I got the bigger picture.  She paints the rocks and then hides them in various locations in her county for other people to find.  This is part of a larger movement called “The Kindness Rocks Project” — which is apparently where it all started.  Chances are, someone in your county or region has a Facebook page set up to post pictures of painted rocks, hints about where they are hidden, and pictures of them being found.  The overall message is one of creativity, connection, and community.  And I cannot think of a better way to Spread Happyness than to plant a secret inspiring message for someone to find!  (And it looks like Michael’s stores will be hosting free rock painting on Saturday, August 19th and 26th as part of The Kindness Rocks Challenge!)

2. Sidewalk Chalking — Another Facebook friend (a mom in California) has been busy decluttering all summer.  Along the way, she discovered a bunch of sidewalk chalk.  Rather than dump it, she opted to write inspirational messages to her kids as they started school this week (California starts early, apparently!) — and she invited other parents in her neighborhood to do the same!  The result — kids on their way to/from school were inundated by messages of love, encouragement, and wise advice as they began a new school year.  This would work great for high school parking lots as well!

What other ways could you spread words of love, encouragement, advice, or support this week?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Spread Good Words!  Whether it’s painting a rock, chalking a sidewalk, or hiding secret messages in lunch boxes and briefcases — find a way to use your words for good this week!

Spread Happyness — and Spread Good Words this week!  🙂

8/18/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #152 – Summer Fun: “Take your baby to the carnival…” (…or fair, or farm and horse show!)

“County Fair” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #152 – Summer Fun: “Take your baby to the carnival…” (…or fair, or farm and horse show!)

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!!!

We are counting down the Fridays between now and Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  as I’ve said each week — while many adults are busy planning their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

So I want to make sure you’re having fun too!

And this week, I am headed to the FAIR!!!

It’s that time of year for county fairs or farm and horse shows.  And no matter how magical Disney may be, or how great an adventure Six Flags is…there is nothing like staying local and taking in your town’s carnival, county fair, or farm and horse show!

And while you’re there, don’t forget to RIDE the RIDES!!!  You can get some scream therapy on a roller coaster, battle it out on bumper cars, let loose on the swings, or laugh yourself silly on the Rock-n-Roll Express.

But if you find yourself saying, “I’ll wait right here…” — take that as a cue to buy yourself a ticket, a token, or a wristband and GET IN LINE!  It’s easy to sit back and watch…but it’s more fun to get over yourself, get in line, and be a kid again!  (Bonus — waiting on line with your spouse/kid/friend/loved-one offers great conversation time.)

James and I will be headed up to Ventura County Fair on Saturday to listen to some music, take a look at the livestock and garden displays, and watch a little bull riding!  We may even get in line for an amusement or two…especially a ride on the Ferris Wheel!

So Spread Happyness this week — and take your baby to the carnival!  🙂

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: “Take your baby to the carnival!”  Whether it’s the town carnival, county fair, or your favorite boardwalk…grab the ones you love and head out for a night of fresh air, food trucks, and festivities.  Ride some rides, play some games, walk in circles, and watch the fireworks.  Farm and horse shows also offer educational opportunities, history lessons, and local participation and competition that you won’t find at a corporate theme park.  So get out there…ride some rides, and have some fun at the fair!!!

Spread Happyness — get out to the carnival, fair, or farm and horse show this week!

8/11/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

 

Week #151 – Summer Fun: Mentor someone!

“Show me the way…” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #151 – Summer Fun: Mentor someone!

Greetings, All — Happy Friday and Happy August!

We are counting down the Fridays between now and Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  I’ve said it each week — while many adults are busy planning their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And I want to make sure you’re having fun too!

But as we flip the calendar to August — I’ve got one thing on my mind: back to school!

Many newly minted high school graduates will be heading off to college in the weeks to come.  Last year’s sophomores will be entering their all-important senior years.  There are college grads heading out into the workforce.  And even some adults who like to use the power of August and September to make big changes at home or in their careers.

I wrote back in January about “Lowering the Ladder” to those who were launching a job search, seeking an internship, or looking to start their own businesses or side hustles at the start of the year.

The same rules apply now!

So here’s an easy way to Spread Happyness this week: mentor someone!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Mentor someone!  Do you know someone headed off to college?  Into their senior year?  Or into a first job (or new job)?  Don’t wait for them to ask you for that oh-so-awkward informational interview.  Take the first step — and offer to take him/her out for lunch or coffee or a tour of your workplace.  Think of the people who helped you get where you are right now…that first contact, that first referral, that first interview or hire.  The first person who treated you like an adult!  No matter what position you are in…you are more than likely in a position to help someone take their very next step.

Spread Happyness — mentor someone, and show them the way this week!

8/4/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

 

Week #150 – Summer Fun: Invite someone along!

“US-81 South to Roanoke” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #150 – Summer Fun: Invite someone along!

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!

We are counting down the Fridays between now and Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  and I’ll say it each week — while many adults have been busy planning their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And as we run up on the end of July — I want to make sure YOU have fun this summer, too!

Last week I talked about sharing old memories — but this week I was reminded of the power of invitation to create NEW memories!

As a kid, we didn’t travel much.  There were many reasons for this — but I imagine a lot of it had to do with being a modest single-earner household with four children.  It simply wasn’t in the budget.

What we did do — were day trips.  My father had a tricky way of handling these — as they were rarely announced in advance.  If the weather was nice, and the conditions were right, he’d wake us up with the news that were going to the shore, or to Great Adventure, or to wherever we were headed that day.

And usually, because those old station wagons seated seven, one of us (usually the oldest) got to bring a friend along!

We never went to Disney, or on a cruise, and certainly never to the airport (unless it was for an airshow) — but man those day trips were good times!

And not just for us — but for the neighbor friends who got to come along!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Invite someone along!  Whatever “Summer Fun” you are planning for the week or month ahead — invite someone along!  A friend, a neighbor, a neighbor’s kid, or coworker — extend an invite to someone to join you on an outing.  One of my favorite tag-a-longs was driving with my best friend and her mom to drop her off at college.  It was a great experience for me — and it gave her mom some much needed company on the long ride home!

Who can you invite along this week?

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!!!

7/28/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #149 – Summer Fun: Make Memories (and share them, too!)

“Childhood Studies”  Photo credit: Andia Wecht (used with permission)

Week #149 – Summer Fun: Make Memories (and share them, too!)

Greetings — and Happy Friday!

I interrupt your Summer Fun to remind you that while you are busy making memories this summer — don’t hesitate to stop and share them!

This week, as I was at my desk reflecting on my recent visit back home — or maybe planning the next one, an image popped up on my Facebook feed.

It was my brother’s face…smiling back at me from over 25 years ago!

A moment captured.  Packed in a box.  Moved how many times.  Resurfaced.  And then posted by a classmate…at this…exact…moment.

I wrote last year, right about this time, of the importance of sharing memories.  There was a lot of nostalgia going around then.  Maybe it was late summer, maybe the recent loss of yet another childhood friend, maybe just parents cleaning out their attics and basements…

…or maybe, I wrote, it simply just feels good to remember good times and good friends.

The classmate who found the picture above shared her thought process with me: she was looking through old family photos and flipped past this one.  Within a few seconds, she went back.  It occurred to her that of all the photos my family had of Rob — we hadn’t seen THIS one.  And that maybe we would like to have it.  So she shared it.

And we are so glad she did!

Because — while it did catch me by surprise and remind me just how much we ALL miss him — it breathed new life into the collective memory that keeps him very much “alive” to us each and every day.

I, myself, have stumbled across and shared old photos.  And it has occurred to me that maybe I should NOT share them.  What if it hurt the person receiving them?  What if it was a bad time?  What if they weren’t thinking of that person right then and there?

And then I remember…you’re ALWAYS thinking of that person.

As I wrote last year, the only thing more wonderful than remembering Rob on my own…is having someone remember him to me!

Happyness…Spread!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Make Memories (and share them too!)  While we continue to make new memories as we count down our Summer Fun Fridays until Labor Day — remember to share the old ones, too!  If you are thinking of someone, let them know.  Summer is a great time for reminiscing!

It’s okay to walk down memory lane once in awhile…there are beautiful people there!

[Special thanks to Andia Wecht for sharing the photo, telling me her story, and granting permission to use both in this post!]

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts, and your favorite memories, in the comments!

7/21/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #148 – Summer Fun: Take a drive!

My Co-Pilot! (Photo Credit: Grace Church)

My Co-Pilot! (Photo Credit: Grace Church)

Week #148 – Summer Fun List: Take a drive!

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!

We are counting down the Fridays between now and Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because I’ll say it again — while many adults are busy planning their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And I want to make sure YOU have fun this summer, too!

I’m just back from a week at the Jersey Shore and still playing catch up.  Last week, I talked about taking a seat.  This week, I’m revisiting the idea of taking a drive.  Specifically, something called “one tank trips.”

Summer is now in full swing — and what better way to satisfy your wanderlust than by jumping in the car and taking a nice long ride?!

But where?

Before you beat the usual path…get out an old fashioned map (or print one off the web) and draw a couple of circles around your town: a 50-mile radius, a 100-mile radius, and a 150-mile radius.

One Tank Trips are designed to work with your gas tank.  The average car can drive about 300 miles on one fill up — 150 miles out, 150 miles back.  That could mean 3.0 hours worth of driving though…and an overnight stay.  That’s why I recommend a 50-mile (under 1 hour) and 100-mile (under 2 hours) radius, as well.

  • 150 miles: These destinations are likely to require a little planning, some advanced preparations, and possibly an overnight stay.  Don’t just look to the beach or the lakes…look for parks for camping, mountains for climbing, historic towns for exploring, or amusement parks for a full day of fun.  From the Jersey Shore, this covers a radius from West Point, NY to Lancaster, PA to Rehoboth Beach, DE and almost all of Long Island!  Where I am now in LA, this covers everything from the vineyards of Paso Robles to the streets of Tijuana — and out to Joshua Tree State Park!
  • 100 miles:  These are your day trips.  Think of concerts, antiquing, hiking, swimming, museums, aquariums, and exploring.  From the Jersey Shore this includes Coney Island and Jones Beach to the East, Sleepy Hollow and the quaint little towns along the Hudson River to the North, Bethlehem and the Delaware Water Gap to the West, and Cape May and Atlantic City to the South!  Here in LA it means Santa Barbara, Orange County, or even Disneyland!
  • 50 miles: These trips are less than one hour away.  Have lunch or dinner at a special place, plan an activity, organize a play date or reunion, attend a fair, pamper yourself, or spend some time on the porch with a friend!

Finally — and these are the fun ones — look in your own backyard!  Play tourist in your own town.  If a friend visited you — where would you absolutely have to take them?!  Where I live now — this definitely means a ride along the Pacific Coast Highway, a hike in the mountains, a visit to a studio, and a walk down Sunset Boulevard.  Back home, it would be a tour of my little Victorian town, and a romp through historic Asbury Park, or a drive around our beautiful lake — and definitely a stop at Cliff’s for ice cream!!!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Take a drive!  Gas up, stock some snacks, open your windows, and let your hair FLY!  (But wherever you go…please stay off your phone!)  Enjoy the scenery, talk with your travel companions, open the windows and breathe the air of a different place or town.  Listen to music, a podcast…or drive in silence.  Get out, explore, stretch your legs, meet some new people! — and let the good times roll!

Where would you go on a full tank of gas?

Spread Happyness — share your One Tank Trip ideas in the comments!!!

7/14/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com