Monthly Archives: March 2016

Week #80 – To Life! (Happy Spring!)

"To Life!" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“To Life!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #80 – To Life!  (Happy Spring!)

As many of you know, I spent the last three weeks packing, driving across the country, and moving into my new apartment in Los Angeles.

It was a fast move.  And it’s been disorienting to say the least.

What is usually a very grounded time for me…vernal equinox, full moon, end of the first quarter…has been nothing short of tumultuous.  In addition to the physical disruption of moving, I have had to grieve the losses of a location, jobs, people, and neighborhood pets I loved — and in the separation from those places and venture into new experiences, re-grieve the loss of my brother all over again.

Every day on our drive across the country there was yet another moment of wanting to text, to call, to share a story, to laugh at some ridiculousness.

And every day we were faced with the enormity of the void.  The eternal void.

It was enough to make me want to turn around and go back home.  Put everything right back where it was…and stay in the bubble that he left behind.  Because as empty as it is — or was — at least it was his!

And as I ventured west, there was an uncomfortable openness.  Not just in the physical terrain — which was amazing.  But in unanswered questions.  Endless scenarios about how this will all play out.

And yet one thing remained the same…I couldn’t go back.  I had only one direction to go…and that was absolutely and undeniably forward.

There is an old saying that life is for the living.  This is hard for grieving people — because while the resolve is there, it is our nature to want to hold on to the person (or pet or job or house) we lost.

As we enter into Spring — and a whole new quarter — I’m resolved to let go of things.  I’ll be starting with physical things as I move in and continue to clean and declutter my new space.  But there are emotional and psychological things to purge, as well.  And I’ll be working on them, too!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: CELEBRATE SPRING!  Whatever dust may have collected over your things, your body, or your being — shake it off this week with some spring cleaning.  Open the blinds, open your heart, and open your grip on the things you are clinging to.  Try some new things out for size.  Shake up your routine.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Ungrounded can be uncomfortable — but LIFE sometimes needs a little time and space in order for it to take root!


Happy Spring!!!

Spread Happyness – share your Spring Cleaning strategies in the comments!

3/25/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #79 – Hidden Treasures

Wave Running (photo credit: DS)

Hidden Treasure (photo credit: DS)

Greetings Tribe — and Happy Friday!

As many of you know, we are en route to Los Angeles!  This week’s post comes to you from The Music City — Nashville, TN!

There is something very humbling about packing everything you own into one vehicle and hauling it 2,800 miles across the country.  It’s been a reckoning of sorts — coming to grips with the amount of stuff I hold on to, cling to, and surround myself with.

And I want to keep it all!

Every item has a story.  The story is the memory.  The memory is the treasure.  But as my partner, Jim, pointed out — if everything is precious, then nothing is precious.

Still, I wanted to bring it all with me…and believe me, if I had another 15-feet of truck, I might have done just that!

But when faced with the limits of a 15-foot truck and just so many square feet of floor space at our new location (no more storage) — I found myself finally giving in to throwing something out or donating something I might still want, simply because I just couldn’t hold on to it any longer.

There’s something about limits that helps you focus on what’s important.

As my awareness of what was worth those precious square feet of truck and apartment sharpened — so did my resolve to unload a few more items here and there.  And then a funny thing happened: as I started sorting — hidden treasures started to appear!

The keepers became very obvious — like this photo!  I knew I had a picture of Rob on the jet skis.  I had looked for it many times — but couldn’t find it.  It was one of my favorites — and it’s been hidden in a storage box for 8 years!

Now I can share it with you!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Find your hidden treasures!  Remember, if everything is precious, then nothing is precious.  Are your precious things tucked away — or are they on display?  If the item has a story, and the story is a memory, then the memory is the treasure. Don’t hide it away — put it on display, and share your memories with others!

Spread Happyness — and share your hidden treasures today!

3/18/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church


Week #78 – “Forever Young!”


“Forever Young!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Greetings Tribe — and Happy Friday!

Today is my birthday!  Most girls get gifts like perfume or jewelry or clothes — I get a moving truck!

My partner, James, has accepted a position in Los Angeles — so we are on the road again!  We took our first trip across the country right after college.  Since then we’ve lived in Los Angeles, New York, and the Jersey Shore — now we’re headed back to where it all began, all those years ago.

It’s overwhelming.  Packing, moving, decluttering, wondering if it’s the right thing to do.

And when I look at that big travel loop — from New Jersey to LA and back — and consider the mileage and the costs and all the aggravation — it’s easy to wonder if we should have just stayed in LA in the first place.  Wouldn’t that have been easier?  Wouldn’t we be further ahead right now?

It’s easy to second-guess each and every move based on data alone.

But you know what that loop doesn’t represent?  It took my very best friend to remind me: that loop doesn’t represent the 15+ years I had here on the East Coast.  15+ years with my brother, as adults, skiing and surfing and spending time together nearly every weekend.  (And my parents and siblings, too!)

15+ years that all the moving costs and mileage and aggravation just can’t measure up to.

Not in a million!

So as I grow one year older today, and set out on a new adventure this week, I’m grateful for all that precious and irreplaceable time we had with him — and I’m reminded that he remains, “Forever Young.”

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: If you or someone you know are second-guessing yourself this week, please give yourself a break.  Regret makes us old and cranky!  Exercise some spring cleaning, declutter your life, forgive yourself, forgive others, set a new goal, and bloom where you are planted!  Stay young — another season is right around the corner!

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”  (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)

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

3/11/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church


Week #77 – One year, six months: “Ride the wave!”

"Ride the Wave" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Ride the Wave” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #77 – One year, six months: “Ride the wave!”

Tomorrow, March 5th, will be the one-year and six-month anniversary of Rob’s passing.  I’m still learning a lot about grief…and yes, I’m finding it still comes in waves.

A dear friend had to remind me of my own advice this week.  When faced with a big decision, she reminded me to “Ride the wave.”  And so, I repeat this post from Week #25 — because I needed to hear it again, so maybe someone else does too!

“Ride the wave” became a sort of mantra during Rob’s funeral.  I had written it on the back of his car in window chalk…because it was the last thing I said to him.  He was fighting so hard.  And having no words, no answers, no nothing for this perfectly healthy and beautiful young man with everything to live for…the only thing that came to mind was a surfing analogy.

But the words are not mine.  They are wise words that came to us from an experienced screenwriter friend as we were riding the rapidly changing highs and lows of our first script going out to market.  Our friend is a surfer too, and it was a language we immediately understood: you can’t control the outcome, just the effort.  Skills, preparation, determination, focus…those were all on us.  After that, just “ride the wave” the furthest and best you can.

It became a mantra for us when facing difficulties or challenges: “just ride the wave.”

Surfing was a language that Rob understood, too — and it can teach you a lot about life.  You don’t just run out and jump in hoping for the best.  There’s a lot to learn before you get that first ride — and there’s a lot more practice after that in order to do it even moderately well.  Like most things Rob picked up, he took to it almost immediately — and enjoyed it immensely.  And his happiness became our happiness, too!  (You can ride waves of happiness, too!)

Are you — or someone you know — facing a wave right now?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Like the waves of the ocean, we can’t always control the conditions in our lives.  You can try to go over them, under them, around them…or get knocked down by them.  Or you can RIDE THE WAVE.  With a little practice and preparation…you can be ready to paddle in when the wave comes to you.  Perfect conditions or not…we can only control our responses.  The enjoyment and fulfillment is in the ride itself!  (And it’s helpful to remember that wipe-outs are legendary, too!)

Whatever you’re facing…you’ve got this!  Paddle in, pop up, and ride that wave!  

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments.  And RIDE THE WAVE!!!

3/4/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church