Monthly Archives: May 2016

Week #89 – Remember: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day!

"Remember to Remember" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Remember” (photo: Grace Church)

Week #89 – Remember: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day!

This week’s post is a partial repeat from Week #36 — because it’s always a good reminder to keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day!

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”  (attributed to Plato — and George Santayana)

You’ll see a lot of commentaries about Memorial Day this weekend.  Here is one more — but it may not be what you think!

Memorial Day, for certain, is a day set aside to remember those who died serving our country.  But before it was called “Memorial Day” — it was called “Decoration Day” because it was a day when families reunited at burial locations to “decorate” the graves of their fallen.  And because many people traveled very far to get there — they would relish the opportunity to visit and reconnect with relatives, usually accompanied by a pot-luck or picnic supper nearby.

So, as I wrote last year, our modern traditions of family reunions and bar-b-queing are not really that far off.

It’s the REMEMBERING that we’re sometimes missing!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Put the MEMORIAL back in Memorial Day!  Enjoy your family, the nice weather, and the freedom we have — just remember to REMEMBER!  This may mean simply raising a flag, bringing a note or flowers to a grave of one who lost his/her life in service, or writing a name in the sand for all to see.  You could make a donation, plant a tree, or lay a wreath at the base of a statue.  Even after the day is past, the flowers fade, or the ocean wipes the shore clean — you never know how long your tribute will stick to the walls of someone else’s memory!

How do you keep the MEMORIAL in Memorial Day?!

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

5/27/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church


Week #88 – Go Fish! (What’s on your mind?)

"Go Fish!" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Go Fish!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #88 – Go Fish!  (What’s on your mind?)

I found this photo of Rob in an old photo album — and just had to share it!

Unpacking has been a bit like playing the game “Go Fish!”  I never know what I’m going to discover when I dive into another box, or bag, or envelope.

And so this week, I want to ask you: what’s on your mind?!

  • What do you have planned for the summer?
  • What topics would you like to discuss?
  • Know a Happyness Spreader you’d like to celebrate?
  • Have a Happyness in Action story you’d like to share?
  • How can I help you Spread Happyness?
  • What else is on your mind?!

I’m playing a big game of “Go Fish!” this week — and I’d love to hear from you!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Go Fish!  Memorial Day is right around the corner…and before we launch into our Summer Fun List, I’d love to hear from you!  What’s on your mind?  What are your plans for the summer?  Know a Happyness Spreader you’d like to celebrate?  Have a Happyness in Action story you’d like to share?   How have you Spread Happyness lately?

Lay it on me!  How can I help you Spread Happyness this summer?  I’d love to hear from you!

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments (or send me an email)!

5/20/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #87 – “Keep playing that guitar!” (Don’t let your dreams gather dust!)

Aucoustic untouched. (Photo by Grace Church)

Aucoustic untouched. (Photo by Grace Church)

Week #87 – “Keep playing that guitar!”  (Don’t let your dreams gather dust!)

On Rob’s word board there is a slip of paper that says, “Keep playing that guitar!”

Without knowing the whole story behind it, these are most likely words of encouragement Rob offered to the person who pinned them there.

Can you imagine that?!  Can you imagine, at your funeral, having someone sum up your life in four simple words of encouragement?

What words will someone remember you by?

This post comes on the heels of hearing about a few friends this week who are fulfilling their dreams.  One is making a big move to a place he always wanted to live.  Another’s daughter just performed as a back-up singer on a national TV show.  And another has completed a year-long adventure in another state and is now returning “home” with a new perspective on life.  There are weight loss successes, return-to-college graduations, and hard-earned masters degrees.  Dreams of all shapes and sizes coming true…every day.

It’s Graduation Season

It’s graduation season…and high schoolers and college students everywhere will be leaving the safety of their nests and setting out on lives of their own making.  Graduation cards will be filled with the phrase “follow your dreams!”  But do we really mean that?  (I mean, we must…because no graduation card ever wishes the recipient a life of quiet desperation, right?)

What’s your dream?

Are you chasing your dreams?  Or are they gathering dust?  Do you even remember what they were?  Or when you may have set them aside?

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Don’t let your dreams gather dust!  As we celebrate the graduations and bright futures of high schoolers and college students everywhere — take a moment to remember where you were headed and who you thought you were going to be.  Are you you still on the right track?  Have you followed your dreams?  Or maybe your old dreams lead you to new dreams?  Or did life or circumstances derail you?  Don’t despair…you’ve graduated life with honors!  Put on a cap and gown, play Pomp & Circumstance, and celebrate who you are today and all that you’ve accomplished.  Then dust off those dreams…and set your sails for a new horizon!  Because it’s never to late and you’re never too old.  The best day to get started on your dreams is TODAY! 

To misquote Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you imagined!”

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

5/15/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #86: “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)

"Take care of yourself!" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Take care!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #86 – “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8th!  Last week, I polled over 50 REAL MOMS who shared with me what they REALLY want on Mother’s Day (and it isn’t always reservations).  If you haven’t made plans yet, don’t panic!   Read this first for a list of ideas that you can’t find in a store or restaurant!

Mother’s Day and Mixed Emotions

Many of the women I exchanged ideas with reported feeling mixed emotions on Mother’s Day.  Issues of infertility or infant death, the loss of parents or children at any age, disconnection from living parents or children, disagreements among family members, decline of elderly parents, or disappointments in childhood or childrearing — they all come front and center on a day when it seems like “everyone” else is out celebrating with their perfect and loving families.

If you feel this way, please know you are not alone.

There are many articles circulating about what to do when you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day.  The bottom line is this…and it’s in my own mother’s words:

“Take care of yourself.”

These are tough words to hear when you feel victimized, bitter, or powerless.  They’re more like a bed of nails than a soft place to fall — trust me, I know.  But they are true.

Because if you won’t take care of you…then who else will?

As I said last week, many women reported mixed feelings on Mother’s Day.  Their advice?  Seek refuge in the comfort of safe friends, the company of like-minded people, or in the things that you really want for yourself and your future!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: “Take care of yourself!”  Mother’s Day is a great day to remind each of us that “mothering” is an age-old practice.  And while one woman may be have brought you into this world (and maybe even another brought you up)…all that she taught you, good and bad, instructs how you carry and deliver yourself your entire life!  If Mother’s Day is a struggle for you — do what you need to do to take care of yourself this year!  

And take care of others, too — because everyone needs a mom sometime!

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!

5/6/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church