Monthly Archives: June 2016

Week #93 – Live Your Legacy (in memory of Sean Rollnick)

"What's your legacy?" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“What’s your legacy?” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #93 – Live Your Legacy (in memory of Sean Rollnick)

Greetings Happyness Tribe!

This week’s post comes on the heels of yet another loss in the Hopatcong community: Sean Rollnick (HHS Class of ’91) passed away in Hawaii.  He was 43.

From the outpouring of love to his Facebook page, it is clear that Sean grew up to be one of those amazingly beautiful people that walk this Earth.  As testimonial after testimonial of his direct impact on people rippled across my newsfeed, I was reminded of something I wrote last year when Rob’s memorial planter was installed in Ocean Grove:

“Through all the years we visited Ocean Grove — as children, teens, adults, and friends — I never dreamed our world would come to this.  Benches and planters were for old people, maybe even pets, but not for us.  We were young, vital, alive.  And then it occurred to me…that is the point of the plaque.  Life is about what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with.  The plaques and benches along the boardwalk are filled with legacies: “…who loved Ocean Grove…”, “…who helped us all to grow…”, “whose happiness was a day at the beach…”

If you had a plaque…what would yours say?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: LIVE YOUR LEGACY!!!  I’ll ask you again, if someone were to write a memorial plaque about you…what would it say?  Where would they put it?  Spend time doing that thing as if it was your last.  Imagine how you might want to be remembered…then make it a point to LIVE IT!  Do it with love…do it with laughter…and above all: do it with Happyness!

Life is short, my friends…sometimes shorter than we imagine it will be.  Don’t wait — live your legacy today!

And to Sean’s family, friends, loved ones, and beautiful brand-new baby — my deepest condolences to you in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.  There are some losses we never get over…we just have to go on, broken-hearted as we are, and live as they would want us to — fully.

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!

6/24/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #92 – Watch for Rainbows

“Watch for Rainbows” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #92 – Watch for Rainbows

It’s hard to talk Summer Fun when tragedy has struck (several times in one week).

Christine Grimme, Pulse, Disneyworld.  Add to that friends and family who are feeling marginalized, suffering losses, and facing serious health issues.  

Honestly — it feels ridiculous to to talk about Happyness.

And yet, that’s the topic at hand.

I’ve seen a few things in my life.  I lived in Manhattan during 9/11.  Watched rounds of people lose their jobs week after week during the crash.  Held my loyal but failing pet in my arms while a vet administered euthanasia.  Sat powerless at my brother’s feet while he struggled to get just one little sip of air.

I know what it’s like to feel cynical, disillusioned, and angry.

I also know that we always find the thing we are looking for.

You can see the rain — or the rainbow.  Either way you’ll be right.

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Watch for rainbows!  The name of this blog is “Spread Happyness” because my brother taught me that Happyness comes FROM us — not to us.  As news continues to unfold and fallout radiates from this week’s tragedies, don’t wait for good news to come to you.  Seek it out…and spread It!  YOU are the source!

Find the beauty.*
Look for helpers.**
Watch for rainbows. 

“There are two ways of spreading light: be the candle…or the mirror that reflects it.”  (Edith Wharton)

Spread Happyness — watch for rainbows!  And tell me what you see this week!

* Viktor Frankl’s memoir Man’s Search for Meaning is an excellent resource for finding hope in the face of overwhelming hopelessness.

** Mister Rogers is credited for this saying, recalling that his mother recited this to him as a child to soothe him in the wake of scary news stories.

6/17/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #91 – Father’s Day is June 19th! (Read this before you buy another necktie or coffee mug!)

Father's Day To-Do List (by Grace Church)

Father’s Day To-Do List (by Grace Church)

Week #91 – Father’s Day is June 19th!  (Read this before you buy another necktie or coffee mug!)

I interrupt our Summer Fun List for this important reminder…

At the end of April, I gave you a heads-up that Mother’s Day was just around the corner.  Well — June is underway, and I wanted to take another moment for a little public service announcement to those of you who are celebrating Father’s Day this year:


But before you go out and buy another necktie or coffee mug or singing fish, take a moment to stop and think about what the man in your life really wants.

Not that!

The other things!

I polled the guys this week:
What is that you REALLY want/wish for on Father’s Day?

I have to be honest, getting answers was like pulling teeth.  While over 50 ladies responded within hours of my Mother’s Day question, I had to ask the guys three separate times — and then only received answers when another guy intervened on my behalf.  (Why is that, guys?!)

Like the ladies, most guys don’t want something that can be bought in a store.  Hell, most of them don’t even want to leave the house!  A few brave ones even told me: “Nothing.  To do nothing.”  That doesn’t make for a sexy wish-list!

It took some arm-twisting — but a brave group of guys took me up on the question and told me what they REALLY want on Father’s Day.  And it can be summed up in four words:


FOOD: From morning until night — most dads responded with some sort of food request: breakfast on the deck, donuts, waffles, burgers on the grill, ice cream in the fridge, and beer in the cooler.  Rather than buy your dad something at the mall, head to the local grocery store instead and pick him up the makings of a king-size breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, OJ, and coffee), a deli lunch (fresh bread, sandwich fixings, side salads, chips, cookies, and deli pickles), or a Grill-fest dinner (burgers and dogs, ribs and chicken, or steaks and potatoes).  Make sure you back it up with his favorite dessert — you know, the one just for him (even if the kids don’t like it!).

FUN: Whether it’s a day at the park, a trip to the ballgame, an outing on the golf course, an inside day at the science museum, or the latest action movie — dads do want to have fun!  (As long as they’re with the ones they love!)

FAMILY: In almost every category (except one, see below) — the dads I heard from all wanted to spend time with their families!  Laugher, cuddles, and a few “I love you, dads” don’t hurt either!

THE NAP: Moms aren’t alone in their request for a little extra sleep!  Napping was the number one response I received from dads, too!  Extra sleep goes a LONG way!  Make sure you get some on Father’s Day!  😉

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Father’s Day is June 19th!  Do you know what the man in your life really wants?  Use this list to jump start the conversation!  Let HIM create the honey-do list for the day!  Work out a list that includes things each member of the family can check off: food, family, fun, and that all important NAP!  Just like Mother’s Day, the most important thing is to PLAN AHEAD!  Don’t leave things to the last minute.  And if it is a necktie or another coffee mug — wear it or drink from it in good health!

[A big THANK YOU to all the Dreamers & Builders who took the time to respond to my poll — and whose honest sharing made this post possible!]

Spread Happyness — PLAN AHEAD!  And share YOUR Father’s Day ideas in the comments!

6/10/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #90 – Summer Fun List! (37 random ways to have fun this summer)

Summer 6316-a3

“Fun Times” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #90 – Summer Fun List! (37 random ways to have fun this summer)

Last year this time — I asked you to share your ideas and plans for FUN over the summer.

And for TWELVE WEEKS we counted down different ways to enjoy ourselves.  Because while adults are usually busy planning their kids’ summer fun — they often overlook their own!

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

So I’m recapping the final list…37 random suggestions for FUN during the summer months.  And I’ll say it again: I know you have things to do, to see, to get done.  Maybe you’re even planning things so that your kids/family/friends/coworkers are sure to have a good time.

Don’t forget to make plans for YOU to have fun, too!

Because as I said last year: the best way to teach others to have fun — is to have fun yourself!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: How do you plan to have FUN this summer?  We have a full THIRTEEN WEEKS ahead of us!  And while I know some of you may groan at the reminder that summer is limited…the seasons serve to remind us that time is fleeting.  Not just with weather…but with life.  We never know what tomorrow, or next month, or next year will bring.  Don’t let it pass you by!  Make this the summer you take that trip, cross off that bucket list item, make that leap, try that thing, get serious about that project, or just get plain silly!  Peruse this list, brainstorm with the family, share it with friends!  And report back — because it’s no fun to keep all the fun to yourself!  😉

Experience is a commodity.  Trade wisely!  Here are 37 random ideas to get you started:

37. Take a 3-4 hour “swamp walk” in the Florida Everglades
36. Have breakfast for dinner — or dinner for breakfast!
35. Tubing down the Delaware!
34. “One Tank Trips”
33. Surprise trip for spouse or loved one
32. Kayaking
31. Beach time
30. BBQ’s
29. Tourist for the day in nearby city
28. Walking the boards
27. Rock climbing
26. Scuba diving
25. Touring an estate
24. Time with family
23. Sitting on the porch
22. Watching for rainbows
21. Learning to surf
20. Gardening
19. Writing a book
18. Working on a “summer” project
17. Moving to a new town
16. Planning a spa day (or half-day, or even lunch hour)
15. Taking Fridays (or Mondays) off!
14. Day at the ballpark (Minor League stadiums are great, too!)
13. Outside concerts/music events
12. Hot air balloon ride/festival
11. Pool volleyball (a Church-family classic!)
10. Take yourself or someone you love for ice cream!
9. Weed your front yard garden (and talk with neighbors and folks walking by!)
8. Lose yourself in wonderful music, either listening or singing
7. Play in the grassy backyard
6. Play with your dog (or maybe your neighbor’s dog!)
5. Sing karaoke
4. Explore your town, county, state…through food and drink!
3. Visit a farm
2. Make plans to see friends you don’t often get to see (or schedule a gathering!)
1. Blind-folded Make-overs!  (Great for a rainy day!  Bonus points if you go out in public after!)

How do you plan to have FUN this summer?!

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts or ideas in the comments (or by email) and keep the list growing!

6/3/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church