Monthly Archives: August 2016

Week #102 – The Gift of Time


“Gift of Time” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #102 – The Gift of Time

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

These last few weeks of August are a heavy time.  As I mentioned in my post on August 12th — my August/September calendars are marked with “anniversaries.”  Reminders of how rapidly Rob’s health declined — and how swiftly and decisively he was taken away.

As I write this, it’s one of those anniversaries: the last time I saw my brother outside of a hospital.

The last time we rode in a car together.

Or shared a laugh.

Or a sandwich.

It is a precious day in my memory.  Every minute recorded in great detail — after all, it needs to last me a lifetime.

But one of the things I most remember about that day — is that it was a gift.  And by that I mean a literal GIFT — because someone agreed to cover me, so that I could be there with him.

Precious time…made possible by the simple (and unknowing) generosity of another’s.

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Give the gift of time!  One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is time.  And that doesn’t always mean OUR time with them.  It might mean giving them time to take care of themselves, take care of business, or take care of someone else.  If you find yourself in a position to cover for someone, take something off someone’s plate, or grant someone extra time to take care of something near and dear to them — please do it.  I know we all worry about being taken advantage of…there’s no one rule that covers all scenarios.  Use good sense and good judgment.  But if you’ve got the time…give it.  Generously.

It may just be the greatest gift that person receives in his or her lifetime.

Spread Happyness — give the gift of time this week!  And share your thoughts in the comments!

8/26/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #101 – Good Company

Good Company (photo credit: Grace Church)

Good Company (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #101 – Good Company

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

I had the privilege of meeting up with a dynamic group of women (and Jim) last night to share our individual pursuits, what we’re working on, places we might be stuck, and brainstorm ideas and solutions to move us forward.

As we went around and shared our stories, there was no shortage of real-life challenges — health issues, financial obstacles, time constraints, learning curves, disfunction, dependency, grief.

And yet — there were no complaints!

Just solutions, ideas, brainstorms, what-if-you-tried-this-es, and — yeah — a little sprinkling of tough love and accountability.

There is a theory that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  It’s easy to think of this in terms of career success alone — but it applies to other areas of our lives, as well.  Honesty, integrity, work ethic, outlook, empathy, wisdom, compassion, joy, and yes…


There are many quotes about “good company” and “bad company” — most warning us to be careful in choosing HOW and with WHOM we spend our time.

But not too many turn the question on us: What about me?  Am I good company — or bad?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Be Good Company!  If you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with — then YOU are factoring into their averages, as well!  Take notice of who you are spending time with this week — are there times when YOU could contribute encouragement or support, celebrate a success, offer a solution, lend an ear, give sound advice, or maybe even a little tough love?

Don’t just keep good company — BE GOOD COMPANY!

Spread Happyness — be good company this week!  And share your thoughts in the comments!

8/19/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #100 – Just…Breathe.

Just Breathe-a

Just Breathe (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #100 – Just…Breathe.

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

It’s August…and the weeks ahead are marked with “anniversaries.”  As I look at my calendar, I’m reminded that these were the weeks where Rob’s health took rapid turns for the worse.  ER visits, treatments, doctor’s appointments.

While the rest of the world was enjoying the season he loved so much, he was increasingly forced to stay inside and struggle for just…one…breath.

For me, the next few weeks…the end of August…will always be a profound reminder:

  • A reminder to wring the very most I can out of life.
  • A reminder to live it fully without apologies.
  • A reminder to forget about what’s not important…and focus on what is.  
  • A reminder of how delicious life is…and how very temporary.  
  • A reminder of how precious each breath is…and how quickly it can be taken away.
  • A reminder to just…breathe.

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Just…Breathe.  The busyness of September is just ahead of us!  Some kids are already heading back to school.  Don’t let these weeks slip by without stopping for a moment to just…breathe!  Get outside…watch a sunset, listen to kids play, feel the breeze across your skin, relish a thunderstorm, gaze at a rainbow.  There may be a day when you’ll miss all of this.  Don’t miss it now!

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

Spread Happyness — Just breathe!  And share your thoughts in the comments!

8/12/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #99 – Go Ahead…Reminisce (and Remember Together)

"Good Times" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Good Times” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #99 – Go Ahead…Reminisce (and Remember Together)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

There’s been a lot of nostalgia going around lately.  Maybe it’s the loss of yet another childhood friend.  Maybe it’s that late summer longing we feel to stop the clock or maybe even turn back time.  Maybe it’s just our parents cleaning out their attics.

Maybe it’s simply that it feels good to remember good times and good friends.

I had occasion to share a few old pictures with friends this week.  One had lost his childhood friend and neighbor.  Another lost her brother a decade ago.  And yet another lost her son.

As I came across the photos, it occurred to me that 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 remembered…you’re ALWAYS thinking of that person.  And, for me, the only thing more wonderful than remembering Rob on my own…is having someone remember him to me!

So I reached out.  I shared those photos…and let the other person know I was thinking of them, and remembering their loved one fondly.  The result?


Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Go Ahead…Reminisce!  Remember things together!  If you are thinking of someone, let them know.  If you have a fun memory, share it.  If you know someone who is grieving, ask what that person was like.  Remember them fondly.  The stillness of August is a great time for long chats and whims of memory.  Remember the good times.  Enjoy them.  They, too, have made you who you are today!

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

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

8/5/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church