Wednesday, September 1, 2010


on monday afternoon, my sister called. we talked for a while, and then the conversation turned to discussion of happiness. we both talked about how we go through bouts of anxiety and depression (although she is able to label these better since she is schooled in this field). i mentioned how i think i am most comfortable when i'm sad. this unsettles me. i have found myself feeling weird, or unbalanced, or like something is actually wrong when things are going smoothly around here--when we have enough money, when we are all getting along.

then i told her, "well, look at both sides of our family. not many people in our family are happy." the people in our family who *have* made a difference in their lives and seem happy seem to have been very intentional about making this choice.

so then later that same day, a friend stopped by and i was telling her about the phone conversation with my sister. just processing it aloud.

that night, i saw that she had written a blog post with this same title, "abundance." it was short, to the point, just being thankful for the goodness around her. and believe me, she could write a novel with all the not-so-great things in her life. but she chooses to embrace the good.

on tuesday, when i was at the park watching my son play, i read an article in the september 2010 cooking light called "deciding to be happier" by kate meyers (you can see the article on this blog). there is so much in here, and i am thinking about discussing it more in another post (tied to spirituality), but one thing that stuck out with me is making a list of 5 things every morning that i am grateful for.

so yesterday afternoon, i shared that with my friend who had written the "abundance" post, and she piped up, "oh! i make a list in my head every  morning of things i'm grateful for. it really makes my days better."

since i have already shared that i am a glass-half-empty kind of person, i think it's extra important for me to try to take time every day to try to figure out what the blessings are in my life. the good things. the abundance.

because i have so much of it: a great husband--who cooks, cleans, plays with the kids, works hard. beautiful, healthy, intelligent, funny, and mostly well-behaved children. enough money to eat. general physical good health. a hilarious dog. a very cool (as in hip, not temperature wise...) place to live. friends and family who love me just the way i am, even if i am incessantly hard on myself.



  1. I agree. Happiness is subjective and we have more influence on it than most believe. If you dwell on the bad, bad things seem to appear more frequently. Likewise, if you focus on the good and happy in your life you see more of that down the line. I'm not sure if there is actually more of either, we just perceive what we are looking for.

  2. As a cup-half-empty person myself, I appreciate this post! One thing my mom has always told me, and continues to tell me, is that you can't rely on others for your own happiness, you must choose to be happy and be intentional about making that happen. Of course, I haven't quite learned this yet, but hopefully I have several more years to try and figure it out.

  3. I was just thinking about this the other night as I was watching Eat, Pray, Love. While I found some of the movie a bit unsettling because of a difference in spiritual beliefs, I did find some of the comments interesting. Especially those about our thoughts and how they affect us. And seriously, has any good ever come of dwelling on the negative things in our lives? Thanks for the reminder to focus on the abundance of good in my life. And I think I will start each day making a list too. It can't hurt!

  4. So glad to have you as a big part of the abundant goodness in my life.

  5. do you remember Oprah's gratitude journal? I am so in your club with that! I do it at night but after reading your post I'm going to add mornings. And it's easy to think of things to be thankful for: This laptop, this desk, this chair, being able to read and write, having a friend like you!