Monday, January 25, 2010

let the sun shine

Well, it's not exactly sunshine-y outside, but it's less pouring rain-y than it was last week, so I'll take it. Although I'm happy that more showers are headed our way tomorrow, because, let's face it: SoCal needs all the rain we can get. Although we also need to figure out a way to trap this water, make it clean, and then use it while we're in a drought. But I digress.

I wanted to say thanks for everyone's very cool and incredibly supportive comments on my last couple posts - my 2009 post was a little bit brutally honest and I was really worried that my 2010 post was going to scare the crap out of most of you. And then, of course, there was my Haiti/suicide post, which I'm sure livened up everyone's day. So I'm letting the sun shine back in for this post because even though a lot of us get the January blues, there's still plenty of love and laughter to go around.

There's also some really good news too - if any of you had a chance to vote for the first online suicide prevention network in Chase's Community giveaway, it came in third place and won $100,000! They also now have over 7,000 volunteers who want to help make I'mAlive a reality. Writing that post about my acquaintance's suicide was tough - but I got through it, and a lot of that was because of all of your incredibly kind and brave comments. You guys all rock.

On a more personal blog note, I am very grateful to announce that I won a blog giveaway hosted by the adorable Carissa over at The Lovely Dove. She's been blogging for just over a year (and I just got to meet her in person at the SoCal Blogger's Brunch, so I feel twice as blessed) and to celebrate she gave away a beautiful desktop calendar, a cute little journal, and a very cool handwoven bracelet that I'm pretty sure I'm never going to take off. You can check out the stuff here and please, if you get a chance, do stop by Carissa's and say hi. And tell her I sent you :)

And finally - the beautiful Jo over at Jo Knows gave me the Happy 101 award -

it looks like this:

...and the mission, should I choose to accept it, is to pass it along to three other bloggers and write ten things that make me happy. And since we're all kind of fighting off the January Sucks, I thought I'd make a happiness advice list so that everyone can try these Get Happy tips.

1) Have an impromptu picnic - grab your favorite food to-go and eat it in in a grassy park with your socks and shoes off. Don't put on your Ipod, that's cheating. Just enjoy the sunshine and people watch in the park.

2) Smile at five complete strangers for no other reason than the fact that we're all in this together. If they scowl instead of smile, rest assured that three hours later they will feel like an idiot for not smiling back.

3) Celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day - it's today, Monday, January 25th, and no, I'm not making that up - by pouncing on some bubble wrap that you have lying around and popping it until you feel better about life. Or until you run out, whichever happens first.

4) Buy your friend, roommate, girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, dad, favorite sibling or mortal enemy flowers for no reason at all, and have them sent to the office to brighten his or her entire week.

5) Loan a friend a book you think they'd like. Tell them why.

6) Let someone have the right of way while driving. Even if you're 100 percent sure you had the right of way and that the person you let in might be a total idiot. Let them in anyways. Then breathe deeply.

7) Blow bubbles. I promise you that blowing bubbles with a $1 bottle of bubble solution is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get happy.

8) If you feel safe enough to do so, buy a homeless person coffee and a muffin. It's what I do instead of giving cash (which I usually don't have anyways) and homeless people appreciate the human interaction, even if they can't always show it.

9) Forgive someone. Even if they don't deserve it. YOU deserve it. And no, you don't have to tell them.

10) Go to the dog park. Bring dog treats and watch your popularity skyrocket. (Just make sure the owners are cool with you spoiling their dogs' appetites!)

And I pass along this award to three of the most upbeat people I know:

Gwen, over at Confessions of a Control Freak;

Irenicineri, over at Harmonious Grub; and

Eeeno, over at Eeeno's World.

I adore all three of these girls for their upbeat perspectives on life and how awesomely kick-ass they are in their own ways. (Come to think of it, two of them know martial arts and a third probably boxes like a pro. Coincidence? Probably not.)

So here's to a shinier Monday, everyone!

photo credit: I found it here.


Miss Anne said...

Seeing you post again made my heart smile.

I do love reading your posts.

Congrats on your wins!

(p.s. please email me your address again, i AM sending out your giveaway wins from long ago this week! it's on my list and i have it ready!) xoxo

Jo said...

First, I want to tell you that I look forward to your very honest, very human posts.

Second, I love your list!! :)

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day?? Awesome!! I once wrapped myself in bubble wrap I had left over from packing and rolled around on the floor in it, listening to it pop, and laughing from the dizziness and silliness of it all. So much fun!

The clouds are rolling in as I type this! Woohoo! Bring it on! ;)

B. Nagel said...

Re: 5. I donated two favorite books to the library.

Ida Nielsen said...

Oh yes, bubble warp and bubbles always cheer me up!!! :-D

Sending smiles you way :-)

Indigo said...

I do the homeless person coffee and food thing all the time. I love reading you, even the hard post. You're real and not afraid to be you.

As for weather it rained all night and day, the snow disappeared entirely and now it's supposed to snow for the next 3 days. That's NY for you. (Hugs)Indigo

Indigo said...

I do the homeless person coffee and food thing all the time. I love reading you, even the hard post. You're real and not afraid to be you.

As for weather it rained all night and day, the snow disappeared entirely and now it's supposed to snow for the next 3 days. That's NY for you. (Hugs)Indigo

Bathwater said...

Congratulations on winning the award! And don't worry about what you write it should be what you feel.

Dave said...

I smiled at 5 people and only got flipped off twice and called a perve once...and I'm pretty sure the other two just didn't see me. But hey, I had an awesome Monday anyway!

Angie Muresan said...

Congratulations on both the award and the giveaway! You are an awesome writer, Tracy, and you make me reflect on life rather than scare me away. So no worries, ok?

Maggie May said...

wheeew! you have lotsa energy!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

I am always lending friends books, they never read them. Mind you, I struggle to read the ones lent to me. Annoying though, especially when I find a particular book so inspiring!

Love the picture in this post by the way-- sunshine, youth, and better days--- gets me dreaming :D

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Blinding sunshine off the freshly fallen snow here. I'll picnic in the livingroom with some cold pizza and a cheap chianti ;)

krista said...

11. go to porto's and have coffee with krista and finn.

Gwen said...

I love your list!!! All 10 things would make any person happy. And if not they have something seriously wrong with them. Thank you so much for passing the award my way. Make me second guess my post for today because its beautiful women like you that make blogging totally worth it!!! Love you tons!!! XOXO

Eeeno's World said...

Thank you so much for the shout out!!! I happened to read this precisely at a moment when I am feeling incredibly NOT upbeat, nor awesome, nor any other related synonyms. So, thank you for bringing some happy to my uphill battle against "January sucks, and this year is supposed to be infinitely better than last".

I better get working on your challenge!

Nahl said...

Congrats to you for the award! :)
Have a lovely week.

Heather Taylor said...

Yay for winning the award!
I agree SoCal does need the rain too. Just not too much that we're all swimming to work in it ;)

Irenicineri said...

Aww. Thanks so much for the shout out. :) You're wonderful, too! And, regardless of the heaviness of some of your posts, you always give such a kind and thoughtful perspective on the large and small events of life.

PS. You know, I often smile at random strangers - far more than five a day - and you would be surprised how many people in LA think I'm a crazy person for that. Heheh.

Juliana said...

I am a new follower and am enjoying reading your blog. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. My brother, my little brother killed himself in thank you for posting this. Thank you for what you have done and what you will do. The world needs more people like you. I really hope you will follow me back. I have written about my brother a couple times he died on APril I have a post called CRUSHED around then...but I am going to post a big blog very soon. I am doing some great giveaways and reviews so I am trying to figure out how to put it all down with respect to me, my feelings and my blog but not scare away companies too ha ha.

I love your list, you were very honest and I really look forward to getting to know you better. Juliana~A Blonde Walks Into A Blog


I agree with the rest dear~ your honesty in your posts are always appreciated!
Great that you highlighted the suicide prevention, one of neighbors committed suicide a few years back...tragic!
Much love*

drollgirl said...

love your suggestions! sometimes i just smile at random folks. it can't hurt. and if they think you are weird, it really doesn't matter. :)

Jenn said...

i love this! i travel so much for work that i'm around strangers all the time. i always smile & say hello. it makes ME feel better, too! :)

Barbara said...

I'm sorry, but Dave's comment made me laugh out loud.
Probably because it went through my mind that if someone as cute as you smiled at 5 strangers you'd probably have to call the cops to get rid of them!

Congrats on the award and your sunshiny "things to make you happy" list is lovely. I can maybe do 3 of them, if I'm lucky.

Darcy said...

it's sunny here in San diego too now! January is such a hibernation...

Congrats on your win!!! HECK YEAH!!!! love your tips....

Annje said...

I love that photo, I wish Ihad taken it. Great list of ideas. I carry around little bitty bottles of bubbles to entertain the kiddos.

Carissa said...

what a great get happy list!! I love every idea on it! January can be a bit of a downer at times but at least it is almost over! haha. hopefully February will be better, and if not, I'll just remember your list.

oh, and I totally agree with you on the needing to take all that water that came pouring down and making it usable! for some reason, it's just not that easy... but really, I'm tired of writing articles about water rates going up! (wrote another one last week!)

and thanks for the shout out. you're so sweet. and you're package is on its way... you should be getting it soon...! :)

Kris said...

Congrats on the award! January is finally over, here's to spring coming super fast!!! Wait your in SoCal... ;o)

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