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.