Monday, November 29, 2010

The Secret to Happiness

I'm blessed with kind and very wise friends who know much more than I do about many things. From Ruth's helpful, big-sisterly comments to Anna's make-up sophistication, from Vanessa's encouragement (even if we gave up on running together, for now) to Laura M.'s sports expertise (she answers texts like "I just met a cute Nationals fan. What can I say to sound smart about baseball?" with pitch-perfect advice), my friends have all kinds of insights and are kind enough to share their wisdom.

Some of the best advice I've received lately came from a wonderful newspaper column (full text here) by my beloved Laura L. I've long admired Laura's unbeatable cheerfulness and wondered how she managed to always keep calm and happy... her column gave me the answer. It seems that the secret to happiness is nothing more or less than gratitude, something I often need to work on. So I cut out her column and taped it to my wall to remind myself to be grateful.

Because of my new goal of gratefulness, a particular biblical passage resonates with me: "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." I try to repeat it to myself throughout the day... like Laura's column, it helps me remember that every day, no, every moment, should be Thanksgiving

Is this really obvious? It reminds me of when Pollyanna (did you ever read that book?) played her "glad game." Maybe it's silly, and it's probably simplistic, but I find it to be a big help. Being grateful for every situation isn't easy to do but it helps me to stay cheerful. So when I have to walk for ten minutes in the wintry cold, when I get to snuggle my littlest sister to sleep, when I get a bad grade on a test or enjoy a cocktail with friends... I try to think, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be His name." It helps enormously as I try to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and I never would have figured it out without Laura's column.


  1. Thanks for the shout out! I'm still an avid follower :)

    Are you coming to DC for the March For Life? I just saw the ND sign-up on fb. Can't believe that it's next month. It will be my first one. I've wanted to go for several years but was never able to make the trip from Boston.

  2. Thanks Ruth! Good to know someone's reading this besides me. :) I'll absolutely be at the March. I'm really excited; it's always an amazing event and past years have given me some of my favorite ND memories. See you there!!

  3. Fab news! I don't think we thought of it when I was visiting and we were wondering when we'd see each other next.