sip swirl clink

wish

I love when other people share good news, and I’ve always found it puzzling that society refers to this as “bragging.” What’s wrong with talking about our joys and sharing our happiness? If you ask me, nothing. Feel free to ring me when you win the lottery or fall in love – I’m going to want the details.

You know what else?  I want to hear about your struggles and hardship, too.  People are not meant to go through life alone, and when we share stories of pain, we remind people in similar situations that they are not alone.

Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California, Riverside, researches the nature of human happiness, particularly why some people are happier than others, and how we can train ourselves to be more happy in general. She identifies an individual’s response to social comparison as a key factor for determining their personal happiness.

Her work suggests that happy people are more likely to celebrate the success and good fortune of their friends, while unhappy people are more likely to feel jealous of their nearest and dearest.

Instead of comparing our differences, let’s celebrate them, and each of us can begin to push each other onward and upward.

And, what’s more, we’ll all be a little happier as a result : )

woo hoo for you

birthdaycake 

The US Census estimates the world population at 7,113,000,000.  In terms of birthdays, 19 ½ million people are entitled to blow out candles and eat cake every single day of the year.

With millions&millions of birthdays being celebrated each day, it might seem silly to focus too much on the annual celebration.   When you think about birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate a unique individual, however, it seems like much, much bigger deal.  If that quirky person is your BFF or your sweetheart, you may even want to organize a street parade or a block party.

The people we love bring something unique to our lives, and for one day, we have the opportunity to celebrate how special they are.  It’s so simple and happy, really: a birthday is a reminder to celebrate the unique qualities that each of us bring to the world.  Think about what makes your friends and family special, put on a party hat, and make a toast to their individuality.

I’m having a birthday this week, and kind letters from friends and family have already arrived to make me smile.  Their sweet notes have inspired me to research creative HBD cards.  I zoomed around the web, and this is what I found:

hbd

Quite a variety of ways to a say HBD, right?  Everything from your standard birthday card to a pinata in the mail to a cookie greeting card.  Which card would you most like to receive?

the spectacular now

ImageMy giggle alarm goes off every time someone says that they need a vacation. Or that they’re looking forward to the weekend.  And again when they plan a week-long celebration for their birthday.

The giggles are always suppressed so that I don’t ruin their enthusiasm for a special day or occasion. But what I really want to do is stand on the top of my tall, tall, tall, tall, (I thought if I used the word tall enough times it would convey just how high high high high up I am) building, and remind them that every single day of their life is special.

Why not live every day like it’s your birthday? Why not celebrate whenever you can? For me, the absence of pressing work, errands, or problems is enough to make a reservation for bubbly on the 99th floor.  Join me? I’ll stick an umbrella in your drink and we can cheers to the present moment.

This post probably seems somewhat flippant, but I promise there is more profound reasoning to my logic.  I realize that happiness is fragile, and that all the good things – many of them that we take for granted, could be gone in an instant.  When we are feeling healthy, we should celebrate the absence of pain.  If the sun comes out, why not run through the sprinklers and ride a bike? Sure enough, the rain will come soon.

Dear readers, I want you to live every day like it’s a gift. It’s Saturday, so it’s a perfect day to start.  I hope it’s sunny wherever you are, and I hope that you’re going to live today like it’s your birthday – candles and all.

Another thing to celebrate is the opening of Apricot Lane in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  I visited the new shop yesterday, and I’m hoping that the owner, Laura, becomes my new shopping buddy.  She styled me in the outfit you see above, and she also provided cute looks for the next few days.  She’s having a $50 giveaway for the opening, so stop by and say hello — maybe you’ll get lucky and win 🙂

step into my photobooth and show me your happy

Imagemy RAH RAH RAH (random acts of happiness) series continued today with a popup photobooth.  the idea for this project was simple – i would create a happy sign with arrows, and then ask people to ‘show me their happy.’  pretty efficient way to make people happier, right? sort of the whole ‘if you want to be happy, be’ mantra.  i began by making the most obnoxious neon sign possible:ImageImageImagei hung the sign in an alley off the popular Lake Street and BAM — popup photobooth is ready to go.  the more interesting part of this experiment came when i asked people if they would like to step into my photobooth.  i felt a bit creepy (wouldn’t you?).  despite the creepiness, the majority of people stepped inside and asked me to take a couple of different photos for them.  and, you know what? they looked pretty happy about it.  mission accomplished:ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImagethe popup phototbooth got me thinking about how nice it is to be happy on a monday. it seems like people spend so much of monday, tuesday, wednesday, and thursday waiting for the weekend. so much of the year waiting for vacations and holidays.  the thing is, all the waiting just takes away from the happiness of now.  that said, step into my photobooth and show me your happy (these two sure did):ImageImageImage