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Happy Birthday to Me … and Here’s to What’s Next

7 Jun

Photo credit: Diapicard / Pixabay

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning the other day, just like I do every weekend, and there was a great segment about three Hollywood comedy legends: Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, and Norman Lear.

Towards the end of the interview, Lear and Reiner shared their perspectives on the secret to a long and happy life.

“I think there are two little words we don’t think enough about: ‘over’ and ‘next,’” Lear said. “When something is over, it’s over. We’re on to next. I mean, this is the moment.”

Then Reiner added: “If you have something to get up for, you’ll get up. You won’t die in the middle of the night if you have something in the morning you gotta do.”

These were good sentiments to hear a few days before my birthday — and not just because they helped inspire this blog post. Continue reading

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The 2017 Happiness Project

3 Jan

HappinessSomething I’ve learned over the years is that happiness is not something you can seek or plan. You just have to allow yourself to feel it. To notice and appreciate the good things in life — no matter how small — that make you smile. Hopefully on a regular basis.

With so much negativity in the world, that can sometimes be hard. And this year, it may prove extra challenging.

So, to proactively prevent another sucky year like 2016 was, I want to do whatever I can to focus on my own happiness — and hopefully, in the process, share that happiness with others. Continue reading

After a Sucky 2016, I’m Ready to Work for a Better Year Ahead

30 Dec
Photo credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn/Unsplash.com

Photo credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn/Unsplash.com

What a year for a new year, right?

At this point it’s become a cliché, but that’s because, for the most part, 2016 really did suck.

There was the long, contentious, ugly, controversial election, which further divided an already highly partisan country, raised serious questions about Russian interference, and may have set us on a direction to a nuclear arms race, high anxiety, and worse. Included in this was all the fake news, the ignorance of facts and reality, and the many, many ridiculous twists and turns that were often unbelievable.

There was all that death. It hurt time and again to lose legends and those some of us grew up with, from music icons like Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Sharon Jones, and Glen Frey; to TV and movie favorites like Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Alan Thicke; to history-makers like Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, and John Glenn. Can’t forget Harambe, of course. Or Jim Delligatti, the creator of the Big Mac. And that’s not even counting friends who’ve lost family members and other loved ones. Perhaps it’s appropriate, then, that at the end of December, we also lost Robert Leo Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup. Continue reading

10 Thoughts About Blogging After 10 Years of Being a Blogger

1 Sep
Photo by Joey Gannon

Photo by Joey Gannon

Anybody who knows me knows that I can be a pretty lazy guy.

I’m not easily self-motivated, I don’t really work out at all (despite multiple attempts to start doing so), I go to the same places more often than I try new ones, I leave things till the last minute, and many nights, I’m happier to stay home rather than to put in the effort to go out.

All of which makes today a very important day. Continue reading

Another Year, Another Loop Around the Trail of Life

7 Jun
chestnut-hill-reservoir

(Photo credit: Martin Lieberman)

Yesterday, soon after I woke up, I laced up my sneakers, strapped on my armband, cranked up some good tunes, and dragged my largely out-of-shape body to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, partly to “train” for this week’s Corporate Challenge (which I signed up for kind of as a goof, but now actually have to do), partly to work off some of the crap I’ve been eating lately, and partly because — well, did I really need a reason?

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t an easy go at first. I jogged some of the way there, then after a few stretches, started jogging around the 1.5-mile-long trail. Then I slowed to a power walk, and eventually just walked.

Three quarters of the way around my counter-clockwise loop, even though I had walked nearly all of it, I thought to myself, “That’s it. I’m done. Maybe I’ll just do one today. Maybe I’ll come back and do another one later today after I’ve rested. Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow.” I was trying to talk myself out of continuing.

But a funny thing happened as I neared the starting point on the Boston College side: I decided I could probably — and should definitely — do another. So I pushed myself to begin another loop around. Continue reading

So Long, and Thanks for All the Cookies

2 Apr
cookies

Like Pavlov’s dog and the bell, these cookies made me salivate on a regular basis

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a very lucky person.

Today I’m saying it because I’m happy to announce that I have a new job and it’s my last day at my current place of employment.

Woo hoo!

To be honest, I don’t even want to say I’m leaving my current job. Rather, it’s more like I’m seizing an opportunity and moving on.

This opportunity came along at pretty much exactly the right time, and was the kind of job I was hoping for next. Actually, it’s the kind of job I was hoping for when I left a previous employer back in April 2012. So, yes, I’m very excited about the change, and the fact that things for me professionally seem to be back on track again.

Continue reading

The 2015 Happiness Project

5 Jan

balloon-smiley-faceIn 2014, I was happy, and I’m committed to being happy in 2015 too.

So in an effort to demonstrate that every day has at least one thing to smile about (even the so-called bad days), I’ve decided to steal an idea from my friend Christoph Trappe, who spent the entire year last year posting happy thoughts, memories, or moments in one running blog post that he updated daily. It was a great way to show gratitude and remember what made each day so special for him.

That idea, like so many other good ideas, came from Twitter — specifically, a fellow tweeter named Krista, who did a similar thing in 2013. So you might say I’m now continuing the chain. Maybe next year somebody else will follow my lead.

Here’s the plan: For the next year, at the end of every day, I’m going to write down something that made me happy, whether that’s something I did, something I ate, something somebody said, a music lyric or line of movie dialogue that resonated with me, a tweet, or something else. It’s just that simple. Doesn’t have to be a big thing, just something that made me smile.

With apologies (and all due respect) to Gretchen Rubin, I’m calling this blog post my “2015 Happiness Project.” Think of it as a digital “rememberlutions jar,” a way to make sure I’m doing everything on my 2015 to-do list, or, in a way, an abbreviated version of the journals I used to keep when I was in high school. And please, check back here often to see what’s making me smile all year long.

Here we go. Continue reading