Marrying at 100. I love it.
Video by Zack Conkle on Vimeo.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 34,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals
Evren shared this video with me today because he loves it…and I love anything that gets an 8-year old to appreciate music. I have to agree with him, it’s pretty awesome.
How to Donate Your Body to Science a question I know most of us have and ponder often
Eat a Chicken Wing with One Hand and you thought it couldn’t be done
How to Pronounce Things Hilariously including:
Love Letter Service love the idea. at first. then. not sure.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake yes please
A Super Bowl Preview for People Who Don’t Know Football that would be me
With the GOP race focusing mostly on Newt & Mitt, I hadn’t paid much attention to this guy… apparently he has a lot of really excellent, focused input… if you have a few minutes… (please, indulge me).
(Thanks to J!)
Jeff Atwood, father of 1, soon to be father of 3, wrote a great article on parenthood, which I highly recommend, if you are so inclined.
As an adult, you may think you’ve roughly mapped the continent of love and relationships. You’ve loved your parents, a few of your friends, eventually a significant other. You have some tentative cartography to work with from your explorations. You form ideas about what love is, its borders and boundaries. Then you have a child, look up to the sky, and suddenly understand that those bright dots in the sky are whole other galaxies.
I do love a Harlan Coben novel from time to time, like a guilty secret. …after reading this interview with him I like him even more.
Gretchen Rubin is famous for The Happiness Project (of which I am a fan) and this was her happiness interview with Harlan Coben. You can find this interview posted on Gretchen’s website and also see more of her Happiness Interviews.
Harlan is the spectacularly successful author of many #1 bestselling, prize-winning mystery novels and thrillers, one of which was also turned into a movie.
He’s a gifted writer and a very thoughtful person, so I was curious to hear what he had to say about happiness.
Gretchen: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?
Harlan: Writing. I know that sounds a tad hackneyed and sometimes I don’t even like writing, but it makes me happy. Yes, that’s a contradiction, so let me quote either Dorothy Parker or Oscar Madison: “I don’t like writing—I like having written.” In short, the satisfaction of creating, not necessarily the process, always lifts my heart.
What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?
It’s all about balance.
Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Yes. At the risk of making people click off this website, the Internet is often a waste of time that leaves me feeling drained and unhappy. Again it’s about balance—you’ll see a theme here. Some time online or texting or playing with social media is fine and probably healthy—but not a lot. Think about those times you are forced to unplug. You’re happier, right?
Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “There is only love.”)
I have two mantras.
One I’ve already typed twice before: “It’s all about balance.” Family, writing, health, friends, surfing the web—whatever. They all need to be in balance. If I’m not writing well, I’m not happy. If I’m not spending enough time with my family, I’m not happy. If I’m not connecting to friends or if I don’t work out enough…. You get the point. Everything has to be balanced. Nothing should be an extreme.
My second mantra is more basic: “You bring your own weather to the picnic.” My kids roll their eyes at this one, but there is no question that attitude can go a long way.
If you’re feeling blue, how do you give yourself a happiness boost? Or, like a “comfort food,” do you have a comfort activity? (mine is reading children’s books).
It varies. I’ve never found much comfort, for example, in materialism or shopping. It always feels like a temporary boost, followed by some kind of crash. But I still participate. Mostly I find solace in renewing connections and in writing. Those are real. I try to stress to my children that buying something never leads to true happiness.
Is there anything that you see people around you doing or saying that adds a lot to their happiness, or detracts a lot from their happiness?
Envy, of course. I see a lot of it in my profession. One of my favorite mantras is: “No one has to fail so I can succeed.” Enjoy your friends’ successes—and your own.
Have you always felt about the same level of happiness, or have you been through a period when you felt exceptionally happy or unhappy—if so, why? If you were unhappy, how did you become happier?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. I just turned 50. I don’t look back much. I like where I am and so I don’t want to risk going back and changing things and then, well, where would I be? Even the mistakes led me here. I’m always, for better or worse, looking forward.
Do you work on being happier? If so, how?
I think consciously or subconsciously we are always fine-turning our happiness quotient. In my case, as I’ve already said, it’s about balance and connecting. Happiness is a bit like owning a car. Most times it just needs gas and maybe an oil change, but then every, say, six months, when I feel the need for more of an overhaul, I will read a book like, well, The Happiness Project. [Awww, thanks Harlan!] To slip out of this rather lame mixed metaphor, I may already know the information, but a reminder is a good thing.
I also derive a great deal of pleasure out of making other people happy. Yes, I know how self-serving that sounds, but it could, in fact, be pretty damn selfish. I love, for example, when readers tells me that my book made them happy—but is that about them or me or is there a “happiness cusp” between those two? I don’t know, but it might be worth exploring. It certainly sounds win-win.
Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you very happy, didn’t—or vice versa?
Not really. In the end, we know what makes us happy. We also know what makes us unhappy. That’s the irony. We know and yet we still mess it up. That’s part of the human condition, no, and why we need to work on it.