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News[letter] From The Happy Side


I’m writing to you as a spring thunderstorm rolls in, watering the new flowers and seeds that I (Alice) just planted. Spring is a time of rebirth – seeing things grow, passing young goslings as I walk by a lake. It feels strange because while the natural world is waking up, our human world is still on pause, hibernating, like seeds in the ground. It occurred to me that maybe we can use this time of hibernation to plant seeds within ourselves and nurture them, knowing they will take time to grow. 

Author Malene Rydahl talks about this in her TED talk, referenced below. She says, “Find that passion inside of us, find that dream and plant that seed and make it our individual responsibility to take care of it so it grows into something that we can actually choose.”

We need that sense of purpose and hope right now to help us through this time when the human world is holding its breath and waiting to be born again. Let’s try to use this time as best as we can to stay safe and healthy, and plant and nurture our own seeds of hope. 


Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty

Quotes From the Happy Side

“It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” –Dale Carnegie


“Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.” Immanuel Kant


“If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” –Lao Tzu


“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” –Crystal Boyd

Talks From the Happy Side

Planting Seeds of Happiness the Danish Way, Malene Rydahl, TEDxINSEADSingapore 

In this TED talk, author Malene Rydahl goes back to her home country of Denmark, the world’s happiest nation, to examine happiness at its roots. She believes happiness is based on three basic concepts: trust, the freedom to be you, and finding purpose. In her inspiring talk, she tells viewers to plant seeds and allow them time to grow – “seeds that will allow you to be you, to follow your dreams.”     


How to be Happy [Even If You’ve Forgotten What it Feels Like]

Based on scientific research on happiness, this short seven-minute video efficiently and effectively illustrates many points about happiness - what it is and is not, its benefits, and how to find it.

Thoughts From the Happy Side

Happiness is . . . a bright, loud, couch.

I have a yard. A big yard. And a big problem. 

You see, I bought my house in the winter when the ground was covered in snow. In the spring, the snow melted and I realized my property, backyard in particular, is at the bottom of a bowl surrounded by higher ground. As a result, it’s 80% underwater until mid-summer, when it dries and becomes a mid-western tall grass prairie, where deer call home.

Ponder. Lots of ponder. What’s the fix? What’s nature telling me to do? Experience has taught me that it’s always better to work with nature than work against her.

Fast forward. Dug a large pond. Used the dirt to re-grade the surrounding area to direct all the water to to the pond. Built a bridge over the pond, a waterfall, and a fire pit. And built a raised pavilion (think oversized gazebo) to watch the deer, frogs and other varmints up close and personal. Phew!

Now it’s time to furnish my new outdoor pavilion “living room”. Rug, candle chandelier, and tables made from re-purposed vintage metal. But what about the focus of the room . . . a comfy couch?

For those who don’t know me well, I’m a bit of a collector and have my own go-to sources including Craigslist and estate sales. Away I went (safely and masked), looking at plaid, pattern, and paisley. Do I match the rug? Or the high grass that will grow around the pavilion?

Then I saw it. The brightest, loudest couch I ever saw. Part bright yellow, part bright red, part solid color, and part flowers. Loud and proud. It matched nothing, but it was PERFECT in every way!!!

Happiness is stepping out, doing something unexpected, . . . and a bright, loud couch.

Alan on the bright, loud couch

Song From the Happy Side

Speaking of Spring and rebirth, here’s Vivaldi’s Spring.


Thank you for spending time with us today, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this News[letter] From The Happy Side. We wish you health, happiness, and hope.  


Alice & Alan

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