40 Ways to Be Happy

Our fuzzy children

Hello everybody. As I said earlier, the site is undergoing some changes as is my writing. But…in an effort not to fall off the cyber radar, here is an essay I wrote a few years ago that I’d like to share with you.


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I recently overheard a conversation about the apparent sorry state of the world.  According to one lunch counter philosopher life is unfair, there is nothing good on TV, every politician in the local, state, and national government is a greasy palmed crook, and people in general are just “no friggin’ good.”

You know the kind of conversation I mean.

Fortunately, I don’t buy all that.  Granted, I gripe about politics, though I know some very sincere politicians.  Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be anything I particularly want to watch on TV, but I know where the ON/OFF switch is, and I can read.

In other words, short of living in the wild west at the turn of the century (OK, I’m a romantic) I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s, even in these days (whatever “these days” means).  And I think I may have a cure for those folks who really want a more positive outlook on life.  I call it:


1. Splash in a mud puddle.

2. Learn to play a harmonica.

3. Run over an accordion with a truck.

4. Send your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend flowers for no reason at all.

5. Sing–and sing loud–whether you can carry a tune or not.

6. Take a class in something you are interested in, just because you want to.

7. Rent a copy of you child’s (or your) favorite cartoon DVD, pop some popcorn, and have a ball.

8. Take some time for yourself and just listen to some good music.  (Good = whatever you like).

9. Walk in the rain.  (Goes well with #1).

10. Watch a Marx Brothers movie.

11. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time just to say hello. (E-mail doesn’t count).

12. Pick some wildflowers for yourself.

13. Run over a set of bagpipes.

14. Write a love letter to that “someone special.” (If you’re married, your spouse would be an excellent choice)

15. Spend some time with the folks you love; do something they would like to do.

16. Leave the toilet seat down.

17. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

18. Remember: next to nuclear war and Jesus coming back, it’s all small stuff.

19. Read a romance, adventure, action, thriller, spooky, or science fiction book just for the fun of it.

20. Color in a coloring book.

21. Leave the toilet seat up.

22. Go to the library.

23. Watch a group of children at play.

24. Scratch a puppy behind the ears.

25. Buy a goldfish.

26. Join a club.

27. Find something to believe in.

28. Hug somebody every day.

29. Fingerpaint.

30. Watch a sunrise.

31. Watch a sunset.

32. Make a batch of cookies for a neighbor.

33. Close the door, put on your favorite record (OK, your favorite CD/MP3), and dance.

34. Count your blessings and thank God for them.

35. Order a peanut butter and jelly pizza just to see what happens.

36. Pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant and make sure they don’t know who did it. Have the waiter/waitress write “someone you’ve never met just wanted to do something nice for you. Have a nice day” on the check.

37. Blow some bubbles.

38. Skip rocks down at the local pond or lake.

39. Buy a paddle ball (you know … one of those balls attached to a paddle with a rubber band) and try to get to one hundred whacks without missing or putting your eye out.

40. Tape the postage paid reply card from a piece of junk to a brick and send it back to the company (You won’t be on the mailing list very long).


2 thoughts on “40 Ways to Be Happy

  1. Thomas, I love your website and this list – too funny! Natasha and I LOVE your dogs. Springer Spaniels are one of our very favorites. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

    1. Thanks Mary. The dog (one died recently) actually owns the house and just keeps us around because we can reach the can opener. I should have another post up later today.

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