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Bunnies. Our town is full of bunnies. Bunnies nibbling grass; bunnies hopping around, flaunting their little white tails; bunnies NURSING THEIR BABY BUNNIES RIGHT OUTSIDE THE LIVING ROOM WINDOW! Sorry for the yelling, but my husband took pictures of this phenomenon about a month ago, and I have not stopped smiling since. (Well, maybe that is a small exaggeration.) There are also groundhogs, deer, red-tailed hawks, hummingbirds, raccoons, and various other creatures great and small. Now why does this make my life good, you ask? Well, before we moved here, we lived in the basement of a college dormitory in an urban wasteland. Where the only common beastie was the Rattus norvegicus. And the occasional rabid squirrel. (Seriously, one once attached itself to the screen on the kitchen window--slavering--and tried to gnaw through. In order to kill us all, I'm sure.) Anyway, wildlife now makes my day.

Here is the simple thing that makes my life good: focusing on how the simple things make life good. Willie Nelson said, "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." Yes sir. I started blogging about the good stuff when I noticed that I was slightly crabby a lot during the daily grind of motherhood and working but I was also noticing many tiny joys throughout the day. I decided to focus on those instead of how often I was sweeping the kitchen floor. I tend to slightly dramatic, catastrophe think, so this has been a life changer for me. Tiny joys are it.

Hey, I noticed today that my 15 month-old's hands DO look kind of like starfish (she's got little hands.) So I didn't miss it after all!!

Hi - My comment is not really related to this post at all, but I wanted to comment on the most recent post so you'd see it.

I noticed that you looked in to Buddhism and are interested in it; but I also noticed you said you wanted to make sure your kids never thought that humans are supposed to be unhappy. The first Noble Truth of Buddhism is "Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering/uneasiness (dukkha) in one way or another."

Maybe I don't understand it very well (in fact, I certainly don't understand it very well), but it was this Noble Truth which ultimately turned me off of Buddhism - because I don't believe it. And I don't think you do either. I think if there's any reason at all we're here, it's to be happy and help others be happy.

So, anyway, there's some food for thought.

I'm big on noticing the joys, both small and large. Aside from the biggies of a healthy and generally functional family, and a house and a job I love, not to mention a happy VW Passat station wagon (didn't you have one of those?) that runs nicely, knock wood... here are three small joys that come to mind, in no particular order -- 1) when I eat at the commissary every day, I like to select the cafeteria trays that have gold sparkles in their circa 1960s laminate pattern. The gold sparkled-greenish beige trays are far superior to the plain greenish-beige trays. 2) I love living in southern Californis, where it so rarely rains or clouds over or drops below 70 degrees during the day. 3) I have a little sample bar of handmade soap by my sink, which the nice folks at my neighborhood's Soaptopia (you should check it out! at http://www.soaptopia.com/soaps) gave to me for free, and it smells extravagantly groovy (and yet very clean) when I wash my hands with it. Not sure what the scent is exactly, but it's mildly exotic/earthy, and a little different from the rest of the products I normally use. Delightful.

L-- Yes! This is one of things I miss, living in an urban wasteland! The closest thing to nature I get on a regular basis is squirrels. (I don't count the coyote roadkill I saw yesterday.) It's SO not-happy-making. I want more bunnies!

Jen-- Wisdom from Willie Nelson can never be wrong.

Heather-- I find myself wanting everyone to send pictures with their comments today. Bunnies and baby hands!

Christine-- I think I said that I want my kids to know that it's actually OK to be numb or unhappy sometimes, because both emotions are useful in helping us identify problems in our lives. Being happy all the time is an excellent goal, but on this I agree with the Buddhists-- I don't think it's 100% attainable. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for it... because the more happy the better!

Melinda-- Okay, I LOVE that you find joy in the sparkles in the cafeteria trays. And I am so checking out those soaps...

I like looking at leaves. I mean really noticing them. I can tree stare for hours. There is a whole world going on with trees.
I like cleaning my kitchen and bathroom. There is something about having those two rooms squeaky clean that makes my heart happy.

Life is good is known for its charitable work and recently established the "Life is good. Kids Foundation" which was created to improve the physical, emotional and social well-being of children.

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My Books (with Elizabeth Craft)

  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

    Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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