Staying Afloat in a Tough Week

So, it’s been a tough week. Here are my spiritual bouys, a few things that are keeping me afloat: -Our day school for our baby girl has been so flexible with us, offering more hours to help us deal with the raging cats. Seeing our baby girl happy at every drop off, especially in this great weather, has been a soul-healing balm. This morning I sat her in the outdoor stroller next to her baby friend. They touched each other’s faces. My girl looked up at me and smiled. -I’ve been working on new spiritual rituals at home. Update: the…

How to Cultivate Happiness

This post is part of a series on happiness. Read the first post here and the second here. “The plants!” When someone enters our house, they almost always talk about the plants. My friend, Maia, calls it “Jungle Status”. I’m not quite there, but I can see what she means by the term. I love houseplants. My house is full of them. If you’d asked me years ago, I would have told you I have a black thumb. It was a silly belief I had based on nothing since I never really had a plant living with me. Then, five…

The Purpose of Happiness

This post is part of a series on happiness. Read the first post here. I don’t know what word is best to describe my teenage years as a Christian. Wholehearted? Strident? Zealous in the best way a zealot can be? I wore the t-shirts. I read the Bible everyday. I went to Church four times a week. I went on mission trips. I had hundreds of hours of Christian CDs in my car, and I rolled through my small town singing harmony to them with the windows down. I found so much purpose in my church. So many Christian values…

What My Mom Told Me About Happiness

“We have to make a decision today.” My friend came over yesterday. I could tell something was getting her down. “My husband and I put an offer on a house. And… it was accepted.” When she said it, her shoulders fell. She was visibly upset, and I was surprised. In the crazy Twin Cities housing market, having an offer accepted on a house you want is like winning the lottery, something that elicits a champagne-popping, streamers and shouts of “Eureka!” kind of affair. “We’re just not sure if we can make it work,” she said. Budgets. Mortgage. Changes ahead. It…

How I’m Feeling About Quitting My Job

Today marks four months since I left my job. Until four months ago, I knew where to go every day. I rode my bike to work. I walked to the wine and cheese shop for sandwiches on lunch breaks with my coworkers. I had an email address, and on the other side of the @ symbol was the name of an organization made of thousands of people who were doing things like building million gallon water systems for refugees and delivering medicine across the flooded plains of South Sudan. The weight of the organization’s name rolled into the room with…