Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Last Thursday Eric and I went to a Raven's Preseason game. It was fun but since the Ravens lost it wasn't as fun as it could have been. I kept getting distracted by the cheerleaders. The Ravens are the only NFL team to have both a dance squad and a stunt squad. I am glad we went since we won't be able to go a regular season game.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What Happy People Do Differently


While I was working a cover story in Psychology Today caught my eye when I walked by the magazine display at the library. The story is titled "What Happy People Do Differently." As I read it I was intrigued by the characteristics that were studied.
Image: Man eating entrails and wife frowning at them over a burger
The first characteristic was that happy people purposefully make themselves uncomfortable by going out of their comfort zones from time to time ON PURPOSE. Of all of the sections this was the hardest one for me to be excited about. I do not enjoy the unknown in any way shape or form.

Image: Happy man flying in a hot air balloon

The second characteristic was to not get caught up in the details of life. One of the main examples was that depressed people notice small and quick facial expressions and work to interpret them and thus interfering with day to day life. As I read this I thought, "oh my gosh, that is totally me." If someone is smiling at me as I am talking and then the smile goes away I take it personally and wonder what I said wrong, how to fix it, and is our friendship over all while the other person is just not smiling because their cheeks got tired.

Image: Lady waiting at finish line of race to high five her friend

Third, was about being a good friend and having a good friend in the good times. So much focus is given to being a friend in the hard times but happiness depends more on a friend in the good time.

Image: Man walking on the smile of a smiley face like a tightrope

The characteristic that helped the most was this one. Happy people accept and acknowledge the negative feelings that they have. There are times when they do hide them because it isn't appropriate or they don't feel comfortable with sharing at the moment but they aren't hiding the feelings from themselves. It was such a relief to have an expert remind me that I don't have to feel happy all of the time to be happy.

Last was all about balance. In my weekly support group we all laugh every time someone says balance because we have found that balance truly is a buzz word for life.  "If you want to envision a happy person's stance, imagine one foot rooted in the present with mindful appreciation of what one has—and the other foot reaching toward the future for yet-to-be-uncovered sources of meaning." I have talked about and thought about how to balance being content with what I have now but still wanting to reach for more. This is something I am still working on and there are times when one is more important to me than the other.

In the end I think this quote summed up the idea of a happy life the best:

"The good life is best construed as a matrix that includes happiness, occasional sadness, a sense of purpose, playfulness, and psychological flexibility, as well autonomy, mastery, and belonging."

All pictures and quotes from Psychology Today July 2013 

Monday, August 5, 2013


In my life I have met people who are true music lovers, Me, not as much. I enjoy music but I go days without listening to music and do just fine. That being said there are times when a song really touches my heart. Here are a few of my favorite.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

When the feeling comes

Today was Fast and Testimony meeting at church. There was a much larger crowd than usual because of a baby blessing. The baby who was blessed was delivered at 24 weeks and spent three months in the NICU. His life and his progress is a miracle. After the blessing I took the opportunity to share my testimony about the small miracles that I have seen in my life lately. All week I had been thinking about the "small" miracles that I experience and how I need to be more aware and grateful for them. Until I got to church I had forgotten that it was fast Sunday but once I remembered I knew I needed to bear my testimony today. It was a very tender experience for me and one that helped strengthen me and my faith in God.

Some of the small miracles I have noticed include getting to work on time even when I over sleep since time seems to slow down and all the lights are green, dinner being ready on time for a dinner appointment even though it never should have worked out, Eric getting a job offer this early in his third year of residency (granted that is a bigger miracle). Even today I was shown another miracle. On the Sundays when I work I normally take leftovers to warm up at church and eat there. Today the meeting ran long and I didn't have time to warm something up and eat. Luckily I had a sandwich since we had no leftovers. I ate in my car as I drove to work and got there just as my shift started.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Different Trials and choosing to be happy.

Samuel and Sara Kushnick celebrate a birthday together.
Samuel and Sara Kushnick celebrate a birthday together. Courtesy of Sara Gorfinkel

Last week I was at work and noticed someone before had left the internet browser open to a personal interest story. The title caught my eye so I started reading. The story drew me in and left me sort of breathless and soul stirred.

I was in awe as to how someone could go through so much and yet still be so optimistic. At first I envied her for being able to perservere. Then I let my self off the hook by thinking, "If I didn't have depression I could be optimistic as well." Finally I realized that no matter what the trials are there is a choice to be happy about it.