Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Importance of Having Happy Places

and of visiting them frequently.

Yesterday we went to pick up my laptop, which ended up getting a new DVD drive in it.  Thank goodness I always buy the AppleCare Protection plan because I paid nothing for the repair.  The computer repair place is a couple of blocks from the intracoastal waterway, so I said, "Let's drive down this street and see if we can find a bench; I need a water fix."  Well, we didn't find a public bench.  However, we found a street of beautiful waterfront homes with their own private boatdocks.  So it was a worthwhile little detour.  But I had not got my water fix.  With being sick, it has been too long since we walked on or sat upon the beach.  I needed some sun.

So I suggested we have a tea/coffee at Panera, which we did.  Found a nice little table mostly in the sun.  It was while sitting there, feeling the warmth of the sun on my legs and arms, enjoying the conversation with Joe, that I realized that Panera is one of my happy places.  (Especially a Panera that has palm trees within reach!)  However, Detroit's Panera, well, Madison Heights' Panera to be exact, is also a happy place, one where I've enjoyed lunch with various members of my family, the best of those lunches outside in the sunshine.

It cost us $4 yesterday.  But you cannot put a pricetag on the glow I had in my heart.

Jacob Sokol wrote a good article in The Huffington Post called "12 Things Happy People Do Differently".  Two of the things on his list are #8 Increase flow experiences and #9 Savor life's joys.  He defines flow as a "state in which it feels like time stands still."  I love that.  I have many happy places that I can visit in reality, and then revisit them in my mind, places where time stands still and I feel 'full'.  I feel completely me.  I feel happy.  I am enough.  My life is enough.  I typed that and remembered that Gretchen Rubin posted a profound quote a few days ago:
"Enough is abundance to the wise." by Euripide
Isn't that good?  I'm there, and I'm so blessed to be there.  Leah Day's Goddess quilt of 2013 has the phrase, "I am enough" in it.  I plan to do that quilt this year, and I do believe I am going to use her phrase as one of the phrases that flow out of my goddess's mouth.  It works with my Acceptance word for 2014.

Sandra's Happy Places
1. Panera.
2. My sewing room, whether it's the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo, or the corner of our basement in Kingsville, music playing, sewing machine humming, fabric running through my fingers.
3. Sitting in the sunshine on our balcony, reading, enjoying my tea.
4. Sitting on the beach. Whether it is Lido Key or Anna Maria Island or our little beach on Lake Erie, it matters not. I love gazing at the azure waters of the Gulf, or the blues of Lake Erie, hearing the waves and the birds, soaking up the rays, toes scrunching the sand.
5. Sitting on our patio in Kingsville, Lake Erie just down the hill.
6. Walking Rocco in Kingsville.
7. Any time with my grandson.  The whole September trip to our house in Kingsville is a place I revisit time and again.
8. Morning coffee on our lanai.
9. Opening up my eyes first thing in the morning and seeing the palm tree outside our window.

This morning we fulfilled my need for a beach fix by having breakfast at Café on the Beach on Anna Maria Island with a good friend, followed by a long beach walk in the morning sun.  What a wonderful way to start a beautiful sunny, clear blue sky Sunday!

Now I'm going to get my Bernina humming and sew the final borders on the Turning Twenty quilt.  I cut them as well as the binding, last night, but ran out of gas when it came to sewing them on.  I've had my beach, my balcony read, and now I get a third happy place.  My life is simple, but so good, and I am so filled with gratitude.


  1. Aaaah. Wonderful post. Wonderful.
    I followed the Huffington Post link and read the 12 points regarding happiness. Then I posted the link on Facebook. Also posted the quote. " "Enough' is abundance to the wise." So true.

  2. Also brings to mind another quote actually.
    "Gratitude begins where a sense of entitlement ends."


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