Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Every New Year's Eve, for the last 4 or 5 years, I've been trudging outside at the stroke of midnight, digging a little hole at the edge of a garden and whispering in my wishes for the new year.

It is a cultural custom, but I can't remember where it comes from. Either way, it seems symbolic and hopeful, so I've been doing it.

And, maybe because I've been particularly careful what I'm wishing for, they have all come true.


I had decided that 2011 was going to be the year I focus on our happiness.

(We've finally got stability.)

What that means, I don't know in particular, just that I want to evaluate our choices based on their direct effect on our happiness.


It's an experiment.

And I don't really see how it will be too regrettable... what with our increased happiness and all.

But how to make that into a wish?

I wished for our family to have abundant joy.

Joy is a little different from happiness, in my book.

It is a bit more of a positive outlook, less hedonistic.

And, well, my experience with the wishes is, the more altruistic the better.

But then I lay in bed thinking... how can I make that wish come true?

Abundant joy.

Other wishes, while maybe more out of my control, also gave me a goal... and working towards that may very well be 90% of the mission.

Then I thought that if I could create small moments of joy in others... well... that would bring me joy.

And maybe spread joy.

And that would be coming closer to the definition of abundant joy.

So I thought, and thought...

I thought about large grandiose gestures, and small everyday.

And then I hit on what I think is a doable, ongoing, year long mission to spread a little joy to others.

Every week I am going to give a $5 gift card to a stranger.

I thought about cash, but I think, that creates a bit more awkwardness.

Once a week, when I'm at a store I'll get a $5 giftcard to that store, and then Kid and I (she's very excited about this) will decided who to hand it to.

"How will we know if they need it?" Kid asked.

"Well, I thought about that last night, we won't. Just because someone doesn't need the $5 doesn't mean they don't need something unexpected to happen to them. Maybe if there is a rich looking lady in line at the Starbucks in Target and we give her the $5, she'll be touched by it, and then in turn go over and pay for an entire person's cartful of stuff at the checkout, which we couldn't do." I explain.

It isn't about saving the world, or making the best possible choice for how to give $5. When looking through that frame, it becomes impossible to carryout. It is simply about giving a small unexpected moment, of befuddlement, surprise... possibly joy.

And then maybe it spreads.

I know, I can still remember EVERY time something like this has happened to me, and it did change me, and make me want to return the favor, in what way I could.

But, maybe, it doesn't... and it's just $5 that stops with that one person.

And that is okay too. Because, the surprise, the giving, it will still bring me joy.

And it will be something that Kid will remember for the rest of her life.

One year, when she was 8, her mom gave away $5 to a stranger every week.

That will change her.

And it'll be worth every penny.

Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Not Sure If I'll Ever Blog Again

We just got Super Mario Bros for our Wii.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Buttering Up

"Hello, Mother, you look radiant and beautiful today." Kid says.

"Gee... thank you." Mrs F replies.

"I don't even know what radiant means." Kid confesses and cackles maniacally.

"And I like your outfit, and the way you are chopping up food." She continues after recomposing herself.

"Thank you." Mrs F returns uncertainly.

"Do you know what I'm doing?" Kid asks forebodingly.

"Yes... I just don't know why." Mrs F says.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Addiction Management Starts With Prevention

"I want a phone like that" Kid says.

"What would you do with it?" Mrs F asks.

"Play Cut the Rope for like 12 hours straight every day." Kid returns.

"That's why you don't have one." Mrs F replies.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Detox

From 2 days of rum punch

Four straight weeks of (at least) a dozen cookies a day

I told Mr F today I was getting back to badass... and I hoped it would happen naturally and overnight.

Sadly, that is not the case.

So I opted to stay in bed and avoid the counter full of leftover treats (in hopes that they might disappear down someone else's gullet).

I've emerged from my bed only to discover that The Furious Fam has finally entered the 21st century...

In a somewhat surprising turn of events it appears that Kid is a fairly brutal opponent.

(she had to remover her pants... they were holding her back)
It looks like Kid's homeschool recess just got a lot more enjoyable.

Maybe they'll let me set up my Wii Fit sometime soon...

Although from the looks of things, I doubt it.

(I suppose I should clarify that she does have underwear on... pink)
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