"Happiness is not a function of what we have…"

While reading an article in the Saturday Evening Post written by Russell Wild, I came across the following:

“Happiness is not a function of what we have, but rather a function of what we appreciate. Studies show that people who regularly express and experience genuine gratitude for what they have – family, a meal, work, health – are happier, healthier, and more successful in the long run,” says Dr. Ben-Shahar. He suggests that you might want to keep a journal in which you take daily written notes of all that you are most grateful for.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m likely related to the author somewhere on my Mom’s side of the family, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s right on target including this quote from Ben-Shahar.

Have you taken time today to express your own genuine gratitude for the blessings in your life?

Could this become one of the most famous photos in history?

squirrel crashes photo
Not that it ranks up there with that shot of the South Vietnamese guy paying out what he thought was righteous (and quick) justice, but I wonder, in this age of the Internet, if this might become just as well known. It will certainly be known by lots of people more quickly.

The story, in case you’re interested, is that Melissa Brandts and her husband were hiking in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. They decided to take a portrait of themselves with Lake Minnewanka in the background (no doubt for the annual “look at the cool places we went and you didn’t” holiday letter). Melissa set up the camera and went back to pose, and her husband held the remote shutter release.

Meanwhile, attracted by the sounds of the autofocus, an inquisitive Columbian ground squirrel, common in the park, popped up to investigate. Click! “Self-Portrait With Ground Squirrel” was born.

Personally, I think it should still make the holiday card, even though by then, everyone will have already seen it.

A note to Jack

At Lily and Jack’s school, if a student gets in trouble for something, the administrators send home a notice to the parents to let them know what happened. These are called “Ram Forms” after the school mascot. (It’s also possible to get a positive Ram Form when a child does something good, but we don’t see a lot of those around the Cota house.) I mention the form so you’ll be able to fully appreciate the note I found on the kitchen counter last night. It said:

Dear Jack,

You really need to get a grip and stop telling on me. OR you’re going to get a Lily form. You are way too bossy sometimes!

From Lily