Friday Fun: Animals in Good Moods

That’s right – we humans don’t have the market cornered on good moods. In fact, animals are probably much better than we are at reveling in the good mood just for the sake of it. We should all take notes and incorporate a little more pointless play into our lives.

A picture can be worth a thousand words, and sometimes a video can be worth a dozen smiles and a belly laugh. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy these videos showing animals having a great time with their good moods.

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

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Are happy people stupid?

spreadjoyI have a theory that people curb their expressions of joy in order to avoid looking stupid. Think about it. If you see someone letting loose with full-blown enthusiasm and happiness, isn’t your first thought that they must be a little crazy? Sadly, happy people are often regarded as slightly off balance, “touched,” or maybe not quite as “sharp” as the rest of us. After all, if they really knew anything about anything, they wouldn’t be so damn happy, right?

That’s sad.

Take this video for example. There was a part of me that expected a piano to drop out of nowhere and squash this guy in the middle of his infernally happy song. I kept waiting for it. I figured, “No one can be this genuinely passionate about spreading joy.” There has to be a catch, a punch line, something. But, no, there’s no catch. According to the creator’s site, a guy named Mike Strickland got tired of watching all the violence on TV and wrote this little ditty about spreading joy. Seriously. How simple is that?

As corny as it is, this song made me smile. I can relate to the guy who wants to go out and teach people to see the joy instead of the horror. That’s a big part of what I find so appealing about the Good Mood Gig – the chance to do just that, help people realize how easy happiness can be. It just takes a change in perspective and the courage to look a little stupid sometimes. Personally, I’d rather be happy and stupid than miserable and brilliant. How about you?

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

Mother Nature’s medicine

bradleypathMother really does know best – Mother Nature, that is. No matter what ails me – sadness, apathy, lethargy, angst, confusion, worry – a walk through woods and fields always helps me to rebalance my emotions and regain my perspective.

There is something about the great outdoors that gives your mind the space it needs to function more productively. John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist, put it best, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

Although I enjoy the unique bounty of each season, fall has always been my favorite. It is the season of deepening contemplation. A walk through autumn woods invites reflection and aimless meandering thoughts. The crisp air is ripe with the scent of decaying leaves, alive with the sound of creatures preparing for winter’s long sleep.

No matter the season, the natural landscape is rich with enlightening metaphors. I cannot count the number of times I have gone into the woods with a question weighing heavy in my mind, and come out an hour later with the answer. Though she cannot speak in our language, Mother Nature finds other, more poetic ways to make her point.

Though I may outgrow many teachers in my lifetime, I know I will always learn from and be healed by the wild world. As another famous naturalist, John Muir, put it, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” So very true.

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

Help me help you (and your favorite charity)

dogbeggingBefore I get to the groveling, I want to sincerely thank all of the nice people who have been voting for me. You guys rock. Your support has been so heartwarming. Each time someone posts a note of encouragement or shares my link with their network, it’s like getting a virtual hug. So, thanks.

Today’s post is a little reality check – if you’ve been watching the “How’s the Voting Going?” page, you may have noticed that the gap between my vote count and the top-twenty has been widening incrementally over the past few days.

I did the math, and in order to become a serious contender for a spot in round two, I need to be racking up around 200-300 votes PER DAY. Yep. I realize that this is a LOT of votes. I realize that – even though it’s free and doesn’t require any icky registration or anything – voting isn’t always the easiest thing to do. People get busy, they forget. I understand.

Today I’d like to sweeten the deal.

If you happened to visit the “What’s In It For Me” page, you will have read about my offer to hold a couple of random drawings with cash and charity donations as the prizes. I’ve realized that a little instant gratification might be, well, a little more gratifying; so I’m changing things up a bit.

Do you have a favorite charity or cause that you like to support? Maybe your school is in need of new playground equipment or a batch of art supplies. Well, I’d like to help. Starting today, I’ll be setting up special pages for various causes and will donate $0.15 per vote to the cause of your choice. That’s $0.05 more than Box Tops for Education, people.

If you’d like to participate, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Email me at jamielee19 at verizon dot net with your info (name, email, phone, name of charity/cause)
  2. I’ll set up a special page and send you a custom link that you can share with your network.
  3. I’ll be able to track the number of clicks to your special page, and – at the end of voting on Nov 6th – I’ll tally up the total clicks and send you a check made out to the charity or organization of your choice.

What if you don’t have a favorite charity?

Even if you don’t have a cause, you can help mine. 🙂 If 50 people badger 4 friends each, there’s the 200 votes per day needed to pull off a miracle. Could you find 4 friends who’d be willing to vote once a day for the next two-and-a-half weeks? How about your mom? Your kids? A couple co-workers? Your babysitter? ANYone? Bueller? Bueller?

Ok – now I’ll stop with the imploring and get back to having some fun. I hope you’re enjoying the blog and finding posts that you’d like to share with friends. (Hint: sharing fun content is a great way to get your friends involved without having to grovel yourself.)

Again – thank you SO MUCH for all your support this far into the journey. I hope that we can rally our troops to see this thing through. Wouldn’t it be a great come-from-behind win? (Cue Rocky “Eye of the Tiger” theme song.)

Photo Credit: mouton.rebelle

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

Are you realizing your misery to its full potential?

miseryAre you searching for the secret to happiness? Do you mull endlessly over what might make your life more complete, balanced, centered, and fulfilling?

I recently asked for opinions on what lies at the root of a good mood. While writing that post, I started thinking about what most typically gets in the way of a good mood. After all, sometimes the best way to define something is to define what it’s not. Once you identify the things that make you snap, you learn to anticipate and avoid them – meaning you get to maintain your good mood.For me, the things that send me into a funk include running late, miscommunications, people with a sense of entitlement, wasted time, traffic, and so on.

While “researching” (read: cruising YouTube) this topic, I came across the enlightening video above. It does a great job of helping you put your head around some of the things that commonly derail a good mood – sending you spiraling into pits of doom and despair. Not pretty.

Do you fall prey to any of these all-too-human vices? Shhhh – you don’t have to say it out loud. But, if you can, just acknowledge it quietly to yourself and see if you can’t start to break the habit. In the meantime, enjoy the video and share it with your friends – I’m sure they are guilty of a few transgressions, right?  😉

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

I’m officially an underdog – Arf! Arf!

dogphotov42_200pI wonder if this is what Rocky felt like as he stepped  into the arena with Apollo, or David as he gazed skyward at the imposing silhouette of Goliath.

In “honor” of slipping in the polls (today sees me 500 votes out of the 20th spot), I have temporarily changed my facebook profile pic to an image of a begging underdog. My dad helped me create the little critter yesterday. My furry alter ego embodies both the underdog nature of my run for this thing, and my constant begging for votes. (I apologize to all my very tolerant and patient friends. It will all be over in just a few, short weeks.)

So – I’m an underdog in desperate need of votes. Where’s the good mood in that, you ask?

In the act of trying and all the lovely support I’ve received so far. Whether I make the cut into round 2 or not, I am enjoying every moment of this experience. Like a child, I am living in this moment and taking the time to appreciate all there is to appreciate. This project has lit a fire under my butt in a big way – pushing me to launch a personal blog (something I’ve been thinking about for years), requiring me to reach out to both old friends and complete strangers (rekindling connections and forging new ones). and it’s drawing me deeper into a conversation about how to be happy (what it means to be happy and how to get there).

Perhaps most important of all, I feel so fortunate to have friends and family who are so willing to support me (daily!) and even share my quest with their own networks. It’s a big deal to ask your friends for a favor on behalf of someone they don’t even know, and I appreciate each and every time someone takes that extra step and shares my post with their friends. (Shout out to Jimmy R, Mimi, my sis, cowboy Chris, Renee the renegade, my mom and dad, and others.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’d really, really like a shot at participating in round 2 of this competition (hence all the pestering for votes), but – even if I don’t make it – I will have enjoyed the experience for the journey it is. Sometimes, happiness is borne of the doing, not the finished product. Thanks to everyone who is keeping me company on this journey. I hope you’re enjoying the “doing” as much as I am.

TGIF & have a great weekend.

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This post is part of my Good Mood Gig Campaign. If you’re enjoying your visit, I hope you’ll consider voting for me. Thanks for sharing your day. Here’s to your good mood!

Give me 24 minutes and I’ll make you smile

muppetsMy friend Mimi commented on yesterday’s piano stairs post  saying that she smiled because the video brought out the “kid” in her. That got me thinking.

And then, last night, I curled up on the sofa with my daughter and my beau, our Boboli pizzas (chicken and broccoli for her, pepperoni for him, and Hawaiian for me), and a DVD of the Muppets, Season Three.

You remember the Muppet Show, right? Please say,”yes.” Don’t make me feel older than I am.

Jim Henson’s masterpiece of a puppet-run variety show was a family favorite when I was a  kid. As I sat down to watch the episode featuring Kris Kristofferson and his lovely wife Rita Coolidge singing sappy duets with each other and Muppet friends, I was transported back to my much more carefree youth. Watching Kermit, Miss Piggy, Continue reading