For a while now, my friend Lacy and I have been chatting on the topic of “happiness”. What is it? Where does it come from? How do we get more of it? What makes us really happy? What makes one person a “happy person” and another not? The questions are endless, but the research, it turns out, is fun! We have in no way become experts, but have learned one thing: Happiness is, among other things, a practice. So like anything else we want to do better, we must make it a habit.
Lacy has been ‘practicing’ for a long time now, and I feel she has a lot to share on the topic. So when I decided to start this blog, I asked her if she would do regular guest-posts to talk about it. I plan to make a habit of reading them. xoxo, Leigh
Let’s Be Neighborly
Some time ago I saw an Oprah episode on happiness. Naturally Goldie Hawn was her guest, love her! They talked about San Luis Obispo, California. It’s considered the happiest place to live in America. It’s on the coast, the sun shines abundantly, they were the first to ban smoking in restaurants, they widened sidewalks so bicycling is a major mode of transportation, they do not allow fast food chains in their town. That’s right folks, there’s not a single drive through! It’s a place of mom and pop shops where people know their neighbors! It’s in every sense a community.
Now I am not packing my bags and heading south to San Luis (that’s what we call it here) and I suspect you are not either so how do we create a that happiest place feel without ever leaving home? Easy, walk next door and meet your neighbor! Go to a girls night and invest in friendships and laughter. A sure-fire way to create a life in a place is to develop relationships that leave you feeling like someone cares that you live there.
When my mom was pregnant with my little brother she met a gal in her Lamaze class and they’ve been friends ever since. That was nearly 20 years ago. At 32 I can now easily measure my friends by decade and life chapter. It’s one of my favorite parts about flipping the calendar pages. And lately my favorite little event is a monthly craft night lovingly called the Stitch & Bitch. We get together and work on little sewing projects and when needed bitch though, I have to say we are a pretty positive bunch. Love those girls.
So how about you? Are you living in your version of the happiest place? What’s your fave part about where you live?
Here’s to happiness and knowing your neighbors!
Lacy Young is a professional happy person. You can find out more about her on her blog.