07 March 2012

Something Cheerful

How endearing are these prints?

A reader, Elizabeth (from Come On Get Happy), sent these to us recently & said that on Valentine's Day, she had to work into the night at her new job.  She normally forgets Valentine's Day, but to her own surprise, this year she felt a little sorry for herself.  So when she got home, she made these prints and put them up on Facebook as a Valentine to all her acquaintances and friends.

I adore them.  I smile every time I see them. 

Cheers to doing something nice for someone!  It's the most sure way to brighten your day.  I know this firsthand from my early, early post-divorce days.  By some miracle, I had it in me to go out there & deliberately put my heart and soul into serving women & young women in my community (I was lucky to be surrounded by many friends who already did this & I decided I would join them wholeheartedly)...and you know what, I hardly had time to be feel sorry for myself during that sad time of my life.  It actually turned into one of the greatest phases of my life...one that I cherish so much!  So now I don't ever, ever underestimate what can happen to your life when you do something charitable, even if you are at rock bottom.  Even now I deliberately weave charitable actions into my life.  I know it is the secret to a happy life.......for both the giver & the receiver.

If you love this idea, I recommend reading this article, "How Many Ways Can We Be Generous in a Single Day?" from The Huffington Post (via Brene Brown).

There is a movement to transform the meaning behind Valentine's Day into a "Generosity Day".  I fully support this idea!  Love is about being generous & charitable......and you don't need a partner to be able to share that.....what do you guys think of this idea? I'm all for striving to live this way every day of the year.

Anything you can think of to cheer up someone or be generous in some way?  It's always fun to get some new ideas for things to do! For me, the building next door is finished with construction and 4 new families moved in....I need to go over and say hello.


  1. I am a very busy mom, wife of an enteprenuer, artist, seminary teacher, etc., so my generosity is in giving my time.

    I've had the opportunity to help a woman who was homeless try to get her life together. I drive her to govt offices, doctor appt., dentist appts. I've spent days trying to help her (found her a studio apt). And then I visit teach two other women, not quite as needy, but still requiring my time.

    For me, it's about recognizing others as God's children too and if I can do something, I will.

    And I paint (in oil) mostly for my friends as gifts. It feels good to have a giving spirit. It helps me learn to love more fully.

    1. Anon - This touched me a bunch. Thanks for sharing. Love to hear of the things people are doing out there to help others.

  2. Definitely go and say hi! When I lived in the city, I lived in a fairly icky building on the UWS for years, and I knew...and became friends...with most of my neighbors. They were quite a mixed bunch, and when I remember that time in my life, I always think it would make a terrific sitcom! Since I moved, I've seen them have children, become comedians, appear on tv, get married, and start businesses. One of my bests friends still lives there! You never know how you'll meet next door!

  3. What a sweet post! I love that you guys keep making your 'family' wider and wider by reaching out to even the new neighbors.

    I used to volunteer at a nursing home throughout high school. It was an amazing time! We painted, gossipped about celebrities, wheelchair square-danced and I used to visit on holidays, especially Thanksgiving, because their own families were too far or just too busy. As a kindergarten teacher, I helped to take my whole class to the local nursing home to sing songs and be bingo partners to their residents. So many of the people there were happy to have the company and the attention.

    It seems sometimes that people are afraid of the elderly and they sadly get ignored and neglected. I read a moving personal history in the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/23/120123fa_fact_hall
    and I'm hoping that after reading it, others find they have a bit more time to offer to those older than us.

    1. This was such a good suggestion. Over Christmas, we went and sang carols at a nursing home. It was such an incredible experience. Made me want to get involved some more...so thanks for the timely reminder! :)

  4. Love these prints! The handprints in the second image made me smile.

    Rebecca (hearts)...

  5. Hi Mara and Danny

    your post today reminded me of a poem a good friend of mine send to me some months ago. I'm danish so I'll do my best to try and translate it into english and hopefully you get the essence of the poem by reading my translation ;)

    Today is a remarkable day
    It is yours
    Yesterday got out of your hands
    It will not get any other content
    than what you gave it

    You don't have any promise of a tomorrow
    But you've got today
    so much you can be sure of

    Today you can fill with anything you like
    so make it count
    Today you can make someone happy
    Today you can help someone
    Today you can live your life
    in a way, that maybe tonight
    someone will be thankfull you exist.

    I found an excellent shop on Etsy that engraved messages onto stones, and ordered one with the engraving: " Dagen i dag er din" ( Today is yours) I thought it would be cool for my friend to have it in his home somewhere, to remind him, to make every day count...

    GIVING something of yourself, may it be advice, lending an ear, sharing your own story/beliefs/joy/sorrow is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

    So thank you for this blog! I love to get inspired by you guys and hopefully i can pass something of that inspiration of leading a "full" life on.

  6. these are so refreshing! i love them! and i can't wait for your love story to continue! it is one of my most favorite things to hear about how other people's relationships began and played out. i love love love the happiness it brings to people to describe their love stories! and i can see your smile through your words! thanks so much for sharing and being brave!



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