The Road to Joy is Paved With Turtle Steps

“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force, but through persistence." Ovid, Roman poet Let me tell you about my friend, Martha Beck. To be clear, Martha does not know I exist, but I consider her my friend anyway. Her story of how she maneuvered from a life of unhappiness and stress to one filled with joy and meaning has inspired me. You may know about Martha already.…

Forget Your Closet. Does Your To-Do List Spark Joy?

With the dawn of 2020, many of us have begun the popular New Year’s tradition of clearing clutter and tidying up our homes. Target will soon sell out of storage bins and thrift stores will be overrun with donated items. If you’re like me, the idea of clutter-clearing, while appealing, doesn’t exactly feel life-changing. Sure, clean closets and organized drawers are great, but what you really…

January: A Cozy Month of Renewal

It’s tempting to view January as the cold and dreary month that follows December, most notable for that fact that it is devoid of the excitement, decorations, and festivities of the holidays. But over the years I’ve learned to take my cues from mother nature. I now appreciate January as a month that provides a unique opportunity to engage in cozy activities, self-reflection, and recalib…

Beyond Gifts: Give and Receive Holiday Joy

I’ve always been prone to romantic visions of - well, everything, honestly. But I’ve tended to wax especially romantic over all things Christmas. My fantasy Christmas-shopping self smiles and skips through a picturesque snowfall as I carry bags holding the perfect gifts (all at an affordable price!) for everyone on my list. I feel nothing but joy and excitement as I sip my gingerbread latt…

Are Your Friends Your Future?

I grew up in a working-class small town in upstate New York (the huge part of New York state that isn’t New York City. I’m a bit touchy about this.) When I was in high school, academic rigor was the exception rather than the rule, sports were an obsession, and blending into the crowd was the primary goal of most of my peers. I was a teenager who didn’t particularly like sports but loved do…

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Imagine you’ve been dating someone for a while. Things are going well. You progress from casual dates to some sleep overs. While spending more time with this person, you discover that they have a teensy-weensy tendency to find fault with everything you do. You wake up each morning and this person immediately starts questioning and criticizing you. “Are you sure you want to wear that? It makes…