Happy New Year Dear Readers. I must confess the challenge of this New Year’s moment has overwhelmed me. Much like the 2 faced Roman god Janus who starts off the year with Janu-ary, I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I am still writing holiday greetings, and the thought of jotting down my resolutions, and intentions only further boggles my mind. The word, “simply” comes to the rescue. Then, this morning a friend sent me a NYT article for a simpler happier New Year.
In short, developing warm relationships is a “surefire predictor of happiness.” Moments of happiness can be easily attained by connecting with people. Think about these last two years and how the pandemic has distanced and isolated us. Creating connection is a soothing balm for both parties involved. Maybe we need to practice connecting. We might be a little rusty? Here are some ideas…
In “The Happiness Challenge,” the first exercise for connection is writing a thank you letter to someone for their support and encouragement. The author describes a young writer who wrote a letter of appreciation to her grammar school teacher. That gesture began a writing friendship between the young writer and her 91 year old “substitute grandmother.” It continues to this day.
Talking with strangers is another beneficial exercise for happiness. A standard line that was quoted for dog-walkers and people with baby strollers is- “What’s it like to be ignored by everybody because your baby-slash-dog is so cute?” Another ice-breaker is asking cashiers, clerks, or anyone really, “How is your day going? People may thank you for asking.
This short article on happiness encourages us to give these simple ideas a try, and not put happiness off for some future pie-in-the-sky date. So, get out there and smile at people and ask them how their day is going. It will make you feel less isolated. And, for a deeper connection write someone a letter of thanks.
Carol’s comment- The simple happier New Year described above inspires me to get back to my writing desk with a smile on my face and a focus on the connections behind these letters I am writing.
Here’s wishing you, Dear Reader, abundant reasons to smile every day in this “happier” New Year.”