The Science of Happiness

10 happy thingsI had the opportunity to read an article here recently entitled “The Surprising Science Behind ‘Supremely Happy’ People.”  Ever in the pursuit of a higher state of happiness, I was intrigued by a list within the article compiled by “happiness researcher” (how awesome would that job be?) Kate Bratskeir.  According to Ms. Bratskeir, supremely happy people do the following 10 things: Continue reading

Status Anxiety, by Alain de Botton

status anxietyFor some reason, the first several times I read the title of Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety, I did so with a decidedly American/Hollywood inflection, like the title of a horror or sci-fi film, to indicate a state of heightened anxiousness or frenzy.  But this was not de Botton’s intention.  “Status anxiety” represents a state of anxiousness about status.  That is, how we feel about how we fit in in society, how we are perceived, where we fall on the haves vs. have nots continuum, and whether we are a “success.” Continue reading

The Perfect Age for Happiness?

A recent article from TIME magazine claims that “People Aren’t Happiest Until They Reach 33.”  I thought this was a curious claim, and so decided to look further.  According to the article, a study by Friends United, a British social-networking site, “found that 70% of respondents over the age of 40 claimed they were not truly happy until they reached 33.” Continue reading

The Happy List

(or, “things I want to do before I cry”).

Someone asked me recently if I had anything I was looking forward to.  And I was stumped.  And that is not like me, and it is certainly not good.  Not much of one for lists, this isn’t really my style, but feeling like you don’t have anything to look forward to is no way to live either.  So I made a list.  And here it is (in part): Continue reading

Cell Phone Time Warp

Lately, my cell phone has been acting kind of funny.  Every time I turn it off, and then turn it back on, it resets the time and date to January 1, 2005, at 12:00 midnight.  As a result, every time I get a text message or miss a phone call thereafter, it will say it was received at the according time, like “Text from Matt, Jan. 5, 2005, 3:45 a.m.”  It is really throwing me off.  We have become so dependent on technology that, for a split second, looking at that message will have me question my reality.  Was that message sent January 5, 2005?  Is it 2005?  Did I even know Matt in 2005?  And why was he writing me a text message at 3:45 a.m.? Continue reading

Sweet nostalgia

Recently and unexpectedly,  I found myself down in Dallas with a couple of hours to kill.  Having rented a car, but needing to be back at the airport shortly, I had just enough time to drive to my alma mater on the other side of town, take a quick look around, and hurry back.  I had books with me, and restaurants and shopping were closer by.  I could have just stuck around.  But I could not resist the sweet, gravitational pull of nostalgia. Continue reading

“Avid reader” definition

Would you describe yourself as an “avid reader”?  If so, how, would you say, is an “avid reader” defined?  Is it a question of quality, quantity, passion, or some combination?  Or is it something else entirely?

I am a great lover.  Of books <ahem>.  And I always have been.  As far back as I can remember, and I suspect even earlier than that.  I have always felt compelled by this inner drive to read, an obsession, almost.  Continue reading