Tonight I had the great pleasure to actually meet my happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness-Project blog and book of the same name. She is the one person I can credit with starting me blogging and for driving me to focus on and doing what makes me happiest. While Gretchen has always been accessible via her blog, it was incredible to actually meet the real person instead of just seeing an image posted in the top corner of her home page. Until tonight, it was sort of like those online chat sessions I use when I need help ordering from Overstock.com. There’s a picture of a woman in the right hand box of the chat session and there’s a name credited for her side of the conversation in the dialog box. The name and voice almost never matches the image… in my mind anyway. Tonight, the image in the box actually came to life. So cool!
 I’m thankful that I happened upon the Happiness-Project.com when I did and that it spurred me to begin my own happiness project that is this blog. By writing about the things I write about, I’m able to stay focused on many of the things that increase my personal happiness… helping others, laughing, being mindful of my blessings and recognizing the good in people. Without Gretchen I’m not sure I would be walking on the happy side of life as often as I do.
 I’m thankful for the personal invite I got from my happiness guru to attend her book signing. Not only did it afford me the opportunity to meet her in person (I know she’s not the Dalai Lama but she’s been every bit as influential to my happiness), but it also brought my whole family out of our comfortable and boring old routine tonight. Yeah, we jumped in the mini van and headed west to NYC for the evening. It was so nice to go into the city (a huge treat for me because I so infrequently get out socially), have a fun and delicious dinner — awesome burgers at Jackson Hole
— with my husband and children and to galavant around NYC for a few hours. A real treat for us all!
 I’m thankful for my husband’s willingness to participate in this adventure. I know he didn’t really WANT to do it. But I know he also recognized it was really important to me… I believe he was even impressed that I knew and was meeting a NY Times best-selling author. I think he might even have enjoyed himself. And he got credit too… running into 2 colleagues from his old stomping grounds on their break at the restaurant he chose for us… he was looking like a real socialite, out on the BIG town on a school night (LOL).
 I’m thankful for my children’s cooperation too… without which the whole adventure would not have been possible. Let’s face it, meeting Mommy’s favorite author and happiness guru does not rank with watching Night at the Museum 2 for the 50th time. But the Old Soul and her brothers were real troopers. The Old Soul was actually impressed with Gretchen’s credentials — Mommy, how big is the New York Times Best Seller List? — and putting a face to why Mommy blogs. And the boys made the best of the trip by flirting with the women at the next table at
Jackson Hole, riding the escalators at Barnes & Nobles bookstore at 86th & Lex where the book signing too
k place, oohing and ahhing over the NYC skyscrapers, and culminating with actually seeing the World’s Fair Globe and Terrace on the Park… 2 famous landmarks from one of their favorite movies, Men In Black. (Come on, what’s so bad about MIB if you consider I had my 4-year-olds out in NYC at 9pm on a school night?)
 And, finally I’m just grateful for the opportunity to focus on my happiness. To do so is a luxury I recognize and do not take for granted. It takes a free moment to breathe, to think and to act in favor of pursuing one’s happiness. I’m happy to be able to tie a few of those moments together and hopeful I’ll be able to continue to do so…
Thanks Gretchen. You made my night and raised my happiness set-point!
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