photo by Livia Meneghin

hi there.

Welcome to my blog. I'm spending a year capturing happiness, and I invite you to come along as I journey toward a more joyful living. I also write about travel, food, and matters of the spirit. Hope you enjoy!

Something Bright

Something Bright

The first day of the year!

The first day of this project!

The first day of a more joyful living!

You can imagine, then, that it was a true test of my patience.  

I do believe that whenever we set intentions to do good, something invariably tries to deter us.

I have a friend who always prays protection from evil when someone she knows is making an effort to do good because she believes in spiritual warfare-- that the devil is not happy when we are pursuing the Lord's work.  

I'm not saying, "This blog is the Lord's work because I have faced trials of many kinds!" but this is what I do know. 

My intention to live a more joyful life is, in fact, biblically inspired, even though I'm not here to preach to anyone. And when I went to sleep last night/this morning, I was SO PREPARED TO HAVE THE BEST JANUARY 1ST--because I'm excited for the new year; I'm excited to see how this plays out; I'm excited to move forward toward a more fulfilled life. 

And then this happened:

  • The alarm insisted I wake up after too little sleep, in order to teach at the gym.  
  • My coffee maker malfunctioned, and at least 1/4 of the coffee grinds ended up in my coffee.  
  • I kept forgetting things on my way out the door, like shower shoes and my microphone, so I was panicked about getting to the gym on time.
  • I arrived on time, only to have no one show up to class.  
  • A woman needed help setting up her Fitbit, and after setting three up this Christmas, I offered to help her. And of course, I set it up wrong, so by the time we got on track, I had to leave.
  • On my way to church, I missed the exit and ended up on the road to Connecticut. I had to have Siri guide me back. 
  • I arrived to church very late.  
  • Later, I fought with my computer for TEN HOURS trying to set up MailChimp so that if anyone subscribes, he or she will get weekly emails (I did, however, FINALLY get it organized, so please subscribe so I don't send out emails to only two people, one of whom is me).
  •  I then watched my computer freeze, repeatedly, and not upload a new post, thus forcing me to post the first blog of the first day of the new year, a day late. And via my cell phone.  

Whew! #firstworldproblems all over the place.  

In psychology, these are called daily hassles. Even though on their own they are insignificant, when a person is hit with all of them, they can feel just as anger- or anxiety-inducing as a traumatic event. 

I think the devil was trying to mess with me today. But he did not win. Because: 

1. I still found joy.  

It cropped up in many places, from seeing the sun shine to learning about the power of prayer and fasting. I caught up with long-distance friends on the phone and sautéed vegetables without setting off the fire alarm.  

I know I'm posting this blog late, but it's not because I didn't have anything to say. I still have plenty. 

The moment I want to leave you with, though, is the first time I caught myself smiling unexpectedly. I was in the locker room rushing around, and I glanced down to see this: 


Red toenails

Red toenails


I forgot I had painted my toenails for a party a couple weeks before Christmas, and since I've been wearing socks and boots for months, I was caught off guard to see this summertime brightness. It was like, "Hey, Jenny, remember that time when you made an effort to look nice? still look nice."

It was a good lesson.

That even if hidden under several layers, something is still there, it exists, and it is bright.  

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Why the Happiness Jar?

Why the Happiness Jar?