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Happiness blog hop

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Welcome! This post is one stop along the trail on a Happiness Blog Hop, where we’re discussing scrapbooking as it relates to happiness. Links to the other participants are at the bottom of this post.

To enter the giveaway from Scrapworthy Lives (the host of this blog hop), be sure to comment below and tell me what makes you happy. You can earn one entry per blog. This means that if you visit everyone’s blog and comment on each, you will have 14 entries. All entries must be posted by Friday, June 3, at midnight Central Standard Time (Chicago, IL, USA). Stephanie will ship the prize anywhere in the world. The winner will be announced on Sunday, June 5, on Scrapworthy Lives.

When I was five and my brother was four, we had the most wonderful opportunity. Because my mother’s friends knew what a great teacher she was (and still is), they asked her to take their children and teach them at our home for their kindergarten year. There were eight of us who gathered in our basement to learn together for a half day three days per week. I loved it.

One of my many strong memories of this year is the morning ritual we followed. Each day after getting to our assigned seats and settling in we stood, turned toward the U.S. flag displayed in the corner, placed our right hands over our hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we turned to face a fabric poster that Mom had hanging from a thumb tack on the left wall. It was made of a light-weight burlap and had pastel smiley faces tumbling down the sides, framing this poem:

“Begin the day with friendliness,
Keep friendly all day long.

Keep in your soul a friendly thought,
In your heart a friendly song.

Have in your mind a word of cheer,
For all who come your way,

And they will greet you too, in turn,
And wish you a happy day!”

But we didn’t recite that poem; we sang it. Mom tells the story that one day as she was reading through the poem a tune just poured out of her to go with the words. So eight four- and five-year-olds and Mrs. Daquila raised their voices in unison to sing this happy little poem to that happy little tune. What a fantastic way to start the school day!

All these years later I can sing that little song, and I instantly feel happier. When I talked to my brother on the phone yesterday I started singing the song to him out of the blue, and he joined in with me. Good memories and good feelings go hand-in-hand. We scrapbookers already know that, don’t we?

But another lesson that I’ve learned from thinking back on that story is the power anchors have in our emotional lives. I’m referring to anchors as stimuli in our environment that our brains associate with and then use to trigger a specific emotional response in us. You know, like when the smell of onions and garlic sautéing takes you back to the Thanksgiving mornings of your childhood, when your grandmother would get up early to start making stuffing for the turkey. The emotional response to that smell is likely to make you feel pretty good (even if Grandma was a wretched cook)!

Why does a particular blanket make a child feel more secure in an unfamiliar situation? Because his brain connects for him the times his father brought him that blanket and then told him a story before tucking him in. Just having the blanket can make him feel that way.

Scrapbooking is a happy part of my life. I love to read about scrapbook trends, look at others’ creative work online, talk about scrapping, plan my next layout in my head and shop for supplies. And I really look forward to my scrap time! But I recently realized that when the time arrived to go into my craft room and create, I had some negative anchors associated with it. I would go into my little room and feel my energy drop. I’d start to feel overwhelmed and angry at myself for wasting this precious time. Not really productive emotions, right?

Then one day I walked into our office to find Matt watching a video of a little boy playing the ukulele and singing Jason Mraz’ “I’m Yours.” I watched it over his shoulder and said, “That song just makes me smile.”

That’s when it hit me. I could create a list of songs that have that effect on me, put them on my iPod and play them when I’m ready to start scrapping (and whenever I feel down, for that matter). And you know, it worked!

So, let’s sum up what I’ve learned here:

  1. Make time to do things that make me happier, such as taking photos, recording family stories and using pretty paper to pull it all together.
  2. Find triggers that help improve my energy level and feel happier when I need it.
  3. A happy little song can make a big difference.
  4. Begin the day with friendliness.

:-)

Remember to comment and tell me what makes you happy to be entered in the blog hop giveaway.

TO GO TO THE NEXT BLOG ON THE HOP:

Pie for Breakfast

FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ALL THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS:

Scrapworthy Lives
1200 Some Miles
Take a Picture and Remember This
Scrap Your Life
My Life in Photos & Words
This Kalil Life
Fun Mama
Scrapping Mojo
XNomad’s Blog
Nuggets
The Constant Scrapper
Pie for Breakfast
Scraps & Sass
Abstracts Mixed with Extracts

Resources covering the relationship between music and mood:

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • kimberlee May 30, 2011, 10:43 am

    I love your post, and it made me happy. I love the story about your childhood and how it translates into the present. Did you scrap a layout with your favorite song list? I think that would be a great idea for a page. :D

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo May 30, 2011, 12:04 pm

      Thank you, Kimberlee! You know, I haven’t yet scrapped my song list, but I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I’ll be doing it soon. :-)

  • Sharis May 30, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I am much happier when I am being creative. On occasion I will listen to my brother’s podcast as I scrap. This makes me happy and makes me feel like he is here with me (He lives in NYC and I in TX)

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo May 30, 2011, 3:27 pm

      What a great thing to be able to listen to your brother while scrapping family memories! And having regular creativity in my life really makes me happy, too. Thanks for stopping by, Sharis. :-)

  • amy May 30, 2011, 3:03 pm

    I love your stories! One of these days I need to do a layout of happy songs :) Thanks for the idea!

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo May 30, 2011, 3:21 pm

      THANK you, Amy! You’ve made me quite happy with your comment. :-)

  • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 30, 2011, 4:01 pm

    What a fantastic post! Love how you talked about anchors. Thanks for participating in the happiness blog hop!

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo May 30, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Thanks so much, Stephanie! I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and thanks to you for inspiring us all to think about this topic.

  • Phil May 30, 2011, 6:41 pm

    Jani (sis),
    You can be sure I am not adding my comment so that I can win some scrap goods! But I do want to chime in with yet another song that I just discovered this week and yet it brings out the kid in me and is majorly sing-along-able. It is from the one and only MJ at 16 years old along with Roberta Flack back in 1974. We were the perfect age at the time but somehow missed the Marlo Thomas and Friends TV special that it comes from. It’s called Free To Be … You And Me. From my research, I’ve learned that many children found this to be an instant hit. The DVD can still be had as well as the CD of music from the show.
    The clip of Michael and Roberta: http://youtu.be/IiHHfhLZjug
    The CD on Amazon: http://amzn.to/jNbt2S
    Stay happy!

  • Adrienne May 30, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Isn’t it amazing what music can do for the soul?

  • Sara G. May 30, 2011, 9:50 pm

    Great post! Certain songs make me happy too. Reading your posts reminds me how I want to have a morning playlist of happy songs for my drive to work.

    While a song will make me happy while I listen, other things make me happy for the long term. Besides my family, scrapbooking, stamping and blogging make me happy overall.

  • Fun Mama - Deanna May 31, 2011, 3:13 pm

    You have some great suggestions for scrapping. I’ll bet your scrapping anchors are changing now that you play happy songs while you’re doing it. Jason Mzar’s I’m Yours makes me happy too.

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