Hats on for Mad Hatter Day!

I love silly hats!

It’s Mad Hatter Day! And since I have a big collection of silly hats, I’m well-prepared!

Hats are great way to liven up an otherwise dull Zoom meeting or just to help you out if you’re having a bad hair day.

A bit of history about Mad Hatter Day:

In 1986 some computer-folk in Boulder, CO celebrated a general day of silliness, inspired by the drawings of the Mad Hatter by John Tenniel in Alice In Wonderland. It was announced that year on computer networks, becoming more popular as people realized its value – some people did less damage by celebrating silliness than if they had done their jobs.

Boulder, Colorado! That’s where I live! And I’m also a “computer-folk”! Funny, that I’m right here, where it all began, and I hadn’t even heard of it until this year.

However, now that I know about it, you can bet your mad hat that I’ll be celebrating every year… and any other day I get a chance!

Thriving Solo with Jennifer Fields to start National Singles Week!

This week’s Podcast interview is with Jennifer Fields of Thriving Solo

Today starts National Singles Week and how lucky that my podcast guest, Jennifer Fields, is a coach who helps singles thrive!

Last week I was talking to Rebecca Mullen, who was getting ready to launch a class for married couples. Today Jennifer has a practice for singles, so.. married or single.. if you want a coach, we’ve got you covered!

In the interview, Jennifer and I chat a bit about societal norms. Often, as a single, it seems to be an expectation that we’re all looking for a partner, and that there’s almost a feeling of pity from others. It’s easy to feel like the rest of the world views us as a failure or a loser without a romantic partner by our side. However, that’s just not true! More and more people are choosing to be single and feel happier as singles.

If you’re single, whether you’d really prefer to have a partner or not, it’s always a good thing to practice self-love and feel good about who we are, whatever our relationship status. Jennifer covers 8 key points of thriving solo in her own latest podcast: “How to Live Your Best Solo Life”.

So for those of us who are single, let’s celebrate! Especially this week because it’s National Singles Week! Yay!


Happiness Hero: Pamela Gail Johnson

Interview with Founder of the Society of Happy People, Pamela Gail Johnson

Getting to know Pamela Gail Johnson through my Podcast is an example of the wonderful power of making valuable connections via social media!

I read all about the Special Days (like Carpe Diem Day!) and often blog about them. When I saw that August was Happiness Happens Month and that Pamela Gail Johnson was the founder, I connected with her in all the usual ways. I was excited to find SOHP.Com and many of the other happiness efforts and ways she’s been active since 1998.

I was a nervous about inviting her to be a guest on my Podcast since it’s so new and raw, but I thought it would be great if I could talk to her in August. I’m so thrilled that she graciously accepted my invitation despite being in the midst of a recent move, not to mention all the extra Happiness activities happening this month!

Take-aways and things that went well

  • So fun to meet up with a Kindred Spirit!
  • I loved that Pamela complimented “Purple People!” She was talking politically, but didn’t realize how purple I really am! (Both politically and because it’s my favorite color!)
  • I really liked how Pamela commented about the adaptability of Bucket Lists (towards the end of the interview). Adaptability is key to an Agile mindset!
  • Loved reading the 31 Kinds of Happiness and being reminded of how many different types of happiness there are and how happiness is contagious.
  • Pamela gave me some advice about how I could promote Carpe Diem Day.
  • I really enjoy the different challenges (like the current #SmileStarter challenge), the Newsletter, the SOHP app, the Facebook group, and all the fun community activities and opportunities there are to connect with other people who celebrate happiness!

What could have been better

  • Still terrible with Audacity and editing audio (or video). I’m afraid this will be a standard bullet item in my “What could have been better” list for awhile. I might try GarageBand for my next Podcast episode.

Even though I’m a newbie at podcasting, it’s so exciting to be meeting people like Pamela who I consider a true “Happiness Hero”! The Smile Starter Challenge for today, August 30, is to celebrate others success and I am certainly celebrating Pamela’s great success in promoting happiness to the world!


Hammocks Make Me Happy

No, it’s not “National Hammock Day,” but today I’m talking about hammocks, anyway, just because they make me happy!

One of my favorite pictures of me with my Dad is this one that was taken around 1965:

Dad and me in our back yard – 1965

Today my friend, Becky, sent me a photo of me that she took while we were having a Zoom call and I was enjoying my new hammock swing .

Me in 2020 talking to my friend on a Zoom call

Between 1965 and 2020, there have been plenty of other hammock pictures, so I set out to create a little collage of some of my favorites… What fun memories!

Do you have a favorite hammock picture?

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Embrace Your Inner Geek

Today is a day that’s MADE FOR ME! Embrace Your Geekness Day! I am a geek every day, so it’s great to have a day that celebrates “Geekness” (and I also like it that “Geekness” isn’t even a real word!)

Of course, there are a lot of different definitions for what it really means to be a geek.. someone who like techie stuff.. someone who likes to dress in silly costumes.. someone who is kind of the opposite of “cool”.. someone who likes crazy holidays that most people have ever heard of… all of those definitions apply to me.

When I was young, I was insecure about my geekiness. Of course, I wished I was “popular” instead of the weird kid who preferred to hang out in the library at recess rather than play outside. But now, I realize how freeing it is to just be myself… I’m much happier enjoying my quirky personality than trying to be “cool.”

Here’s a quote by CS Lewis:

“Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

Another variation:

“Don’t Change So People Will Like You – Be Yourself and the Right People Will Love the Real You”

So yeah, I’m a proud geek! How about you?

Happy Umbrella Cover Day

Umbrella Cover Day
Covered by an umbrella hat under my new umbrella hammock swing

As owner of National Carpe Diem Day, one of my self-assigned responsibilities is to let you all know about interesting and quirky “celebration days” throughout the year.

umbrella hammock
My new umbrella hammock

Right after I bought this fun umbrella hammock swing, I discovered that today, July 6th, Is “Umbrella Cover Day.” I’m choosing to be creative in interpreting this as a day to have umbrella’s cover us rather than celebrating the covers of the umbrella, which apparently was the actual intent.

By the way, today is also International Kissing Day, but for those of us who are single and social distancing, let’s focus on umbrellas. Stay positive, people!

Yes, there is actually an Umbrella Cover Museum in Peaks Island, Maine… the only Umbrella Cover Museum in the whole world! Nancy 3 Hoffman wrote this book and is the director and curator of the museum and I’m guessing, the one who originated the special day! Here’s a picture of her book and as you see, she also enjoys umbrella hats, like me, so it’s not JUST about the umbrella covers.

What I love about these special days, my new bright green palm-tree-like hammock, Nancy’s middle name (3!), the museum, and umbrella hats is that they are all whimsical!

Whimsical is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.” Yes, whimsy is definitely something that makes me happy!

The description of Nancy’s book says the museum “celebrates the mundane in everyday life” and finds “wonder in beauty in the simplest of things.” Wow! That is exactly the essence of what I’d like to capture with my Carpe Diem Day philosophy!

I think umbrellas themselves are very fun and can be so colorful and unique. I just heard a story about how the Queen gets color coordinated umbrellas and is using them to keep the social distance guidelines. (I’m very interested in the Queen these days because I’ve been watching, The Crown.)

The Queen’s pretty color coordinated umbrella helps her maintain protection!

And, of course, I’ve always loved cute little beachy, colorful cocktails adorned with little umbrellas!

I’m going to have to check out Nancy 3’s book and see if I can maybe even get an interview with her, but for now, I’m relaxing, happily covered with my whimsical umbrellas.

Introducing Kazi – My adopted flamingo from Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Kamikaze “Kazi” #38 from Sarasota Jungle Gardens

I’d wanted to blog about this on National Pink Flamingo Day, but I’m afraid I’m a day late. But that’s OK because what it says on that site is to celebrate by putting out of those cheesy lawn ornaments.. but what I’m about to reveal is much better. Flamingo-lovers out there, rejoice, because now you can adopt your own real-live pink flamingo! (Note: A bunch of other animals are available for adoption as well.)

While I was in Sarasota, I really wanted to see the flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, but, of course, it was closed like everything else because of Covid-19.

However, I found out for a $50 donation, I could adopt my own flamingo!! I help the Gardens, adopt a flamingo, and they take care of it! How cool is that?

Not only are they taking complete care of Kazi, but they sent me a great packet of information about flamingos, a Certificate of Adoption, a flamingo magnet, an 8×10 photo of Kazi and a personal letter, even congratulating me on my “Carpe Diem Day Movement!” (I told them that flamingos were my Carpe Diem Day mascot!)

Adopt a flamingo
Kazi from Sarasota Jugle Gardens

This is a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to visit Kazi when I get back to Sarasota.

Happy Carpe Diem Day! (observed)

Loving my back yard at this time of year

Before my kids and friends gifted me with National Carpe Diem Day on my 60th birthday (February 26, 2020), I had planned on making May 30th the date to celebrate National Carpe Diem Day.

As many people have reminded me, every day should be Carpe Diem Day observed, because the whole point of “Carpe Diem” is to seize every day!

But when you register for a “National Day” you need to pick a specific day, and I think May 30th is a wonderful day to have a party because I love, love, love my Colorado home during this time of year. My lilacs smell like the sweetest perfume, my irises are in bloom, too, so purply and pretty, and my lawn is lovely green (thanks (so much!!) to housemate, John!)

Wish I could capture the perfume of these lilacs

Of course, Corona spoiled my plans for a big 60th birthday bash, but birthday fanatic that I am, I had celebrated for 60 weeks, leading up to the big day! How fortuitous! (Also, rain is in the forecast today, so had I planned a big outdoor party, I’d be stressing about the weather.)

One other stroke of luck for me: Another mini-GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) is scheduled for today! It is gamified goodness! I love it. (I’ll try and write another quick post for those who might want to join me!)

Besides it being a beautiful time of year, the other reason for this being a personal “Carpe Diem Day” for me is that it’s the day my brother died in a car accident in 1997 and my world changed.

I know we are all experiencing a lot of grief, sadness and loss these days. But grief can also make us realize how much we take for granted. It can make us want to make the most out of our lives and to savor the relationships and love we have. I don’t want to waste a minute with negative feelings.

But, of course, part of life is sadness, pain, and grief, and we can’t help but feel sad when people we love are feeling sad.

I learned a great new word this week from the Word Nerd: Saudade.

I’ve been reading a lot about this Portuguese word and there’s not a direct English translation, but I like this description best:

While the aches may be real for who and what have passed through life, the love that remains is what to truly hold onto.

So today here are ways I hope to observe Carpe Diem Day:

  • I will make an announcement about this new Website (despite my embarrassment at how it’s not really ‘ready’ for prime time).
  • I will enjoy accomplishing some GISH goals
  • I will enjoy the feeling of saudade as I watch the slideshows from my 60-Week party
  • I (am already) enjoying my beautiful surroundings
  • I’ll say a prayer that our world will be united in fighting the virus, ending social injustice, and finding peace and happiness in each day.
  • I’ll plan for some new fun adventures (virtual and otherwise) in the months to come!

Carpe Diem!

Happy National Superhero Day

Hello to Super Carpe Dee!

This video was made as part of the Online Buddy Program for Seniors with Skills.

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