NOTE: Apparently, I sometimes get my Mondays mixed up – as I just realized this morning [Oct. 17th] that I mixed up my posts for this week and next, as I had wrote one ahead of time because I was going on a little vacation. Sorry! Mistakes happen…
October is so beautiful, when all the colors of fall are ablaze – that’s my “happy place”. A happy place can be an actual location – or anything that makes you feel happy when you think about it, visualizing it in your mind. There are so many simple things in life that make us happy and bring us inner peace. Most don’t even cost a thing!
Seeing the trees change colors in the fall, taking a walk in nature, sitting on the banks of a lazy river, feeling the sun shining on your face, having coffee and conversation with close friends, playing with your kids/grandkids, helping a friend, and dancing to your favorite song like no one is watching you are just some examples.
‘Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ – Mark Twain
It’s not very often that you’ll hear someone say, “work is my happy place.” However, when you love what you do, like Mom, as I discussed in last week’s blog entry, it’s certainly a possibility. Mom’s writing made her happy and gave her inner peace. So much so, it turned into her legacy of love.
She always described her newsletter as being like “getting together for coffee…with friends.” Designing and writing it was her happy place. It was with a heavy heart that she retired her newsletter in December 2000, after 27 years of self-publishing it.
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, p. 6)
‘HOW TO ATTAIN INNER PEACE’ is always the message most critics take pleasure in degrading when a new book on ‘self-improvement’ makes the bestseller list. They somehow make it sound like being able to ‘attain inner peace’ is a fault that one should avoid or try to correct.
They somehow make it sound corny and unappealing. They really shouldn’t go to all that trouble to put down a potentially good idea – even if it does border on the humanly impossible condition. The only people I know, who have attained inner peace, are dead!
However, I do know a lot of people who are perfectly happy with themselves and the quality of their life and seem to feel good about who they are, what they have, how they relate to others. They don’t have to go looking for happiness. It has a way of finding them!
This is the kind of person who is certainly not exempt from turmoil or problems or burdens, but how they handled their situations and how they expressed themselves to others, it occurred to me, was a recipe in itself.
I made notes on the various ingredients that appear to comprise their good feelings and found the observations were worth sharing, since this is the age of the frustrated individual, the ‘don’t-get-me-involved’ community of strangers.
When you come across the person who you know can help to ease the burden, make a problem less overwhelming, and they are asked to give information that they obviously can contribute, don’t be surprised if their answer is ‘how-should-I-know?’
[‘…Mixed Blessings…’] is made up of a number of columns I wrote and tried to sell on a weekly basis to a number of newspapers. They weren’t interested. However, each time I shared some of these with our radio friends, there were requests for copies of the essays, with even more interest than we had for our recipes.
The time seems right now that all of these columns, or essays, should be put into a book, because I see more and more evidence of people not caring about each other as much as they should – as much as they could.
Living a happy life is feeling true joy in how you live your life, trying to make the very best of it. Mom thought of happiness as the “secret sauce” that adds flavor to our best efforts and intentions. It’s widely believed that happy people are generally more positive and have more success at achieving their goals.
Having a happy place to go to, for at least a little while, even if only in our minds, actually helps us to better put things in perspective. It distract our minds away from negative, stressful thoughts. Another benefit of having a happy place is that it’s a mood-booster, increasing feelings of gratitude, as well as decreasing anxiety and panic.
The consensus of what makes most peoples’ lives happy is credited to family and relationships, topping the “lists”. Other popular sources for having a happy life include loving what you do and who you are, thinking positively, being optimistic, and being grateful. Dad would say, “happy wife – happy life”; but Mom believed in “happy spouse, happy house.”
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, pp. 78-79)
IT’S HARD TO SAY which is worse, the person who doesn’t know what he wants and won’t be happy until he gets it, or the one who knows what he wants and can’t get it. It’s a shame that so many people believe being truly happy means being completely pacified.
Most people who admit to being unhappy look toward a time when they’ll be happy, once they are making more money, or they have a nicer home, or a newer car. They make the mistake of measuring their degrees of happiness by a yardstick of acquisitions, when, in fact, happiness is not from the things around us, but from within us.
The power to be happy is not what you want or what you get, but what you are! It’s not what you get in life, but what you get out of it, that counts. We each have our own unique way of making someone happy – like the lively little Cub Scout in my group, when I was once a den mother.
I asked each of the boys in our den if they had made anyone happy since our last meeting and how. One boy said, ‘last week, I went to see my grandmother and I made her very happy. This week I came back home and made her even happier.’
So many people are so picky about the unimportant experiences in life that they can’t even recognize the important experiences when they occur.
They believe happiness has to be something sensational and ecstatic to even qualify as happiness, when, in fact, some of the simplest pleasures, some of the most restful moments can hold but a sprinkling of happiness… and/or contentment.
If we’d only take the time to say, ‘hey, I feel good right this moment! I am happy! I can’t make it last forever, even though I’d like to, but if it did last forever, I’d soon forget how nice it was, because it was different. And being like this forever would get to be pretty boring. In which case, I wouldn’t be happy anymore.’
I wonder why the critics always insist on asking people, being interviewed on television, if they’re happy. I have yet to hear anyone say, ‘no, I’m not!’ Since when does happiness have to be a constant condition attained only after specific achievements have been experienced, certain goals attained, well, fame and success have been realized?
Even the so-called ‘inner peace’ that were supposed to be seeking, in order to combat stress and find contentment, means little when we define what makes each of us happy. It’s too bad we can’t be happy for the people who have found their sense of happiness, without belittling them for having achieved it.
Whatever it takes to be happy is as individual as fingerprints! We each seek our own. Happiness is a moment – not a forever!
Like Mom, I can certainly relate to writing as being a “happy place”, for me. I love writing these weekly blog entries about my memories of her and how she’s impacted my life, as well as the lives of so many others. I love hearing from people about their memories of being in the kitchen with their moms, creating special dishes or treats from my mom’s recipes.
Please continue sending me your happy memories and stories of how Mom touched your life at [email protected] – I look forward to hearing from you!
In honor of this being National Cookie Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for Bill’s Brother’s Mother’s Cookies [like Tom’s Mom’s], as seen in her self-published cookbook, Secret Fast Food Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Dec. 1999, 21st printing; p. 42). I also shared this recipe with Kathy Keene’s “Good Neighbor” audience, on WHBY (Appleton, WI), in July 2020.
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
October’s observances include: National Eat Better & Eat Together Month, German-American Heritage Month, Halloween Safety Month, Italian-American Heritage Month, National Apple Month, National Applejack Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, National Caramel Month, National Chili Month, National Dessert Month, National Fire Prevention Month, National Go On A Field Trip Month, National Kitchen & Bath Month, National Pickled Peppers Month, National Pizza Month, National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, National Pork Month, National Pretzel Month, National Sausage Month, National Seafood Month, National Pear and Pineapple Month, Polish-American Heritage Month, National Rhubarb Month, National Self-Promotion Month, National Spinach Lovers Month, National Vegetarian Month, and World Menopause Month!
The week of October 16th is… National Food Bank Week, as well as it being National Tackling Hunger Month! Plus, as the third week in October, it’s also… National Kraut Sandwich Week, National Business Women’s Week (as well as it being National Women’s Small Business Month), National Friends of Libraries Week (as well as being National Reading Group Month), and National Free Speech Week (as well as it being NATIONAL BOOK MONTH)!
October 17th is also… National Mulligan Day and National Pasta Day (as well as being National Pasta Month)! Plus, it’s National Boss’s Day (which is annually on Oct. 16th, unless it falls on a weekend; then it’s observed on the closest workday, which is the 17th for 2022)! Additionally, as the third Monday in October (for 2022), it’s also… National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day!
October 19th is… National Kentucky Day and National Seafood Bisque Day! Plus, as the third Wednesday in October (for 2022), it’s also… National Hagfish Day and National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day!
October 20th is… National Brandied Fruit Day and International Chefs Day! Plus, as the third Thursday of the fourth quarter, it’s… Get to Know Your Customers Day, which occurs on the third Thursday in every quarter (Jan., Apr., Jul., and Oct.).
Friday, October 21st is… National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!
October 23rd is… National Boston Cream Pie Day and National TV Talk Show Host Day! [October is also the anniversary of Mom’s FIRST appearance on the Kelly & Company show, in Detroit (1990).] Plus, as the fourth Sunday in October (for 2022), it’s also… National Mother-in-Law Day!
…41 down and 11 to go!