Happy New Year to You!

in Entertaining nonsense and profound thought

by Kate George
(Wanda Worstwagger will return next Wednesday)

Welcome to 2014. I’m certainly hoping it’s a better year for me than 2013, but I’m not just hoping, I’m going to do something about it too.

Over on Refab we have happiness Sundays which is about remembering the good parts of your week. It turns out that thinking about happy things makes you happier. My brother sent me a link that corroborates that idea over on Psychology Today, Alex Korb, Ph.D., talks about four ways to boost your serotonin levels and thinking about happy times is one of them.

My problem is that when I’m down I have trouble remembering that I was ever happy. It’s a common side effect of low Serotonin, apparently. So I’ve decided to something about it. I’m going to start a happiness journal. I’ll write all the good things I can remember and keep adding as they happen or as I remember them.

I can think of a few things right now: I’ve published three books. Not only does that make me happy it makes me insanely lucky. I’ve got four decent kids and it turns out I’m a pretty good mom. That makes me happy.

The funny thing is that right after I read Alex Korb’s article I couldn’t remember any of that. I had to think about it for a while. But now the memories are coming fast and furious – the day I graduated from UC Davis. The day we started out from Washington State with a U-haul full of belongings and a horse trailer full of Shetland ponies.

The more I think of happy things the happier I am.

Now I am going to write these things in a notebook so that when I wake up tomorrow and can’t remember one damn day when I was happy I’ll be able to read about it in my happiness notebook. And the best part? Once I get the Serotonin flowing in my brain I’ll be able to make more memories to put in my book.

Oh, and one more thing, Alex Korb says “serotonin is the molecule of will power…” which means the more I have the easier it will be for me to finish books and flash fiction. That’s good news for those of you who like my stories. A happier writer writes more – at least in my case.

Go forth and have a Happy New Year.



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Skye January 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm

What wonderful news! As someone with problematic serotonin levels, I find this quite uplifting.

I’m doing something similar, only it’s called a Happiness Jar. When something happy occurs, I’m to write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. Of course, I didn’t get around to making it yesterday, so that’s a task for today, but I think it will be similarly useful. The journal is a great idea.

The information about serotonin and will power is fabulous! Makes me feel quite motivated to increase my serotonin levels. My rheumatologist told me that 15 minutes of exercise that gets you out of breath (i.e., most likely cardio, but other things can get me out of breath) increases serotonin levels significantly. This matters because serotonin may be indicated in fibromyalgia, which is considered a brain chemistry dysfunction.

Thank you for sharing the article and the information! I wish you greater serotonin levels!


Julie January 2, 2014 at 8:01 am

This is a brilliant idea. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just talking, in a recent post, about leaving numbers behind. But that act of Self-Care also leaves me with a partially used journal/notebook where I used to keep track of stats. NOW it can continue to be used, but filled with The Happy!


Edward January 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I don’t know what he meant, but Donovan sang, “Happiness runs in a circular motion”.
Enjoy the circles and have a great year, Kate!


Susanne January 1, 2014 at 11:51 am

Kate, I love that photo of you. It’s like you’ve just discovered the best gift ever!

Happy New Year to you, and all the best for 2014.



Judy, Judy, Judy January 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

Here’s hoping you experience happiness every day in 2014!!!


Aunt sue January 1, 2014 at 3:07 am

When you were between one and two, you would wake up from your nap, humming and happy, and content. Your mother would tell your big brother to go get you out of the crib.


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