Road trip! Road trip! I need to get away, as Southwest Airlines would say.
A girls' art weekend in Fort Worth's Cultural District is almost in view. Caravaggio at the Kimbell. Diebenkorn at the Modern. John Marin watercolors at the Amon Carter. Barbecue at the Stockyards.
Then a grandma-to-be getaway to the wilds of Oregon and Powell's City of Books. Lots of unknown territory out there for a CollageMama who has never been much west of Moab, Utah.
I'm racing through The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World. What is the recipe for happiness? Can it be pinned to a place like the hummus notecard under the magnet on my refrigerator?
Eric Weiner's book has not addressed the matter of landscape compatibility so far, and I am up to Thailand. I am always more content, at ease, and happier when I can see a long way to the horizon. I'm a prairie/plains girl. I love mesas, but get anxious hemmed in by mountains.
What I've gleaned from the book is that personal happiness requires:
- An atmosphere of trust
- Participation in useful work
- A good personal fit with societal expectations
- A strong cultural identity
- Freedom from excessive poverty
- Freedom from excessive affluence
- Tolerance for boredom, failure, and waiting
- Habits of mindfulness and attention
- Choices that matter
- Experiencing and practicing kindness
- Moderation--Knowing when enough is enough
- Cohesive family relationships
- Being fully present in the moment
- Realistic expectations
- Freedom from envy
- Connection to nature
- Opportunities for creative expression
- Belief in the act of believing in Something Other
- Knowing that the author of Flow's name is pronounced "Sticks in my eye".
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder