Happy Making




#lifestagesGetting What I Wanted All Along

4 comments | March 30th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist) Sometimes it feels like life is cheating you. That it's not fair everyone else gets exactly what you've been yearning for. That guy or some material item. But life has it's own plan for you, you just have to have the guts to embrace it.

I always wanted what everyone else had. Until I got what everyone else wanted. A chance to be someone who isn't afraid to do what they do and stand up for what they believe in. I got the chance to go somewhere and do something.

Now, I don't even think about that guy or that shirt. I got something that in reality, it only seems as they have. I got something that chances are, they don't have it. They just pretend it. I. Got. A. Life.  {end story}

"Get a life."  Harsh words when said as they usually are, what with them implying you don't currently have one and all.  Sometimes they're true though.  We can forget to live life, and just kind of go through the motions.  That ain't living.  ...

#bodiesLiposuction Can Make You Happier?

7 comments | March 30th, 2012

plastic surgery

(OOC via Marketwatch.com)

According to this article, folks who get their lipos-suctioned and their tummy's tucked "report significant improvements in self-esteem and quality of life."  How bout that?!

So a few things.  One, we here @OOC are neither for nor against plastic surgery - we're totally for happiness and against feeling bad about yourself.  Our attitude, do what makes you feel good (and don;t do what makes you feel bad). Two, it kind of makes sense that patients who chose elective surgery would, on balance, feel good about their choice (though we're not sure these same #s hold when it comes to breast augmentation).  Three, this survey was done by a group with an interest in the outcome, which seems worth noting.  All this aside...

Have you ever had elective surgery?  Would you?  If you have, did it make you feel better about you? (We hope so.)  Plastic surgery, let's #discuss.



12 comments | March 29th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(story by 'A Mountain Momma', a Chestist; originally 4.25.11)

I have things I need to do. Supposed to do. Have to do. They are not done. I think about them constantly, but I do not do them. And I feel guilty about it. All. The. Time

I thought if perhaps I unloaded here and made a list it might prompt me into doing these things, these chores, these monkeys on my back.

I am going to print out this list and put it on my fridge and check them off as I do them. Let's hope it works and this list does not instead start mocking me instead of helping me.

Here goes:

1. I need to change my name. It has been 2.5 years, really get on it Girl!

2. I need to change my oldest daughter's name. **See above.

3. I have to call the cable company and bitch at them about our bill. I just need 3 hours to set aside to be on hold is all.

4. I have a laundry basket, dryer, and washing machine upstairs full of laundry in various stages. Calling my name.

5. I need to ...

#bodiesGetting Pregnant. And Not.

6 comments | March 26th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

As far as we can tell here @OOC, procreation the "old fashioned way" is increasingly unusual.  So many of our friends (to say nothing of us) have had struggles with pregnancy - both when it's wanted and not - (and as a tangential aside, Rick Santorum can kiss our ass, but we digress).  Here's her story, a story of struggle - and optimism:

I made the conscious choice, as a single woman, to stop taking birth control 2 years ago. I had been on it for almost 20 years, in some shape or form! (Patch, Pill, Shot.)

I know I want children, and was worried about the effects of these types of drugs. When you're younger, the fear is so the opposite!  My partner and I now are trying to conceive. It’s scary, not only having put my body through the abuse of genetically altered hormones, but a family history of failed pregnancies, and infertility.   My partner is a huge support, and has been by my side every step of the way. We have conceived once, unfortunately ...

#lifestagesI Struggle Everyday

8 comments | March 20th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a 20 yo Chestist)

Sometimes we're held back by things within our individual control, and sometimes by things outside our control.  And then sometimes the things that might hold us back actually push us forward.  Here's her story: My disability feels like a lead weight around my ankle.

Thanks to my ADD, it takes me so much longer to do anything than it does my friends. It takes more effort to pay attention to everything, even just a conversation. I'm in college, at a public university with classes commonly as large as 500 students. I want to go to vet school, one of the hardest professional programs to get into. I struggle every day. I never get a break. And sometimes? I feel like I'm just lazy. Or that I don't work hard enough. That I'm using it as a crutch. It doesn't help when people say that it isn't a real disability or even anything other than looking for an excuse to fail.

But the thing is, as much as it breaks me down, beats at my confidence, makes me completely ...

#chestismsDespair Ain’t Got Nothing on Me

4 comments | March 19th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted anonymously, by a 22 yo Chestist)

You know that expression about every journey begins with a single step?  Sounds like she's quite a few into her's and she has some advice to share:

I've spent a lot of time over the past few years punishing myself for not being good enough in each and every way. I've been feeling so low for a very long time.

But by making an effort to understand myself, I've come to accept the experiences of my past and look to the future. I felt like i'd failed at life.  Despite only being 22, the future looked bleak, and there was a voice inside my head telling me that I wasn't good enough or capable enough to do the things I wanted. Then there was the guilt that came with it, because I also didn't feel I deserved to feel this way, I was healthy, had friends and freedom.  I only now am starting to feel like I'm no longer beating myself up. I came to a realization the other day and thought here would be a good place ...

Happy MakingWant to Live Longer?

5 comments | March 15th, 2012


(story by OOC, via CBSNews, on OOC repeat)

The key to your life's longevity just may be your happiness according to research from the U.K.  Talk about a marriage of qaulity and quantity, according to the study published here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences),  "those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 percent reduced risk of death compared with those who reported feeling least happy."

And 35% ain't nothing.

The researchers came to their conclusions, which they shared with CBS This Morning, by tracking participants 52 to 79 years old for 5 years, finding that those who'd been the most positive on the first day of the study also were the least likely to die over the five year period, and those who were most "negative" were more likely to die.

If not for nothing, the lead researcher shared her conviction that "happiness makes a profound difference on overall health...(and that) literally, being happy saved their lives."

Well, the happy story has a hiccup we explore a lot here @OOC...what exactly are the keys to happiness?  While no easy answers come from this research, they did point to things like ...

#chestismsAmy Sedaris, a Chestism

7 comments | March 14th, 2012


(first submitted by OOC: 12.14.10, then again, today)

Here's Amy Sedaris, in an interview for Psychology Today:

"They assume that I want a boyfriend, and yeah, that I'd probably like to get married and have a baby - but they're wrong."

Why do we love it, you ask?  Because it speaks to the expectations of others, and how Amy acknowledges them and dismisses them - as not what she wants for her.  To us, in a lot of ways, it's the essence of what we're hoping OOC helps you do for you...realize what you want, and what you don't...get closer to understanding the things that hate on your happy (and why they do) and the things that make you happier (and why), so you can spend more time on the happier than the hating.

Soooo...you ever find yourself confronting the expectations others have of what you should want, and thinking nope, they're wrong?  You ever say anything to them?  Tell us about the when, whos and whys.  Yea, expectations can be such a buzzkill.  #Discuss.


#bodiesI Am

14 comments | March 8th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist; posted originally in May and again now)

When we saw this from one of you, we smiled. BIG.  Here's her short (just 9 words) and wonderful story:

I love my body, just the way I am. [end of story.]

Her feeling good made us feel good.  So let's talk about feeling good.  Name one part of you (or as many as you want) that you LOVE (or like) just the way it is.  Could be a body part or your generosity, creativity, or fashion flair.  Whatever.  Us, we hope it's the whole of you, because we think you're awfully swell.  XO

#chestismsMaximizing Happiness. At Lunch.

6 comments | March 5th, 2012


(by OOC via CBSNews)

Oh, money.  You taunt us, you tease us, you buy us pretty things.  Sometimes.  But do you make us happier, and if you do, how do you do it?

These are age old thoughts and questions, no?  Wll, according to the author of "All the Money in the World" if we want to spend our money on that which'll make us happiest, it's time to stop buying things and start speding on experiences - experiences we've planned for.  Here's why (from the original article):

"Experiences are harder to get used to than things, because they are always different...So what do the happiest people do on their lunch hour?

They treat a friend to lunch. Preferably, a lunch they've planned well ahead of time.

Here's why. Planned pleasant experiences give you a triple happiness whammy. You anticipate them beforehand -- and as any kid waiting for Christmas knows, anticipation is often as pleasurable as the experience itself. You live through your adventures, and then you savor the memory afterwards. Eating is, of course, one of the most pleasurable things people do. In one study in which women ...

Happy MakingToday…

8 comments | March 5th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

It's just 4 words, but we got this and smiled.   We hope you will too:

I feel happy today. {end story}

How are you feeling?  What would help you feel more better?

#bodiesSeeing Small Differences

4 comments | February 28th, 2012

exploding flowers

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There can be extraordinary beauty in small things and small differences, if we're present enough to see them.  She has, and here's her story:

I finally embraced the beautiful day and went out running, and found myself surprised by the fact that I ran an extra half mile and noticed good changes in my body. This is the first time I've seen results from workouts in months. Just keep sticking with routines even though they suck. You will be so grateful when you see even a small difference. It means the world. {end story}

We're suckers for a happy story, especially one that reminds us all that regardless of what types of change we may want to see, change always begins NOW, in this moment, with this step, breath, beautiful day.  Routines can suck and can seem like such drudgery sometiumes.  How do you keep yourself motivated and going in between seeing the changes you want to?  Any tips or advice to share with others here to help them keep on going?  An OOC thanks to this writer for sharing hers.

Happy MakingPracticing Happy

15 comments | February 24th, 2012


(story by OOC via sherwoodparknews.com and Jennifer Byer, originally posted 10.6.11 and again today)

We read this article and, well, it sounded a lot like us.  At least to us.

We spend so much time thinking about happiness here @OOC HQ, that we've come to think (yea, we know, we're slow)...that it's a practice.  Like yoga, basketball, painting, meditating, playing the flute...like pretty much everything; we get better when we practice.  From the article:

"Happiness is a skill like any other.  We all want our kids to be happy. It's our greatest wish for them... Unfortunately, happiness is not something we can give to our kids or create for them. Luckily, though, happiness, like skating or styling hair or sewing, is an ability, a skill, a habit that is learned. It's not something you are simply born with. Nor is it completely dependent on the circumstances you find yourself living in. No, happiness is actually developed and increased through practice. The best way to help our kids be happier is to practice happiness ourselves. Role modelling for our kids and discussing their questions with them is a great place to start."

How ...

#chestismsWhen I Don’t Love Myself…

7 comments | February 23rd, 2012


(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

This 1 of you calls bullshit on one of the maxims of our time.  Here's her story and opinion:

People often say that no one can love you if you don't love yourself or that if you don't love yourself you can't love anyone else. No offense to anyone, but I think that's bullshit. It's our job to fill in the gaps for each other. On days when I don't love myself I need extra love from my family and friends. On days when I don't love myself I still want to give love to those who need it. If we all love each other, as hippie dippy as it may sound, there will be enough love to go around. {end story}

What do you think?  We think she's right.  

#lifestagesRainy Days and Slowing Down

50 comments | February 21st, 2012

chestist soup

(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) Some of my fondest memories from childhood come from the month I spent at camp every summer. Five years in a row, every summer, my parents would load me and an ancient steamer trunk filled with carefully labeled clothing and bedding into the car, and we would drive "out into the wilderness" (it wasn't really all that wild, but a location on a nearby lake) so that I could spend four glorious weeks at camp. We stayed in cabins, sheets from home thrown haphazardly over lumpy cots, dirty laundry scattered everywhere. As a misfit of a kid with only an older brother and no sisters, four weeks bunking with a group of girls was simultaneously terrifying and amazing. It was a 28-day-long slumber party! We shared clothes and snacks and comic books and secrets. We whispered in the dark and canoed together during the day. It was a wonderful break from "regular" life, as well as from the kids I knew at school. Camp always seemed like a good place to be someone else, if ...