Short Path to Happy


Today my son Tim washed an elephant in Thailand. Tomorrow he’s attending a wedding. Yesterday there was a coup. That happened in Bangkok, just a few hours from where he and his wife are vacationing. Maybe you didn’t hear the political news. It was swift and non-violent, a military take-over of the government that has been brewing for months. Still. My baby!

Was so worried, I read a story about how to be happy in Psychology Today by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener. Turns out that “actions that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people’s lives.”

This amazing fact cheered me, and not just because of Tim. Truth is, I’m a happy person and so is he. And now I know that it’s okay to also be curious, try new things, never stop believing in your dreams, going for it even when it feels risky and scary, especially if it feels risky and scary. Because that’s what we do, Tim and I. It’s the way I have lived my gypsy life, and I guess some of that is in his DNA, too.

As a novelist, I never thought about being a public person. I’m a private person. I rejoiced in the internet and the fact that I could promote my work in my pajamas. But then I wrote the book of my heart. The book I was most afraid to write. And I loved it. So does my publisher. It’s a contemporary novel with modern problems: love, betrayal, divorce, addiction, child custody, family, home. So now that Luke’s #1 Rule is close to publication, I started to think “I should do a book tour.” Not a virtual tour, a real, live tour. Just where the book is set, along the lakeshore of our beautiful Michigan peninsula. I have never taken such a big risk. No wait, yes I have. This is just another step in a life full of “what’s next?” 

Right this minute, what makes me happy is knowing Tim and Alicia are getting out of Thailand safe. I refuse to consider any other option. And I am happy that the elephants had their bath.


  1. Re: book tour – yay, go for it! And rest assured, Tim will be fine. Thailand has been having protests and martial law and government disruptions for almost a decade, on and off, and still, life carries on there.


  2. I hope Tim will be back home soon. I am sure he’ll just fine.

    Psychology article is very interesting. Yes very true — discomfort,risk, guilt of dash, as opposed to following a very traditional and very planned path, is the mean to happiness.


  3. Thanks for all your support Khaled. I was surprised that risk is a factor in happiness, but it does make sense. Yes, we should all dare to eat a peach! Oh, right, you weren’t in my poetry class … Still, it’s true:)


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