Dear Friends and Readers:

I’ve been feeling guilty for the last few weeks, and it’s time for me to come clean.

See, I started the year with tons of energy and a vision for growing our happiness community in a bunch of cool ways. I’m taking a fantastic 31-week coaching course and learning invaluable new skills to help others reach their goals. I started putting together some kick-ass programs that will help people bring happiness and gratitude into their lives in very practical ways. I even began a redesign of my website and created a new logo: FINAL logo

(Whaddaya think? If you know me, you know how very me it is!)

Everything was chugging along in the right direction and I was so excited to get to my desk every morning and work on turning my happiness vision into reality.

And then — well, life intervened.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you might remember that our beach house was burned down to the ground by an arsonist last April. If you haven’t been a reader for a while, go read House Fire: Turning Lemons Into Lemon Martinis right now. I’ll wait here for ya. It’s a pretty compelling and uplifting tale of gratitude and resilience. Go! Really!

Anywho. We were very fortunate to receive a generous insurance settlement that is stipulated for rebuilding, and we’re now in the process of constructing a new beach house. Which is truly awesome. And super exciting. But also the ginormous time-suck that has prevented me from being able to roll with my happiness programs!

At first, the construction project wasn’t particularly time-consuming. We worked last summer with an architect to design the house and a landscape architect to design the surrounding areas. We scoped out builders, interviewed a few, and selected one that we’re working with. The construction crews spent most of the fall and the beginning of the winter doing site work (stuff like pouring the foundation and footings and installing rebar and structural steel) and framing the house and roof. Not exactly things they needed my input on. So I spent the fall putting aside a day here and there to pick out interior finishes like plumbing fixtures, marble and tile, carpet, doorknobs and things like that. It was pretty fun and didn’t derail me too much from moving forward with my happiness work.

But then — dun-dun-DUN! — the reality of the construction project kicked in. As the exterior framing was done and the weather grew frozen and snowy, the crew started working inside the house. And the supervisor at the jobsite began needing my input on multiple things. Every day. How high should the shower heads be? What material will the family room fireplace be? Will it be a raised hearth? On which side do you want the door hinge in the powder room? In the pantry closet? Is it okay if we lose a closet so the HVAC guy has a place for his ductwork? How do you want the pans under the washing machine?  Can we make some of the doors smaller to accommodate trim details? Will there be a heavy light fixture in the stairway ceiling that we should prepare with blocking? What size/shape/material/location do you want for the shower drain in the master bathroom? Do you want niches and/or a bench in the shower? Where exactly do you want to locate the tub? Do you want separate wall switching for lamps? Have you designed garage doors? How do you want to handle the recessed lights that aren’t going to wind up centered within ceiling coffers? 

And on and on and on. One simple question can set off a domino effect, and then I have to make six other decisions to get to the answer.

It’s all so boring that you’re sleeping now. I can hear you snoring. But I can’t sleep on the job at this point, because if I don’t make decisions, stuff won’t get done. Or stuff will get done and it won’t be what I want. So I find myself having to drop whatever I’m doing and focus on house details. As January turned into February, and February will soon be in the rearview mirror, the house project has become more and more time-consuming.

I sit down at my desk each morning with a fantastic list in front of me of all the stuff I want to write for my happiness blog and piles of fascinating research that I want to break down and share. Instead, I wind up spending hours on Houzz scrolling through toilets and staircases, and in the blink of an eye yet another day has gone by that I don’t get a chance to work on happiness programs. It’s been making me feel totally sad. And guilty. And disappointed in myself. That I’m letting people down. That I’ve lost my focus and my commitment. That my wonderful happiness community has come to expect more from me, and I’m not giving you the inspiration and information you’ve told me you so appreciate.

So today I finally decided to do some happiness coaching on myself. I’m pretty tough on me, but I came to terms with the fact that even Superwoman needs a break sometimes! There are only so many waking hours in a day, and I need to prioritize things so I can do my best work every day and also have time to devote to my beautiful family, which is always a top priority. I look at it this way: I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to rebuild a happy place for my family, and I need to embrace that process and realize that it’s a temporary diversion. I’m absolutely committed to putting all my energy into the ideas I have for our happiness community, however I realize I must wait until later this year to put that plan into action, when I can give the work the full focus it deserves.

In the meantime, rest assured I am not abandoning you! I will continue to post on our Facebook page the daily graphic quotes that I love to create and share, as well as pass along interesting and informative articles I find on the topics of happiness and gratitude. I just respectfully ask for your understanding and patience as I pause from creating original material over the next few months so I can get this house built! As my son says, “Ja feel?”

Whew! It feels good to let that all out. And it feels especially good to give myself a break!

Most gracious thanks,


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