Addie Johnson is a happily married woman who lives in Brooklyn with her family and runs Rising Phoenix Rep, a small developmental theatre company. In this playful book, she takes us on a treasure-hunt for things that can make us happy. She has come up with 333 stories, aphorisms, quotes, ideas, and bits and pieces from the media. Her point is that life is sweet and each and every one of us can savor the good stuff that is right in front of us. Here are the chapter headings to give you a sense of what is covered:
• Love and Other Forces for Good in the World, Like Giving, Sharing, and Finding Money
• Friends, Family, and Foreigners: Heaven Is Other People
• Kids and Animals: Keeping Up with Whippersnappers, Fur Balls, Scales, and Feathers
• Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Balancing Push-ups and Popsicles, Ohm and Omigosh
• Laughing It Up: A Grain of Salt Goes a Long Way
• Creation Inflation: Nature, Art, and the Magic of Making Something Out of Nothing
• Stuff, No Stuff, Double Stuff: The Thrill of Abundance, the Glory of Simplicity, and Trashing Our All-or-Nothing Attitude
• Goals and Greatness: Follow Your Calling (and I Don't Mean How Many Rollover Minutes You Get)
Here is a sampler of items:
The Love Underneath
"Like I said before, scratch the surface of every good thing in the world, and you'll find love.
"Generosity: Love of giving freely
Listening: Love of tuning in
Keeping Promises: Love of following through
Forgiveness: Love of self
Peace: Love beyond self
Understanding: The love underneath it all
Curiosity: Love of knowledge
Justice: Love for fellow human beings."
"If I am feeling low, one of the best ways I know to perk up is to make a love list. It's simple, just a list of every single person I love. Then I follow it up with another list, of all the people I know who love me. I can stash it in a pocket to take with me on a tough day, or just keep it in mind as I get on with my life."
"Check out the free day at your local museums, create your own walking tour of public fountains and sculpture, browse through gallery exhibitions as though you were shopping for a new Matisse for the den. And if all else fails, it's always fun to spend a rainy afternoon at the library surrounded by illustrated books: how-to books, art history books, picture books, and kids' books about art."