Word Ghosts and Happiness


“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”

Tom Bodette

“Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.”

Orhan Pamok

“Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we can’t even remember leaving open.”

Rose Wilder Lane

The Maroney Happiness Journal

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Mary Beth shares her final perspective on the Family Journal.



“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Pericles (Greek Statesman of Athens)

Our first Happiness Journal was a stepping stone for our family. As we each wrote about our reactions, thoughts, discoveries, struggles and victories, we expanded our family history.

I opened the pages of that first journal when I volunteered to write for Uniquely Yours Craft Journal. Re-reading the entries brought back so many memories! So, what did our Happiness Journal contain you ask…..

There were stories of events that started traditions, family traits, growth of relationships not only in our immediate family, but our extended one as well. There were reflections from each of the children when their Grandparents died, family dinner conversations, Girl Scout attempts in the kitchen, family secrets, science experiments gone horribly wrong, tree-house adventures. As I re-read, I found myself laughing and crying at the same time.

Writing the Happiness Journal was one of the best things we did as a family. I know that some of the children started new types of journals after that and I still blog about family relationships. At the last Thanksgiving dinner, when asked what they were thankful for, my children said that the Happiness Journal was one of the things that they remember  and  are thankful for the love sharing we wrote in the pages.

It has been a fantastic experience sharing our family journal with you and I want to thank Sallie for inviting me to share the journey with all of you.

Mary Beth

The Yellow Brick Road

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is G’s final perspective for 2015. Enjoy!


“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”  “Look! A yellow brick road! Let’s follow it.”  Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz.

Let’s face it, we all have our own personal yellow brick road. It’s the path we follow to find our own happiness, our own “Emerald City.” It’s a constantly changing and winding road indeed, and it’s uniquely ours.

Remember when you were a kid? The road then led to something as simple as an ice cream cone. As we got older, things got more complex and complicated.

I had a dream the other night about my life. They say an old man’s dreams are about the past, a young man’s dreams about the future. It’s true. When I awoke and lay there in the darkness, I tried to take a measure of my journey down the road to happiness.

While I certainly have had my share of hardships and tragedies, (just as we all have) all and all my journey down the road has led me to my share of happiness. As I wear an old man’s face, there is no pack of wolves hunting me down. Indeed, there is no single wolf at my door either. I have settled into a comfortable life, and happiness is pretty much my daily companion with a few notable exceptions.

Now the yellow brick road is an ever-changing one. As I travel down it, I can’t help but notice how many “dead bodies” there on it. You know, those persons who gave up traveling the road and just gave up the quest. The modern version of The Wizard, called The Wiz, has a song entitled “Ease on down the Road”. What a bunch of B.S. that is! The road, while a pretty yellow is fraught in hardship. You must always travel with vigilance and care. Failure to do so will make you one of its casualties.

One other thing I’ve learned. When Dorothy traveled down the road, she picked up a few friends along the way. That was good, for all needed some kind of support on their journey. But in the end, each had their personal and unique end. Each had their own quest. Each finished the quest in their own personal manner, each with their own goal. Happiness is NOT dependent on the other guy. It rests within ourselves. Those who rely on others will fall victim to unhappiness, and never find their own personal Emerald City.

And finally, there’s the Wizard himself. Everyone needs a Wizard. Some call him God. Others will call him Destiny. Others Fate. Others the Grand Scheme of Things. No matter what you call it, you MUST have a Wizard!

But if you remember the story, the Wizard had a final surprise! He did NOT grant the wish himself! Instead, he had each seeker look inside himself for their true happiness. He could only give support in the end. Each one had to find their own “Emerald City.”

May I make a suggestion? Latch onto a copy of the Wizard of Oz, either the book or the movie. (Get the original, with Judy Garland and Company). Then gather your family(especially your children and grandchildren) and maybe a few, trusted friends together, and read this piece to them and then study the story. Then…..




Dear Fellow Journalers,

Remember when you were in school and the teacher or professor would bring props to class? If you were like me, you probably eyed the object/s suspiciously and did not really concentrate on what the teacher was saying. Well, one philosophy professor brought some rocks to his class one day and here’s what happened:

He stood before the class and wordlessly began to fill a large empty mayonnaise jar with 2″ diameter rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

So next, the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. Again they agreed it was full.

The professor just smiled and took up a bag of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up all the empty crevices. Now the professor cleaned off his hands and spoke to the class.

“This is your life. The rocks are the important things in your life – your family, friends, children, health – anything that is most important to you. The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, house, car, phone, laptop. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.

What would happen, for instance, if you were to put sand in first?” A student in the back of the room raised his hand and said “the rocks and pebbles wouldn’t fit.” “Yes,” said the professor. “If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you’ll never have room for the things that are important to you. So pay attention to the things that are important to your happiness.” He began to tick off the things that were important to many of his students. “To those of you who have children – play with them. Tell your wife or partner that you love them every day. Get health checkups. You can make time for house cleaning. Take care of the rocks first; the rest is sand.”



How are your rocks?


Copyright – 2015   by Uniquelyyourscraftjournal

All rights reserved.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given

To Sallie and uniquelyyourscraftjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You may reach Sallie at uniquelyyourscraftjournal@outlook.com


Are you happy?



Are you happy?

Are you happy?


Dear Fellow Journalers,

The Pursuit of Happiness this month focuses on Happiness Habits. Please write the following questions/statements on a piece of paper or your journal, think about your answers, and then write them down. The multiple choice answers are the same for questions 1-3, 5-9. The multiple choices are:

Never    once/twice a day    once/twice month     once/twice week,  once a day

  1. How often do you share your feelings with friends or relatives?
  2. How often do you do kind things for others?
  3. How often do you (at least 20 minutes) participate in physical exercise?
  4. I know what my strengths and virtues are and I use them creatively to improve the quality of my life. ( The choice answers are:
  • I don’t know what my strengths and virtues are.
  • I know what they are, but I don’t know use them.
  • I sometimes use them.
  • I use them often
  1. I find a deep sense of fulfilment by using my strengths and skills for a purpose greater than myself.

  2. I engage in activities (sports, writing) that I find challenging.

  3. I have feelings of gratitude towards persons and events from my past.

  4. I am able to focus on the present moment and not get distracted by thoughts of the past or future.

  5. I am optimistic about the future.


How did your “Quiz” go? Do you feel more optimistic about your life? Are you a happy person?

There are 6 habits of happy people which may help you become happier. They are:

Express your heart. People who have one or more close friendships tend to be happier. I have 2 close friends who literally would “give me the blouse off their back”. They bolster me and lift me up. We’ve solved the world’s problems over lunch!



Cultivate KindnessCaring for someone else lifts you out of depression. Charitable acts such as visiting the sick, collecting food items or just donating time lifts you and someone else to a higher level.  



Exercise RegularlyWorking out or playing sports not only improves your mood but your mental health as well. Taking a walk around your yard or working in your garden counts also.  









Flow.   When you are writing in your journal or creating your next masterpiece have you ever been so focused that time got away from you? That’s what flow is. You loose self-consciousness when you are totally immersed in an activity that is challenging and uses your skills and talents.



Strengths and Virtues.  Using your strengths and virtues for the greater good helps you utilize those skills better!

Positive MindfulnessThe glass is 1/2 full. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimistic sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” If you have ever read or heard his speeches during the Second World War this underlying theme “plays” out in them.  

1/2full glass

1/2full glass

Be happy!







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