Everything Fresh and New


Starting a new year is always the greatest feeling.  It’s like all the glooms and regrets of the past year just go away, magically — Poof!  Even better for me is heading into 2013 looking back on a 2012 that was a really great year.

No one from the outside would think so, looking at what our little family went through, but for me, it was awesome.  We love each other more, know more about who we are as people, and I feel energized to make things happen that I have let slide for too long.

In 2008 I started writing a book about being happy.  In particular, I wrote about the decade of work it took to become happy after spending 30 years as a pretty miserable person — inside.  Not unhappy in a way anyone else would know, but never able to be happy with who I was, where I was, who I was with, or whatever joy befell me.  Once I decided to change that, life got amazing, and I wanted to share what I’d learned.

Primarily, I’d learned that learning to be happy is hard work.  It requires rewiring yourself, examining parts of the machinery that were installed so long ago you thought they were permanent fixtures.  It’s like learning a foreign language.  Thus, the title of my book — “Happiness as a Second Language.”

I finished the book in the summer of 2010, and went about wasting the next two years on worthless agents and do-nothing publishers and then spent the last few months lamenting the lost time, and now, with the dawn of a new year, I’ve decided to make this happen.  For real.

So I’m on a journey, to learn everything I can about self-publishing, to take the necessary steps to make this endeavor successful, and to write something every day in this blog about being happy.  Because that’s what it’s always been about — being happy and sharing happiness with everyone.

What better way is there to start a year?

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10 thoughts on “Everything Fresh and New

  • Lisa Hubbard

    I’m so very proud of you! I believe you will help and encourage many people with this blog and your book. I have no doubt that you will able to self publish in no time at all. You’ve got this! All my love and support, Lisa

  • Kathy

    I’m already in line to read your book, your blog and to celebrate your coming success! I love you and am so incredibly proud of you. As Lisa says, “you’ve got this!” Hugs, Kathy

  • Robert Renick

    It is a great concept, timely and needed. It would be great to find some exercises for Middle school students from your work on this. It is so hard to understand that happiness is a choice, a perspective, and we make decisions all the time to be or not to be happy, forgiving, empathetic. After time the brain does become wired or programmed to follow an emotional pattern, then we start to lose the emotional choices in the moment and require a larger choice to embark upon the project of rewiring the brain to automatically choose a loving mood. For me, it took almost a year with flashcards in my pocket, each time I had a thought of blame, self pity or anything negative, I would pull the whole stack out and read them. A vegetarian diet does make this process easier. You have always been an inspiration Valerie, and as I consider some bold projects this year, I am again inspired by your direction and effort.

    • speakhappiness

      Rob, I love the idea of getting to young people before the negative patterns start. Also, flash cards are an awesome idea. I may mention that in a future blog post (with attribution, of course). You must be such a beacon to your students for how to make choices based on happiness. That’s largely what the book is about — figuring out what motivates your choices and choosing happiness and the path that follows. It’s easier than people realize. Best of luck with your bold project and keep me posted.