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Monday, October 27, 2008


Drove down to Baton Rouge yesterday because Erin was having a tonsillectomy this morning. We were at the surgery center by 6:30 for all of the paper work and pre-op stuff. They took her in around 8:00, and things went well. Home by about noon. This is not an easy surgery for an adult, but Erin is hanging in there -- thanks to hydracodone.

I brought several books for me and for Erin (+ embroidery stuff to play with). Right now I'm reading P.J. Tracy's Snow Blind and How We Choose to Be Happy by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks.

Maybe some of you read about the happiest places to live and saw this list of the 15 happiest countries and an explanation of why Denmark tops the list. I had a friend who lived in Copenhagen several years ago, and she was fascinated by the Danes and commented that they didn't seem melancholy at all. Take that Hamlet! Evidently she was right since Denmark has the highest rating of life satisfaction in the study.

Maybe because I minored in sociology and psychology years ago, human behavior and its causes always fascinates me, and I love reading about some of the factors that contribute to a person's sense of well-being.

Foster and Hicks have been studying the components of happiness for a number of years and are involved in research with the Mayo Clinic and Wake Forest University Medical Center (and others). While there is definitely a genetic/inherited predisposition toward optimism, Foster and Hicks have developed a "cognitive roadmap" of nine behaviors that give people a way to control their reactions to circumstances.

I'm almost half-way through and enjoying it. The language is geared for the layman and reads quickly, yet the content provides much food for thought, especially when considering one's own behavior patterns, both genetic and learned.

Poor Erin...maybe she will feel like reading tomorrow. I hope so because one of the books I brought her is In the Woods by Tana French. That will make her happy!


  1. I am glad Erin's tonsillectomy when well. I hope she has a smooth recovery. How are you finding Snow Blind? I've heard whispers about Foster and Hicks' book and am glad you are finding it interesting. Happiness is a fascinating topic, isn't it?

  2. LF- Erin is doing well, so far. It is painful, and she can't talk too much, but she's handling it well.

    Finished Snow Blind last night and liked it. I really like this series and the characters. I like the way the authors discuss the 9 factorsin the Foster/Hick's book ...very clear and common-sense, but enlightening.

  3. Wasn't there another book out earlier this year about being happy? Well, maybe there's been lots but it is an interesting topic isn't it? I know people who for all purposes have everything and you'd think they'd be happy or at least content yet are so miserable. Makes you wonder what's going on.

    Hope Erin's recovery is a speedy one!

  4. I hope Erin feels better very soon! What a miserable thing to have to go through! Please wish her well for me.
    The book you are reading sounds very interesting. As the daughter of a sociology professor, (who claims he studied the "human zoo"), I am fascinated by human behavior, too, and am very curious about why some people are happy and others are not. Very interesting review!

  5. iliana - I'm not sure about another book on happiness, but the components of happiness are being studied by many institutions so I wouldn't be surprised. You are right, you see so many who "should" be happy and aren't, and you see people who have such difficult circumstances and manage that inner happiness. A combination of genetics and behavior, I guess. Fascinating subject.

    Robin - Thanks, Robin, she is doing well, but complete recovery is slow. She has so little to eat--I feel guilty about eating, but she says she isn't hungry.

    The Foster/Hicks book is excellent. I'm thoroughly enjoying it and finding great hints about improving my life, too.

    The "human zoo" is right, and as the daughter of a sociology prof, you would appreciate this one!

  6. I've heard tonsillectomies are rough for adults. I'm glad she's doing okay.

    Oh, oh, oh, How We Choose to be Happy sounds like my kind of book! I'm going to have to look for that one. Thanks!

  7. bookfool - Oh, the things I read online about adult tonsillectomies had me worried! Erin is still not up to par, but has not had the horrible experiences I read about. Thank Goodness!

    How We Choose to Be Happy is excellent -- I'm on my second reading! Read it right through, and then began again!