Tag Archives: beauty

Positive People & Places: Photo Doggies for Anthony

Today, in the wake of the terrific Charlie Hebdo attack, it can be hard to find things to smile about. But we still must try.

People make the world beautiful in many ways. Today, I am smiling about the Facebook group/campaign, Photo Doggies for Anthony. The group was started by Roberta Lucero-Koron in order to bring some cheer to her friend’s 16-year-old son, Anthony, who is being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Photo Doggies for Anthony asks Facebook users around the world to post pictures of their dogs along with information about where the dog lives. As of two days ago, over half a million puppy photos had been posted – and the number has continued to grow exponentially since then.

If you love puppies and need a boost of spirit today, check out the pictures. And if you have a puppy, consider posting a photo and sharing a positive, get-well/supportive message with Anthony.

Here is what we posted on behalf of our little smooshie guy:

“Hello, Anthony! My name is Ollie. I live in Greensboro, NC and I’m six months old. I hate wearing silly coats in the winter – and love playing with tennis balls! My people and I are sending you best wishes for your treatment and recovery! Xo (& WOOF!).”

Ollie loves tennis balls! - November 2014 - J. Glazer
Ollie loves tennis balls! – November 2014 – J. Glazer
Ollie hates his new coat! - November 2014 - J. Glazer
Ollie hates his new coat! – November 2014 – J. Glazer

Do you like puppy photos? What cheers you up during a tough time? And how do you cheer others up when they need support?

x Jessica

In Season

There is a quote that I have always loved. It was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, and I always think of it during mid-October, on the days when I try to rationalize not wearing a coat and then wish that I had decided to bring it along:

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

I have always loved the fall season. This may have started with my passion for new school supplies – untouched notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils – and I would imagine that it developed further when I reached the age where fall also meant new riding boots, trips with friends to go apple picking, and long drives through the changing foliage. I’ve had the good fortune to live in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and now, North Carolina. Fall is deeply engrained in me; Northeastern seasons seem as much a part of life as bedtime or my birthday. Even here, “down South,” the leaves are beginning to change colors. The breeze is no longer warm and languid, but brisk and chilly. Walking our puppy requires a sweatshirt and closed-toed shoes. Yesterday, I dropped off three coats at the dry cleaner and was told that they’d be ready very soon because “it’s time for a warm coat.”

I’m thrilled that it’s time for a coat, that autumn is in full swing. There is something special about the fall. It is a chilly respite from the relentless heat of summer and it is undeniably the most gorgeous of seasons, with even a short drive to the store turning into a photo opportunity. Every tree displays itself like a peacock, preening and posing in an effort to outdo the rich displays of its neighbors. It is the botanical version of keeping up with the Jones’, though much more palatable to watch. But unlike spring, where the relief from the cold turns to lush, feral growth, fall gives way to a grueling cycle of snow and of cold. Were it not for the clever punctuation of holidays focused on the warmth of family and friends, the winter season might be wholly unbearable; fall is then, in some ways, a harbinger of gloom.

And so it is interesting that it should feel as though life has begun again in the fall. One might easily say that life is just about to wind down, to freeze over. That fall is sunset, then dusk; the difficult knowledge that what is so bright and beautiful will pass too soon. But instead, fall, with its melancholy beauty, its pre-frost swansong, snaps us out of the laze and lethargy of hot summer days. It sends us back into the classroom, necessitates socks, and shoes with laces, calls for warm drinks and, yes, new notebooks.

Fall requires an element of grit from each of us. It requires the pluck and wherewithal to shake off the sand and salt air of the previous season in order to prepare ourselves for the coming trip around the sun. Fall is both potential and preservation. It requires scarves and gloves, the padding of jackets, but more than that, it requires the padding of spirit. In exchange for this, it provides beauty and perfect Saturdays, pumpkin lattes and Thanksgiving.

The thing is, just like fall, every day – each morning – requires something of us. Each day requires grit and fortitude and the tenacity to begin again.

Life starts all over again in the fall, but it starts all over again every morning, too. Every day rewards us with beauty in return for our willingness to rise to the challenge. The trick is to see the beauty through the chaos or confusion of the day, to allow ourselves to be governed, not by the loss of what was or the fear of what is to come, but the perfect knowledge that we are, as we should be, in season.

 

*This essay was inspired by an open letter that I wrote to the students in my Fall 2012 Positive Psychology course at Johns Hopkins University. Thank you to them, and to all of my students, for being a year-round inspiration.

Play On: All This Beauty (The Weepies)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Hope you enjoy this song from The Weepies.

Maybe take a moment to read the lyrics – and then head off to your Ice Cream & Chocolate Cake Weekend!

x Jessica

All this Beauty (The Weepies; 2008)

All this beauty
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
All this beauty, we traveled all night
We drank the ocean dry
And watched the sun riseYou can ask about it, but nobody knows the way
No breadcrumb trail to follow through your days
It takes an axe, sometimes a feather
In the sunshine and bad weather
It’s a matter of getting deeper in, any way you can

All this beauty
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
All this beauty, we traveled all night
We drank the ocean dry
And watched the sun rise

I can see you’re new awake
Let me assure you, friend:
Every day is ice cream and chocolate cake
And what you make of it, let me just say
You get what you take from it, so be amazed
And never stop, never stop, never stop
You gotta be brave

‘Cause all this beauty
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
And watch the sun rise