The Happiness Weekend

{Photograph by HPFlashman}

This may be an unlikely title for a post written while we’re living under virtual house arrest (as recommended by our Embassy) and yet it has actually been a very happy weekend…

Red Shirt Protest in Bangkok
Here is my Readers’ Digest version of how things stand today in the Thai City of Angels. The good news is that, thus far, the protests have been peaceful and some people I follow on Twitter have described the atmosphere as friendly and festive. There are now an estimated 100,000 Red Shirts (supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra) protesting in Bangkok. On Sunday March 14th, around noon, the Red Shirts delivered their ultimatum which was for the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, to step down and to dissolve the government. This morning, while watching CNN, DP and I learned the PM has rejected this ultimatum. This surprise no one. One Red Shirt woman was quoted as saying that they’d brought enough sticky rice to stay for a week. School was cancelled for today on the assumption that there would be a great deal of traffic as the Red Shirts left the city but there appears to be no exodus. We are waiting to hear whether there will be school tomorrow. If not, we will continue teaching online.

For more information about the protests and some beautiful photos of some of the people involved, visit:

Why a happiness weekend?
I absolutely cannot claim that this has been an anxiety-free weekend for me. I have followed the news (perhaps a bit too) carefully and felt quite nervous before we went to bed on Friday night. The anxiety is definitely about that which is unknown… but things have unfolded peacefully as one might justifiably expect from the Thai people. Here we are, just as safe as can be in our lovely apartment with a refrigerator full of groceries and nothing but glorious time on our hands.

I’m a great believer in the right words at the right time… the right teacher at the right time… You get the idea. As it turns out, this was the right long weekend at the right time.

The Happiness Project
On Sunday afternoon, I finished Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about happiness, in general, and about what makes you happy, in particular. As Gretchen always says each person’s happiness project will look different. I first became acquainted with The Happiness Project through Gretchen’s blog when we lived in Barcelona. The book, which was published in December 2009 and has been on the The New York Times Best Sellers list for ten weeks. But don’t buy it because its been on the Best Sellers list… buy it because it will make you happier.

Mondo Beyondo
The other happiness boost that I gave myself this weekend is to complete the first week’s coursework for Mondo Beyondo, an online course offered by Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen. The goal of the course is to get people thinking about their BIG, GOOFY, IMPOSSIBLE dreams. I wrote a list of my Mondo Beyondo dreams this weekend and I am downright in love with my list. I feel energized by a number of possible projects and that’s a lovely place to be living… here in our apartment with DP and lots of books and an internet connection and a fridge filled with groceries and 100,000 Red Shirts protesting peacefully just a few kilometres away.

How did you spend you weekend?  Happily, I hope.


  1. It sounds like you are doing the best you can in an uncertain time. I hope the protests remain peaceful and you remain safe and well-fed.I'm glad to hear you enjoyed The Happiness Project! I'm thinking about buying the book. I have been dipping in and out of Gretchen's blog, getting lots of ideas for my life, and every time I go to the bookstore I see the book and think about taking it home with me. I just love the idea of a happiness project!

  2. @JennyThanks for checking in!@RosiecatI think you said it perfectly when you said that we were doing the best we could in an uncertain time. From what I can tell, you live your whole life like it is a happiness project!

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