Looking Forward to Happiness

by Katy on October 4, 2013 · 26 comments

Library books

I have written before about the connection between happiness and having something (or somethings) to look forward to. And sometimes these somethings happen spontaneously, but more often than not they have to be deliberately and consciously created.

Right now I am really looking forward to taking my younger son to New York City for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. Yes, this is far from a frugal endeavor, but that’s not all that I’m looking forward to.

I’m also looking forward to:

  • Eating tonight’s dinner in front of the fireplace. My husband is out of town for the weekend, so it’s just me and the boys. The last few days have been very chilly, which I see as the perfect excuse to make a roaring fire in the fireplace. I’m not sure yet what I’ll make for dinner, but I’m thinking either homemade chicken soup or pasta with homemade kale pesto. Either way, super cheap and super yummy.
  • Choosing a Redbox movie with the kids. I have a code for a free movie, (MCPC413S) so we can snuggle up and watch a recent release.
  • Diving into my fat stack of choice library books. Right now I have Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, How I Quit Worrying About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder  and Farewell, My Subaru. (BTW, bonus points to anyone who got the “fat stack” reference.)
  • Taking advantage of today’s sunny weather to hang a load of laundry.
  • My probable return to NYC the week of the 23rd to film an appearance on a national TV show. (Not going to announce it until it’s sure thing, and right now it’s only at 93%!)

Note that all of these things are either free or almost free, (The TV show would pay my travel expenses) and nothing is complicated or out of reach for most Americans.

The thing about happiness is that you have to decide to take control of it yourself. No one else will do it for you.

What are you looking forward to? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

dusty October 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

Tomorrow I will finally open a Craigslist acct, have lots of stuff to put on there and also some items to put on Ebay, also sold some items, have to pack those up for shipping on Monday. On Sunday, going to lunch with a friend of mine (nothing fancy, no fat stacks here). Also, have season 3 DVD of Mad Men to finish and return to library and also Drop Dead Diva is back on this weekend. Finally!! Pretty soon there will be lots of outdoor activities but right now here in FL it’s still 90 degrees.


Atsquared October 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Right n


Atsquared October 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Sorry… Tech glitch! I’m looking forward to a special dinner with my husband tonight after the kids are in bed. Our anniversary was Wednesday, so he’s cooking for me (which he often does, but this is more extravagant). We’re having sautéed scallops, chicken marsala, twice-baked potatoes and snap peas. Not exactly a frugal meal, but less than $20 for a nice dinner, and no babysitting costs. It’s a win in my book! 🙂


Karen fr/ NE October 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Looking forward to my first grandchild being born–due yesterday! Since we are in for a blizzard tonight (it’s NE), they are heading to “town” (50 mi. away) tonight to stay with our other son so they will be close to the hospital. Can’t be anything more exciting than your first grandchild, right?


Linda M October 5, 2013 at 5:24 am

Congratulations! No there is nothing like a grandchild!!! And no one can tell you how wonderful it is and you totally “get it” until you experience it. You will love it soooo much!


Molly October 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Apple picking this weekend!


Jo@simplybeingmum October 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hung a load of laundry today only for if to get soaked whilst I was out! I am Im the UK though!
Looking forward to hearing more about your TV appearance. And hoping we can view it over the pond.


Trish October 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Looking forward to cooler weather! here southern Illinois near St. Louis the summers are brutally hot and humid. I can’t muster an appetite for anything other than fat tomato sandwiches. The incredible tomatoes from my garden are an enormous consolation for the hot summers. and fall around here is pretty spectacular.


Suzanne P. October 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my handsome husband who has basically been gone for the last 5 months. Maybe we’ll go out and get a redbox thanks to your code!


Diane October 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Never have tried redbox… would this code work for me, too? Jo from England, look at that rained on laundry as having had a special “rainwater rinse.” Some people pay extra for that! 🙂


rosarugosa October 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

We are going to a local theater production of “Evil Dead, the Musical” tomorrow night. Does that sound like fun or what? I bought tickets for four us us for my DBIL’s b’day, going for the experience gift rather than the stuff. Local theater co = $100 for four tickets, which is frugal in my book. I think we’re going to have a grand time! 🙂


Lynda October 5, 2013 at 12:57 am

Evil Dead the Musical ?


Marie October 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm

After church on Sunday, a friend and I are going to Fremont to get our nails done, see a friend, and go to a movie. I love being with this woman as she is wise, funny, and smart. She is also 22 years older than I, so I call her Mom 2.

Karen, prayers for your first grandchild. We had bad weather too; a tornado touched down 4 miles north of my place, a big one! Nebraska is not for sissies…


Liz October 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Enjoyed a free wine tasting tonight that a local wine market hosts every week (and this time I DID buy a few bottles… happens about once a quarter that I do), was invited to a studio recording session (but I’m too much an early bird to partake). Looking forward to family visiting tomorrow and we’ll tour the wineries in the region. Later (but not too late!) a coffee shop to listen to a jazz quintet. Sunday, maybe a matinee at the dollar theater, definitely some walking/hiking or other exercise to take advantage of the weather, and then music jamming at church. 🙂


Martha October 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hey Katie,

I have never used redbox but now I have seen 42, the movie about Jackie Robinson (great flick!) for free, thanks to you. We dont often watch movies and more rarely as a family. thank you, thank you!
Looking forward to digging up my horseradish and whizzing a year’s worth–a yummy and tearful task!


Mama October 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

You’re so right about this. At the moment I am finding it hard to think of something I’m looking forward to because the big blocker in my vision is that I have to go back to work after a two week holiday on Monday. But if I peek behind that I’m looking forward to reading my book when I go to bed tonight, and going on a family outing tomorrow (and maybe eating some tacos – YUM!) and then seeing my students again on Monday morning. After Tuesday I can look forward to having the rest of the week off to spend with Little Fearse, so it’s a bit silly focusing on a meagre two days of work instead of all that other awesome stuff.


Vik October 5, 2013 at 4:11 am

Thanks for telling us about the coupon code from Redbox. How did /how do you find out about these codes?


Katy October 5, 2013 at 6:59 am
Vik October 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Thank you!


Lilypad October 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

There is a big festival in our town today, so we’ll go to that. I normally loathe crowds but this is the only festival I can tolerate and the weather should be nice—sunny and 60 degrees. I am looking forward to the dipped chocolate and almond ice cream bar from the old-timey candy store I’ll have while I am there, and looking around at the booths full of cool stuff from creative people. And I’m looking forward to being home after that, quietly lying on my bed with a book and (hopefully) our cat while I calm down after being in the crowds! p.s. while I’m downtown, I’ll pick up that “Saved” book which is waiting for me at the library! What a coincidence.


cathy October 5, 2013 at 10:12 am

I’m looking forward to the beautiful weather we’re supposed to have for the next week, and the opportunity to put in all the drought-tolerant plants I bought for the front yard since we took out the lawn. I was able to pick up quite a few 2-gallon perennials for $1 each on a season closeout! I’m looking forward to baking a plum kuchen from our Italian plums and then finding a way to preserve the rest. And I’m really looking forward to working my way through the stack of books I checked out of the library just before closing last night, including Sue Grafton’s latest. My name moved into the first spot on the huge hold list just yesterday.


Tna October 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

It’s all about stuff and things. Whether it’s cheap and earth friendly or high dollar and resourced to the max we are defined by our possessions and activities and not our minds and hearts. It exhausts me. Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe…and that may be all I need to know.


cathy October 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Does is mean that there is nothing you look forward to?

I just re-read Katy’s original post and most of what she listed was pretty simple–eating dinner with her boys in front of the fireplace (ya gotta eat; why not make it special?) or hanging the laundry outside because the weather’s nice, or reading books from the library. Another way to look at these activities is that they represent Katy’s commitment to her family (which she’s written about often)–meaning she IS defined by what’s in her heart and her mind.


kris October 6, 2013 at 5:38 am

I am looking forward to taking what I’ve bought this weekend (at the grocery store) and turning it into enough meals to get us thru until the 15th! (I only spent $114 at the grocery for 6 people) – Although it’s challenging, I find it kinda fun, lol.

I am looking forward to start putting my paycheck in the savings and only living off of my husbands. I’m pretty sure I can swing it. Again, challenging but fun.


Amanda October 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

Oh so many things! I am expecting my second son in seven (eek!) weeks. I am going back to school next fall. My husband’s business is really taking off, so I’m excited to see what the next year and decade holds for him.


Diane C October 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

DH and I decided to get married on the spur of the moment on 10-11-12 and have been living happily ever after. We didn’t take a honeymoon, so at a library fundraiser, I bid on a week at a Marriott property in Orlando. I “won” for “only” $500. It hurts to write that, but I am a library supporter, so I guess I put my money where my heart is. The catch is that it is for the last week of October, which is happily close enough to our first anniversary. Last weekend, we spent time with our cousins. She works for an airline and offered us a pair of “buddy passes”. Our RT standby airfare will be $116 each for coast-to-coast flights! I have Marriott points, so I’m going to try to upgrade to a suite with kitchenette so we can cook at “home”. Once we found out that hotel pools are all connected and you can swim from one to another, we decided to just hang out at the pools for most of the week. Other than visiting a friend in the area, we have no big plans, including Disney. $100 a head admission? No thanks!

Since we spent under $300 on the wedding, I’m okay with a week-long honeymoon that clocks in right around $1k. Not totally frugal, but not terrible. Any frugal Orlando tips would be appreciated.


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