This Monday on the Today show they published a segment on the happiest people in America.

I’m not really sure how they determined they were the happiest people or where they found them or what even made them happy.

I missed that part because I was brushing my teeth.

But at the end of the segment, I heard something that gave me pause.  Maria Shriver was talking to Hoda and Matt and she told them that all the happiest people in America had one thing in common.

I put down my toothbrush to listen.

This had to be good.


She said the one thing that all the happiest people in America had in common was….

…..that they all wake up every morning and choose happiness.

Choosing happiness?

I could do that.

Generally, I think I already fall into the happy category.  I look at life through tinted sunglasses and big earrings and red lipstick.

But what if I could be happier?

I wanted to give it a try.

family room mantel

The next morning I leapt out of bed.


I reached for the light.  I  tried to turn on the Today show.


The power was out all over the house.


Stop that, I said.  You are choosing happiness today I sternly told myself.

So I smiled at the prospect of a morning without electricity and got ready to face the day.

Compass Pillow Family Room

My cell phone stopped working and wouldn’t take a charge.

I giggled.

The toaster stuck with all the little pieces of toast crammed down in the middle of it.

I grinned.

My hair had a big glump on the front and I looked like the lead singer of Flock of Seagulls.

I laughed in the face of adversity.

Until I walked outside.


Until I walked outside and saw the flash flood that was my yard.  Four inches of rain had fallen overnight and it was sweeping things away down the driveway into the creek.

The trashcans were tipped over and floating away with tiny little bits of trash spilling out in the water all over the yard.

Pieces of yard furniture were taking a trip down the swirling, rising, churning muddy waters.

And the car looked like it was going to swim the 100 yard free style.


Where had all this come from?

Yesterday my yard was behaving like it was getting a gold star on the chore chart.

Today it was auditioning for yards gone wild in Kentucky.


I wanted to scream and run out into the muddy waters and grab a plastic adirondack chair and shake my fist at the sky like Scarlett.

But I didn’t.

I gritted my teeth and grimaced and took a calming breath and braced my shoulders against the rising tides….

….and chose happiness.

And reminded myself that tomorrow was another day.

And maybe I might start with choosing “let’s just make it through” instead. 🙂

PS  The yard went down, the electricity came back on, the phone started working, but most importantly I got my hair highlighted….

…and got rid of the glump.

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  1. Image for Terri Terri

    Highlighting the hair is ... well.... did you hear the angels singing???? lololol... it just makes a girl feel good.. allllll over again!!!! :) ................ I agree... CHOOSE... :)

  2. Image for Jere Wineman Jere Wineman

    Right now ,at 88 years old recovering from a hip replacement ,happiness is just waking up , and realizing that this is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. I wish you many days of happiness.

    1. Image for Jan Jan

      Jere, you hang in there dear girl. I'm impressed you are up after surgery and reading a blog at that. I have had three organ transplants in the last 25 years and have been diagnosed with brain cancer. What the heck... My days are still happy! I'm happy to have another day to share with friends, family and of course, Grandkids. Sixty five never looked so good. You give me a boost just thinking of your attitude. Yes, getting up and especially if you can get out of bed, IT'S A GREAT and HAPPY DAY! Get well soon so you can go dancing again! Jan

  3. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Thank you for this reminder that, happiness is a choice. I'm with you, today I choose happiness. You are a gem and inspiration to me. I'm so glad I found you blog.

  4. Image for Peg Peg

    I read that being happy is deciding to look beyond imperfections and letting situations be what they are instead of what you think they should be. Love your writing Karianne, and I'm so "happy" everything is deglumped!

  5. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Choosing happiness can be daunting when you are facing a wild yard...glad your " audition" went so well! But, it's the only choice when you are faced with a glump! ;)

  6. Image for Carol Bray Carol Bray

    I adore your writing style! Humor and happiness go hand and hand. There's always something to smile about, even in frustrating and sad events. Why some people choose NOT to be happy, is beyond you or me to figure out. My go to is "it is what it is", "oh well" and "whatever".

  7. Image for Kim Kim

    I laughed out loud at the part about your hair looking like the lead singer from Flock of Seagulls! HA! Now THAT was some serious 80's hair! Glad things are improving over there =)

  8. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Just when you decide to choose happiness, things come along to test that. ;) Good for you! You made it through, I would have struggled with the yard thing myself.

  9. Image for Sheri Howard Sheri Howard

    Well you made my day and made me laugh out loud with " the lead singer of the Flock of Seagulls" !!!! Thanks!

  10. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Your funny!! Guess if we all look at it the way you do it WOULD be a happy day..just laugh thru it all. Hey it does get better!! I have had those days for sure. You do just have to shake it off (do a happy dance)…Have a Great day!!

  11. Image for Mary Mary

    What a hoot! Yep... been raining here in St. Louis for the 1,834th consecutive day. This Spring my yard was the prettiest ever. Now... the hydrangeas have thier face in the dirt, a storm blew my basil off the table and broke the pot in half, the mosquitoes and other flying biting insects are the size of a small robin, and the grass needs to be cut ever 3 days. My maple tree thinks it's fall and is turning colors in July so I have no idea what's goin on there. However - the laundry is done, the bathrooms are clean and even tho it's raining again... I'm going to look for some other things to make me happy - I hope. :) :) :) :) I made one large pancake for breakfast - THAT made me happy!!! Hope your hair turns out - it's already pretty!! Mary

  12. Image for Michele Michele

    It's one of those important things: when you awake to no electricity be happy you had a nice bed to sleep in: choosing happy. If you wake up to glump hair, be happy you have pretty hair and you have a safe roof over your glumpy head- choosing happy. If your toast jams, be happy you have food to eat.........on and on this can go.....and choosing to see things positively takes patience and practice...and a life time......and hopefully a very long lifetime, KA! Good post today. Sorry about the water. This rain has just been too too much. I am in Ohio, so I feel your pain......but I guess we have to be happy we have rain, look at all the states who are in horrible drought, right? I choose to send them our excess. Wish we could somehow. I have mushrooms growing in the lawn. Hugs!

  13. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    As always, a pure delight to read your words that all your followers can relate to. Glad you are in recover stage with your yard and can you send some of that rain to California? Funny how doing a touch up with one's hair can totally brighten your day and when my hair cooperates, I begin to hum which is in direct correlation to my happiness level, chuckle. Cooler Temps here, sun is softly beaming down, already taken my pug for a walk, coffee is almost ready for that first cup of the day and the birds are in full chorus..yep, going with the flow and deciding it will be another GREAT DAY! Thanks for the reminder♡

  14. Image for Regina Regina

    Oh, girlfriend, yesterday was "glump" DAY, all day LONG! Libraryland is least peaceful in the summertime, let me tell ya . . . especially when you're trying to show a movie and NONE of your equipment is speaking to one another and you have to make two trips to Shopko, one of which to take BACK what didn't communicate. Analog . . . digital . . . RCA . . . Coaxial . . . UGH. But it's all a learning experience - even chasing trash down the driveway, right? ;) I'm glad the water went down and you got your highlights - Me? I'm getting a hairCUT today! Whoo-hoo!!!!!!!

  15. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    I'm with you: hair is the most important of things. I had cone head hair recently...and even posted a, three cheers for good hair days....and electricity! Happy day to you!

  16. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    *sigh* I'm looking forward to seeing the sun more often than once for hour every seven days. I know we are supposed to appreciate rain in July -- but come on now -- we've had a deluge. I think an ark is an order -- perhaps that's what you needed!! Glumpy hair -- my auto correct kept trying to write grumpy -- is there such a thing as grumpy hair?? I think there just might be mine seems to pout and just hang there. You know like a ticked off teenager that doesn't want to do what you say. They have that hangdog look. But today is another day and I think I'll choose . . . I'll have to think about this. It's a big decision. Have a wonderful sunshiney day even if the sun isn't shining.

  17. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Here in Southern Indiana we have set a record for the fourth rainiest June! Sometimes it comes in buckets! But we hang in there! Cut the grass in between showers! Pulling weeds is easy! I think I'm always happy--it's a choice!!!

  18. Image for Terry Terry

    Thanks for your humor and wit, you made my day. Would please tell me where you got your burlap nautical star pillow. I love the nautical star.

  19. Image for Regina Wilson Regina Wilson

    I thoughly enjoy your stories. I also have blonde hair, and wear my red lipstick. My age 66, and I am proud of it. Have a great day, and I will continue to follow your blog.

  20. Image for Erika Erika

    Hi there! I am rather new to your blog, but have been loving it for the past 2 weeks! Something I look forward to in my "Inbox" in the morning! And today was a great combo of beautiful pictures of your home along with some great emotional inspiration and your adorable voice of humor. There are many choices in life, but choosing happiness tops the list! Now the real question - where can I find a throw like the one on your sofa??? I LOVE it!

  21. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    Thank you, Kari Anne, for putting a smile on my face. I, too, chased my lawn furniture recently. I wasn't sure which was worse, the storm outside or the storm in my heart. But I am choosing to have a great day today! I hope you have a WONDERFUL day too! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

  22. Image for Nana Nana

    That was the perfect read for starting the day. Love your wit. Choosing happiness is a good thing. But you have to have some yucky to really know what happiness is. We would love some of that moisture in Arizona!

  23. Image for Sarah Kasch (Sarah's Attic Of Treasures) Sarah Kasch (Sarah's Attic Of Treasures)

    You made me smile. Again. So thank you. Mornings are really hard for me. I seldom feel good so it is a struggle to just "DO Anything. " I am working on the "Finding happiness" part right now. It is a work in progress. Last night I had a serious setback. I even posted it. Might not have been a good idea but I did it anyway. I just NEEDED to. Thanks again for the smile . The laughter. Sarah

  24. Image for Pendra Pendra

    Thanks for the reminder! Life sometimes gets in the way, but it will always seem better to choose happiness and life will sort itself out... at my age I should know this by now, but we all need a little reminder sometimes!!!

  25. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh, you dear, sweet, funny girl: creating a laugh for us in each and every bit of your chaos! Since you didn't go into comedy ... or weren't a writer for a TV sit-com ... your ours! And I'm so glad, because you brighten my EVERY day! I know my hair has looked just like that, too! To me, a hair appointment of ANY kind is "Pure Pampering" ... Happiness! xoxoxo. kj

  26. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh dear...your beloved Tara...I think I would've lost all resolve to remain happy at the moment I saw my yard flooded and everything floating away! Brava for not letting something this devastating-looking bring you down...I'm not sure how you did it, but I sure could use some of your tenacity and fortitude! I'm just sooooo glad to know that your beloved Tara is now back to her old, beautiful self...fingers firmly crossed she stays that way! And I also wanted to add, I choose happiness every day when I click on the link to your blog! Thank you for all of the joy! <3

  27. Image for carol carroll carol carroll

    Well Well, "Blondie has nothing on you, and neither does Lucy, (even tho she had RED hair) a girl who can, keep on smiling, despite her adversities, has God smiling at her. and that's what counts, keep smiling darling, it will always make things better...

  28. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    Sometimes finding the "silver lining" to days or events that might feel over-whelming; it can be as close to us as to the top of our head.

  29. Image for kathie grignon kathie grignon

    Thank you for the reminder. Happiness is a choice. Easy to forget when circumstances stomp through our lives! Your blog is a "happy" for me.

  30. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Dear Pen Pal Reading your blog makes me happy.. Lately, your writing just hits the right spot for me and brightens up my day Keep being funny and fun! Having a pen pal reminds me of elementary school. Every year, we had one. We even had letter paper and envelopes and real stamps with neat pictures. I had a pen pal in Germany and had those cool air mail envelopes. Have a great time whatever you do, Ann

  31. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Awww, bless your heart Miz karianne! I think it's awesome that you'd "choose" to be happy....although I'm not quite sure how you could be happier than you already appear to be...LOL...and then facing all those obstacles, still keeping your resolve....and finding a way to make lemonade out of those lemons! Priorities, color and highlights.... yep it's all about priorities! ;) And to Jere and Jen, you are my new knees need replacing but that's a mere inconvenience compared to the both of you and your "lemons"

  32. Image for Leslie Leslie

    ...and that joy and happiness poured out all over me Tuesday amidst the lettuce leaves and giggles!! ☺️ Loved every moment!!❤️

  33. Image for Barbara Neubeck Barbara Neubeck

    ... wow.. whata morning you had KariAnne..... and you kept choosing Happiness... that's wonderful... I'm glad everything came back to normal for you..... I was smiling at your description of the morning and hoping for a happy ending.. I love your writing.... Hugs... Barb xxxx

  34. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    Honey, you don't need to choose happy it chose you!! You are the happiest most cheerful person I almost know.....Thanks for being YOU.

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