Happiness Is….

blog never too lateI’m pretty happy, happier than I was ten, twenty, or certainly thirty years ago, and I hope the improving trend continues. I have a heap more control over my time now than I did in previous decades, I have more of the solitude that’s a necessary part of recharging my emotional and intellectual batteries, and I’m less bound by the expectations of others.

blog first duke of hamiltonLife’s good!

That said, in this wonderful internet age, it’s easy to research happiness, as well as what I can do to build on my sense of wellbeing. Turns out—probably surprising not a single one of my readers—once the basics are attended to, more money doesn’t create more happiness.

So I won’t rob any banks, and if a rich duke comes along, I shall scoff at his wealth (though maybe not at his excellent tailoring).

There is one simple thing we can do to
a) increase measures of happiness
b) boost the immune system
c) increase our benevolence (generosity toward others); and
d) improve our overall health

blog happy kittenAnd that is…simply focus on what we’re grateful for.

One experiment (Emmons and McCulloch, 2002) split participants into four groups. One group wrote down five things they were grateful for about their day. Another group wrote down five hassles, another group wrote down things they did better than others, and the last group wrote down five random activities from the day.

As you can probably guess, the folks who focused on their hassles had the worst results, the grateful bunch had the best results.

sargeSo, I won’t rob banks, but I will jot down every night a few things that touched my life in the course of the day for which I am grateful. I’ll be specific and sincere when I make my list, none of this, “I’m grateful for everything,” baloney.

My list tonight:
1) For my dog Sarge, who is an endless comfort and source of companionship.
2) For my friend Jo, who has opened her home to me so I can enjoy a quiet week among big trees
Traitor Final Cover3) For good dark chocolate (this will make my list frequently, I’m guessing)
4) For my readers, one of whom drove for more than an hour today so we could sit at Starbucks and Solve the Universe
5) For the internet, through which I watched a really good talk on happiness via You Tube, and through which I can convey this blog to you.

OK, up to five things you’re grateful for that have touched your life in the last 24 hours, or one thing, but be sincere and specific… away we go.

To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of The Traitor.

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60 comments on “Happiness Is….

  1. Thank you for this challenge – I’ve had a couple particularly rough days and need to remind myself of the goodness around me.

    1. First and foremost, my cat. Gracie has been the best antidepressant ever and on days when nothing seems good, she makes me smile and laugh. I just need to throw some treats and watch her chase them to remind me life is full of simple joys. And that running into walls can be both humorous and direction changing.

    2. My home. My finances are atrocious, but through it all, I have been blessed to maintain a clean, safe, nurturing home.

    3. Fans. We are experiencing an extended, muggy heatwave and since a/c is far from standard this far north and west, my fan is the only thing that permits sleep at night!

    4. The Traitor comes out Tuesday! It may seem patronizing, but I’m looking forward to this book more than any other so far. I just know in my heart that it is special and I’m eager to spend time with two people I already love after only three chapters!

    Again, thanks for the encouragement to focus on the good — it is always there in some form.

    • I’ve found myself in some pretty tight corners, and recall grousing to my older sister, “But what if I’m NOT grateful? What if I’m just one big hissyfit of anger, resentment and woe?”
      Her advice has served me often and well. “Start with one microscopic, sincere thing you can be grateful for. The ability to chew your own food. A potty that flushes. Something, anything, as long as it’s sincere…”

      Who can’t be grateful for a flushing potty?

  2. OK…lets see.

    Family and friends come first. I have a really great support system. My nephew (who we almost lost to an ailment last Fall)did some work on my house the other day. I am grateful that he is healthy enough to do the work.

    My two cats – a female who is such a little princess and a male who is such a “guy.” Every time he uses the little box he leaves litter in a three foot radius around it. But I love them both and wouldn’t trade them for the world.

    My health. I have a lot of aches and pains and I’m flirting with diabetes, but I think I’m doing pretty good.

    My finances. For being retired on a fixed income, I do pretty well. I live simply, but I’m comfortable.

    God gave me a real gift yesterday. While sitting on my porch, next of a Hibiscus I have in a planter, a hummingbird came up and hovered directly in front of me (not two feet away) for about three seconds before he flew off. WOW!

    • Turns out, Mary, the single biggest factor affecting our happiness is the quality of our supportive relationships. You don’t need a lot of them (you almost can’t have more than a few), but if those are in good repair, then illness, job loss, being the victim of a crime… they can’t get you down the way a stray person, who lacks supportive relationships, can be picked off.

      And kitties certainly count among that number for me!

  3. I’ve gotten out of the habit a bit lately, so this is a wonderful reminder. Today, I’m grateful for:

    1. My eldest nephew showing up unexpectedly to help me at market yesterday — he is a joy!

    2. Lots of fresh produce this time of year to help me eat healthy meals…

    3. …and the dregs of a pint of really amazing key lime ice cream in the freezer, which helped me get through my exhaustion yesterday!

    4. Making it all the way up the hill on my walk this morning — even though I’m off my routine on that, too.

    5. Clean towels to start the week (it’s laundry day). Because snuggling into a clean towel ranks right up there with toasty warm sheets on a winter’s day…

    Thankful for the reminder, too, Grace!

  4. I am grateful to have had my beloved cat, Holly Golightly, in my life for 17 beautiful years. Though I’m heartbroken she has left this past week, it makes me so happy that we had each other for that time.

    • Maria, That’s a tough, happy-sorrowing place to be, but if there’s good news, it’s that grief does resolve to remembered joy eventually. Maybe you can give a home to a new kitty some day who’s every bit as deserving of your affection.

    • Thinking of you and sending healing thoughts to you.
      In time, you will remember seventeen years of friendship.
      Godspeed Holly.

  5. While I don’t write them down I do stop to count my blessings throughout the day. There is so much in life that tries to pull me down and there are days I really want to go there and just wallow in my self pity, but I have 4 boys depending on me to be the best mom I can be so I have to remind myself that there are so many things in my life to be grateful for.

    1. My 4 wonderful boys. Who never fail to make me laugh and smile during the day.

    2. My parents who are both healthy and able to help me when I need it and always there for me.

    3. All the people who encourage me in life, including you. There are many days I wish I could drive for an hour or more to have lunch with you and solve the problems of the universe.

    4. All the beautiful books that I am able to read, that allow me a little escape everyday and that show me in the end LOVE does conquer all.

    5. That even with my health issues I am able to get out of bed everyday and enjoy life.

    • Well, maybe we could both start driving and maybe meet in Kansas?

      Books, specifically romance, got me through so much of those grueling parenting years. They sometimes felt like the only happy place uncontaminated by worry and vexation.

      Glad you can read, too, Sarah–all your author buddies are!

  6. 1. An invitation from a friend to go out tonight. We’re not especially close, it’s more like we have mutual friends in common, but we’re the only ones free and desperate to break away from writing our dissertations. It’s always nice to be included.

    2. A photo of my nieces and nephew pinned over my workspace that I look at every day to keep me writing my dissertation and trying my best. I’ve been away from them all year, and the only thing that makes it worth is doing my absolute best in my work.

    3. Remembering to grab a new box of tea bags at the store earlier this week, so when I ran out of Lady Grey this morning, I had a backup box in my drawer. Caffeine is always something to be thankful for.

    4. Youtube, for providing me with a marathon of The People’s Court while I work on my paper. Living away fromy my favorite guilty pleasure this last year has been rough, and I can’t believe I didn’t look earlier.

    5. My own bathroom in my dorm. I share a kitchen with six other people, which comes with my many headaches. But knowing I never have to get properly dressed or worry what I look like as I stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night is fantastic and worth the price.

    • ARGH! The dissertation! My dad and three of my siblings have PhDs, and good lord, the ordeal, and what you have to pay to go through it! I sometimes think about getting a PhD in conflict (to go with the law degree and master’s in conflict), but the dissertation. …Yikes! FAR easier to write romance novels.

  7. What an uplifting post!
    I’m thankful for
    A new friend I made this week through a church event
    A fun festival held in a little town nearby that reminds me of old fashioned values and friendliness
    My cats, who give me unconditional love and a reason to get off my butt
    Hatch green chile, still available in cans even though I no longer live near Hatch
    The freedom I have to practice my religion where I live, which current events show me is not taken for granted around the globe right now

    • What baffles me about a lot of international conflict now is that Muslims, Christians, and Jews… they pray to the same God, and trace their roots back to the same Old Testament books, but they don’t seem interested in using that common ground to stop killing each other.

      Scary, scary business, and yes, it makes me appreciate how much tolerance we still have here.

  8. 1. Having my son home with me this week while I have been on vacation has been fun. He usually spends hid days at day care while I work.

    2. My cat Angel is a great cuddle buddy when I don’t feel good or just want to lay on the couch.

    3. Having a new Kindle Paperwhite that is full of books and doing the free trial of Kindle Unlimited has been nice too.

    4. Watching the first episode of Outlander online yesterday was a highlight! Love Jamie Fraser

    5. Grateful for my husband. We are going to be celebrating out 10 year wedding anniversary on Thursday. He and my son are the light in my life.

    • A LOT of people are enjoying the Outlander freebie! I watched it, and enjoyed it, but was certainly not hooked. Will be interesting to see how it develops in terms of the size of the viewing audience and their loyalty.

  9. Tops on my list is a multi-faceted item, my daughter and her family. I spent my usual Sunday morning at McDonald’s having breakfast, reading the early edition of the Sunday paper, and clipping coupons most of which I will send to my sister who lives in another town. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids showed up to join me and I bought them breakfast. We had nice family time and just before we got ready to leave one of the employees brought me an ice cream cone which was large enough to share with all five grants. Next on my list are all my cats, I’ve got seven and I need to find homes for at least three of them. I too am thankful for my solitude as I’ve always preferred being alone. I’m grateful for the fact that I have the financial ability to provide myself with a decent retirement. I’m also thankful for my good health. Although I do have health problems I’m aware that they could be much worse.

  10. What a great idea, Grace. I am grateful for:

    My sister, who spent the past week here, helping me recover from surgery. She truly is a blessing. It was hard to see her leave this morning.

    Air conditioning. I live in Houston. Enough said.

    A very sweet neighbor who showed up at my door an hour ago with freshly-baked cookies. Mmmmm…

    Good books. Especially now that I’m recuperating and can’t get up and around as much.

    My (relatively new) HE washer and dryer. As I did laundry today, I appreciated how quite and reliable they are.

    • Thank goodness for family, especially sisters. I recall searching for apartments during the college years, and knowing–from hard experience–the washer and dryer were a must. MUST, otherwise, hours and hours wasted babysitting multiple loads at the laundromat.

      Yes, I know I could take a book with me, but have you ever found a comfortable place to sit at a laundromat?

  11. Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Crunch Ice-cream
    A week alone with no responsibilities except to me
    Clover bamboo knitting needles
    Fuchsia colored, smooth, easy knitting bamboo/merino yarn
    Learning how to take, resize, and post a video

    • There you are, Myrna! I thought about you as I read over the galleys for What A Lady Needs for Christmas. Lady Joan is a fabric hound, and you answered some questions for me that helped bring her to life for me.

      I had to google clover bamboo knitting needles–visions of odd, curving trefoliate shapes…

      I’m house sitting for a friend this week, and she doesn’t live even on a road. The quiet… ah, the quiet. Lovely!

  12. Hi Miss Grace,
    interesting you should ask this question. For the last week I have been tied up in a bunch medical bureaucratic red tape. I have been without a chair or a way to do the basics for a week. I have been holed up in my bedroom unable to do anything. While the powers that be (Namely my doctor)has had my paperwork for a new chair on his desk for 8 months and finally sent the wrong paperwork in 2 months ago and while they were fumbling around I lost the only chair I had to a bad bearing. At the end of my rope physically and mentally I confided in my best friend whom I consider a sister and today she showed up at my door with a chair she bought for me and also wants to go to my doctor with me and find out where his head is. I have a chair and I am not in limbo. I think she is an angel.

    • The doc should spend a day in your shoes, literally, but you sure know how to pick the right friends. Glad you’re rolling again, but if you ever have to send this one to the shop, Gail, send me an email.

  13. 1.My husband. I just spent the weekend with his college buddy. He lost his wife almost 7 years ago. I know I am fortunate that we still have each other.
    2.My children. They held the fort down while we were gone for the weekend & saw that all the animals were fed & watered. No wild parties while we were gone.
    3.The weather. We have been blessed with rain & fewer days of 100 degree temperatures than the last few summers.
    4.White petticoat netting. My fruit trees look ridiculous decked out in wedding attire but they are surviving the annual grasshopper infestation!
    5.Buddy our rescue Lab. He was so pleased to see us return!

  14. I’m grateful for my internet connection that keeps me in touch with my family and friends as well as the book world I love so much. I’m having issues with it today, so I realize just how much I rely on it and miss it when it’s not working.

    • I’m the same way, Barbara. If I lose power at the house, I think, “Oh, I can use my phone if I have to…” but the phone’s not the reliable, it’s slow, and it has limited power.

      NOT FUN.

  15. Such a wonderful challenge! 🙂 I have had a busy day and am late to the party.

    I am grateful for my corgi Celeste. She is a small bundle of energy and she makes me smile every day. Yesterday, we went to a training class and she heeled off leash, sat and downed. I was so proud of her! We are taking classes each week and are finally working as a team.

    I feel blessed to live in the seaside community that I grew up in. I love my home and the beach and feel very lucky to have raised my daughter in my home town. Our family is part of a wonderful community.

    I am grateful for everyone who has supported and encouraged me. My friends Judy and Normajean have always been there for me. Karen and Barbara have encouraged me to try obedience classes with my corgis. Shana Galen has provided me with beta reading and proof reading opportunities which led to my review blog with friends.

    As a cancer survivor — I am grateful for my health. I am going to get back to walking when the humidity lessens. And work on losing some weight.

    Am grateful that I love to read and that my Dad encouraged me to read. Reading takes you away from your life for a bit. I am looking forward to reading The Traitor and the Laird — it will be interesting to see how these men are redeemed. Thank you for blogging each week Grace– your blogs are a great way to start off the week with a smile. 🙂

    • Susan, I’m grateful for your Corgis and I’ve never met them! I’ve enjoyed your tales about them, their exploits in class, their pictures and your occasional FB posts and doggie pictures.

      Your obedience class experiences put me in mind of my dressage lessons. The horse wants to understand what I’m asking, and I want to understand what he’s telling me, whether it’s, “I’m tired, my left side is stiff,” or, “I’d rather canter!”

      I’m convinced it wakes up a part of our brain that’s longing for stimulation–or maybe a part of our hearts.

  16. 5 things I am greatfully for …

    1. My girls. They are our legacy.
    2. My husband. Mr stay at home so I can work 80+ hours a week on call for the hospital. He puts up with the whole gender role reversal thing pretty well. He keeps me grounded and makes sure I eat.
    3. Good milk supply. Breastfeeding girl #2. 5 months and no supplementing yet. Go US.
    4. My new practice partner who starts TOMORROW!!!! It’s been a very long 6 years of daily call. To work with someone with fresh contemporary training and is just plain pleasant to be around is SUCH a welcome thing.
    5. New possibility of actually sleeping through the night. Ok. At least the pager won go off as, much. Or I may get fussed at for staying up reading the kindle. 4 am feedings do go better while reading your books, Grace.

    • I breastfed for 14 months, back when a good pump weighed fourteen pounds, but when I see what breastfeeding does to improve your breast cancer stats, I’m doubly glad I did.

      Then too, breast fed kids are less likely to be obese and on average have IQs ten points higher then bottle fed kids. They’re also less likely to be asthmatic or suffer any allergies.

      Your sacrifices, in other words, will pay off. For you and for the kids. Hat’s off, and get as much rest as you can!

  17. What a great question! Today I am grateful for..

    1) Serendipity. As I was taking my daily walk I was thinking that I really need some new walking shoes as I have pounded my current shoes into the ground. Decided to go into Ross and was shocked to see the exact kind of shoes I was wearing for $29.95 (they usually run around $75!).

    2) Kind people. At my favorite coffee place this morning the girl that waited on me gave my frequent buyer card a double punch “just because”.

    3) Rain. It was raining today and while most people wouldn’t be too thrilled to have to go out in a drenching rain, in the Las Vegas desert it’s a God-send. Yeah rain!

    4) Reddit. It’s a huge time sink but for someone who craves new information, like, hourly, this is the best invention since sliced bread!

    5) The hubby. Very often–especially after partaking in friend’s spousal-related drama–I look at the hubby and wonder how I got so lucky to have him in my life.

    And I’ll add a #6–amazing romance writers. I came across this article today and had to say “yep yep yep I totally agree”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/off-the-shelf-/how-romance-novels-saved-_b_5638298.html?hpt=hp_bn16

    • Interesting article. We often ask, “what was the first romance novel you read?” and most of us can answer (“The Flame and Flower”). I wonder if we asked a different question, “What stresses were your dealing with when you first started reading romance?” For me it was puberty (read loneliness, mood swings, chronic fatigue) and the first sense of academic stress.

  18. I’ve got a ton of things to be grateful for today:

    1. My epileptic cat likes her sitter and is allowing her to give her all her medication. This is especially important right now because
    2. My kids, husband and I are on vacation. We spent the day in Yellowstone and had a great time.
    3. A lot of the vacation was paid for using my husband’s frequent flyer/traveller miles. 🙂
    4. We saw a coyote. He/she was running along just like in a nature show on television – she even stopped like she was going to pounce on something.
    5. We saw plenty of elk, bison, prong horn antelope, baby and mama big horn sheep, birds, bees, butterflies, marmets, chipmunks, and ground squirrels.
    6. My 18 year old daughter restrained herself and didn’t try to pet any of the aforementioned critters. 😉
    7. We all managed to make the hike up to the top of Mount Washburn (10,200 plus elevation but only about 1,400 gain for us) even if we didn’t pass anyone on the climb we made it up without a real asthma attack.
    8. We have another day in Yellowstone on our way down to Grand Tetons National Park for several days.
    9. A dear friend whom I haven’t seen in over 25 years may be able to meet us in the Tetons!

    • Please say hi to the bears for me, and to Jenny Lake, and the Snake River. I have fond memories of Yellowstone and Tetons, both. Your kids will recall this trip for the rest of their lives, and your grandkids will hear about it too.

      Well done, you!

      • No bears – yet. Tomorrow we plan on tackling the Cascade Canyon hike and taking the ferry across Jenny Lake to get to the trail head. It continues to be an amazing trip. We did a shorter version a couple years ago and the kids wanted to come back. My daughter has been talking about a summer job up here for a couple of years. Next summer might just be that year.

  19. My tiny friend Sophie…the best dog ever. My church choir I am privileged to direct. My friends. My beautiful town on the coast of Maine. My retirement from teaching. Life is very good.

  20. These are mine from a fairly lazy Sunday:

    1. Callie, my cat, who curled up next to me while I was reading a fine romance novel on Sunday afternoon.

    2. Terrific neighbors in my condo association, one of whom called to remind me that my garage door was still open last night (she didn’t want me to be surprised by any chipmunks waiting on the stairs in the morning.)

    3. My nieces and nephews. We can’t be together every day, but I can and do think of them every day and it always makes me smile.

    4. A job I enjoy much more often than not. I work in an industry where many, many people lost jobs in the Great Recession. I’m grateful every day to still be working, doing work that I enjoy and that I believe contributes to community well being.

    • I’m guessing No. 5 is the simple fact of a lazy Sunday. I’d add chipmunks to the list. When he lived in Niederland, Colorado, one of my brothers left the garage door open overnight. As he tooled off to work the next day in the pre-dawn gloom, he thought his kids must have a garbage bag back in the corner, even though it was trash day….

      That garbage bag was a sleepy, grumpy bear.

  21. I’ve been doing this before falling asleep at night or at least trying. There are the basics that I can say every night – my family, mostly good health, friends, a roof over my head, enough to eat, my cats, and books! Within the last 24 hrs. I can say getting together with friends at our American Legion and having my daughter and her boyfriend over our house for dinner and to be really specific, after spending a fortune on this daughter’s car, that she is safe because the mechanic only had one lug nut tightened on each of her front tires and we figured it out before something horrible happened!

  22. I was moved to part-time a little over a year ago now, and after I got over the panic, I realized that I was being paid in “time” – much, much more valuable than money (my basic living expenses are covered). I have been ever so grateful for the time and all that it allows me to accomplish.

    With that said, I practice this gratitude exercise every night as I pray before going to sleep. I don’t allow myself to repeat things, i.e. condo, food, fresh water, etc., but make myself think about specific spots of light from each day.

    Today – so far –
    1. My mother, a spectacular mother of six, who is celebrating her 81st birthday today.
    2. Finding a dirt-cheap cell phone with pay-as-you-go minutes. I don’t need to carry around a “mini-computer” so this works for me.
    3. The re-paving is *finally* finished that was adding a lot of extra time to my commute.
    4. Only 75 more days to Big Blue Madness (you have to be a U. of Ky. basketball fan to understand this).
    5. Cease fire in Gaza – “all we are saying, is give peace a chance” – John Lennon

    • P. S. Please don’t include me in the draw – as much as I’d love an *autographed* copy of The Traitor mine was pre-ordered in both hard copy and Kindle.

  23. I’m still on “Vacation High”, having been off work for the past month. The more I think about how I spent my time off, the more I am grateful for…

    5. My chiropractor who is in the process of putting my spine back where it belongs after 3 weeks on the very stiff guest bed at Dearest Sister’s house. Nothing feels better than that first “unzipping” of your spine.

    4. The assignment of my new work shift for the autumn/winter. While I’m not looking forward to waking up at 4am, I think the switch from night to day will find me much more productive.

    3. Being home in my own bed with my own kitties. Fat Sam is a grumpy old man of a cat and just doesn’t appreciate snuggles and hugs like my girls do. Based on their constant purrs and the fact they haven’t left my side for 4 days makes me think they missed me while I was gone.

    2. The upcoming month of solitude at home while I house sit for the Parents when they visit Dearest Sister and her growing brood of children. There is something supremely comforting about silence and solitude that only an introvert could really understand.

    1. Mostly, I am grateful for the month I got to spend with Dearest Sister this past month. Getting to watch Fave Nephie celebrate his first birthday and watching his personality come forth with such vigor! How can one little boy have such a BIG personality? Helping DS in the final days of her pregnancy, but most especially grateful that Baby #2 decided to come 9 days early and that I was able to meet the little darling in person before coming home. It was a relief to find out DS had an easy time delivering a little GIRL – and she was so sure it was going to be another boy! Now I have Fave Nephie and Fave Niece. I can’t wait to see them grow up together and torment each other as only close siblings can do.

  24. 1. For the nine kids who I taught last year in their last year of primary(elementary) school who keep coming back to see me six months after they have gone off to High school. Just the thought that they still want to see me makes my heart happy.
    2. For one of the more mischievous boys at school who elected to spend the day with me (as he had to be removed from the relief teacher ‘s class before he did anything disgraceful) and was so polite and well behaved that I am still in shock – in a nice way.
    3. For the mum of two of the children I teach for only 1 hour a week each who handed me a gift wrapped box of chocolates for my birthday. You know how good chocolate soothes the soul.
    4. For my daughter who yesterday told me after 4 years of trying but not succeeding at having a baby and five failed attempts at IVF that she is pregnant and due in March 2015.
    5. For the eight chicks that hatched in the incubator at school in the Kindergarten room that had all the staff and kids running around the school with smiles on their faces.
    6. For you who gave me such a generous gift and a big thrill!
    7. For my granddaughters who covered me in kisses when I babysat them last night.
    8.For my pregnant daughter again who just messaged me to let me know that her baby’s heart is beating strong at 157 beats per minute… How much better can it get!

    • Will keep my fingers crossed for March. If it’s any comfort, my brother and his wife went through much the same thing at great expense and heartache. She’s due in September… miracles do happen!

  25. This is a good challenge as I’m feeling fairly punky with a bad summer cold. achoo!

    1. My husbands who takes good care of me and our family. Especially this year, when I had knee surgery.

    2. A functional, strong knee! You don’t think about it until you don’t have one. I’m even almost done with physical therapy!

    3. My bed. I love my bed with its soft sheets and coziness. Reading and naps (among other activities) make me happy.

    4. Book club. I have a good time with girlfriends planned for tomorrow night, discussing books and Solving the Universe, as you so nicely put it. We read Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant, which was a fascinating presentation of the Borgia papacy.

    5. Sunshine. We have had an amazingly comfortable and sunshine-y summer this year. I am very susceptible to natural light, and have been lapping it up like a cat.

    • Sunshine would go on my top ten. Without it, no life on earth. With it, we can untangle a lot of environmental damage, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and improve low morale. I know when I get outside, I feel better. Maybe it’s Vitamin D, maybe it’s the color green, but out in the sun is good medicine (in moderation!).