Random Acts of Happiness

These random acts are a sure-fire way to turn that frown upside down


randomact_organizedRandom (Organized) Act: Penny Wise
Especially after the fiscal disruption of last year, who hasn’t been meaning to get their affairs in order? L.A. professional organizer Regina Leeds has a book coming out this month that should help. In One Year to an Organized Financial Life: From Your Bills to Your Bank Account, Your Home to Your Retirement, the Week-by-Week Guide to Achieving Financial Peace of Mind (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 272 pages, $16.95), Leeds addresses the underlying causes of chaos, replacing them with routines. If it sounds Zen, that’s by design.


randomact_inspiringRandom (Inspiring) Act: Watch Huell 
Golly, no one lifts us out of the doldrums like Huell Howser. Affable and ever curious, Howser is also easy to find: Tune into one of his eight local public television shows, where you may see him devouring a French dip at Cole’s, or puttering around in an amphibious car at Lake Castaic, or loading a truck with dirty nappies for a cleaning at the Dy-Dee Diaper Company. Surely if a man with a name like Huell can take such delight in the everyday, you can, too.


randomact_subversiveRandom (Subversive) Act: Pay It Forward 
I hate parking tickets. The way I see it, life is brutish enough without the added insult of a red-tinged envelope jammed under a wiper blade. So I fight back: I feed other people’s expired meters. It makes me smile to think of their puzzled faces when they rush out and discover—huh?—no ticket. Once, while plugging the flashing meter next to mine, I turned and ran smack into the guy whose car I was rescuing. “Uh,” he said, confused, “you just put your money in the wrong meter.” I didn’t explain. Sure, I may have saved him about $40. But I got more out of it than he did.


randomact_sillyRandom (Silly) Act: Say Cheese
I set myself a simple goal: Grin at five strangers a day. In the parking lot. At the market. In the post office. At first I was rusty. But the goofy gene prevailed. And guess what? Some of them smiled back.



Images courtesy of (in order): (1) Flickr/yomanimus, (2) Flickr/bitboy, (3) Flickr/pinkfish13, (4) Flickr/lanuiop