I recently got an interesting email at work from my company’s “Wise & Well” group. Yes it sounds a bit cheesy, but really the W&W program is a pretty great idea – you can submit information on when you work out, go to the doctor for preventative visits, run in a 5k, etc – and they pay you money! I get paid to be healthy. I think this is brilliant.

Anyway, sometimes the W&W group sense out emails with information on health issues like losing weight or drinking enough water or heart disease. It turns out May is Mental Health Month.  So they sent out an email earlier this week with an attachment about making your own “Happiness Toolkit.” According to a header across the top, this document is one of a series of “Group Activities for Psycho-Social Education.” Hmmm.
Their sample Toolkit consisted of items that have metaphorical meanings, to remind you to be positive and happy. A few items were as follows:
  • Stress Ball – be resilient.
  • Kaleidoscope – always changing; put color in your life.
  • Bubbles – duh, everyone likes bubbles.
  • Marbles – in case you feel like you’re losing yours.

And so on. You get the idea.

 At the bottom of the page it says:
“Can you think of more metaphorical objects on your own? Can you add a few more in the space below?”
Why yes I can!
Here are a few objects that would be found in my Personal Happiness Toolkit:
  • 10 bars Trader Joe’s 73% Dark Organic Chocolate – this would be my “duh” item.
  • Large Sharp Knife – in case I need to gut any fish or hack my way out of the jungle.
  • 1 Condom – you never know.
  • Peanut Butter – it’s just good. I must be hungry.

Oh wait! These items aren’t very “metaphorical,” are they! Or aren’t they?? Maybe I’m not a very metaphorical person. Let’s see now, let me try harder.

  • One half of the thick red glass votive candleholder that belonged to my mom – this was my mom’s favorite votive holder. My aunt and I went through all of my mom’s things after she died – we threw away some, gave away some, and kept some. When we were done, we noticed that this heavy glass candleholder had split cleanly in two. All on its own. That day. It’s a reminder that even the most solid things are fragile and can break unexpectedly. Be careful.
  • A photograph of my Grandma’s house on the beach – to remind me of beautiful places and happy memories
  •  A laminated card that says “BREATHE” on it. I often forget. 
  • A pen and paper – write down ideas. Write a story. Write something. Write anything.


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