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“Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine
Shiny happy people holding hands”
~ Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.
Hello WIS –
Happy new year and welcome to 2023! I hope it’s been a riveting start to the year, or perhaps (like me), you’re just tip-toeing into it. Either way, I hope the first ten days have been amazing for each of you! Over the past few weeks there has been one word that seems to keep circling around me. That word is HAPPINESS. What does it mean? How do we achieve it? This past Sunday I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and a segment came on titled “Friendships, the key to Happiness”. Is that the answer? Then I read an excerpt from “Adrift: America in 100 Charts” that gloomily noted, “Community connections are fraying. Friendships are fading. In 1990, 40 percent of men and 28 percent of women reported having ten or more friends. By 2021, deep into the age of social media, a staggeringly low 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women said they had that many friends.” Galloway provides hope in his book and his first key idea is to find COMMUNITY by joining a club or organization. That’s why I’m SO excited to kick off our year with a “Just Be-Cause Happiness Hour” event on February 1 at Raices Brewing Company. Raices Brewing Co is rooted in COMMUNITY so a perfect spot to gather. Maybe together, we can find the key to happiness (hand holding not required) as we continue to navigate our daily lives in this strange world. I hope that each of you can find your happiness this year, whether it’s within the WIS community or elsewhere. We all deserve to find it!
We had so much fun in December wrapping up the year at our Holiday Beach Celebration at Wah Gwaan Brewing Company (photos below). We laughed, sang, ate and had merry ole time. Thanks to everyone that joined us. We’ll be bringing back this celebration again this year with even more beachin’ vibes!
We will also be bringing back our monthly Community Voices Webinar Series. This is a series that highlights our members and the work they are doing in sustainability. It’s a great way to get to know more about the WIS Community members and learn something new. We hope you’ll join us at one (or more) throughout the year. Who didn’t love recess as a kid? (That was my happiness!) Have you ever thought about the importance of recess as an adult? Well, Ashley DePaulis can tell you why recess is still important in our lives and some tips to incorporating it into your busy schedules. Join us as we kickoff this series with Ashley’s talk “Give Your Mind A Rest With Recess: Purposeful Play to Thrive in Business & in Life” on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30pm MT.
We are finalizing our volunteer schedule with We Don’t Waste and other opportunities throughout the year so stay tuned. These are great events to gather in COMMUNITY and give back to those in need. (Fun Fact: Researchers have found a connection between happiness and the performance of selfless acts.)
Does money bring happiness? That’s for you to determine, but there is an importance of understanding your relationship with money to be (feel?) financially well. Meghan Lape with Conscious Impact Financial Planning will be taking us through a “Money Mindfulness” conversation and providing us with some tools we need to have a good relationship with money and why it’s important in our lives. According to The Pledgettes, “when more women take individual action or make money moves, our collective impact grows, leading to healthier, wealthier communities.” Financial health is a key priority for me this year, which is why I’m excited to be a member of The Pledgettes too. Want to learn about financial health? RSVP for this webinar and check out The Pledgettes. Oh and please do hold me accountable! I think more women should ask “how’s your investment portfolio” instead of “how’s the weather”.
Finally, this year is about books! Did you know that “people who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile” according to a 2013 survey by the Book Trust. Plus, it’s much more fun to read a book and share your insights with a COMMUNITY! That’s why we’re launching our quarterly WIS Book Club (thanks Zhuli for supporting this effort.) We’ll read 1 book a quarter but have opportunities to meet monthly to hold each other accountable and discuss our viewpoints. Our first book is “Braiding Sweetgrass” which is one of my favs! We’re also teaming up with Stephanie Vail and Jacki Carr for our first book swap on February 22. Bring a book, take a book and maybe find a little happiness (and friendships) along the way! Check out all of our book information below.
I keep saying I’ll keep these shorts, but we just have so much to share and I’m so excited (and happy) to be in this COMMUNITY with all of you. Thank you! The Board and I are working up great plans to bring you more ways to CARE this year. We can’t wait to share with all of you. Stay tuned for more events, resources, and so much more.
As always, my virtual door is open and I love to connect with this community. If you have ideas, thoughts or just need to chat, feel free to set up a time on my calendar. And remember to take care of YOU, too!
Wishing you all health, wealth and HAPPINESS this year!
Chief CARE Connector / Founder