“You’re Never Too Old to Rock!.”
-Homer Simpson

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.

Rocks, Rock & Roll, Happiness and Gratitude

It was back in the 1950’s that Rock & Roll music was born. A mixture of electric blues, country and gospel music it exploded on the scene. Whether you were around in 1956, September 9th to be exact, to watch Elvis Presley explode on the Ed Sullivan show, I bet most of you know the story. Imagine, they didn’t want to show him from the waist down. Well, they did and everyone got a head-to-toe look at Elvis and his hip-shaking gyrations. Back then, well they thought it was vulgar. For his 3rd and final appearance on the show on January 6, 1957, just 4 months later, the TV censors refused to show Elvis below the waist.


Music, Changes, Growing and Evolving

Music changes, fashion changes, and our likes and dislikes change with the times. We grow and evolve, well, most of us do. In times like these we are constantly looking for something, anything to help us cope, to help us understand what we are going through. Some of us more affected than others. Some of us coping more than others. The one common denominator is our striving to feel secure and safe.


Keeping the balance

Keeping that balance between what we know and the unknown, is difficult at best. But we keep at it. And there are two women who I’ve had the privilege of meeting who are helping do that. Two women who have never met, but who have something in common. What they each possess is the drive to put a smile on someone’s face, and find beauty in the smallest things, in a word, on a rock and be grateful.

Donna VanderPoel – Rocks & Spreading Happiness

Donna is a former teacher, a mother, a student and the creator of Stamford CT Rocks. At the start of the pandemic and social distancing, Donna noticed many parents playing the old game of ‘I Spy’ with their children. There was some thrill at the beginning of the game, but it always was the same and soon both children and adults alike would get bored. There was no spark of happiness showing around the town. Remembering something that she had seen when teaching in Oxford, CT she thought, ‘Why not?’

Donna and her family started painting “Happiness Rocks’ and leaving them in front of their neighbors’ homes. It wasn’t long after that Donna created a Facebook page, the beginnings of Stamford CT Rocks resulting in a growth of over 750 members within just 3 weeks! Members from near and far. People are having a blast painting rocks, some filled with messages, some with just a word and some just bright and covered with color. What happens to the rocks? I asked Donna that question.


Lauren Zajac – Gratitude and Success

Success and Gratitude. At the beginning there were a number of stumbles. She deputized her children, got them into some form of routine and lightened up on things that were no longer important. The pandemic provided Lauren an opportunity to gain a balanced outlook. Things can get messy on a daily basis. For Lauren, the revelation that gratitude has driven her success, in her career and as a mom and not the other way around, has changed her perspective. And gratitude is what Lauren is spreading. I asked Lauren about her journey and how she is spreading gratitude in our ever changing world.

Join me this week as I talk to both of these women. First up, Donna and spreading Happiness and then Lauren and spreading Gratitude.  Listen on your favorite podcast platform. Or right here.

Donna & Lauren

Spring is upon us and with spring comes more light and more sunshine. Be safe, be mindful of those around you and remember, you can stay connected even while social distancing. Keep your mind and body moving. Practice social distancing. Listen to music. Binge on your favorite movies. Take walks. Sing while washing your hands. Feel the sun when it’s shining. Keep that smile, it will come in handy.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay tuned.