Archive for September, 2010


VITAMIN OPTIMISM: Cheer Them Up Instead

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Green PillYour dose for today…

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” —Mark Twain

My angel-food-faced kitty, Tarzan (Image: Amy Spencer)

Sometimes it helps to take the spotlight off of yourself and move it to someone else. This reminds me of the research (in particular one study by the Journal of American Geriatrics Society) that older people who own pets feel less isolated and are more emotionally healthy than non-pet owners. Caring for other people (or pets) brings out that loving part of yourself, it takes the focus off the issues you’re dealing with, and sometimes, it puts your life in perspective. If you’re feeling down and waiting for something or someone to cheer you up, flip the switch. Today: Find someone else to cheer up, and see how good it feels.

You might also like:
How to Be Happy: It’s Easy!

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

VITAMIN OPTIMISM: What’s Your Favorite Expression?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Green PillYour dose for today…

“Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.” —Janet Lane

Me + Montauk = One happy chick

This, of course, is at the heart of dating optimism. You can walk into a bar wearing the coolest T-shirt and the cutest jeans, but if you’re accessorizing that with an expression that reads “downright depressed” then you’re not going to get anywhere. I’m all for being depressed sometimes. I get a lot of questions from people wondering if it’s okay that they’re feeling over the optimism for a minute, and my answer is: Yes, it’s okay! It would be weird and unhealthy if you were always happy all the time. So swim around in the down and out for a minute, but when you want to pull the good stuff in, you’ve got to wear it on your face as much as in your body. A happy expression attracts people who want happiness in their life. And isn’t that just what you’re aiming for?

You might also like:
Are You Looking for the Rainbows?

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

VITAMIN OPTIMISM: The Open-Your-Eyes Moment

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Green PillYour dose for today…

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” —Groucho Marx

I mean...look at all the beauty to be had out there today. (Image: Amy Spencer)

Wow, who knew? Groucho Marx was a dating optimist! He was also a very wise man. There’s not much I can say that means more than the way he put it. Because he’s right: You—not what happens to you—have the power to make yourself happy. And if not today, then when? Don’t put off being happy until you find your other half. You have today and you might not have tomorrow, so choose, like Groucho, to be happy in it. Find what’s worth being grateful for. When you wake up in the morning and open your eyes, find the beauty, the funny, the friendship. The more you make yourself happy today, the sooner you’ll meet the person who wants to be a part of all that love and happiness with you for tomorrow.

You might also like:
Bench it like Kobe

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

The Couple I Admire Most

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I love hearing about people who’ve made love work. Whether it’s people who’ve read the book and met their half-oranges, people who’ve run back into a former flame and found instant sparks, or those who’ve struggled through a brambles of a relationship and landed happily together and only mildly scathed on the other side.

But there’s one special couple I want to celebrate:

The couple who taught me what marriage means.

My parents, who are celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary today! They’re a perfect orange—two half-oranges together—if I’ve ever seen one.

So I want to give them a big thanks and a huge digital hug today. It’s watching them communicate well and treat each other so kindly all these years that makes me confident that I can have a lifelong marriage of my own with my husband.

Now I want to ask you readers: Do you have a couple you can look up to like them? Maybe your own parents, a sibling or a good friend? When you’re feeling like life doesn’t have any good ones left and you’ll never end up in a happy relationship, it helps to look to a couple you admire for proof that you can have it. Let your inspirational couple remind you: Love is out there. And happy marriages can be had.

On another note, I’m in Japan for almost two weeks. But…I didn’t want to leave you dating optimists without something to turn to for a boost if you needed it! So, I’ve put together some doses of VITAMIN OPTIMISM for you. Check in at the site over the next two weeks for some inspiring quotes and my personal take on how they can guide you healthfully along the path to your half-orange.

You might also like:
Walk a Mile in Your True Shoes

Big love,

Love Yourself, Big C-Style

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I just started watching The Big C on Showtime—the new series starting Laura Linney as a woman dealing with Stage IV melanoma. (Yeah, that “big C” stands for cancer.) And as I Tweeted the other day, I love love love love love the show.

I heart this show. And so will you. (Image:

I get giddy watching Cathy Jameson (Laura Linney) embrace that she can and should be doing all the things she’s ever wanted. She tells off a snotty high school student (an awesome Gabourey Sidibe). She does cartwheels down the high school hallway where she teaches. And in one scene, she lies outside in her yard completely naked, like a woman she’d seen doing the same. (On a crazy-related note, check out my essay about learning to be comfortable with being naked in this month’s Health magazine.)

When Cathy’s husband finds her there, she brings up a memory of being afraid to go topless on a French beach because she thought she was ugly. But later, seeing photos of herself from that time, she realizes:

“I was pretty cute back then. But I didn’t feel it.”

How often does this happen, right? We think we’re not thin or curvy or buff or hot enough, and yet in a few years, we look back on photos of ourselves and realize how great we really looked! Like Cathy in The Big C, let’s give ourselves the gift of hindsight right now:

Imagine yourself in 10 years and look back at who you are now. What do you see? Is your 10-years-younger self cuter than you remember? Is your 10-years-younger self happy? Or is your 10-years-younger self wasting a lot of time groaning about themselves or being single when they should be appreciating some of the kick-ass things in their incredible life?

When's the last time you cartwheeled? (Image: Amy Spencer from "The Big C")

Your life is awesome in its own way, right now. And it’s vital that you see this, because once you meet the right person and grow a few years older, you will be different. You will gain or lose weight, you will gain or lose faith. Your living room will probably look different, your lunch order will be new, your workload will have altered, your health may be different and you will look back on your life right now, with a wistfulness, wishing you had appreciated it more.

Give your 10-years-older self the gift of being able to say you appreciated your life as best you could today. Body, attitude and all. Is there anything you can learn to appreciate now? Something your 10-years-older self, in hindsight, would be pretty damn proud of? Why should you, like Cathy, do cartwheels down a hallway?

You might also like:

Big love,