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Happiness is. . . Living close to the ones you love

By 11/26/2009January 26th, 201730 Comments

Years ago, I moved to Toronto for a relationship. My career wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped and I thought being in a new city would be good for me.

Boy was I wrong—I lasted 9 months before I moved right back home [Vancouver]. One of the reasons why I was so unhappy was being away from my sisters and my mom whom I’m very close to.

Then when I read Penelope Trunk’s post in which she wrote ‘If you move away from your friends and family because you believe money will buy happiness, you’d need to have a salary increase of at least $133,000 in order to have a net positive impact on your happiness from that move’.

I love her blog and wished I had it to read back then when making dumb choices like moving away from my family. One hour away (I’m a city girl and they are in the burbs) is far enough.

Image source

I just read another post with The Happiness Project, where Gretchen Rubin wrote that one question she gets a lot is, ‘If you had to pick just one thing, what would be the one secret to a happy life?’ “The answer is clear: strong bonds with other people. If I had to pick one thing, that’s it. The wisdom of the ages and the current scientific studies agree on this point.”

I have also learned that being happy is a gift that you give to people around you. When you are happy, it gives people around you (i.e. spouse/children) the freedom to make decisions and live their life without having to spend their time worrying about you.

My mom’s name is Hellen and being around her makes me happy!

Since it’s American Thanksgiving I thought I’d link up this post to Between Naps on the Porch Tablescape Thursday! Click here to see some more beautiful tablescapes!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American Readers!! Have a great weekend! Remember to kiss and hug the ones you love now that they are with you (even if they aren’t all the time)!

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Related posts:

Happiness is. . . Having amazing Friends!

Happiness is. . . Living life to the Fullest

10 Commandments for a Happy Chic Home

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  • Soma says:

    I am oh so thankful for finding your blog! I love you and how absolutely frank you are… It's perfect! Have a brilliant Thanksgiving!

  • Ideezine says:


    This is the perfect Colour me thankful post! We are more fortunate than we realize. I do respect where I am in life right now and it will change age soon.

    The only thing constant is change. It's a measuring tool of our lifetime.

    I live about an hour from my family
    members also. Thanks and giving is everyday of your life.

    p.s. you mentioned your iphone on twitter. And I remember things about people because I love helping them live better with what they have. It's something to be excited about…glad to help!


  • Cote de Texas says:

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving !!!!!

  • WiseWoman says:

    I can verify that Maria's family is very special and the love they share is nourishing to the wider community, too. Especially when the little nephews are growing up, it's so important to have aunties who love them unconditionally. You're living in the right city, Maria.

  • Marina says:

    Well said Maria … and happy thanksgiving!

    I haven't read your posts for a while … so have a wonderful time in NY… It's wonderful at this time of year … Macy's parade and all those wonderful shop window displays… and so, so much more!
    I can smell the warm chestnuts now ….

  • Eliana Tomás says:


  • Linda at Lime in the Coconut! says:

    Perfect sentiment for this day of family and friends!

  • Kara says:

    What a great post today. I love your thought – being happy is a gift you give to the people around you. I love that!! Have a great week.

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you for a wonderful post. We just moved 800 miles from our families (parents) and it is the first holiday where we have had NO family coming over. We moved because of my husbands job and that is okay. We think of it as an adventure. I am with my immediate family and that is who matters the most. As long as I have my two guys, I am happy. Enjoy your day. I will be enjoying not having to be the cook and clean up girl today:)

  • Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    This is a lovely post for the day, Maria. I am lucky enough to live close enough to my family {except for one sister who is a 6 hour drive away}.

  • Greet says:

    Dear Maria,
    What you wrote is true! Being with the ones you love is so important! For me the most precious thing in life is my family!
    Although we don't know Thanksgiving day in Belgium, I am thankful every day for having my family around me!

    Very nice tablescape pictures! These colours are beautiful!!!


  • Karena says:

    Beautiful post and so true. There will be about 30 of us at my parents (I am oldest of eight!!) Happy Thanksgiving Maria!!

  • Karena says:

    Oh, and that is why I moved back home to Kansas City from San Diego.

  • Pat says:

    This is a beautiful post! Family is so dear. My parents are both gone and it truly makes a difference in the holidays. I wish you happiness and joy today and every day!

    Christmas in NYC is the absolute BEST! See the Radio City Music Hall show with the Rockettes, have lunch at Tavern on the Green, shop at Macy's, enjoy all the beautiful decor and the tree in Rockefeller Center. So much, so wonderful!

  • Janie's World says:

    Beautiful and true sentiments! Family and friends are everything. I'm happy that you are back with your family and enjoying your life! Beautiful pictures, very tablescape inspiring.

  • Red Door Home says:

    People and things will come and go in our lives but our family will always be the constant. I am so grateful for mine. Thanks for sharing the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

  • Danica says:

    You always just know what to say. 🙂 That's pretty much how I'm feeling right now. As much as I like Vancouver, I miss my parents terribly. They're the only family I have(no grandparents left) and it is hard to be away from them. Even though my mom and I are emailing every day, I still look forward to going home. Plus, I'm getting quite excited to decorate for the holidays.

  • Rachel says:

    happy thanksgiving! i couldn't agree with you more. we lived away from family for 7 years for work/school and now are finally back home. what a difference it makes.

  • chanteusevca says:

    I am thankful for your happy, colorful and generous posts every week. You make me smile, make me think, teach me, and give me wonderful insight into your beautiful world of color and design.

    Many more blessings to you and yours for another year of happy and colorful posts.

    Warm regards from Texas,


  • Susan says:

    I love reading your blog but today it is especially nice to touch on family and loved ones we are thankful to have in our lives.

    I so wish my family lived closer to me…especially my sister. You are so lucky. Thank goodness we both have long distance phone plans. I don't think 2 days go by without us calling each other.

    The images are divine, love the Helen placecard and the gorgeous plate. My great aunt Helen passed away last night… it's kind of a deja vu moment.

    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  • The Blasphemous Fiendess says:

    I live near most of my family members and we sure miss the two who live in Halifax. Thank you for your post.

  • Velvet and Linen says:

    I have learned that I definitely need to feel connected with people. Blogging has been a wonderful way to feel connected even if we are miles away. I am so thankful for our friendship Maria! I feel as close to you as I would if I lived in Vancouver.


  • CRICKET says:

    Family and friends which equal love – are everything. We have been away from family for 6 years and are trying to move back to them. Our friends who we have spent every Thanksgiving with just moved to be closer to family.

  • Anonymous says:

    You are so fortunate to have these close family relationships that make you happy.


  • Carolyn says:

    Being in Austria away from my large family (6 siblings, 2 parents, 3 in laws, 2 nieces and a nephew) for the past 9 months has been hard! It's been such a rewarding experience for me and my new husband, though, that I wouldn't change it for the world. At least I'm young and I have time to move back home to Texas and enjoy my family. And, I don't ever take them for granted! Happy Thanksgiving.

  • VictoriaArt says:

    Maria, you've put it so nicely…
    I could not agree more. I moved far away from home and I haven't regret it, even though my salary increase was non existent…. but I surely know what you mean. Being back in Germany last week has pulled on my heart strings…
    Nothing better then being near the ones one truly loves!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!


  • Diann @ The Thrifty Groove says:

    Beautiful tablescapes!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Lauren says:

    beautiful post maria!! i SO agree on being near family. loved the advice on being happy & having tho0se around you not have to worry about you.

  • Kristin says:

    You are absolutely right. Happiness is totally contagious!

  • Ruthie's Renewed Treasures says:

    Maria – Family does bring warmth to the heart. We were away for Thanksgiving this year and it was hard being away from family. Back now and feeling blessed that I live close to them all. The experiences in life like moving away and then realizing it wasn't the right thing, brings us closer to family because we realize what they mean to us.


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