The FS BRU ... Don't Worry, Be Happy!

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” ~ John Barrymore

Happy, an adjective described in the World English Dictionary, means feeling, showing, or expressing joy; pleased. It originates from the 1520s as “good fortune,” from happy + ness.

But what does happiness REALLY mean? How do we quantify or qualify it? More importantly, how does one really know when someone else is happy? Do they need an emoticon at the end of their sentence like ... :), :0, :0) ... or goodness forbid LOL to prove it?

As we move around frequently in the Foreign Service, I find it SO easy to become bogged down in the bureaucratic quagmire and complain about unhappiness ... rather than stay positive and revel in what’s going right. Misery loves company, eh?

But as we all settle in to this new year, into new posts, or finish up a mild winter like we’re having here in DC, I thought it was time to have a little kumbaya moment. Where we stop, look around, and take stock in that which is important. Something I’m very guilty of not doing very often ...

While reading everybody’s posts below, I am reminded why we decided to join the Foreign Service so many years ago. It takes an adventurous family to be able to pack up their belongings, say goodbye to those who are near and dear, and move all over the world, with kids and animals and chaos in tow. Sometimes we move to wonderful postings ... sometimes to third world dumps with amazing personnel. Like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you’re going to get.

The one constant you’ll see in this edition of the FS BRU, is that no matter how or what anyone thinks about their current assignment, when asked to stop and smell the roses, we all can. And DO. For we always manage to find the diamonds in the rough.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for" ~ Sir John Lubbock

Everyone seems to enjoy living in Manila. And Carla is no exception. Take a look at her long list of likes ... and pictures of her apartment.

Erica loves the autumn in Iceland. Take a look at her beautiful volcano photos!

Becky, a local FS’er is soaking up the mild-winter sun with the rest of us. And reveling in all that NoVa has to offer. Sometimes you forget just how much there really is!

It may have taken some time, but Naoma has truly found her happiness in Kenya.

Camille discovered that chewing on a pile of penises (or is the plural peni?) will make anybody happy in Djibouti.

Kelly is happy in Vienna. But not necessarily for the reasons you’d think ...

If I could eat Chinese food every single day for the rest of my life, I’d be totally content. Chelsea in Shenyang thankfully likes it too! But there’s a whole lot more to this town to read about. Who’d want to bid out after this ringing endorsement ...

Zoe is completely in her element in Milan. Just look at all the amazing links she included here. Sure she has the occasional bad day ... but it can be negated with this type of scenery. Hello gorgeous!

Caitlin in Bogota has five ‘nice surprises’ about Bogota that everybody should know!

James is able to point out several things showing the beauty of Chennai. One of them being jasmine in the hair ... a daily ritual for most women!

Oh the things that you will see in Recife, Brazil. Ogles and Observations shows us the Frevo dancers in the city center. There’s even a video to watch it. WOW!

Crystal is able to find the good in just about anything! While people may complain that they have a shower smack dab in the middle of their bathroom, Crystal can tell you why it’s such a godsend to have in Mali.

Sadie is one well-traveled lady. Who has made the absolute most of her time in Riyadh. Thinking of a post in the Middle East? It definitely sounds like it could be for you!

Taking time for ourselves is never easy, but it’s something we should do every once in awhile! Heather in Cairo is doing just that by focusing on her goals of running more and eating less. Watch out ... she just may become The Biggest Loser.

It’s a small world after all ... and Sara loves that about Costa Rica.

Another one of my peeps here in Northern Virginia tells us why she is having a ball. Claudia is soaking it up too knowing that she’s heading out to their first overseas post later this summer.

Emily in Romania shows us one of her best delightful finds while in Bucharest. Mmmmm...

After a year at post, Lisa is able to detail what she has learned so far about Tijuana. Oh the food alone would have me there in minutes!

I read a lot of blogs. A LOT of them. And there are very few who has been this excited and positive about a posting from the very first day they landed. Life After Jerusalem is in LOVE with Tallinn, and I’m sure you can see why!

Shannon has a hell of a lot of creepy crawlies at her post, which would NOT make me happy. But when you look at her garden ... her AMAZING garden ... it almost makes up for it!

If you’ve ever wanted to travel to or live in Moscow, looking at these pictures and laundry list from Verdant Voyages about why it's so fantastic, will have you bidding on it next cycle!

Eve’s table settings and gorgeous party menu make her a woman after my own heart! She is definitely making the most of her time in Luanda ...

Like most of us, Bfiles loves the beaches in the Dominican Republic. But that’s not all that makes her happy.

David is studying French at FSI, and anxiously awaiting his upcoming tour in Togo. Here’s what keeping him busy these next few months.

Some of the nicest things about living in the Northern Virginia area are the opportunities to share where we’ve lived and what we’ve done with our new friends. Jen and her family did just that at Thinking Day.

Nothing makes me happier than reading about people loving where they live and more importantly, their neighbors. Thank goodness the Sherwood family in Azerbaijan does both!

You’ll always hear me talk about community because I feel that it is the single most important thing we bloggers can provide to each other. And as you can see from Catherine, who is dealing with a bit of a medical issue, she agrees too!

It was love at first sight for spectrummymummy and South Africa, and that feeling just keeps growing!

I miss Israel. And reading about how Melissa loves Jerusalem, makes me miss it even more!

Okay, I’ll admit that I had to look up where The Marshall Islands were. But I’m so glad I did. Because just like Jamie, I’m quite sure I'd be happy to live there too!

When you think about Brussels, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? I would have said rain ... but that’s not what Sunny mentions. It’s the chocolates. Of COURSE it’s the chocolates ...

Safaris makes Nomads by Nature happy. FREE ones make her even happier! Just don’t call anyone stupid ... *wink*

Kolbi has been a content little bee since she arrived in Chengdu. From venturing out into the community and documenting all that's going on about town. To going back to school and actually enjoying all her classes!

"If you search the world for happiness, you may find it in the end, for the world is round and will lead you back to your door." ~ Robert Brault

Number of times I used Happy in this post: 20

Number of Synonyms I used for the word Happy: 30

Number of times I used thesaurus.com to find another word for Happy: at least 15

Number of times I re-read this posting to see how corny it sounded that I over-used the words Happy, Amazing, Enjoy and Love: too many to admit

The next FS Round Up will be published on Friday, March 16th. We're taking a break and there will be no optional talking point for the next edition. So just send me your links to any posting, with a quick blurb about what it is, by Monday, the 12th. thefsroundup@me.com.

Until then. Stay fantastic amazing enjoyable lovely. Stay happy.


LeesOnTheGo said...

I thought of something else that makes me happy! Looking forward to the witty and wonderful FSBRU! Thank you again for tying us all together and introducing me to so many other FS bloggers out there!

Well done, Jill!


amy said...

Great Post Jill and thanks for all the links that you shared. I also really like the first quote. May need to steal it for FB status or something.

Anne said...

I blew it this time, but here is what I love about my post: The embassy community, my crazy job, french butter, fresh mangos, and Leader Price brand gummy bears. I thought it too unremarkable to warrant an entire post.

Thanks for putting this together. You are awesome!!

Emily said...

Happy. Happy.
I should have posted, but I didn't.
I have been really happy lately, but I am really excited that we will have he opportunity to meet soon!

Christy said...

Once again, a brilliant post round up! Oh, how I love these. And as you know I'm not even FS. What a dork I am. I can't wait to click through! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!

Bfiles said...

Jill, thanks for this.
Can you please check your BRU email? thanks. :)

Just US said...

You ROCK!! What a great idea for each of us to stop for a minute and remember exactly what about this moment in time makes us happy.

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