“Your mojo affects my mojo.”
“The superglue of happiness is relationships.”
“Love is a warm chocolate chip cookie!”
“Enjoy each day as your BEST DAY EVAAH!”
Each of those little phrases is cute, straightforward, smart, and accurate. They can also be used to describe the book they appear in, From Half-Full to Overflowing: A Simple Guide to Personal Happiness, by local author Paula Leed.
Leed, who co-owns Royal Jewelers in Andover with her brother, Steven, wrote the book after suffering from angina and getting a heart stent, narrowly avoiding a massive heart attack. During her recovery and time off from the business, she found herself getting bored. “The only [other] thing that I’m exceptional at is being happy. So I decided to write a book on happiness,” she says.
The resulting book is a sweet and compact volume filled with cute drawings, happiness exercises, and personal anecdotes, as well as solid advice and real insight into cultivating and maintaining happiness through all of life’s challenges. It’s available on Amazon, and Leed is already working on a follow-up book. From Half-Full to Overflowing is a practical guide to growing and sustaining happiness whatever your life situation, covering topics like family, careers, pets, relationships, and grief, all with an eye toward how our choices—even when we don’t think we have any—impact our happiness and well-being. It also encourages readers to view mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities.
In fact, Leed says happiness can and should be cultivated because of life’s fragility—the life-threatening illnesses, the mistakes, the losses—not in spite of it. It’s something she learned after losing her parents and dealing with heart disease and a major health scare herself.
“It totally changes who you are; you’re never the same, with any life-threatening illness, whether you’ve had cancer, whether you were in a car accident, whether it’s heart disease,” she says. “All these things basically make you realize that you’re not immortal. That you need to take time to smell the roses. You need to take time to realize everything in life is special.”