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Take one woman, weeks from turning 60, heartbroken and alone. Add a job loss, family and personal health issues, financial woes and no health insurance. Oh, and most importantly of all, a truly quirky sense of humor and a recent in depth study of the inner workings of the mental health system. If you catch my drift.

Enter my friend Ann.

She suggested a Happy Holly Project. In which I do something each day purposely for no other reason than to make myself happy. Because so very much of my life has been spent not enjoying it enough.

Happy. For no reason. What a radical concept … one whole year of doing something … each day … with no reason other than sheer enjoyment.

I like it.

Just to give you, dear reader, an idea of my background … when in Pittsburgh two days ago to attend a fun lecture event (details in post to come) my Father repeatedly asked “What is the purpose of this? And you paid money for it?”

Last November I first tried my hand at writing. With something called nanowrimo. And they asked for a bio.

Bio, eh? Well, start with Plum High, add one part Slippery Rock, several parts IBM and way too much free spirit and you’ve pretty much got it. Stir well with eclectic music, romantic heart and out-of-the-box thinking (and laughter … don’t forget the laughter.)

Long story … OK not quite that long …. as to why I did nanowrimo in the first place. After losing the possibility of life with the love of my life, I came out of mourning, as it were, to 4 people in 5 days saying … out of the blue … separately and unbeknownst to each other …  “You ought to write a book”.  (and no, nobody has said that before to me … well at least not for a few decades).

While telling someone of this spooky coincidence, the conversation was overheard by someone who said “Tomorrow starts National Novel Writing Month … go to nanowrimo.org”.

At the end of the month I began a private blog which turned out to be not so private … pouring out my heart and soul and emotional pain in a way I would not want seen by anyone “out there”. Especially nobody remotely associated with the mental health field.

And the rest, as they say ….

“It was a dark and stormy night …”

And so begins the journey …