I have this happy place. I store it in my mind and my heart, and I don’t think anyone will ever be able to take it away from me.

I go to this place when times are tough, and I honestly must say that I am truly blessed to not have experienced many tough times in my life. Sometimes I wonder why I am so lucky. Most of the time I think my life is too good to be true. Occasionally I am just waiting for the ball to drop. But what I’m really thinking? I think tough times have a lot to do with our attitude. It all depends on how we look at the situation.

I have always been a worry-wart. Always. Even when I was 7-8 years old, I would worry about things I couldn’t control. What if my parent’s got into a car accident on their way home? What if one of my brother’s got hurt?

Growing up, bedtime was always a really rough time for me. If I couldn’t fall asleep I would get extreme anxiety, which would just keep me up for hours, worrying about not sleeping. Just imagine how much my parents loved this.

Luckily for them, now my husband gets to deal with it.

These days, I have learned to deal with my anxiety better. Perhaps it came with age? Perhaps it came from marrying a man who loses his mind if there is a solitary crumb on the carpet? And I mean that is the sweetest way.

No matter what the situation may be, many nights I fall asleep dreaming on my happy place. There is nothing more comforting in the world.

Every summer in August, we go to Boyne City, Michigan and stay right on the lake.


Both of my grandparents are from Michigan, and my great-grandparents had a house in Boyne City. My dad vacationed there when he was young, and he continued the tradition with us.

I love this place more than anything. It may stem from how much my father loves it. It is a place he is always excited to go to, a place where he is completely relaxed, and in my eyes, the most like himself. And a place where he is at peace.

In Boyne City, I don’t feel like I need to be doing something. I am completely content just sitting outside reading, looking into the lake well into the evening.


It is also where my true love for James Taylor’s music stems from. We drive to Boyne City – a nice, long 10 hours or so. These days we take more than one car, but growing up, we were all shoved into an Explorer. We would leave in the middle of the night so we didn’t drive my parents mad. And almost the entire way there, we’d listen to James Taylor. To this day, there is no other music that comforts or stirs emotion in me like his.

I’ve never felt at peace like I have there.  It’s as if I offer everything up and just be.


And while just being is what I love most about it, one of the best parts is how closely my family bonds there. Sure, one time we almost died (literally) on a pontoon boat. And another time my Aunt Lisa (Hi!) almost burnt down our condo while sterilizing bottle nipples.

But it has all been worth it.

And I am never ready to go home. I am always ready to go back.


So when I find myself struggling with anxiety, or wishing things were different, or just needing to relax, I transport myself there. I can smell the air and feel the breeze and remember everything about it. It comforts me like nothing else.

What is your happy place?

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33 Responses to “My Happy Place.”

  1. #
    Meghan@traveleatlove — January 5, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    Oh what a lovely post. I love Ireland so much that one of my happiest places is in those hours right before we land when the sun is coming up, and then when we meet our family and step outside and smell the air for the first time. We are going next week, and I get all choked up thinking about it!


  2. #
    Nicole — January 5, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I HATE sleep anxiety. I have been getting it so much more than I ever have. Maybe I need to think of a happy place and it will go away. Is that what you do? I’ve been driving my husband crazy and watching the Kardarshians till early am. haha.


  3. #
    Katie — January 5, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

    How lovely! Honestly, my happy place is my current home. Nothing special, but I always feel so relaxed when I’m at home, with my pets and my husband. It’s my sanctuary.


  4. #
    Lily @ Lily's Health Pad — January 5, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    I have always had sleep anxiety. It occasionally comes around now, but when I was middle school, I don’t think I slept my entire 7th grade year.

    My happy place is my parent’s house-the house that I lived the majority of my life in. I think I love it so much because: 1) my parents are there. 2) my cats are there. 3)I can sleep in my old bed.

    Although not every memory I have of living in that house is good, for some reason, coming back to such a familiar place is so relaxing.


  5. #
    Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen — January 5, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself with us! my happy place is really anywhere i can be around my husband, but if i had to pick an actual physical place, it would somewhere by an ocean. i love water and it brings me to a calm and thankful state :)


  6. #
    Jenny — January 5, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    I am constantly pre-planning and worrying about things – it’s a terrible habit! I’ve really never thought about my happy place until you mentioned this, except maybe from the happy gilmore movie ;) but I guess it would have to be at the house I grew up in. Everytime I walk in, no matter how long I’ve been away, everything always seems the same. My parents are thinking of selling it and I know I’m going to be devastated – but at least I’ll have the memory!


  7. #
    Julie @savvyeats — January 5, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    I hate that “anxiety over not being able to sleep” thing! I’m especially bad with it when I have early morning classes…


  8. #
    Fit Lizzio — January 5, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    Wow i thought i was the only one in the world that had sleep anxiety! i don’t really have it anymore, but when i was younger i definitely did. If i couldn’t sleep, i would have to go wake up my parents lol.

    Now i just get annoyed when i cant sleep and i feel like i have to get up and do something.

    what a beautiful happy place!!


  9. #
    Good Taste. Healthy Me — January 5, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    oh my, that place is absolutely gorgeous!!

    My happy place is definitely the beach in the summer. I love the beaches on the gulf side in Florida. Too bad I live in New Hampshire!!


  10. #
    Stef — January 5, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    your happy place is beautiful! we all need somewhere we can mentally escape to. i’ve always been a worrier too, so it’s especially important to have a happy place!


  11. #
    Cheryl — January 5, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

    Love your happy place! Mine is Fenway Park:)

    Also, for the anxiety, look into Klonazapam – I have taken it since I got since in August (well they started me on it in October I believe) and it’s really helped the dizziness I was having, as well as anxiety at night!


  12. #
    kay (eating machine) — January 5, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    my happy place is portland… so many places here…. council crest (beauty-tastic view of the city), the cathedral (my old church in my old hood), multnomah village…. and about a million other spots.


  13. #
    Shelley — January 5, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

    this is sucha beautiful post- im so glad you took a break from regular blogging to share this with us :) my boyfriend has a place up in michigan that has been in his family for years and i think it means a lot to him in the way that your happy place means a lot to you. it is always nice to have somewhere you can escape too (whether it be mentally or physically!)


  14. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — January 5, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

    beautiful post, Jessica! these are the kind of posts that people adore, that make us fall in love with you even more, that allow us to know you even more, and it’s just beautiful. you are a writer, pursue it.

    My happy place is Aruba. Always will be. Always. :)


  15. #
    Nicole- Geek Turned Athlete — January 6, 2010 @ 5:14 am

    Your happy place seems really nice! I’ve been in the need of a happy place the past few days. Can I just use yours? haha

    Well, my happy place is pretty much anywhere cuddling with the hubby. There is something very relaxing about the beach during sunset listening to the waves as well!


  16. #
    Whitney @ Lettuce Love — January 6, 2010 @ 6:08 am

    Such a lovely post! I love places where I can just be. I used to be really bad about falling asleep. It would take me forever. Now I meditate once I get into bed. I focus on my breathing and try to take all of my thoughts out of my head.


  17. #
    Cindy Coniglio — January 6, 2010 @ 6:11 am

    Love it Jess. You surprise me more each day! I miss you..


  18. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — January 6, 2010 @ 6:59 am

    Awww…I love James Taylor! This seems like a wonderful happy place.


  19. #
    Emily (A Nutritionisteats) — January 6, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    Love this – I guess I don’t really have a happy place, but I need to decide on one – I’m a total worry-wort too so it might help calm me down.


  20. #
    Lisa — January 6, 2010 @ 10:26 am

    ahh James Taylor. His music certainly makes a happy place?!

    I’d say my happy place is either on the lake, or in a liftchair goin up the mountain.


  21. #
    Sara — January 6, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Love the pictures, so peaceful…

    This immediately reminded me of my parents driving the family to my brother’s baseball tournament every year in upper state NY. Your James Taylor is my Queen. That means my happy place is Lake Placid… yuck. I’ll have to think of something better.


  22. #
    sarah jayne — January 6, 2010 @ 12:29 pm


    I am a huge worry-wart too. Gahhh. It is a tough habit to beat, but certainly not the worst personality trait to have, right?!

    I hope you have luck in pursuing your writing- I truly enjoy reading each and every one of your posts. Has anyone referred you to examiner.com? You can look into doing freelance for them in hundreds of topics for your geographical location.

    My happy place is on my dad's sail boat, in the middle of grand traverse bay, laying in the sun. Sigh…


  23. #
    Kacy — January 6, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    I was the same way when I was little, I could NEVER sleep due to worrying about random stuff. Like you, it has gotten better as I’ve grown up, but sometimes it’s still an issue.

    Those pictures are so gorgeous!

    My happy place definitely involves water, I always just feel so at peace when I’m around a large body of water in nature. I think I would be a much calmer and happier person if I lived near a lake or ocean.


  24. #
    Blond Duck — January 6, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    This may sound strange, but I’m in the process of finding my happy place. My husband and I met in college and moved here right afterwards, so of course I love my home. But we still haven’t been on our honeymoon (4 years later….) We’re finally going on a trip this summer to Port Aransas. We went to the beach last year with his parents and I grew up on a lake, so I’ve always loved being on water. I’m hoping Port Aransas is my place.

    And since I’ve always written a novel, I have to say I love your bio! I’m a big fitness nut (I’ve never competed, but I love to work out and work out hard–running, lifting, kickboxing, step, etc.) But I also love food (as my ode for pecan pie indicated.) It’s so nice to meet someone else that is into eating healthy, but understands the occasional cookie or buttered roll is good!!!


  25. #
    carolinebee — January 6, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    Jess this is such a great post!! :D I can relate to it a lot, ESP since being home in my *happy place* for the past 2 weeks.
    In response to your “heart pouring” post, I had a similar AHA! moment when I decided to start my blog, and it has been an awesome decision. The friends I’ve made and other bloggers have supported and inspired me soooo much, i’m so glad u joined the pack!


  26. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — January 6, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

    What a lovely happy place :-) This post made me smile.


  27. #
    Jenny — January 6, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    This is awesome.

    My happy place is the horse barn and pasture where my mom and I learned to ride together. It was at the beginning of my recovery from my ED, and I found that riding a horse was the first time I had felt alive in a very long time. I always go back to that place in my mind, if only for a moment, just to be content.


  28. #
    Joy — January 7, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

    thank you! Thank you for this post and for reminding my happy place is a thought away… The trail may have been built on, but my memories came with me!


  29. #
    Kelly B. — January 7, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

    OH MY GOSH! That was exactly me too as a kid (and now) I too am a BIG worry wart! I always had these weird fears about things I couldn’t control and the sleeping thing is exactly right too! I would get so stressed out that I would be the last one awake in my house. For some reason the idea of being the only one awake was terrifying! I actually slept with a nightlight until 6th grade…crazy huh? I just liked reading this because it makes me feel a litte more normal with my crazy worries!


  30. #
    Veggie Booty — January 7, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

    SO beautiful! I have three happy places, one of which is very similar to yours: Old Mission, MI. My aunt and uncle have some *amazing* property there, and it is the setting of several family reunions and my cousin’s wedding. It is beautiful, peaceful, serene, and nostalgic. The other two are my Grandparents’ farm house in Luxemburg, WI and Central Park in Manhattan.


  31. #
    Allie — May 26, 2010 @ 10:38 am

    I know this post is months old but I was just lurking around and soon as I read the first paragraph it was like I was writing it! I have had those exact same thoughts and have a constant worry about things i can’t control. Thanks so much for sharing!


  32. #
    Emily — May 13, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

    Well, that one made me cry :)
    My happy place is Ludington, Michigan. My family is from that *other* river city (Cinci) and my dad used to vacation in Ludington every year as a kiddo. Then I got to do the same thing! Michigan is the place where you always get to feel like a kid and everything is perfect and it smells just right and there are smores. Do you ever find something that you haven’t used since Michigan, and when you smell it, you are instantly transported back to bliss on the lake? The lighthouse, the sunset, the dunes, the happy…



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