Have you heard of Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project? I haven't actually read it myself. But do I follow Gretchen's blog, where she discusses all things related to happiness. Sometimes she has some good sense tips on how to achieve order, balance and yes - happiness, in your life. Worth a look.
In a recent post, Gretchen listed ten simple ideas to eliminate stress. Number 9? "Have at least one good friend who lives in the neighborhood."
I know this has certainly affected my happiness level. One of my chief complaints with Brooklyn (besides the grocery stores all closing at 9pm) was that I felt isolated when I lived there. I didn't know anyone else in my neighborhood. Moving to a location where I have friends nearby has definitely made me a more happy camper.
I was especially grateful for friends' proximity during the past week when - on two separate occasions - I was able to pack up my dinner and walk over to a neighbor's house to eat. Many thanks to CJL and JJ for sharing their couches and TVs with me. So You Think You Can Dance and the Tony Awards are much better when watched with friends.