serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love <3

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Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

 

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

elephant life lessons

Greetings, friendly neighbors! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. To enhance your holiday cheer (and as solace for those of you who struggle with SAD and/or the holidays in general like I usually do), I wanted to offer you some inspiration and joy from the remarkable elephants at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN.

The sanctuary is home to 14 magnificent female elephants who are now living happy and free after decades of captivity as circus or zoo entertainers. These elephants deserve all of the goodness we can give them, especially after the horrible conditions they have had to endure. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from The Girls, all good reminders for this emotional time of year.

So! I have compiled a list of Top Five Elephant Life Lessons for you.

1. Life is a gift.

Although I have much love for all elephants, Shirley is my favorite elephant in the whole world. Why? She has endured captivity as a circus elephant, a fire on a sinking ship, and 22 years in a tiny zoo, shuffling between only a plod of grass and a small cement holding pen. She had no other elephant friends. She wore chains. For 22 years.

But then she was rescued by the sanctuary’s friendly neighbors and brought to the sanctuary in 1999. At that time, she was reunited with Jenny, an elephant who performed in the same circus as Shirley about 25 years before. Shirley and Jenny totally remembered each other right away. Shirley showed Jenny her crooked hind right leg (broken when Shirley was attacked by another elephant in the circus), the missing part of her right ear (ripped off in the ship fire), and her various scars from the fire. Jenny patted Shirley’s injuries all over with her trunk. They were bonded for life, a love that transcended space and time, and Shirley carries Jenny in her heart to this day.

Shirley and Jenny, reunited after 22 years

I write people love stories, but my favorite animal love story is Shirley + Jenny, reunited after 22 years. You can watch Shirley’s arrival at the sanctuary and their amazing reunion here. WARNING: There is no way you can watch this without crying. Be prepared.

Shirley is a survivor, and a role model for all elephants and humans. She knows that life is a gift to be appreciated every single day. At 67 years young, she is super active and gets around like the rock star she is. Go Shirley!

2. Enjoy the Now.

Elephants are a lot like people. They have distinct personalities and mannerisms. They have favorite things just like we do. Misty loves napping. Tarra likes watermelon and socializing. Sissy takes her tire around with her like a security blanket. Tange loves mudding. And my girl Shirley enjoys simple pleasures like basking in the sun or going for a swim. She likes to walk over small pine trees for a belly rub and scratch her ears with sticks.

Shirley likes belly rubs

These sweet Girls are gentle souls who understand that it’s all about the little things.

3. All you need is love.

Shirley and Tarra

This Trunk Hugs video of Shirley and Tarra says it all.


4. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

For her 65th birthday, Shirley received a delicious treat. A frozen fruit popsicle all for Shirley! While Shirley was enjoying her birthday treat, Tarra came over to investigate. Shirley is well aware of Tarra’s snack stealing tactics. But out of respect for Shirley’s special day, Tarra did not try to snatch a bite of the fruit. Instead she swirled her trunk in the air, then put her trunk in her mouth to taste the fruit essence. Way to be a friendly neighbor, Tarra!

5. Practice daily gratitude.

These sweet Girls are now very happy elephants. They have been given the gift of ele-heaven, spending each day in true sanctuary style doing whatever they choose. Elephants never forget. The Girls remember their life before sanctuary, the scary situations and lonely years they suffered, the losses of their fellow elephant friends they have mourned. I think that makes them even more grateful for the wonderful safe haven they now have in their forever home.

I watch the Girls on The Elephant Sanctuary’s EleCams. A lot. They looked especially happy today, grazing, dusting, napping, sunning, and socializing. When Shirley is extra happy, she does not hold back. Like the time she was in such a great mood she trumpeted right into Tarra’s mouth!

Shirley and Tarra, BFFs

You can watch this video and lots of others on The Elephant Sanctuary’s YouTube.

Eternal thanks to co-founders Carol Buckley and Scott Blais, and everyone at The Elephant Sanctuary for giving these gentle souls such loving care, a beautiful environment, and a forever home. Here’s to many more years of happy elephant bliss <3

yallfest feels, all the feels

Remember how I was raving about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon? And how I promised to refrain from fangirling all over her during our panel at YALLFest? Yeah, I didn’t keep that promise. Not at all.

My favorite book, The Little Prince, plays a big role in Everything, Everything. I am a collector of all things Little Prince. I especially adore the fox because his tail is so big and puffy and he says lots of profound things. As soon as I found out I would get to be on a panel with Nicola, I decided to bring the Little Prince bag I made from a tee I got in Paris that I cut up and stitched onto a Strand tote. I showed her my bag. She asked if I was crafty. I was like, “Not as crafty as your husband,” because David Yoon made all of the charming illustrations in her book. How cute is that? They are like this collaborative creative team just bursting with brilliance.

I was stoked that Carolyn Mackler was on our panel. Carolyn lives here in New York and I’ve known her for years, so she was spared the fangirling I busted out when I first met her like ten years ago. Have you ever met someone you have so much in common with it’s almost scary? Like how did they make another person so similar? That’s me and Carolyn. She pulled off writing a novel that takes place over four years of high school with such skill and ease I was awestruck. Infinite in Between is a beautiful book…and of course I had to document with these beautiful authors.

Carolyn Mackler, Susane Colasanti, and Nicola Yoon

 

Who moderated our panel? Um, I don’t know, only Aaron Hartzler! What We Saw is burning a hole in my to-read list it’s so hot. This was also my first time meeting Aaron, but I managed to reel in the fangirling since he felt like an old friend already. You know how sometimes you meet someone and they immediately feel like your people? That’s me and Aaron. During our panel, Aaron shared about a librarian who reached out to him back when his reading choices weren’t being supported. We were all verklempt. This was after I got verklempt over Everything, Everything being one of those rare books that changes you, that makes you see the world differently. So I called us the verklempt panel. If a YALLFest All the Feels Award existed, we would have totally won. As you can see here, I was not excited to be a part of this touching panel. Not at all.

Aaron Hartzler, Carolyn Mackler, Susane Colasanti, and Nicola Yoon

The opportunity to participate in events like YALLFest is my favorite part of being an author. Why? Book events are where I get to connect with my readers in person. My readers are why I write. My readers are why my dream bigger job is reality. So getting to meet you is extremely important to me. Some of you are newer readers. I am excited for our journey together! Some of you have been communicating with me for years online. It feels like I already know you. And some of you are the kind of dedicated readers who know me so well you give me gifts like this one from Emily D.

YALLFest warm fuzzies

Emily made this jar of warm fuzzies for me with quotes from my fave book, movie, actor, musician, and author. How cute is that? I have the best readers in the world and I could not be more grateful. Thanks to all of you who were there…and have been there for me.

On the way back home from YALLFest, my plane was delayed three hours. We sat at the gate for a long time. The pilot came out to make an announcement about how we were not going anywhere. Then we had to get off the plane and eat chips while the people in charge figured out if the flight would be canceled. Apparently there were signal problems at JFK in New York, something about their radar system not communicating properly with planes coming in. This was the day after I found out about the attacks in Paris while I was flying to Charleston.

You know how I feel about non-coincidences.

Tragic attacks happen every day, all around the world. Which is why the delay didn’t really bother me. If a three-hour flight delay was tolerable, what does that say about the little things that annoy us on a daily basis? Temporary situations that only last a few minutes? Like a long line at the post office or a slow elevator or just missing the subway? Maybe we shouldn’t even allow those things to annoy us. Maybe those fleeting, minimal inconveniences are part of a life we get to live. And maybe that’s the important thing to remember.

The Little Prince

We are alive. We have a responsibility to live this life to its fullest. Focusing on the moments that matter, like all the feels from an epic day, deflates the irritation of those little annoying things to the point that they merely become background noise. They fade to gray while the vivid colors of what really matters shine brighter than ever. The colors of everything we love, everything that makes us happy, everything that inspires us. Let’s put those colors into sharp focus, unfiltered, and live <3

help wanted 3

Want relationship advice? Then yay, because a fresh Help Wanted is up!


Help Wanted is my Q&A advice series in which I answer your questions and try to provide answers that are remotely helpful. In this new video, I answer your relationship questions about letting go, moving on, and prioritizing the most important parts of your life.

And yes, I am dorktastic as usual.

You can totally post your questions for future Help Wanted in the video comments, or email them to me at susanecolasanti at gmail.

Shine on, rock stars <3