Tag Archives: 100HappyDays

Why Should I Be Happy Today?!

Today I was spending time trying to figure out what to post as my happy day picture. Instead I kept thinking of issues that were popping up at work and in my life:

  • At work a 0 dark 30 for testing…AGAIN (Day 6 of 14)
  • No air conditioning…AGAIN (read 87 degrees and 100% humidity at 7:00)
  • Personnel issues at work
  • Scary bad things in my friends’ lives
  • I sweat through my first outfit of the day before lunch
  • I had a second wardrobe issue later in the afternoon

The list continued to grow, but one of my friends said it best – Sometimes life is just messy.

There’s messy things that just happen. We rise to the occasion and put out these fires – or we don’t. And when we don’t, the world continues to turn. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m not solving world peace….I’m just doing my best in the little part of the world I live in.

I’m on Day 44 of my 100 days of this happiness challenge, and I think I have realized that sometime the happiness in my day comes because my life is not that tragic. The “bad” stuff is just little stuff that can be fixed. I have a home. I have food. My kids (although sometimes a total pain) are healthy and generally pretty happy, well-adjusted people. All of my NEEDS are met – not all my wants (still wishing for a million dollars and a maid…and really I’d take just the maid these days).

Just sometimes – life is messy.

Look at me and those well-adjusted kids!

Look at me and those well-adjusted kids!

So I picked up dinner on the way home (no messy kitchen to clean up).

I  cut up a t-shirt I like for a workout shirt.
I rode 5 miles with Sada.

After dinner, I walked and talked with a buddy.

I enjoyed being alive, with a slightly messy but pretty wonderful life.

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Just Another Cheesy Commercial

I was on Facebook and a couple of my friends posted this video from Thai Insurance -it’s supposed to make you cry. Yeah – I don’t cry much at cheesy stuff like this. And I didn’t this time. I didn’t even turn the sound up….the first time it played. I’m viewed it more than a few times now, though.

The first thing I noticed was how poor and dirty the city was. The video is filled with poverty. I wondered why a company would make a commercial like this and who would watch it. Was it meant to just be an attempt at a viral video by pulling on human heartstrings? Is there a product to buy at the end?

But then the little girl shows up in her school uniform. That was the moment. I had been watching this video from such a commercialistic standpoint. I put the situation outside of my cultural norm and I allied myself with the cynical man behind the count. I think I even shook my head too! I mean, who cries at stuff like this? But she got to me – education is something she had to beg for. It wasn’t something that was expected. It was a privilege that she begged for – and that someone else, a stranger, was willing to sacrifice for.

Our lives are so busy  and so full of so many objects that it is hard to put value on the simple things in life. A simple meal of basic proportions, fresh fruit as a luxury, or no air conditioning. These are things that I would see as a burden. If I want to help someone, I can write a check or donate my used items or volunteer one day. But what have I sacrificed for that experience? Maybe a cup of Starbucks or some time away from my hobbies.

Although this video talks about feeling emotions and experience happiness it has another message as well. The true privilege of our lives as humans in the ability to connect with each. We are not meant to exist in isolation. Yet, how often do you look someone in the eye when you speak with them–giving them the full attention of your mind and respecting their presence? How often do you truly connect with another human?

It is a rare thing for me. I am often playing a part – mother, boss, teacher, friend – and those things all take tremendous amounts of energy and focus. I am attempting to give the other parties what it is they need from me at that moment.

Connection, though, with others happens when you allow someone to see you as you see them. Where each party is refreshed by the encounter. The expectation of fixing something doesn’t exist. The need for resolution is gone. It is simply a connection in which you share space and humanness with each other, respecting the time you have and granting each other the gift of being yourself.

Happiness grows from acknowledging and respecting these connections.

 

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Sometimes it just takes hard work

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

I have a bunch of seeds – really – A BUNCH! And I think I’m super excited about them. Their lovely unsuspecting packages, so simple and full of prospect.These non-GMO, heirloom seeds come from Baker Creek with simple directions on how to plant, with the assumption that they will grow and flourish under my watchful eye. My mother, the expert gardener, gets giddy with the prospect of this task. Her eyes gleem, and she grows tons (literally tons) of vegetable a year.

My beautiful garden

My beautiful garden

Instead, I’m inspecting the plot of land that I’m planning on putting those seeds in.  Yeah – it looks good doesn’t it.

So my thought today is that it’s going to be a lot of work to clean up these beds, plant the $100 worth of seed I have, and tend them over the next several months. To get what? Some vegetables that my kids might or might not eat and that I might or might not have time to pickle, can, or cook with.

But I’m excited about it because it IS going to be hard work. I DO NOT LIKE GARDENING! I do love hard work though and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from it. It stokes my pride when I know what happened from seed to table. And there is something just amazing about getting really, really dirty and sweaty for something other than exercise – which I also do not really like.  So sometimes the task isn’t what is important – it’s just working hard at something that makes us happy.

Plus – the ability to grow food might help me survive the zombie apocalypse….

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Happiness defined…I hope

“How was day?” A common question that is usually followed by a litany of all the things that kept me busy, stressed out, anxious, or exhausted. Although I would consider myself a happy person, my response rarely includes the word happy, or, for that matter, it rarely includes anything positive.

So how was my day? It was actually pretty good. My job is stressful and hard, but I have people that enjoy working with that make it better. I got to go to the store with Samantha and sniff some essential oils and buy expensive cheese…and search for mason jars I liked. I was quite an adventure. I got to come home and hang some laundry on the line (which makes my clothes smell amazing) and cook homemade marinara.

I have a friend who has been participating in a reflection inspired by 100 Happy Days – and I’m intrigued. Can I really find happiness for 100 straight days? I’m already thinking of all the things that can go wrong with this plan BUT I’m going to try to post a picture every day on Instagram about something that made me happy….although I’m scared that my list for today might exhaust all my good ideas…

Dinner - yummmSo where am I going to start with my happy adventure? Well, today I cooked – really cooked, like used all fresh vegetables, sauteed the tomato paste, simmered and stirred. It smelled amazing, it tasted fantastic, and it fed my family well. That made me happy – the experience and the end result. Especially when my sullen teenager said, “Thanks, Mom. That was really good.”

That’s a nice day.

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