Monthly Archives: April 2012

Day 27-Happiness is … understanding when resistance is futile

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‘Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted.” – Deepak Chopra

The stream doesn’t know where it is going, it just flows. Nature usually chooses the path of least resistance, but sometimes a fish has swim upstream to reach it’s destination.

Be the stream

As people, how do we know when to be the stream and when to be the fish?

Today I decided to be the stream, flowing along with whatever happened and letting it be instead of trying to fix it.

This was easier when my partner circuit class had an odd number of attendants than when I picked my son up from school and was informed by the principal about some out of character antics that had taken place that day. This was also easier when I was not doing my best imitation of co-ordination during a swimming lesson. Being the stream was great until I remembered I’m a person and I need to breathe while flowing.

The stream does not always flow smoothly; there are rocky places, dammed up places, tricky corners to be navigated. When water is trapped, it makes a new path; relentlessly flowing where it is meant to go by whatever route possible.

I did not allow anger or disappointment over my son’s actions, but talked to him about choices and consequences. I did not allow panic over my flailing attempts in the pool, but made the choice to practice again the next day.

Today, I was the stream. I’m still not sure how to know when it’s time to be the fish.

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So…it has come to this !

According to the laws of physics, the bumblebee should not be allowed to fly; the bumblebee does not know this though and it flies anyway. Perhaps I should try a bumblebee day.

Rating: Go with the flow day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (sounds relaxing)
  • Twitch – accepted as is
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (altered my reactions to a more peaceful state)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Lie.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 26-Happiness is … a dry martini

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“Happiness is…..finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.”                                                   Johnny Carson, ‘Happiness is a Dry Martini’

A gin martini, with olive, in a cocktail glass.

A gin martini, with olive, in a cocktail glass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carrot sticks and celery sticks – might as well be toothpicks; so the raw food movement has never inspired my curiosity. However a workshop offering free food… now that’s inspiring. Plus, I’ve never seen a live vegan up close. I went.

She was pale and British, but funny, smart and surprisingly full of energy. I enjoyed the green smoothie but could not sample the ‘after eight mint bars’ as they had chocolate, (I can’t eat the stuff). Apparently they were great.

The premise is nothing heated over 115’C and all that passes the lips is fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dairy is not allowed either. Off to the grocery store for coconut milk!

One full day spent on a raw food diet later, (although I may have accidentally cheated with feta cheese in a greek salad), and I ‘m still here to tell the tale.

I can’t say I’m inspired to maintain the notion, but carrots and celery aside, I am intrigued. Now, where are those olives…

A recipe…

Ingredients

  • 2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Large Avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juiced
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds

Instructions:
Hand mix all of the ingredients together and serve.

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So…it has come to this !

I like coconut milk.

Rating: Eating well day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (re-motivation for healthy living is always a good thing)
  • Twitch – tis there
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (felt good, lots of energy)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Go with the flow.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 25-Happiness is … just a number

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“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” – Tom Wilson

An emoticon with a smile. For more emoticons i...

An emoticon with a smile. For more emoticons in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Emoticons. 32px|alt=W3C|link=http://validator.w3.org/✓ The source code of this SVG is valid. Category:Valid SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I ever considered some sort of cosmetic surgery, it would be a nose job. I rode a moped  when I was seven and hit a fence, but there was no significant damage to any part of my body and I gave up the dream of a new nose by the time I was nine.

Moped’s do not make me smile, but I started a list of  things that do – a ‘100 Things That Make Me Smile’ list.

6 samples from my masterpiece list:

  • #4 – dimmer switches
  • #22 – the smell of lilacs
  • #13 – fresh writing paper
  • #50 – chick-a-dee-dee-dee birds in the morning
  • #31 – accents
  • #47 – my favourite bad pick up line – “I’d do anything to have that smile land on my lips”

It is a work in progress with 27 things left to list. I like the number the 3. That was #9 on the list. 27 and 9 are both multiples of 3….coincidence????? Maybe so, maybe not, but it makes me smile.

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So…it has come to this !

100 is a lot. And it is not a multiple of 3 … perhaps I should make it a list of 99 things that make me smile. 102 would be a challenge though… I love a good challenge. (Only 29 left to go!)

Rating: Smile list day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (love my lists)
  • Twitch – check
  • Happy hour – 3 out of 5 (I don’t love unfinished lists)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Eat well.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 24-Happiness is … 93.8% probable

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“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

fine weather for friendship

Chances are, that on a person’s day off, the weather will not cooperate. Today, however, the weather changed in accordance to my whims, and this is a good thing because it worked out jolly nice for me and because if the weather didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation; nor could I have started today’s blog.

Keep in mind though that 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

After a night of not star-gazing, I met, (surprise surprise), a cloudy sky and headed out to watch some horses and riders jump the moon. It was chilly for the spectators, but perfect for the athletes.

A few hours later,  the weather was perfect again – this time for hiking.  Did you know that 80% of people who set out for a hike are ill prepared should something go wrong? And if there’s a 50/50 chance something will go wrong, 9 times out of 10 it does. Of course, 97.3 % of all statistics are made up.

The hike was not so perfect with the ‘funky rock formation destination’ never being reached, extra trekking hours spent trying to find the bread crumbs we forgot to drop as well as the dog we lost, and the mid-day sun beating down on my long johns, (I over-prepared; didn’t want to become a statistic). As luck would have it though, my hiking partner was fabulous company and I loved every minute anyway 🙂

My masterpiece

Next stop, my happiness task for the day – make and fly a kite. Five out of four women are able to multi task, so with the odds stacked in my favour, I thought I’d give it a whirl and make a kite while on an outing with an online suitor. We talked about the weather and then right on cue, the wind picked up – which made kite making difficult. Kite flying was even more difficult as I forgot the string.

80% of people find first meetings less awkward if they have a task to focus on. Also, 80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are totally made up.

What are the odds I’ll see the guy again or the kite will ever fly or the funky rock formation really exists? I’ll let time figure it out because chances are I’d get the math wrong anyway. (and I would never make up a statistic.)

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So…it has come to this !

43% of all statistics are worthless. It’s probable that my kite is as well. I’m 100% ok with that.

Rating: Kite day (6 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (was worried I wouldn’t have time for everything)
  • Twitch – 100%
  • Happy hour – 3 out of 5 (didn’t get to fly it)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Write a list!! 100 things that make me smile. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 23-Happiness is … an ode to clouds

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It was a 'dark and stormy night' ... Dark clou...

It was a 'dark and stormy night' ... Dark clouds over Oughtibridge, with the top of Oughtibridge Parish Church, situated off Church Street, just visible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I caught the happiness virus last night / When I was out singing beneath the stars”. 
— Hafiz

Today was a ‘maybe so, maybe not’ day. Ever have one of those days where everything you attempt to do back fires?

  • Slept through my alarm but…
  • discovered my internal clock still has good batteries.
  • Dismal numbers for fitness class, but…
  • I had to be in town anyway for summer tire change over.
  • Stopped at tire shop to have summers put on, but… 
  • closed Saturdays (seriously??)
  • More time to catch up on work, but…
  • internet was down.
  • Good excuse to get out in the sunshine and ride my horse or go for a bike ride, but...
  • ok, no but for that one; it worked out swimmingly 🙂
  • Supper time and I’m expecting company, but…
  • last minute cancellation.
  • I’ll rent a movie, but…
  • store didn’t have the movie I wanted and my account has $30 of late charges (don’t judge).
  • It’s almost dark, I’m excited to see the Lyrid meteor shower which is supposed to be brilliant this year due to the lack of a full moon. Popcorn in hand, blankets ready, a deck next to a pond complete with frog serenade, but…
  • the clouds have rolled in.
  • Off to bed for a good night’s sleep, but…
  • Stupid frogs
  • Set my alarm for 2 am (maybe the clouds will have cleared), but…
  • woke up to that alarm from one of the best sleeps ever, cracked an eyeball, but…
  • it was a dark and stormy night
…which is an infamous way to start a story, but in this case, it’s the end. And did I have a happy day in the end? A wise person would answer, “maybe so, maybe not...” Now the big question is: Am I a wise person?
Maybe so, maybe not.
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So…it has come to this !

Life throws curve balls. Sometimes you’ve gotta take a swing anyway and let the stars fall where they may. That’s not right, is it? How about, “If you hit the ball hard enough it might land among the stars”?  

Twinkle twinkle little bat?… (whoops, wrong blog…already had the unbirthday party, but notice how I got the stars and the baseball references all wrapped up neatly with that one line of poetry? Now I’m happy 🙂

Rating: Star gazing day (5 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (I love cloud watching, people watching and star watching)
  • Twitch – I do, I do!
  • Happy hour – 1 out of 5 (so much potential)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Make a kite. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

  • Meteor Shower this Weekend! (smartstem.wordpress.com) (I like how he says potentially perfect viewing conditions…potential is tantalizing until the clouds roll in)

Day 22-Happiness is … playing hooky

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FREE DAY

“Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.”  ~John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, 1873

Everybody stay calm. Do not panic. It was bound to happen sooner or later. If we all just remain calm, I’m sure we can get through this and no-one has to get hurt. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it’s time you knew. Ready?

I forgot to do my happiness task for the day!

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So…it has come to this !

 I’ve decided to allow myself one day off a month without retribution. So you see, there really is no reason to get flustered…

Rating: Free day (no score)

  • Itchy feet – no idea
  • Twitch – didn’t look
  • Happy hour – your guess is as good as mine

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Star gazing. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 21-Happiness is … all in your head

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“The only thing standing between me and total happiness is reality.” – Brandon B.

Adoree Durayappah's 3P Model of Happiness

Adoree Durayappah's 3P Model of Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it better for reality to be the dream or the dream to be reality? How often do you use some form of reality avoidance?

I’m sure there are many creative ways to put off reality, but today I decided on a guilt free diet of fantasizing, (or cognitive distortion), in order  to test the theory that an essential ingredient of true happiness is a lack of everything we want.

Disclaimer: Do not attempt full scale cognitive distortions while driving, talking on the phone with an ex, or performing your duties at a job you need to keep.

These restrictions limited my dream time, but the basic idea was to fill up on fantasy and leave no room for negative reality. Whatever I felt I was lacking, I imagined I actually had it.

  • Feeling lonely? – Simply imagine someone waiting at home to rub my feet and ask how my day was.
  • Feeling tired? –  Simply imagine millions of dollars and only working because I love it so much – oh, and a private jet to the beaches of Fiji.
  • On the outside my car may have looked ordinary, but on the inside I was driving a Porsche.
  • Did I mention my private chef?

It was fun for a while, but in the end it was like trying to fill up on popcorn. Perhaps the fun would last longer if the dream was reality, but I’ve decided my reality is my dream.

If I had everything I wanted handed over on a platter, I would feel cheated out of the experience of the journey. I want the feeling of satisfaction that I earned, owned, and cooked whatever dish is filling my happy bowl.

Disclaimer: As with any good diet, some cheating is essential to success 🙂 

PS- I may have been hungry when I wrote this…at this very moment I am cognitively distorting about apple fritters.

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So…it has come to this !

If everyone in the world threw all their problems into a pile for exchange, I’d bet that most of us would pick our own problems back out of that pile instead of taking on anyone else’s. 

Rating: Fantasizing day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (Was pretty excited about allowing myself a different life for a day)
  • Twitch – have it
  • Happy hour – 3 out of 5 (George and Brad fighting over me upped the score)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Compliment everyone. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.