Monthly Archives: May 2012

Day 47-Happiness is … 309 ideas away

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” Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” – Dennis Wholey

Ideas don’t grow on trees, (I looked), so I went to the bookstore to research ideas for happiness tasks.

I saw some cool books that are nothing but lists! Guess what I learned??

Seven Wonders of the World (was on my bucket list to learn these – check…and visit them – difficult as all but one are gone…or are they?)

The seven wonders of the ancient world (from l...

The seven wonders of the ancient world (from left to right, top to bottom): the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Great Pyramids – only wonder still in existence (Egypt)
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq)
  3. Temple of Artemis (Turkey)
  4. Statue of Zeus (Greece)
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Turkey)
  6. Colossus of Rhodes (Greece)
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt)
No new ideas from this though.
Then I spent some time drinking tea and browsing the internet looking for ideas. Guess what I found?

Yah…one new idea.

Finally, I got distracted by the cute guys drinking coffee at the next table, interjected myself into their conversation and lost focus and track of time. Guess what happened next??

Not much. I practiced all my new flirting skills, but got no new happiness ideas. No new phone number either, but I did enjoy the scenery on my detour from task searching.

317 new ideas needed; 7 new ideas found:

  1. Zentangle
  2. Chewing food
  3. Clean kitchen
  4. Penpal
  5. Stress relief
  6. Sleep under the stars
  7. Recipe testing
Only 310 to go… wait!
       8. Find and photograph the following mythical trees:

not sure yet what kind of tree this could represent but I like the picture

  • idea tree
  • time tree
  • money tree
  • bakewell tart tree
  • cute, eligible men tree
  • list tree
  • happiness tree
Might be easier to visit the seven wonders…

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So…it has come to this !

I didn’t come up with too many new ideas, so start sending them in!!!!

Rating: Find new tasks day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (Love the bookstore)
  • Twitch – still have it; booked a doctor’s appointment
  • Happy hour – 3 out of 5 (didn’t have enough time to really get into the task… imagine if time grew on trees)

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

Tomorrow: Zentangle.  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 46-Happiness is … everywhere; blink and you’ll catch it

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” Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.”  ~Jacques Prévert

Picture this:

  • a mountain lake hidden in the forest viewed through the lens of a 12 yr old girl’s eyes as she sits alone with just her thoughts
  • an a-frame house viewed through the lens of a newly married woman’s eyes as she sees herself growing old there
  • a child sinking in a pool, hair floating around her surprised face, viewed through the lens of a mother’s eyes as she reaches in to pull the child out
  • a boy turning into a man with each step he takes up the driveway toward the school bus viewed through the lens of a woman learning to hold happiness loosely instead of gripping too tightly for fear of losing it

Mind’s eye view

There are moments we think we will never forget and there are moments we don’t expect to remember. There are moments that torture us and moments we cherish. Moments live inside the scrapbook of our minds.

My camera has been to almost every major event in my life and many mediocre ones; my photo albums remain comparatively sparse.

Today I practiced one of my favourite art forms…mental photography. Literally blinking the lens of my eyes to take a mental snapshot of everyday moments and  storing them in my mental scrapbook has given me some of my best photos.

The best part about mental photography is that the photo’s tend to improve over time instead of fading. I know there are loads I’ve forgotten, but the ones I remember always surprise me and I love surprises.

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So…it has come to this !

I’ve always wondered how many photographs I’m ‘accidentally’ in around the world – in the background of a stranger’s shot. Now I wonder if I’m in anyone’s mental photography…

Rating: Mental photography day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (In my head I’m a world class photographer)
  • Twitch – I took a picture of it in my mind’s eye
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (collected some wonderful everyday moments)

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

Tomorrow: New happiness tasks.  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 45-Happiness is … weak or strong, hot or cold, alone or shared, but always sipped and savoured

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” The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.”  ~George Gissing

Always find the place that serves tea in a proper cup and offers a teapot rather than a bag plunked into a paper cup.

” A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards.”  ~ A.A. Milne

“Life is like making tea! Boil your ego, evaporate your worries, dilute your sorrows, filter your mistakes &  get a taste of happiness…” ~ unknown

“Coffee is not my cup of tea.”  ~Author Unknown

“Tea is a cup of life.”  ~Author Unknown

“We haven’t had any tea for a week…
The bottom is out of the Universe.
~ Rudyard Kipling

tea art

“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”  ~Japanese Proverb

“Tea is liquid wisdom”.  ~Anonymous

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”  ~Thich Nat Hahn

“The first sip of tea is the always the best… you cringe as it burns the back of your throat, knowing you just had the hottest carpe-diem portion.”  ~Terri Guillemets

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  ~C.S. Lewis

I made the perfect cup of tea once. It was so amazing I had to call people to let them know. I’ve been chasing that cup of tea ever since. Some have come close, but if I never find it again, I consider myself lucky that I found it all.

The strangest thing about tea is that no-one knows how you like your tea better than you do, yet a cup of tea prepared for you by someone else always tastes the best.

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So…it has come to this !

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

The tea cozy is obvious but don’t ask about the flipper…that’s just weird

Rating: Tea day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 5 out of 5 (out of bed before anyone else and walked to a new coffee shop to sit and write with a cup of tea)
  • Twitch – it doesn’t matter if I have my tea
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (visited tea shops, found tea art, just didn’t have enough time to dedicate to tea that day)

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

Tomorrow: Mental photography.  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 44-Happiness is … cinderella beer

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“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” – Bertrand Russell

 Flirting is easy when:

flirting elixir

  1. You are certain the person you are flirting with already knows how great you are
  2. You have no real intentions and are just playing around
Flirting is not like riding a bike when:
  1. You haven’t given it a real whirl in about 15 years
  2. You are facing real rejection that you might actually care about
Steps to flirting:
  1. Drink alcohol (I learned this one from men who cannot express a desire to know you beyond the current conversation without a drink or 5)
  2. Make eye contact and hold it while smiling, play with your hair, make physical contact with the upper part of a man’s arm, mimic the other person’s speech patterns and lick your lips. (I’m not kidding – studies have shown…)
My flirting attempts (thanks go to my more experienced friends for the plucky backbone they lent me):
  1. Walked around after a 5km obstacle race in a park full of  hundreds of sweaty men while giving full on looks and playing with my hair. Didn’t make physical contact with an arm or speak to anyone other than being bumped into a guy, causing him to spill his water cup, and apologizing for being pushed. Results – nada
  2. Walked past the line of cute firemen hosing muddy racers off for donation without a glance in their direction. Results – Whoops and hollers and a free ‘hosing’. Some good looks were thrown around and I ended up soaking wet.
  3. Sat down next to two attractive men at the bar of a restaurant and asked what they were eating because it looked great and I couldn’t decide what to order. Results – Being fed sushi by one of the cute men and promising to return and share my food when my order arrived.
  4. Made good on the promise and tried out the arm touching, speech mimicry  trick. Results – nada.
  5. Chickened out on approaching the insanely toned beach dude because, well, what would I say besides, “ble da hoo fuor ki” or some other nonsense that fell out when my mouth stopped working properly and drool started trickling down my chin. My friends had some great openers I could have tried to wrap my tongue around, but… Results – a bit of regret. I did throw him my best look but it’s possible he missed it as he had his back turned and was a few hundred feet away.
  6. Walked past the restaurant with the two attractive men a few hours, and a few drinks on their part later, and ignored them. Results – two men with liquid courage who chased us down, told us we were fantastic, offered to take us snow shoeing, and gave us their phone numbers.
  7. Chatted casually, (yes I was mimicking), with the sales guy at the equipment store while buying the gear to set up a slack line (did I mention the beach dude was slack lining?). Results – handing him my business card and telling him to call me as I was dragged out of the store by friends who needed to get to the airport on time, then being checked out by him and the 5 friends he dragged to look out the door at us. 
Flirting lessons learned:
  1. I have no idea what I’m doing
  2. Nobody else does either
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So…it has come to this !

When you order the flirting elixir pictured above, it comes in a special glass. In order to drink from this glass you must give up one of your shoes which is then hung in a basket near the ceiling. When you return the glass, your shoe is returned. There must be a cinderella reference in there somewhere.

hanging basket of beer shoes

Rating: Flirting day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (terrified)
  • Twitch – does a twitch make you unique or freakish?
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (I discovered two new sports – slack lining and flirting – unfortunately the only guy I was really attracted to I didn’t spar with)

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

Tomorrow: Tea day.  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 43-Happiness is … tangled fingers

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“Test driving life down a clean street leads to regret, but blisters on your feet and bloody knees are the way to happiness.” – me

I should have held her hand.

Sunshine splattered around the inside of the car off of Grandma’s wedding ring as we followed the hearse to the chapel. She had not resized it since becoming sick and it slipped around her finger as she twisted her hands together, trying to wring courage out of air. I was 20, newly engaged, and had no idea what to say to her; I did know what I should do.

As clearly as though she had spoken out loud, I heard my grandma ask me to hold her hand. She needed the touch of someone who loved her; a simple act that would convey everything without need of words I couldn’t find. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, and I didn’t move.

I could find no earthly reason within myself that I was denying the overwhelming urge to reach over and calm those restless hands. Every fibre and nerve was demanding that I obey and I fought it; to this day I don’t understand why. My regret was born when, with tears staining the make up she’d spent energy applying that morning, my grandma quietly asked, “Hold my hand please, Kathy.”

no regrets

Today I was supposed to tick something off my bucket list, but I forgot to look at it and choose something before leaving on a road with friends, so I twirled my grandmother’s ring around my finger a few times and remembered to take chances. We stopped and fed Koi in a pond, we competed in a muddy obstacle race and bathed in a river, we explored new pubs, restaurants and coffee shops where we chatted up cute men, we discovered a new sport at the beach and we dipped our toes in the ocean.

I checked when I got home; none of those things are on my list. However, during the road trip I stayed in my friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s grandfather’s apartment. The sister and her boyfriend are up and coming musicians who will be famous and the boyfriend’s dad is already is famous, so I’m ticking ‘meet someone famous‘ off of my bucket list.

My knees were literally bleeding at the end of the race and I have no regrets 🙂

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So…it has come to this !

I’m 37, divorced, and I love to hold hands.

Rating: Set a goal day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (never consciously tried to tick something off the list – guess I still haven’t)
  • Twitch – maybe I should add cure twitches to my list
  • Happy hour – 5 out of 5 (fun was had and when I did look at the list I discovered I had 3 new items to tick off from the last few months – online dating, compete in a triathlon, and learn to downhill ski)

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

Tomorrow: Flirt day.  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 42-Happiness is … public hangings

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“How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!” – Jane Austen

Live recklessly. Etirw sdrawkcab. Glue, cut, tear, chew, rip, bend, break, destroy…create.

Welcome to writer’s block – the inability to put words on a page because you know before you start that it has to be destroyed before it can be created.

Write wrecklessly. Etirw levird. Spit, throw, regurgitate, cough, pound, force the words into existence…create…destroy, break, bend, rip, chew, tear, cut, glue…written.

This page was made with the help of happy people

Wreck This Journal is to writer’s block what aspirin is to heart attacks – designed with a purpose but possessing unexpected bonus benefits. Through the process of using this journal as $20 stress relief therapy, I am discovering how to enjoy a task without pressure of a perfect outcome. In fact, the outcome becomes irrelevant when the focus is the task.

Page 9 of my journal is, “Hang the journal in a public place and invite people to draw.” I took mine to work. Whether or not this made me happy is the irrelevant outcome. The experimentation experience of each happiness task I create and the blogging focus are my happiness. The task itself is just a bonus benefit.

Sounds wonderful until my blogging focus is blocked. Stand clear as I attempt to destroy the blank page wall and create a blog post.

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So…it has come to this !

I cannot put into words how much fun wrecking a journal can be.

Rating: Set a goal day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (actually felt a little weird about other people hurting ‘my’ journal)
  • Twitch – yes
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (made others happy)

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

Tomorrow: Bucket List day.  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 41-Happiness is … having an app for everything

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“Yesterday is but a vision, and tomorrow is only a dream. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a dream of hope.” – Anonymous 

Dreaming droolers

Ever notice how we remember dreams in reverse? We can’t remember the start of a dream  but if we can recall just one part and work backwards we can usually find the beginning. Like an avalanche in the fog, one detail snowballs into another until a mountain pours into view.
Perhaps happiness can be found the same way. In that moment when you can’t remember happiness, find just one memory that makes you smile and work the timeline backwards to find the source. Now let the smile tangent slide out of control.
Some say dreams are a gateway to an alternate universe. Some say dreams are nothing more than your brain re-jumbling past events. Some say dreams are different in REM and nonREM sleep. Some say it’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. Sorry..got on a tangent there.
How much should we pay attention to our dreams? Do you dream in colour? Do you dream in the first person (seeing the dream through your own eyes), in the third person (seeing the dream like you are watching a movie), or even in the second person (seeing the dream through someone else’s eyes)? Can you control your dreams and would you want to?
Last night I went to sleep with the intention of controlling my dreams, (there’s an app for that…I’m serious). I believe I was successful. In my dream I  discovered the meaning of the universe and then ordered myself to forget all knowledge of the event and the dream. It worked; I can’t remember one bit of it… mice… there may have been 42 mice…?
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So…it has come to this !

Dream journaling makes me happy but it has to be done before you even wipe the drool from your chin or it’s lost… the dream, not the slime on your pillow.

Rating: Dream control day  (5 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (wasn’t much to look forward to until bedtime. If I’d been more organized I could have staged weird events throughout the day to entice weird dreams. I did eat cheese before bed…)
  • Twitch – I thought it was gone but it was only a dream
  • Happy hour – 2 out of 5 (next morning I was ready to journal but I didn’t remember any dreaming)

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

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