Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 58-Happiness is … beautiful blogging

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“Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable.” – Primo Levi

My allegiance to meant-to-be vs coincidence is finicky. Today I am happily forced into the meant-to-be camp. WOW! Thank you to Marjorie, (http://marjorievasquez.wordpress.com), who awarded me a beautiful blogger award on a challenging day.

I have noticed in the past that my writing gets put to the wayside at the times I need it the most. The harder life gets, the deeper the black hole goes, the less I write. It’s time for a change.

Thanks for the spark of light, Marjorie.  Today I am writing again.

Things that I have to do:

Give generous thanks to the blogger that nominated you….EASY!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Check out Marjorie’s blog http://marjorievasquez.wordpress.com

Write Seven things about yourself:

  1. I’ve won every race I’ve entered this year. (and there is one coming up on the weekend…)
  2. Happiness and I are not friends at the moment but I believe we will be again
  3. I can’t drink coffee or eat chocolate but I make up for it with candy and white wine
  4. I am having a birthday soon
  5. I didn’t think much of ‘50 Shades of Grey‘ but loved ‘Life of Pi
  6. I love two-stepping
  7. I have had braces twice

I want to nominate you! You are all awesome!

  1. http://evatenter.wordpress.com/
  2. http://justmyecho.wordpress.com/
  3. http://poetryofamadman.wordpress.com/
  4. http://ahappieremily.wordpress.com/
  5. http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/
  6. http://secretlifeofamanhattancallgirl.wordpress.com/
  7. http://photonatureblog.com/
  8. http://unnecessarypoetry.wordpress.com/
  9. http://mariewetmore.com/
  10. http://recoveryhealth.me/

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Include the award logo somewhere in your blog
  • Answer these 10 questions below, for fun, if you want to.
  • Nominate 10-12 blogs you enjoy
  • Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
  • Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Questions I need to answer:

  1. What is your favorite color? – Blue and Yellow
  2. What is your favorite animal? – Horse
  3. What is your favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink? – coconut water
  4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? – Facebook
  5. What is your favorite pattern? –Zentangle
  6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents? –giving, but love getting
  7. What is your favorite number? 3
  8. What is your favorite day of the week? –Tuesdays
  9. What is you favorite flower? –Lilac
  10. What’s your passion? –Writing and Fitness

Thank you so much! I feel blessed! :)


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So…it has come to this !

I have always believed that technology separates us from humanity and yet today I was lifted from a dark place by a virtual stranger. I ❤ technology.

Rating: Beautiful Blogger award day (5 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 0 out of 5 (Not in a happy place and didn’t know it was coming)
  • Twitch – it’s uniqueness makes it beautiful
  • Happy hour – 5 out of 5 (It is difficult to be perfectly unhappy)

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

Tomorrow: Wedding.  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 57-Happiness is … invisible & unheard until it’s gone

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“That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!”Calvin, In Literature/Calvin And Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Your welcome.” Unnecessarily said in my head after making lunches & folding laundry without a thank you.

“Supper’s ready.” It feel like I’ve been muted because no-one seems to hear.

“Please clean up your stuff.” Once. Twice. Three times.

But…

Go into the washroom for 2 seconds and it’s “What’s the time? Where are my socks? I need a ride?”  I’m a clock, a clairvoyant, a chauffeur.

I’m absorbed into the background unless I’m gone. It is my absence that makes me visible.

When I get a migraine the pain can last for days but eventually it goes away. The absence of pain feels fantastic.

When there is something I am putting off, a nagging task, it blares unfelt needles, unheard horns, interfering with my productivity, holding back my sleep, barring my happiness from reaching full potential.

Finally, finally, I do something about the destructive background nagging that I didn’t realize I was ignoring, let alone being subjected to.

It might take hours, it might take minutes. I’ve put it off because I’m unsure or time poor or whatever other good excuse comes to mind. But then it is done.

And the absence of it is euphoric.

Tada! I did it 🙂

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So…it has come to this !

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

Rating: Complete a nagging task  day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (There was a good reason I’d been putting it off…honestly)
  • Twitch – unfelt and unheard but definitely visible
  • Happy hour – 5 out of 5 (what a relief)

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

Tomorrow: Wedding.  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 56-Happiness is … 2 fingers away & 5 minutes ahead

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“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.” – Maxim Gorky

My reality of late…

  • early morning brick eyelids and a hair-trigger snooze finger
  • rush kids out of bed and into buses, lamenting my last-minute awareness of their clothing choices
  • throw everything I’ll need for the day into the car (which needs cleaning again) and wonder at how I can be so punctually 5 minutes behind all the time
  • get onto the highway, organizing my first appointment in my head as I drive, and realize what I’ve forgotten
  • feel the cold grip of panic as I try to sort out whether to go back and be really late or stay the course and deal with the fallout of being ill prepared
  • muddle through the day
  • get home, cook supper, head out for last appointment of the day wishing I was better at grade 6 math and could spend more time helping the grade six-er understand it
  • get home, start laundry, remain calm while tucking in kidlets who have not done their chores, fall into bed
  • repeat 8 hours later

Stress and happiness are polar opposites. There are ways to swing the day into the happiness end of the spectrum and today I tried the two finger technique. Supposedly, pressing two fingers to the base of your throat at  times of stress will relieve said stress.

I don’t know that the self-inflicted acupressure helped or if  the act of slowing down long enough to breathe and perform the task helped either. To be honest, it just made me another 5 minutes late.

All in all it was a spectacularly dull happiness task.

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So…it has come to this !

All signs point to ‘don’t worry, be happy’, but I’m too rushed to stop and read them.

Time explore stress management vs stress relief.

Rating: Stress relief  day (4 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (I may have had a bad attitude going into this one)
  • Twitch – two thumbs up
  • Happy hour – 2 out of 5 (met my expectations)

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

Tomorrow: Complete a nagging task.  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 55-Happiness is … wielding a mighty brush

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“Paint happiness everywhere you go and if it runs, may it touch someone with happiness.”– G. Batiste

Paintings, like life and happiness, are layered. Present day happiness sits on the surface of the past, sometimes masking tears pushing behind the eyes, and all it takes is for life to add one more layer before the dam breaks.

I may take a long time to call it done and sign my name at the bottom

“I am a strong person but every now and then I need someone to hold my hand and tell me everything will be alright.”

A beloved family pet must be put down, a new place of residence needs to be found, ex heartstrings strangle while current ones get cut, doubts about being the best mum possible rise like bile up the throat, and the stifling heat of summer that would have me push away a warm body lying next to me at night make me lament the lack of choice in the matter.

Despite the happiness palette I’m holding with one hand, the dam is leaking and I’m running out of fingers on the other.

My mum, the artist, invited me to paint with her.

First up on the work order was a good cup of tea, followed by a mighty brush warm up with Bob Ross, then on to the canvas. I discovered my mum, the artist, knows quite a lot about painting… and layers.

We chatted and in her beautiful way, she did most of the listening. She guided, made suggestions, and offered alternative brush strokes I could try.

My painting is not finished but my mum, the artist, tells me that stepping away from the canvas for a while gives clarity to possible next steps and that few masterpieces are one sitting creations.

Cliche metaphors I learned… if I don’t like the painting as it is, I can always add more layers or even grab a fresh canvas and start a new picture. Whatever I decide to do, it will be alright because while the finished product might bring joy to others, it’s the process of creating the artwork that brings me joy.

What I really learned… when my free hand was busy painting, I wasn’t able to plug the dam at all. And that was ok because when it leaked, there was someone there to hold my hand.

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So…it has come to this !

I had aspirations of painting my imagined past lives across the canvas but chose a flower instead. You never know, I might have been a flower in another life.

Rating: Painting day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 5 out of 5 (a cleared work schedule and an escape hatch in sight)
  • Twitch –
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (frustrating when imagined talent does not translate to reality)

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

Tomorrow: Stress relief.  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 54-Happiness is … ecological destruction

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“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.”  ~James Openheim

There is a new arrival to the endangered species list… the art of writing a letter.

to my chicago pen pal,

to my chicago pen pal, (Photo credit: aye_shamus)

Why bother with the guilt of ecological destruction by putting pen to paper and attempting to write a message without the aid of spell check and then wait weeks for a reply when you can type a 140 character snippet to anywhere in the world and get an insto reply?

Worst case scenario you could write an email and not have to bother with pesky things like punctuation or grammar.

And yet…

While seeing that special someone’s name bolded in your inbox has its appeal, tracing your name written in their unique handwriting with your fingers and knowing their hands have been there as well is a thrill of happiness unlike any other.

Remembering an age before email and text is like trying to remember life before a child. You know it existed, and yet…

As a child, I wrote letters to my grandparents, my cousins, and yes even a special someone. I craved that blue airmail envelope, devoured the tangible contents, savoured the smell of the person that wafted out with the words, and marveled at how their thoughts had been transported across the world to find me.

Today I decided to make a new friend (never really accomplished that happiness task) and get a penpal. Someone from across the ocean who would be willing to correspond via snail mail. (Even penpal sites are done with email now).

I have had a few friend requests, (think Facebook with total strangers), and am looking forward to finding a suitable pal and feeding the post box. It won’t be the same to get a letter from a stranger, and yet…

This is how I envision my thoughts traveling across the world to a friend

The Sasquatch sized carbon footprint reality. And yet…

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So…it has come to this !

 I don’t even get bills in the mail anymore…

Rating: Get a penpal day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 5 out of 5 (love everything about this idea)
  • Twitch – I think it’s there, and yet… oh wait there it is!
  • Happy hour – 3 out of 5 (disappointed that it is all done by email and in my lack of time to write letters)

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

Tomorrow: Paint.  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 53-Happiness is … poetry

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Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He, who can call to-day his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

John Dryden

 I  took a workshop on ‘reading your writing in public’ which I did not find useful except for the pearl of wisdom that the piece should stand on it’s own. Do not preamble with lengthy backstory or explanations; just get on with it and read it. So…here it is…as yet untitled.
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Happiness hides beneath unturned stones,
Happiness lives in moments embraced,
Happiness waits beside unturned lips,
Happiness seeks the spaces I create.
Happiness fills the life I seek,
Somewhere between too soon and too late,
Happiness finds the wishes I dream,
Somewhere between asleep and awake.
Happiness expands from the smile I share,
Happiness wafts from the words that escape,
Happiness pours from the eyes I adore,
Happiness binds the memories we make.
~ Me

My totem animal…apparently. Notice there are 3 of them 🙂

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So…it has come to this !

The last two lines of my poem were a surprise to me. Not sure analyzing will make me happy at this point…

 Rating: Write a poem day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (Love writing but I’m not a poet)
  • Twitch – let me count the pulses per minute
  • Happy hour – 5 out of 5 (proud of myself for persevering despite not feeling the muse calling)

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

Tomorrow: Get a penpal.  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 52-Happiness is … quiche in the woods

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“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.” ~ Chinese proverb

Where is the happiness for a week idea?? I’m going to make up my own and say if you want happiness for a week, buy some flowers…maybe a carton of milk? I suppose that depends how much you like milk. Cut your toenails?

I would change ‘go fishing’ to ‘do a workout‘. Or buy cheap flowers. Maybe cheap milk.

I spent the day working on lifetime happiness by volunteering at a local equestrian 3 day event (which I would have much rather been entered in).

My favourite number is 3, so this fits perfectly with my search for happiness.

  1. Dressage – prim and proper flat ride patterns that prove how obedient your horse is. I was eliminated within 10 seconds last year 🙂
  2. Stadium jumping – focus on looking good going around the jump course. I missed a jump last year, swore, and lost time circling back, but I looked great doing it.
  3. Cross country – the last leg of the event proving you and your horse still have enough energy to fly wildly through fields and woods jumping ditches, logs, and water obstacles. Top notch adrenalin rush.
Forget lifetime happiness, if  you want happiness for about 5 minutes, I suggest spending a day mostly alone in the trees waiting for horse and rider to clear the jumps you are in charge of monitoring and wait for the angel on a quad to deliver lunch to you – the perk of volunteering at this event.
It’s all about living in the moment anyway, right?

I am not exaggerating when I say you have never tasted quiche better than this parcel of happiness in a pastry shell

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So…it has come to this !

 A rider went out of her to come over and thank me for volunteering. Wow. Her comments made my day.

I made a decision to always thank the volunteers whenever I am in an event of any kind.

Rating: Volunteer day (6 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (Late night the day before was not inspiring me to get out of bed)
  • Twitch – yes
  • Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (grateful people really do make you feel good…so does the world’s best quiche…for free!)

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

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