“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”~ Albert Camus
I had an epiphany today. It’s not the first. Since the meditation retreat I’ve had a few; such a great addition to any day and so unfortunate you cannot plan them.
This one started with a comment about enjoying the company of happy people and it occurred to me… I am a happy person. I really am. But would someone reading this blog believe that?
I started this blog to explore happiness, but in my attempt to improve the happiness that I already had, I’ve focused on eliminating the unhappiness. In the process, I’ve heightened it. Happiness is imperfect.
I’ve deceived myself into thinking no happy moment is good enough because there is still some unhappiness lurking.
No more… I am not perfect, I am not perfectly happy, but I am happy.
My favourite restaurant sign: ‘Choose 2 out of 3…Your food can be fast, cheap or good. If it’s cheap and good it won’t be fast. If it’s fast and cheap, it won’t be good. If it’s fast and good it won’t be cheap.”
My blog is free (doesn’t get cheaper than that) and I need to get it up-to-date fast, which means what follows is a fairly long, boring recount to catch this blog up to present day. ENJOY 🙂
Day 62 – Meditate. Months ago, when I was fresh into the exploration of happiness, I signed up for a summer beginner’s weekend meditation retreat at a Buddhist monastery. In my usual way, I was prepared right until I got lost. Arriving 20 minutes late, heart racing, and as flustered as a city dweller who has never meditated in her life can be, I was greeted calmly by the head monk with a smile. “You’re right on time.” I thought it was a joke, but then I wondered if monks are allowed to joke?
Over the course of the weekend, I discovered they are…but the nuns were funnier.
It was a remarkable place. Rabbits, chipmunks, marmots, all skittered about the woods fearlessly. They would actually stop to watch me sometimes; even the air seemed more serene.
I plan to return. I have started a daily 10 minute meditation each morning. Of anything I have done so far in my quest for happiness, this has by far had the most influence and lasting impact. 10/10
Day 63 – Find God. Seemed a fitting enough task while meditating at a monastery, but it turns out that Buddhists are more concerned with the self. They honour the work of self improvement because a better world starts with better individuals and the only person capable of making you a better person is…you.
When I was a child, I remember going on a road trip with my parents and staring out the car window at the stars. I closed my eyes and made a deal with God…”If there is a God, I want to see a shooting star when I open my eyes.” I waited about 2 seconds (to give God a chance) and then popped my eyes open. I did not imagine the shooting star. It was definitely there. What, if anything, that means I am still deciding but that experience was the closest I’ve come to finding God. 7/10
Day 64 – Book Review. Love to read. My 15 year old daughter makes the best recommendations but following the
hype of media and local chitter, I bought ’50 Shades of Grey’. I still can’t figure out what the big deal is. Yes, I get that the woman has a talent but the book was like a porn… badly acted/written in between scenes that everyone puts up with to get to the ‘good stuff’.
Around the same time, I also read ‘Life of Pi’. Loved the layers of that book. I felt that most of the first part of the book could have been edited out without affecting the story much…until I got to the end and realized how subtly and perfectly the author had brought the story full circle. I can’t say more without a spoiler alert and more ink in my pen. 8/10
Day 65 – Save a life. I put this off for years because of my own discomfort at the idea. It still bothers me a great deal but in the end, it isn’t about me. I became an organ donor. 6/10
Day 66 – Bucket List. I added to and updated my bucket list. Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole in my bucket… 6/10
Day 67 – Clean kitchen. I like a clean kitchen, but I love walking into a clean kitchen first thing in the morning. Waking to dirty dishes starts my day off wrong instantly. The first thing I see is work needing to be done and I instantly feel tired. On the night I had specifically set aside to give myself that early morning simple smile, I was late home from work and wondering if it was really worth the effort. It wasn’t… but without prodding or poking of any kind, my daughter had already done it. It hasn’t happened before or since, but it happened 🙂 9/10
Day 68 – Review. What am I getting out of this project, if anything? Is it helping? Think I’ve covered that in the last couple of blogs… 7/10
Day 69 – People Watch. Ohmagosh, one of my all time favourite activities ever. People are weird. I like to invent their lives, to imagine where they are going next, or just try to sort out why someone would sunscreen themselves in a pattern. People are weird. 7/10
Day 70 – Foam Roller. Hamstring injury + foam roller = pain. Tight IT band + foam roller = more pain. It’s like the Buckley’s slogan “Tastes awful and it works.” The foam roller slogan should be “Awful pain and it works.” I’ve also been to physio. All this to allow me to run farther than 10km. When I finish the IronMan, I’ll be sure to thank the foam roller people in my speech. 6/10
Day 71 – Victory Log. A Beiber Day…I didn’t do it!
Day 72 – Sing in the Car. Be grateful this isn’t a podcast. The louder the radio, the better I get. As a happiness task I rank this one highly. 8/10
Day 73 – Purge. I cannot believe the amount of garbage I was living with. Moving forces you to consider the value of each object before you put effort into packing, moving, and unpacking it. I purged! Simplifying does feel good. I still have an internet stick for sale… 7/10
Day 74 – Sleep Under the Stars. Space is big. I mean really big. I wish I had more space and time to write about this night and perhaps I will embellish in future blogs. Me, my kids, some sleeping bags and loads of bug spray. The 5am rain storm made it completely unforgettable. 9/10
Day 75 – Say goodbye. We moved. We said good bye to a community, a home, a school, a way of life. And because things like to happen all at once we said goodbye to some beloveds. RIP Sir Gallahad and Snoopy. For me there were other goodbyes as well because apparently I still need to build more character. 6/10
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So…it has come to this !
Rating: Catch Up day (8 out of 10)
- Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (very excited to have happiness tasks and a reason to write again)
- Twitch – grrr…forgot to go get those lab tests again
- Happy hour – 4 out of 5 (had to stay up late to get it done, but still worth it)
What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.
Tomorrow: Harvest. Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.