Author Archives: 365waystobehappy

Day who knows – Happiness is … losing a race

Standard

In order to keep this blog going, I shall be adding posts about once a week (or when I can), instead of the once a day invisible blogs that have graced the interweb over the last few months 🙂

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Day ‘I’ve lost track’ – Be a Loser 

             “Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.”  ~Stacey Charter

I finished a triathlon last summer with the worst results in my race history, yet I am more proud of this race than any other. (OH – spoiler alert – yep, despite extreme adversity, I do actually finish the race.)

That finisher word emblazoned along the bottom of this certificate is proof that I didn’t quit when every fibre of my body and brain were screaming at me to do just that.

tricert

PS – This is a longish one. ‘Ten Things I Learned From My Worst Race’ are at the end as a reward for finishing today’s post.

PPS – It is also a deviation from my regular happiness tasks as I didn’t plan it out ahead of time.

PPPS- I love a good PS

_______________________________________________________________________

Pre-race… the jitters I’m used to, but stolen sunglasses and a forgotten helmet were a new dilemma. However,  my new goggles didn’t leak so on with the fun… Let me take you through it … my worst triathlon race ever… 🙂

Within the first few minutes of the swim, I have trouble with my breathing technique. This starts some mild panic which, in turn, makes my breathing irregular. It’s a vicious cycle. People started bumping into me, pushing me off course and leaving me behind. More panic. I look up and see how very far I have to go…for the first lap. I start to cry. Ever tried to swim and cry at the same time? Kinda like trying to sing and chew gum at the same time… while hopping on one foot with your eyes closed and your ears plugged.  Bottom line is I know I can not do this. I’m treading water and looking over to a rescue kayak with full intentions of telling them to take me back to shore. I’m done.

And then the most ridiculous thought enters my mind.  “I ate soooo much pasta last night.”

I had carbed up so I’d have energy for this race and if I quit now I’m pretty sure they won’t let me do the bike and run portion just so I can have a workout. I’m even more sure that I won’t go biking by myself later. I start to swim – more of a doggy paddle really – and then slowly, with no thought in my head other than burning some calories, I put my head down and imagine I am training in the pool. I sing the mantra, (in my head), that I always sing when I am swimming. Each word is one arm stroke and I hum as I exhale into the water – “slow down, it’s ok, just breathe”.  And on the word breathe I tilt my head and do just that. The mantra and the humming noise calm me.

After forever has lapped itself, I look up. I am far off course and sure I can hear the spotters in kayaks laughing at me. I know spectators on the shore are wondering what business I have being in a triathlon when clearly I am so unqualified. I start to cry again but this time I don’t panic. I go back to my mantra and tell myself I just have to finish the swim and then I can quit. People from the next heat begin to pass me because I am so far behind. “Slow down, it’s ok, just breathe.”

An eternity later I emerge from the water as those laughing volunteers point the way and congratulate me. I find my bike easily in the sea of mocking, empty stalls. Throwing up seems like a good idea. Instead, I put my borrowed helmet on. I bike – sans sunglasses. Man, do I bike. For the first time I actually pass people instead of being passed. Some of the men whizzing by me on their space-aged bikes tell me I’m killing the course (and I don’t think they are being sarcastic). I start a cheering section for myself at one portion of the 3 lap route. I stay hydrated despite a malfunctioning water bottle. I have my best bike time ever…

And then I get to the bike finish line. I get off my bike. I take a step. I fall over.

I begin to wonder if I have ever done a triathlon before. Fall down seven times, get up eight… that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? So I do. (Well, actually I fall over once and stand up once, but you get the gist.)

Bruised and bleeding I hobble into transition to change my shoes and run. Spoiler alert – I have the worst run I’ve ever had … EVER!

In reality the run time wasn’t that bad but it felt awful. Running is supposed to be the part I can do. Swimming – I’m a fish out of water, biking – the goal is to not crash, (and usually I don’t), but running? Running I can do.

This day, however, I had a cramp in my back and it was agonizing. Some one passed me. And then another. And I just could not give anymore than I was already giving. It broke my heart and I desperately wanted to walk. Walking would be bliss. Walking would be the end of the world. Walking would be understandable. Walking would be regret worthy. The argument raged on; my feet scraped on.

As I waged the war in my head and vowed to never do another triathlon, I overheard a bystander comment to his friend about how these athletes made running look easy.

I was an athlete? I was making this look easy?? Perhaps it was out of desperation, perhaps it was a moment of clarity, but I accepted that athlete label.

People attach positive adjectives to us all the time and we seldom fully accept them. I am just as guilty of the, “ya but…” as anyone, but this time I felt the word cover me and I owned it. An athlete trains, an athlete tries, an athlete is strong. I am an athlete. Wow. I don’t know if I have ever accepted a title as fully and unashamedly as I did in that moment. Walking, running or crawling, an athlete finishes. And I did. Proudly, slowly, painfully, alone… and yet not. From the divers stationed in the lake, ready to lift me up if I sank, to all the athletes before me that have mixed tears with sweat to push beyond their limitations, I felt that satisfying sensation of belonging. And I cried.

Ten Things I Learned From My Worst Race:

  1. Run your own race – Trying to keep up with the pack in the beginning of the swim was a mistake. Swimming is not my strength. Having someone who pushes you to try harder is great but the only person you have to truly compete with is yourself.
  2. Your brain lies – My panic attack was all in my head. There was nothing wrong with my body. Your brain will quit 100 times before your body ever will.
  3. Take small steps – Looking at how far I had to go in the swim was daunting. Looking to the next buoy was doable – and the kayak was always right there if I needed it.
  4. Training prepares you – Sounds obvious right? But I mean in more than the physical sense. Practising something over and over until it becomes second nature gives your body something to fall back on when your brain takes a hike. All my boring pool swims were worth their weight in gold.
  5. Find what works for you – Really? I ate a bunch of pasta and need a workout? THIS is what keeps me going? I’m laughing now but at the time it was the fake out my brain needed to outrun the excuses. What excuses do you have? Know them and find your own fake outs.
  6. Realize that you are an inspiration to someone – Trying is all it takes to inspire others and you will probably never know you’ve done it. That bystander making a comment to his friend that he doesn’t even know I heard redefined how I thought about myself. I’d like to think that my botched swim inspired a spectator to try because, “if she can do it, surely I can :)”.
  7. The world doesn’t end from one bad race – Your hard work and effort don’t disappear from one bad day… or one bad week. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. Accept it ’cause you can’t change it. When the results you want are not matching the effort you’ve been putting in, it does not mean the effort is wasted.
  8. Excuses are a waste of effort – They are an escape route, your easy out. Easy and worth it rarely play in the same sandbox… and your brain lies.
  9. Find your finish line – This means set your goals. Your goals are unique to you and may have nothing to do with a triathlon. Set them and decide how important they are to you… now…while things are good. When things are not going well you will want to change your finish line. Be very clear about WHY you are doing this. The why has to be more important than the excuses.
  10. Redefine yourself – everyday. This is the hardest one of all and possibly the only one that really matters. We constantly berate ourselves with not good enough’s and not strong enough’s. We compare ourselves and we don’t measure up. We’re not as good as we were last time and we’re full of “ya but’s” when anyone has anything nice to say about us. Give yourself permission to become the person you want to be.

If I could do one thing for you it would be to change the verbal flow in your head and leave out all the negatives. They impact more than you can imagine. Or maybe I would wish for you so many positive thoughts that they weed out the negatives. But this is your journey alone… and yet not.

During the worst race of my life I became an athlete. I fully accepted a positive label for myself without a single ‘ya but’. If I could tell you how to do this I would, but only you can decide who you are – despite what your reflection says. The positives are there for the taking. The support is all around you. All I know is you deserve your finish lines, so when it feels like you will never get there, repeat after me… “slow down, it’s ok, just breathe.”

_____________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

Failure is a matter of perspective. 

Change your perspective and you change your reality

Change your perspective and you change your reality

Rating:  Be A Loser Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (race day is exciting, but nerve racking)
  • Twitch – The twitch doesn’t quit either
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (discovering you are stronger than you ever knew – that’s a good day)

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

Next Happiness Task: I’ll let ya know…

Day 96 vs 113- Happiness is … a magic carpet ride with friends

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

Tada2

Be Vicarious Day 96 – “Vicarious happiness is only slightly less impossible than vicarious breathing.” ~ me

What in life can truly be experienced vicariously? Probably nothing. However, if I had to choose, perhaps it would heartbreak & death. Traveling the world I’d rather do myself. Until I get around to it though, I will greedily fill my happiness bucket with hand me down travel tales.

I once had the totally sane idea to sell everything and backpack around the world, writing about our adventures and selling the articles to travel magazines, homeschooling the kids along the way, maybe finding a nice place to hide out for a few years. As that was at the beginning of the end of my marriage, I’m sure there is pseudo psychology galore to delve into there, but it turns out I’m not the only one with crazy travel ambitions.

A woman I know personally and would describe as having a fabulous, yet perfectly sane family, did recently backpack around Europe. They blogged their travels. They home schooled the kids. They lived my dream. And even more recently, I un-enviously sipped and savoured my way through her stories, broadened my view of the world through her eyes, and felt somehow more sophisticated just for knowing her.

And then we talked about relationships and work and the weather. We gossiped, we shared, we hugged, we commiserated and congratulated, we laughed and enjoyed, and we could have been any two women anywhere in the world.

What in life should never be attempted vicariously? Probably everything. Definitely not friendship. That’s one experience I’d travel the world for.

carbon footprint reality. And yet...

the sun is always shining above the clouds

Flying Day 113 –

“Happiness is a myth we seek,
If manifested surely irks;
Like river speeding to the plain,
On its arrival slows and murks.
For man is happy only in
His aspiration to the heights;
When he attains his goal, he cools
And longs for other distant flights.” ~
Kahlil Gibran
Cars must seem magical to babies. Climb in a machine at place A, fall asleep and when you climb out…tada… new place. Like peek-a-boo. Cover your face and baby is truly in awe of your disappearance. Remove the hands and… tada… magic. Planes are the grown up version of peek-a-boo for me. The new place you arrive at when you climb out of the magic metal machine was always in existence, but somehow it’s like it has just revealed itself from behind hands of invisibility, a perfect world with living people, water flowing in creeks, trees and wind and rain.
I woke up in my bed in my room in my rented house with snow for a view and four hours later I am stepping out into a green world where I truly wonder if my bed still exists. Later on I will climb into a bed far from my room and my rented house and my life. Planes are an escape hatch for life.
The list of things I love about airports:
  • the panic of overweight baggage
  • the adrenaline rush of patting yourself down for tickets and documentation every 5 minutes
  • the vicarious emotion from witnessing long hug holds between those about to step onto the Hogwarts platform and those being left behind
  • the insanity of chugging a bottle of water just to pass the security check point and then refill it from a fountain 5 feet away…
  • the realization that I have not paid for parking and need to exit the secured area in order to do so and then re-chug the water to pass through security again…
  • the prayer that the plane has a working bathroom because the secured waiting area in small airports does not
  • the sound of suppressed excitement between strangers pretending to preoccupy their time with books and music, seating themselves as far from each other as possible, glancing furtively to determine who they are about to be shoulder rubbing on the plane and wondering if they should have taken more Cold FX and if that baby is going to cry during the whole flight
  • the way the air changes between the airport and the plane

And then I am on the plane. My hands tremble with the thrill of unwrapping the hard candy that I will pop into my mouth only once the plane starts moving. My hands are still tingling as I unwrap the second candy just minutes later. This time I wait. I wait for the feeling of being gently melded to my seat, the ear pulsing push of the magical machine hurtling down the runway. I pop the candy, touch my fingers to my neck for the security of my St. Christopher, close my eyes, and as I feel the lift, that imperceptible shift of gravity – of reality – I inhale. For a moment it feels as though my expanding lungs are lifting my body and I am flying. For a moment, there is magic.

_____________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

Friends who meet you at the airport in fancy cars with a hot travel mugs of tea are out of this world. Wonder if I’d get that same treatment from couchsurfing …

Rating:  Vicarious Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (getting together with old friends is always exciting)
  • Twitch – I’d be ok with experiencing twitches vicariously
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (getting together with friends that know the right things to say is better than exciting)

Rating:  Flying Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (ok positively trembling with glee, but one point docked for a 4 am start)
  • Twitch – even at 30, 000 feet
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (when the plane lands successfully, it can’t be anything but a 5 out of 5)

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

Tomorrow: Dance and Dance in the Rain.  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 95 vs 112- Happiness is … co-ordinated packing

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

Tada2

Juggle Day 95 – ” I’m happy when I’m juggling, but I feel like I’ve gone from, like, 3 balls to 10 bowling balls. But, that’s a good problem. I don’t really have a complaint about that.” ~ Kirstie Alley

My son is learning to juggle in school. I’m not sure what section of the curriculum this falls under but I know I won’t be much help with homework… co-ordination being one of the things I did not line up for on skills day.

My first experience with baseball at the age of 7 set my dislike of team sports into motion as I just couldn’t handle letting everyone else down. Against my better judgement, I did give softball a go as an adult and managed to get a black eye, a fat lip and a bloody nose from catching a fly ball with my face.

I'm much better at individual sports :)

I’m much better at individual sports 🙂

In high school, team sports were non-optional. But as with migraines, I have learned to accept my handicap as a blessing.

Soccer is the sport that taught me to appreciate a full set of teeth (because I almost lost them trying to kick the ball with my lips).

Volleyball is the sport that taught me to appreciate nerd status after the many narrowly missed concussions from spiked weaponry.

Lacrosse just made me appreciate life on earth for one more day and rugby… well, I still have nightmares about those torpedo missiles so I suppose rugby made me appreciate a good night’s sleep.

Now juggling may be an individual sport but you can see how the idea of balls in the air would put me off.

Stubbornness is a skill I got in line for twice though. I have invested in some bean bags. Two of them. One for me and one for my son… the apple of my eye.

Less is More Day 112 – “5 Rules of happiness 1. Don’t Hate 2. Don’t Worry 3. Give More 4. Expect Less 5. Live Simply.” ~ unknown

The day before my 6am flight: not being a details kindof gal, this is the day I discovered that my passport has expired, but as I was traveling within country, I dealt with this discovery by skiing. After all, I have a beibered ski day to make up for in my blog and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t deliver to the masses that read it (#3 Give More :))

I learned that goggles make me seasick. I learned that easiest way down a diamond run is on my back. I also learned that, like wine, I improve with age. Ok that’ a stretch but my co-ordination learning curve is improving somewhat. (#4 Expect Less)

Returning after a long day at the ski hill left me with little time for laundry, ticket printing and packing. (#2 Don’t Worry)

I ate some leftovers (#5 Live Simply), and set 3 alarms – even for a within country flight you need to be at the airport 60 minutes ahead of time which would mean I’d need to get up at 4 am (#1 Don’t Hate)

You also have to wear most of your clothing in order to avoid overweight baggage charges, so I put rule #6 into practice… Travel Lightly.

x country skiing - a simpler time

x country skiing – a simpler time

_____________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

Once I master skiing and juggling, I’m going to do both at the same time.

Rating:  Juggle Day (5 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (flying balls scare me)
  • Twitch –without skipping a beat
  • Happy hour –  3 out of 5 (less is more when it comes to juggling as well)

Rating:  Less Is More Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (packing is bad enough; thinking about how to pack lightly is worse…excited about going though)
  • Twitch – not less – more
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (more for the skiing than the packing)

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

Tomorrow: Be Vicarious and Fly.  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 94 vs 111- Happiness is … unmentionable flagrant frivolity

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

Tada!

Buck the Trend Day 94 – “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” ~ Thucydides

I did it! I dove into the waters of uncertainty and rebellion and OMG insanity. I pushed through all thought of repercussion and trepidation and just went for it. I wore mismatched under garments… and the world did not end.

It wasn’t easy though. Choosing the ill-fated pair was like trying to pick which lobster to pull from it’s cozy tank at the restaurant and sentence to dinner death. You look at them knowing they have no idea what is coming and their innocence  breaks your heart. In the end I had to pull two matching sets from the drawer and then quickly dispose of one bottom and the opposite top. What remained was a yellow bra and one purple bottom. They didn’t even have a similar fabric style 😦

As I left the house I was sure people would look at me differently, that they would ‘know’, but either they were oblivious to the topsy turvy nature of the day or there was a secret world meeting the night before where it was agreed upon that no-one would comment on my dare devil act. There’s a rumour I am not the centre of everyone’s universe so my thoughts are that no-one knew or cared. Funny thing is I didn’t really care either once I got going.

Turns out I can do all the same things with mismatched unmentionables as I can with a perfect set. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments of panic when I thought of what was going on under my clothing, but I soothed the qualms by convincing myself that purple and yellow are actually a delightful colour combo.

I might make it a monthly event.

The bear and I had matching mis-matched apparel - so embarrasing

The bear and I had matching mis-matched apparel – so embarrassing

Do It Anyway Day 111 – “Where fear is, happiness is not.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The best things in life are free – hugs, friendship, favours, manners – ahhhh bless, how sweet 🙂

The funnest things in life are not free – dining out, theartre, plane rides, corvettes, concerts, high tea at The Empress hotel, designer clothes, 3 ply toilet paper – I could go on but I have a blog to finish.

I tend toward the best things in life  because I am a loving person who values the deeper meaning of life – ahhhhh bless, how sweet 🙂 Well, that and I prefer food on my table to airplanes, but let’s face it – there’s only so much fun you can have at the grocery store even if you splurge with a kumquat.

So despite all sound economic reasoning, I bought a plane ticket and spent more on a 4 day jaunt than I normally do on groceries for a month… the madness of underwear mis-matching has a lasting effect.

Upcoming blogs will reveal the outcome of this flagrant frivolity (which is really fun to say out loud – I’ll wait while you try it). See? Some fun things are free, too. Ahhhh bless, how sweet 🙂

Fun with food and friends at the annual biscotti blitz

Fun with food and friends at the annual biscotti blitz

___________________________________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

I still spent less than the some people spend on a single dining out experience.

In case anyone was wondering, I plan to match when I fly because if I get searched at the airport…

Rating:  Buck the Trend Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5
  • Twitch – The world turned upside down but the twitch remained
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (it was fun because it was a one off)

Rating:  Do It Anyway Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (felt  little sick at the extravagance of it)
  • Twitch – nervous tic?
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (felt like a rebel!)

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

Tomorrow: Juggle and Less is More.  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 93 vs 110- Happiness is … wing suit sky diving in the dark

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

Tada!

Redo Day 93 – “If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” ~ Jane Austin

There are certain things in life that you really kindof want to get right the first time round… like your first quick draw gunfight… or wing suit sky diving through a cave hole in a mountain.

Other things you can try, try again… like happiness tasks. So I took advantage of the fact that singing in the car or chewing my food slowly does not require a wing suit and in between my regular day tasks I redid some of my favourite happiness tasks. 

Sometimes happiness comes in little doses. And sometimes that’s all you need to try, try again. 

Fastest gunslinger in the West

Wing suit sky diving through a cave

Blackout Day 110 – “Happiness did exist before the internet…” ~ unknown

cell phoneChristmas Day happened on the 26th this year in my world and it happened at my brother’s house. I brought the wine. I did not have to prep food, cook food, serve food or clean up food. I did not even open the wine. The catch? Surrender all electronic communication devices for the day and interact face to face with actual people.

Proving once again the ironic nature of the universe, my daughter and I received 3 text messages as we walked up the driveway toward the blackout zone. Fastest texting in the West before the front door could be opened and we willingly tossed our mobiles into the black hole basket (ok loving placed with great care on a velvet cushion).

After the initial gift opening frenzy and snacking subsided, we were stuck with each other. We played Rumoli, the boys played with toy trains, the girls played hide and seek with the little ones, and instead of texting, I walked downstairs to ask the children to help set the table.

What a great gift we gave each other this year 🙂

There was no such rule at the next party I went to :)

There was no such rule at the next party I went to 🙂

___________________________________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

If you don’t find happiness the first time, you try again. Do you eventually find it, or do you settle and convince yourself that you really are happy?

Rating:  Redo Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5
  • Twitch – yes and yes and yes
  • Happy hour –  4 out of 5

Rating:  Blackout Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (Can’t say I was totally excited about this)
  • Twitch – even in the dark
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (Survived way better than I’d imagined)

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

Tomorrow: Buck the Trend & Do It Anyway.  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 92 vs 109- Happiness is … a cherry on top

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

Tada!

Celebrate Day 92 – “Find occasions to celebrate your happiness. There is more to celebrate than anniversaries and birthdays.” ~ unknown

Just because someone cared

Saw this in a random parking lot… obviously done just because someone cared

A dressing gown, a birch bark scented candle, a pair of riding socks, pajamas, candy… these are some of the ‘just because’ gifts I have received.

Books, magnets, jewellery, maraschino cherries, an anonymous letter… these are some of the ‘just because’ gifts I have given.

‘Just because’ gifts are given to anyone for no particular reason on no particular day.

I give them when the mood strikes or when I have found something so perfect for someone that it cannot wait for a special occasion to be given.

Try it… just because.

 

Be Alone Day 109 – “It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far.” ~
Marilyn Monroe 

Taken at a triathlon where I competed as a team instead of alone

Taken at a triathlon where I competed as a team instead of alone

I sometimes purposely look the other way or close my eyes because I don’t want to know. When happiness perches precariously on a ledge, even the breeze of  feather floating past can upset the balance.

I change the channel when the ads for impoverished children come on. I look straight ahead when walking past the homeless.

Memories of loved ones lost or family and friends far away can make Christmas less than the postcard picture many of us experience it as. This year I could not look away; I was the feather floating past.

This was not my year to have my children at Christmas. I did not travel to visit family. I spent Christmas alone.

I had been dreading it for weeks but during the impending days I made a choice… a choice to be happy. I believe it is the first time in my life I have successfully achieved this goal of choosing happiness despite the circumstances.

I was lucky – I had people to care that left me a stocking to open Christmas morning. I had calls to wish me Merry Christmas and offers of places to go. I chose x-country skiing through some memories that were hard to face. I planned a visit to the monastery in case I needed a refuge of peace but couldn’t make it in without a 4×4, so I went home and sorted through clothing to donate to the women’s shelter and ate a butter tart given to me by a neighbour I’ve only just met.

It was not an easy day, yet I truly felt grateful. My perception of Christmas changed this year and I’m a happier person for experiencing the loneliness.

___________________________________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

There was an ulterior motive to giving the maraschino cherries that never bore fruit…

Rating:  Celebrate Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5
  • Twitch – YES!
  • Happy hour –  4 out of 5

Rating:  Be Alone Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (Can’t say I was totally excited about this)
  • Twitch – if a twitch falls in the forest…
  • Happy hour –  4 out of 5 (Survived way better than I’d imagined)

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

Tomorrow: Redo & Blackout.  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 91 vs 108- Happiness is … cultured rubbish

Standard

In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

tada

Voyeurism Day 91 – “..clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this! ~ Dorothy Draper

As a child it was a Christmas Eve tradition to drive around town looking for the prettiest light displays. If we were lucky we’d see a perfect cultured tree twinkling in the window, a tantalizing tidbit that made me want to see the rest of this magical house.

As an adult, I’ve had that perfect cultured tree. It really wasn’t as big a thrill as I’d imagined. Granted mine was covered in macaroni ornaments and popcorn strings from my children and most of the decorations were only as high as their little arms could reach, but it turns out that perfect trees aren’t a magical memory making ingredient after all.

A magical moment

A magical Christmas memory… 1/2 way across the world for a surprise visit… but had to stop at the pub first

BUT, these days you can have the complete voyeur experience – wandering through other people’s homes and seeing more than just a tree in the window. Sounds exciting, right? Well, I wouldn’t know because these plans were thwarted by family functions. So while I was busy celebrating birthdays for nephews and other assorted munchkins, I wasn’t on a Christmas tour of professionally designed homes.

Instead of Martha Stewart sugarplum visions I have all these magical moments stuck in my memory… 🙂

Panto Day 107 – “Play the moments, pause the memories, stop the pain, rewind the happiness.” ~ unknown

The Rules:

Ready for the play :) Rubbish!

Ready for the play 🙂 Rubbish!

  1. Cheer for the hero.
  2. Boo at the villain.
  3. Warn the hero when the villain is approaching.
  4. Pick a side and make a case for it.

Sounds like good life rules, doesn’t it?

Pantomime is an English Christmas play tradition for the whole family so I couldn’t resist introducing my children to a piece of their heritage when a Panto came to town last Christmas. This is full on silliness with a side of audience participation.

How silly is it?

It is so silly we went again this year 🙂

Oh no you didn’t…

Oh yes we did…

Oh no you didn’t…

Oh yes we did…

___________________________________________________________________________________

So…it has come to this !

There is always a fairy in the panto to spread a little magic.

Rating:  Voyeurism Day (6 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (Disappointed as I knew I wouldn’t be going on the homes tour)
  • Twitch – wanna see?
  • Happy hour –  4 out of 5 (Can’t beat magical moments)

Rating:  Panto Day (10 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 5 out of 5 (We’ve started a new tradition 🙂
  • Twitch – oh yes it is… oh no it isn’t… oh yes it is!
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (Absolute rubbish!)

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

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