Tag Archives: friends

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

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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 ūüôā

Tada2

Be Vicarious Day 96 –¬†‚ÄúVicarious 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 Рof reality РI 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.

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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 ‚Äď 4 out of 5 (getting together with old friends is always exciting)
  • Twitch ‚Äď I’d be ok with experiencing twitches vicariously
  • Happy hour ‚Äď ¬†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 ‚Äď 4 out of 5 (ok positively trembling with glee, but one point docked for a 4 am start)
  • Twitch ‚Äď even at 30, 000 feet
  • Happy hour ‚Äď ¬†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 86 – Happiness is … like King Kong, but cuter

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“Don’t waste a minute being unhappy. If one window closes – run to the next window- or break down a door.” – unknown

I didn’t know doors had a preference but it made me smile…like King Kong, but cuter.

Johari’s Window – a simple model for improving self-awareness. Created by two guys named Joe and Harry. Joe + Harry = Johari.

Excuse me while I take a tangent detour… BHAG*, (pronounced BEE-hag), or Big Hairy Audacious Goal. (Gold star if have you followed the path my brain took to reach this detour.)

I enjoy acronyms in general, and while this one initially annoyed me because a ‘b’ and an ‘h’ should not be put together like that in the English language, I love the word ‘audacious’ and I double love the intention of the thing.

snoopy

BHAG’s – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – like King Kong, but cuter

Not only do you have a goal – that’s a pretty cool thing in itself – but you have a BIG goal. Because if you’re going to have a goal, you might as well make it a big one. And if you have a big goal, it will no doubt be audacious when you achieve it – not just¬†awesome or merely amazing¬†–¬†frickin’ AUDACIOUS. But let’s be honest – the doing of it is no doubt going to get HAIRY – do it anyway.

So there it is… a perfectly summed up zip file of life. Just hearing the phrase makes me want to have one (a life and a bhag), makes me¬†romanticize¬†the tear spilling, knee scraping, OMG stop the world I want to get off journey, makes me start the list of thank you’s for the acceptance speech I will give when I’m as shiny as a survivor jury member, makes me want to fling the glasses from my face & rip the buttons from my shirt to reveal the Superwoman lurking under the normal human being facade…

…and fly out a window or break down a door to battle my obstacles. Aaaand we’re back –

Johari’s window provides 56 adjectives and asks you to pick 5 or 6 that describe you. You then ask your friends to do the same. The results highlight the qualities you hide from the world, the ones that you wear like a badge of honour, and the ones you are blind to but others see. So far, some of my Johari window blind spots are bold, brave and powerful – like Superwoman?

Life is a BHAG. Suit up.

My avatar alter ego

My bold, brave and powerful avatar alter ego… like King Kong, but cuter.

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So…it has come to this !

STPC – Friends and I have come up with a few things this acronym could stand for in relation to personal training. What can you come up with?

*BHAG, like Johari’s window, was also created by two guys – Jim and Jerry. Joe and Harry created the window thing. Three J names and a rhyme…must mean absolutely nothing.

Rating:  Johari Window Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 4 out of 5 (love these silly analysis things)
  • Twitch ‚Äď the twitch is in the arena…everyone can see it
  • Happy hour ‚Äď ¬†4 out of 5 (had to do the Johari as an add on to the day as I was too busy enjoying the company of the people who think I’m bold, brave* and powerful ¬†– *being told I was brave made me cry , but in a cute way ūüôā

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

Tomorrow: Get Up Early.  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 85 – Happiness is … moving like a herd of turtles

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‚ÄúThe¬†U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

And so begins another catch up blog. One minute fixes are all the rage – one minute meditation, one minute makeover, one minute wonders, one minute how-to’s. ¬†So here is my one minute to read happiness blog post. You’ve got 6.67 seconds per happiness task. Ready, set, GO!

turtle

Buy a Poppy РListened to some radio programs on the origins of the poppy, the debate between the red and the white poppy funds, and the veterans the poppy funds help. Talked to the lady who sold me the poppy. Wore my poppy. I learned things and gained some new insights. 7/10

Take a Nap – Ohhhh ya. Study after study reports that humans should¬†nap. Before 4pm for 20-90 minutes and even at night. Different studies tote varying positive effects of the nap but ALL include more and better sex. I love a good nap around 1 -2 pm and I indulged. 8/10 – love my sleep but the amazing sex partner still hasn’t popped out of my dreams…

Walk in Nature – Ok, I jogged. It was November and I got mud on my shoes :). I jogged to a view. I enjoyed the view. I explored a new trail. I raised my heart rate thinking about bears. I chatted with a fellow jogger. Outside is a happy place. 9/10 (only because convincing myself to sweat is always a bit of a challenge)

Learn a New Skill РI think I Beibered this one. Procrastination is not a new skill for me.

Unpack – The original goal was to unpack one box a day. I unpacked one box. A week later I put the stuff away. The next week the 10 boxes of Christmas decorations came of the closet. I think a maid would make me happy. 8/10 – even though it’s 2 steps forward and 10 back, there is a sense of accomplishment in that one unpacking.

¬†Buy Someone Else Flowers – ¬†With a lightened conscience I admit a cheat day as I actually did this earlier in the year. Bought and hand delivered flowers to two wonderful friends while they were at work. Wish I could do it everyday. It truly is fun to surprise people with ‘just because’ gifts. 9/10

Test a Theory – Can men and women be friends? A theory I’ve been testing for a few months now has, at this point, lead me to the conclusion that men and women cannot be friends. I will continue to try and disprove this as I am not happy with the results thus far. 6/10

spider

Do It Anyway¬†– Face your fear and do it anyway. At the risk of being reported to the SPCA, I have successfully killed two spiders now without screaming, 10 foot poles, or reviewing my fire insurance policy. I think that’s progress people. Can’t honestly say it’s added to my happiness. 5/10

Victory Log – Write a list of accomplishments, big or small, to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Hmmmm, had trouble with this one because most of the things i want to add to the list are still mid-project. I view most things as a work in progress at the best of times so to write anything down as being finished was an issue. I did write down ‘breakfast‘ but even that is hard to swallow because technically I will have to start again tomorrow… Love breakfast though ūüôā The activity on the whole was frustrating. 6/10

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So…it has come to this !

For the life of me I can think of nothing sarcastic, witty, or remotely interesting to write here. 

Rating:  Catch Up Day (7/10 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 3 out of 5 (today was not an itchy feet for life day but some friends fixed that)
  • Twitch ‚Äď it goes faster everyday…I’ll never catch it!
  • Happy hour ‚Äď ¬†4 out of 5 (writing 6.67 second blurbs takes so much time )

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

Tomorrow: Johari’s Window. ¬†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 51-Happiness is … admiring how sharply my first name is written

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“We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, go home happy, what’d’ya say. Come on.” –¬†Hades in Hercules

Best receptacle for a bbq…check

Let’s have a party!

Invites sent, received and accepted…check.
Receptacle filled…check.
Proceed to party!
Hosting is a stressful job. The host is responsible for the attendees happiness, or at least providing the backdrop for the attendees to lift up their cups in good cheer.
The host gets to run between mingling circles refilling drinks and introducing newcomers, adjusting the music, praying the propane doesn’t run out on the bbq, setting up recycle stations (14 years is too long for cheap and disposable to decompose), washing dishes, and on and on – and I’m not the least bit sarcastic.
Fortunately, I have red solo cup fantastic friends (life long) and family (love you) who all made the party fun for me as well.
It took hours, but I am now a pro at setting up a slack line, (in blue). The ability to slack line still alludes me;  however, most attendees had a crack at it.
Good friends…check.
Good food…check.
Good times…check.
We had a party!
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So…it has come to this !

Here’s to Fruit of Loom ūüôā

Rating: Host a party day (10 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 5 out of 5 (Very excited … people were planning on attending!!)
  • Twitch ‚Äď its quite yucky, but yes it’s there
  • Happy hour ‚Äď 5 out of 5 (I’m a lucky person)

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

Tomorrow: Volunteer.  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 38-Happiness is … winning the olympics

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“All who would win joy must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.” –¬†Lord Byron

Series of 5 – a challenging series of 5 different Pilates exercises performed 10 times each. I am about to attempt the blog equivalent in order to catch up on my happiness task reporting.

Five blogs with 10 lines each. I’m giving myself ten minutes to write each blog. Ready, core engaged, breath, and….GO!

Blog 5 of the series of 5: (note: attempting the series of 5 before a road trip with limited internet access was not one of my better thought out plans)

I won! According to Mr. Byron, I need a friend with whom to share my joy.

Got the helmet on properly!!

Today I competed in my first triathlon (an olympic distance) and decided this would be a great time to make new friends, (and you thought I was joking about the triathlon when I ate dessert yesterday :).

Pre-race I asked advice from seasoned competitors and shared fears with newbies like myself, weighing each candidate for their potential to be my new bff. I was impressed with how welcoming triathlon is as a sport.

Sporting my trendy green swim cap for the first portion, a helmet which one of the race officials informed me I was wearing backwards seconds before I headed out on course for the second part, and my favourite ball cap for the last leg of the race, I’m sure I met my goal of looking great as I crossed the finish line for the photo-op.

As for my goal of making a new friend, well everything was on track – I’d met someone I felt I clicked with, shared some laughs, bonded over the experience of being newbie triathletes – and then I beat her by 50 seconds. I haven’t seen her since results came out, but I know how I’d feel. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see me at the next event.

Ah well, if it doesn’t work out I know I’m already blessed with fabulous friends to share my joy with and there isn’t¬†a better victory than that.

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So…it has come to this !

I made friends with a new sport… does that count?

Rating: Make a friend day (10 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 5 out of 5 (anxious excitement…best way to start a day)
  • Twitch ‚Äď here today, maybe not tomorrow
  • Happy hour ‚Äď 5 out of 5 (didn’t actually make a new friend but the effort got me out of my normal shy mode and the support of existing friends made my day)

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

Tomorrow: Set a goal.  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 17-Happiness is … 30,000 feet up

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“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” ¬†~Mark Twain‚Ä®

Airplanes are a great place for learning life lessons. Possibly, the most important is the oxygen mask rule. Always attach your own oh-so-stylish apparatus before trying to help anyone else because no-one can appreciate you when you’ve passed out, (or you look better than they do in a crisis). So, no matter how smurf-like the child next to you becomes, look after yourself first.

Other ‘everything I ever needed to know I learned on an airplane‘ rules are:

1) Your son’s school backpack may explode like a parachute when you open it, but you will THUD if you try to use it as a parachute.

  • Jump (into life or for joy) but double check you can land safely – risk assessment people!
  • Things and people aren’t always what they seem.
  • No-one should open a child’s backpack without first attaching an oxygen mask.

2) It’s not that life is short, it’s just that death is so long. – Scottish proverb

  • We are all in this boat together – do unto others and all that.
  • The pilot doesn’t want to die anymore than you do (a gem from mum). Trust those around you, (especially the experienced ones), to help you when you need it.
  • An unwashed, loud seat mate on a trans atlantic flight will make time feel longer than death, but there’s no assigned seating in life; if you don’t like where you are or who you’re next to…move.
3) The best use for airplane intercoms is to train people to hear patterns in the white noise and to inform them that turbulence will be testing their bladder control for the next bit of eternity…not only are you not allowed out of your seat to join the queue for the toilet, we are going to bounce you up and down a bit. Have a nice flight.
  • You can always learn from others, even if you don’t speak the same language
  • Just because you don’t understand someone, doesn’t mean they are wrong and you are right
  • Be like the Queen…when it comes to bathroom breaks, never miss an opportunity (another mum-ism)
Let’s take it from the top. Lifting other’s up is grand, but first things first. What would you do to cheer up a friend? Does anyone do those things for you? If not, do them yourself. After all, the only person you can ever truly count on in life, is you. (once again, thanks mum)

Daffodils, the official happiness flower, smiling at me when I wake up.

Today I bought myself flowers. I love waking up to the sight of fresh flowers on my nightstand. I did not go as far as having them delivered to myself (though I thought of that) or writing myself a nice card, but why not?? I also refrained from using them as a game piece & told the truth when asked by an ex, “So, who bought you flowers…”.
I feel magnanimous. I feel happy. I feel like a daffodil.*
* In an episode of Chuck, a rock star gets hits with a tranquilizer dart and as he passes out he says, “I feel like a daffodil.” I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be a daffodil; maybe this is it.
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So…it has come to this !

Backpacks on – check. Bathroom break – check. Being flowerish – check. ¬†3,2,1…lift off!

Rating: Buy flowers day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 3 out of 5 (I have a small aversion to spending $ on things I know will die in about a week-death is so long after all. It is better to get them on someone else’s dime.)
  • Twitch ‚Äď yep
  • Happy hour ‚Äď 4 out of 5 (Opening my eyes to flowers really is one of the best ways to start the day)

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

Tomorrow: Create a comfort station. 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 9-Happiness is … two by two

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‚ÄúScience is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.‚ÄĚ –¬†Immanuel Kant

¬†‚ÄúHappiness is an organized car?‚ÄĚ – me

  • Hay bales, dogs, tires, bicycles, skis, back roads in inclement weather & kids with snacks to create the mess in the first place ‚Äď incalculable costs to pocket-book, mental state and hair colour
  • New space aged dirt sucking cleaning compound – $3.99
  • Charity fundraisers willing to detail cars – $50
  • Scentsy smell pouch – $7
  • Time spent at a friends house borrowing a shop vac and sharing some coolers – priceless

In an attempt at justified laziness I decided to have my car detailed by a local charity fundraising group. Unfortunately, the organization providing this service was not anywhere I could find them. There is every possibility that this came down to details about time or place that I failed to pay attention to.

So, it has come to this! … I would have to clean my own car. After a day of successfully avoiding the task with work, play, & social visits, I headed to a friends house to borrow her shop vac.

Two hours and two drink slater (he he), my car was vacuumed & organized. It is still dusty because the space aged compound I bought for sucking up dirt left linty stuff in it’s wake.

I might have cleaned the windows but I got a better offer, so I hung up my new Scentsy smell pouch (Beach flavour), and drove off feeling, if not happiness, definitely contentment.

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So…it has come to this !

Good things come in two’s – two hours, two drinks, two friends.¬†

Any suggestions for my upcoming ‘invent a drink day’ ? Leave a comment

Rating: Organizing my car day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet ‚Äď 3 out of 5 (I was excited that someone else was going to do it)
  • Twitch ‚Äď the doctors office is not open til Tuesday
  • Happy hour ‚Äď 4 out of 5 (cleaning the car myself was not ideal, but the girlfriend time is irreplaceable)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask?¬†Click here¬†to get to the ‚ÄėHappiness Is‚Ķ?‚Äô page. You‚Äôll find out why I‚Äôm doing this and if you scroll towards bottom of the page you can read about the rating system.

Tomorrow: Invent a hug 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.