A few months ago when I was a feeling pretty down, my hubby bought me a book called "14,000 things to be happy about" by Barbara Ann Kipper from an Op Shop. The author had been writing lists of things that made her happy since she was a little girl, and well in to her adult life. And the book is literally that. Her list of things that make her happy. 14,000 things, to be exact. Things like the smell of cinnamon, Micky Mouse, Lighthouses, heart to heart conversations....the list is simple and extraordinary at the same time.
(one of my many pages from my "happy list.")
I was inspired! I bought a notebook with the plan to write down a few things that make me happy, and much to my amazement, as soon as I put pen to paper I couldn't stop! I just kept writing and writing and the list kept growing! One notebook became two notebooks and so on. It didn't solve all of my problems, but it was like an "instant spirit lifter." Once I wrote one thing that made me feel happy, it would remind me of 5 more things...and then 5 more things...and so on...
(playing with wool makes me feel happy)
I started writing this list when I was feeling pretty blue. Feeling down can happen to anyone, right? I knew that theoretically, but never did I expect it to happen to happy, carefree, giggly, life's pretty good me!! If you are struggling with some serious anxiety, depression or grief, I don't suggest for one minute that just writing down a list of things that make you happy will "fix" it. In fact, I know that it won't. Sometimes in order to make sure we remain in good mental health we may realise it's time to talk to someone..a GP, a counselor..and if that's you I encourage you to ring up and make that appointment now! But starting your own "happy list" might put a little sunshine in your day. Just a teeny little bit.
(ignoring the washing and putting my feet up makes me happy)
And so that's why I do this. It helps. Sometimes I can think of heaps of things that make me happy. Sometime I can only think of one or two things. And on the days when I can't think of anything I just read the list I've already made and go "Oh yeah, that's right." "Happiness" is such a weird word, isn't it? We say it all the time... Happy Birthday, Happy Christmas..but what do we mean? I believed until fairly recently that striving to be "happy" was shallow...There is more to life then just being happy, I would think. There is doing the right thing, sacrifice, honour and justice. Happiness compared to these things just seemed...silly, insignificant.
(my kids make me happy)
But. You know what? We get to live this life once. Just once. And the more I think about it, I want it to be a happy one. I'm totally convinced that I'm not meant to be miserable. And so now, "happiness" is a daily goal...and one that I am unapologetic about!
(pretty flowers make me happy)
What makes you happy??
love Mezz xx