About three months ago I noticed that a few of my friends had started posting pics on their Facebook/Instagram/Twitter pages with the hashtag ‘100happydays’. Intrigued as to what this new social media craze was all about, I did some googling and found this article: http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/5123744
Curiouser and curiouser I thought…(I’ve always fancied myself as Lewis Carroll character!) I’d recently finished re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as part of my New Year’s resolution to “be happier” so the idea of focusing on the positive each and every day for 100 days in a row seemed like a good idea with this goal in mind.
So began my own happiness project. Had I been more organised and thoughtful from the start, I might have started blogging about this sooner. And as my 100 days draws to a close, I now realise with a sad sense of regret that I soon won’t have an excuse to take daily photos of my favourite things. My Instagram ‘family’ have been brilliant at supporting me with their cheerful comments and reassuring ‘likes’ but I can’t expect them to put up with my daily dose of smug sentimentality for very much longer. So when day 101 comes around (in a little over a week and a half 😳) I want to reflect on my happy pics, collate them all in one place and essentially review and evaluate the project to work out…am I really any happier?
The first 10 days:
On Day 1 there just so happened to be a perfect rainbow stretching over Enfield as Niamh and I left the library. Perfect I thought, all I need now is a few butterflies and a chirping blue tit and I’ll have a true Hollywood happy moment. Instead I settled for a sinister bloke dressed in black and a few empty crisp packs blowing in the breeze. Oh well, I was off!
Day 2; some weeks before, a friend had suggested taking our older kids to the local planetarium for an evening of stargazing. It was a unique experience, atypical of our normal Friday nights, so it felt good to not only do something special with my boys but also (in all honesty!) to be seen to be doing something educational and interesting. Cue a few parenting points…
Day 3 offered a candid camera moment whilst walking with the kids to a friend’s birthday party. The boys were swinging Niamh (1-2-3-wheeeeeee!) and she was squealing with delight. Fuzzy feel good feelings aplenty ☺️
Day 4; growing up as a child, Sunday afternoon walks in the woods were routinely part of the weekend and I remember sulking my way through them most times. As an adult with a family of my own, inflicting the same experience on them elicits a strange satisfaction – I’m now a proper grown-up! The fact that we were able to met our lovely friends with their kids that afternoon too helped to ensure that even my grumpiest offspring went to bed smiling that day.
Day 5 was a Monday, rarely a funday, but Niamh and I decided (well, I decided) to treat ourselves to a Starbucks to help lift our moods (well, my mood) and expand our waist lines (well, my waist line as Niamh doesn’t yet have a waist). I tried not to dwell on the 240 calories in my chai-tea-damn-delicious-latte though.
Day 6 was a work day; 5 hours spent in Holloway prison followed by a frantic dash to collect the kids from their various childcare settings before shovelling a poor quality processed dinner down their necks and shipping them off to Beavers and football training. It was therefore the sight of my lovely bed, all neat and tidy with its smoothed out covers and plumped up pillows (thanks to my daily OCD routine) that offered me the happiest moment of my day.
On Day 7 I combined business and pleasure by having supervision with my BfN supervisor at a scrummy veggie curry house in Turnpike Lane. BfN supervision sessions aren’t renowned for their entertainment value and when running supervision or attending it, I often do so with a weary head and an energy shortage. Dinner with Claire helped to renew my enthusiasm, address a few niggling issues and inspire my confidence as both a Breastfeeding Supporter and a tutor and supervisor. All good then!
How rare and satisfying to find the perfect pair of jeans in my size AND in the sale. Day 8 gave me just that opportunity. Happy days indeed!
I always vacuum on Fridays. It’s part of my pre-weekend ritual and helps me to relax in the knowledge that my house is a bit cleaner. And as weird and warped as it sounds, leaving tracks in our thick pile carpet contributes to my happiness high. On Day 9 I did just that. As an added bonus, one of my oldest friends (who incidentally used to be a Kirby cleaners salesman) also commented on my Day 9 photo on Instagram which brought a smile to my face and happy memories to mind.
Day 10 and dad was still staying with us, working like a Trojan to finish fitting our new kitchen. As he is an insulin-dependent diabetic who frequently adopts a very sad expression when reminded of the limitations of his restricted diet, I can’t resist spoiling him every now and again. But it makes me feel good and guilty in equal measure. I want my dad to be healthy and happy so it’s a tricky balance to strike.