Happiness Ever After

About three months ago, my attention was caught by a post from a friend on Facebook. A smiling, laughing little girl with the sun caught in her hair on a beautiful, sunny summer day blowing bubbles. They had this picture of one of their daughter with a caption and the hashtag #100happydays. This person then posted the following website (100happydays) to state why they were posting this. Being as I normally don’t click on websites that people post (I mean there are just so many!), this one just drew me in.

As I perused the website, I was appalled that 71% of people who would start the happiness challenge would quit because of their lack of time to complete it. 71%, almost 3 out of 4 people, didn’t want to make time for their happiness….really?! 

I knew that something was missing in my life at that point in time. I was content and seemed happy, but couldn’t really pinpoint why I was happy. I was content because life was just moving along. One major obstacle has been in our way since March, but we’re just along for the ride and taking everything in stride. That same day, I was at Target and found the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was definitely noticing a theme emerging in my life. 

That day, I started the #100happydays on Facebook. I didn’t post a picture everyday as I thought it would be overkill, but just started posting a simple phrase or sentence about what made me happy each day. After the first week, I noticed that I was consciously looking for little things that made me happy as I didn’t want to be redundant to and just keep saying that my family made me happy. After the first month, I did notice that I was being a more positive person and I was truly becoming happier.

With that, I then read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and simply realized that I just need to embrace the crazy that is my house and understand that my happiness is not what others view as happiness. My peace is not their peace and that’s totally okay. 

As I finished up my 100 days last week, I scoured through my past posts to find my happiness themes and came up with these:

  • My kids just being themselves
  • Spending time with my husband
  • Enjoying coffee
  • Eating great food
  • Spending time with close friends and family
  • Being outside
  • Reading
  • Enjoying solitude 
  • Cooking
  • Fantastic colleagues & career

I reflected then on Rubin’s work and realized that yes, my linen closets being organized makes me gleefully happy. A clean kitchen makes me melt when I wake up in the morning to glimmering countertops and no dishes to be done. I am more laid back about cleaning the bathroom and putting away clothes now. I mean, really, I live in a house with three guys, I’m not sure my bathroom will ever not smell like a hint of urine no matter what tricks I use. 

I am more grateful after this 100 days of focusing on happiness. I say thank you probably way more than I should. Instead of nagging someone else to do it, I just do the task without complaint (unless it’s taking the puppy out at 1:00 a.m). I relish in the quiet moments of reading and snuggling with my kids as much as I relish watching them run through the Course of Doom. I appreciate my husband more and nag him less. I have started taking time for myself and understanding that I can take 30 minutes out of my day for something that makes me happy versus something that should be done (like the bathroom cleaning). I’ve stopped wishing away my life and really started living in the present. 

I will be continuing the happiness effort by keeping a private journal instead of continuing to post on Facebook. These past 100 days have made a huge impact on my life that I’d like to continue to keep up to constantly remind myself that my life is pretty amazing. We don’t live in a fancy house, drive nice cars, or have a lot of money lying around – but I’m beyond happy with what I have and that’s all that matters.