Monday, July 05, 2010

Things That Make Your Day.

Or should I say things that make my day!

I've started reading "The Happiness Project" following a recommendation from Joanne (and now, with the idea that a group of us will use this as our "starter" for a project next year). I'm only a little way into it but already I'm finding it thought provoking.

What does make me happy? I've never thought about it before. I just am happy. Oh, of course, I haven't always been. Quite the opposite. I could write a thesis on "not happy" and god knows there are enough little quizzes around wanting you to determine how unhappy / depressed you are to niggle at your psyche.

Still I wonder if I would be so happy now if I hadn't been in the past? It's a bit like what nana would say - "you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die". I suppose that could have been the nana version of "the three second rule". You know, when you drop food on the floor and scoop it up really quickly and state "three second rule, it's still safe!" Well it could be. It could also be you have to eat a bit of shit in your life to know how good you've got it now. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?? Whatever the version I think you need to know and have lived some crap in your life to build up that immunity.

So happy. What brings a smile to your day?

My nine-to-five smile is the Dominion Post Trivia Quiz. Around morning tea time each weekday morning Sweetie-Darling-Lawyer rings me and says "Are you ready?". Of course being the saint that I am I would never use the internet during work hours for such frivolous matters but he being self employed can. What follows is a five minute break in the day as himself reads out the questions and we try for the perfect score (never going to happen!). Of course the "photo" questions are a challenge - more so for himself as he has to describe the visuals! But there you are, five minutes in a day where we laugh, forget the file we have just read and end every phone call with "I love you!". Ok, sometimes it's "I love you you useless bastard" or "I love you you skanky old bitch" but still ...

Another smile is Wotif. An international site I believe but at the moment I use the NZ version and this weekend I get to look forward to a "Weekend in Auckland" courtesy of a very cheap room rate in the central city. I love to travel. Really love! Just work commitments & finances decree that I cannot become the perpetual tourist that I would like to be. This way though I get to take a break from the mundane day to day and get to be a tourist in my adopted home town. We have dinner reservations. We have things to see, places to be. For two nights I get to pretend that I have never been in this city before and that makes me happy. To see the place I live in from a different perspective and to recapture some of that wonderful feeling of travelling /being a traveller. Bliss. (And taking notes perhaps for some tourists who might just like to come visit me??? Just saying.)

What else? Friends of course. That family that we choose rather than are born into. Some are near and call in for coffee and to vent/gossip/just be. Some are at a distance and phone, email or message and text and for exactly the same reasons. Webcam is of course the delight of my life. Saturday mornings / Friday evenings with Jules - who could wish for more. Well we could wish that our clocks were rather more evenly balanced. If one is sipping wine the other is sipping coffee. Still we can put up with that because the joy in being able to have each other in our lounge / study is worth it. And getting to do the same with Maria and admire Miss Maggie's artwork ... bliss. To the rest of you my message is clear ... invest in a camera! Maria will tell you it's worth it if for nothing else than inspecting the contents of my fridge! LOL

Family that you like. Yes, there are some of those! The family that you don't have to explain the back stories to, who have known you all your life and still want to be around you, the ones you want to know for the rest of your life.

Cooking on Sundays. Believe me, I am no cook but still I enjoy that whole thing of finding recipes & planning, the smell of garlic cooking, those little pots in the freezer ready for each work day morning ... and every day enjoying a "real" meal at work at lunchtime.

OCD Wardrobe Organisation. Oh you laugh now but it's true. Opening those wardrobe doors and revealing lines of clothes .... shirts short sleeved, long sleeved, in colour groups, skirts, dresses, knitwear, trousers ..... ok, so it's nearly all black and not so hard to organise into "colour" groups but still .. in the morning it makes my heart sing! One less decision to make and sometimes, but only sometimes, shoes that match.

Babysitting. It really does make me happy. The children in my life are absolute treasures. Naughty, obnoxious, fearless treasures but treasures nonetheless. And I get to play such good games like Junior Scrabble, Strip Jack Naked, Snap. We get to make toast & peanut butter for supper (even though we've eaten all our dinner five minutes ago). We get to play with paper & stickers and glue and make a mess. I get to feel relieved when they have all gone to bed or go home. Children are just good for the heart.

Then there is wine, watching the AB's do the haka (yeah Jules, the funny dance), Sunday papers, a bus stop outside my gate, listening to the birds singing in the trees in the reserve next door, finding the exact change for the bus home, seeing your child happy & loved, a new season of your favourite show starting on tv, spotting my passport in my purse all valid & ready for adventure.

They are not the things I expected to make me happy when I was 25. That wish list was a very different thing. They are however some of things that make me happy now. And I wouldn't swap them. Funny how the older you get the simpler it gets!


Blogger Jules said...

and I would not swap you for all the tea in bring a smile to my face wine or not wine. And you shall have to teach me all those naughty games to teach my grandsons, Auntie Clare Bear! All I know is dirty word scrabble that only Nana Jules is allowed to post dirty words and when she does, she gets double score. I do love you!

4:20 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Oh, I am so very excited that you started the book! It is very thought provoking and I can't wait till you get here so we can really discuss face to face. You are so very right about what made you happy when you were 20 is not the same as now. We need to talk soon I have some bitching to do! Miss you!
P.S. For everyone else, get a webcam it's so worth it!!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Janet M said...

Love this post of yours- and miss you madly. Can't wait until we can get together over a plate of friend chicken and think up some fun things!

7:25 AM  

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