Sunday, August 17, 2014

#100happydays

Recently my sisters and I accepted the "100 happy days" challenge of sharing one photo per day to Facebook that brought us joy.  The goal of the challenge is to take time during our busy days to focus on the moment we are in. Since my sisters live in different states than me, this was a great chance to receive a glimpse into their daily lives while sharing a bit of my own.

My first day started off with celebrating my son's 18th birthday.  My 100 days took me through my 26th wedding anniversary and my daughter's 16th birthday.  These were the big "happy" events, but most were smaller everyday things like getting a free Chipotle bowl, receiving hugs from everyone in my family before they took off for the day, time with my family on vacation, a bike ride, walking with Izzy, flowers I bought for myself, an evening at home alone, and many more.  Some days were a struggle.  During my "100 happy days" my mother-in-law was admitted to hospice care and died.  On some of these days I had to dig a little deeper to find something that made me happy.  The good news is that in my 100 days, there were numerous things that made me happy.  Some days I had to make a choice of what I wanted to share on Facebook as my "happy" thing because as the days went on, it was easier and easier to find things that made me happy.   I woke up thinking, "What do you think is going to make you happy today?"   Some days I had predicted exactly right and other days brought surprises like when my husband brought home a dark chocolate Ritter Sport for me because he thought I might need it.   Many of the things that made me happy with my husband, children, family, and friends were too personal to share and I chose to keep those happy events to myself, but found myself reflecting on them a little more than I usually would have.

My overall feeling after participating in "100 happy days" is that I am glad I did it. I received a lot of positive feedback from friends that they enjoyed seeing what made me happy and that it even helped them to focus more on the little things that happen daily in their lives.  Most satisfying is knowing that no matter what the day brings, there is always something that can bring a little joy into my life.  That is quite a comfort.  

Here's my last entry:  

 Day 100: It makes me happy that I have been given such wise and loving children who from an early age taught me that true happiness is opening yourself up to the amazement, joy, and contentment in everyday activities. When Alexander and Sophia were young, we had a nightly ritual of cuddling up in bed and sharing something we liked about our day. No matter how much we had spent on the day or how big the plans, the kids would answer with very simple things like, “I got to sit on Dad’s backseat (shoulders).” or “Mom shared her dessert with me.” They have given me a very special gift –the ability to find a smile every day, no matter what the day brings. 

It also makes me happy that I could share my #100happydays with you and that along the way I received such positive feedback in the comments section or in person.

Perhaps you aren't interested in publicly sharing what makes you happy and that's great, but I'd like to challenge you to do 15, 20, or even 30 days of things that make you happy.  I think you will be surprised at how your thoughts have an easier time moving away from the negative and focus more on the positive that is happening in our lives.