February 18, 2012

Happiness Quest

On my happiness calendar this week, there was instructions to ask yourself 3 questions.
  • What do you actually do when you have some free time?  Really examine it.  Be honest.  

I think my answer to this depends on how much free time I have.  I have a few vacation days to use this spring with Justin and a little extra money, so we are taking a 5 day vacation to New York City to wander the streets.  We want to check out some museums and new restaurants, but more than anything, we want to wander the city.

Getting in the car for an impromptu road trip is another one of our favorite things together when we have a few days and no plans.  Even when we have just a few hours of free time together, it's nice to get out and walk around.

I love the farmer's market in the summer and followed by a cocktail at a bar we've never tried (or one of our favorites.)  We also try to catch movies during the cheap ticket times on Sunday mornings.  Spending time with our nieces is always fun when we have a free day open because it allows us to participate in child activities that we wouldn't normally do alone, like dying Easter eggs, going to a pumpkin patch or catching fireflies in mason jars.

If I have some free time by myself, there are a few things that I always resort to.  I love curling up in my pajamas with a cup of coffee (with or without Bailey's) and a book.  It's the best when it's raining or snowing out and everything is quiet, including my dogs.  I also love sitting on our patio or at the kitchen table and having a glass of wine and catching up with a friend either in person, or over the phone.  If you've never had an over the phone happy hour, then you are really missing out.  I like to read blogs and news websites.  I love to sit and watch reality television and page through trashy magazines.  Sometimes with free time, I will go to the gym or go shopping, but those aren't quite as high on my list.
  • When was the last time you planned any kind of celebration, big or small, for someone? 
I don't think I can actually count our impulsive celebration of life for Whitney Houston the other night.  I can't really think of a specific time recently that I have planned something for someone.  I surprise my husband with things all the time, like yesterday, when I gave him an M&M dispenser that had Hans Solo on the top of it.  As far as celebrations are concerned, this will be a great year to put some effort into planning celebrations for others.  Both my sister in law and one of my best friends are getting married, so we will get to plan bridal showers, bachelorette parties and other fun get-togethers to celebrate.
  • Which of your possessions gives you the greatest happiness?
This is going to sound bad, but my dogs give me great happiness.  I know they aren't really possessions, but I felt like that sort of fit.  Also, my camera gives me happiness because I love capturing the moments and then laughing about them days later.  I also love my Keurig coffee maker for the convenience it provides plus the tasty cups that it gives me each morning.  I love the comforter on our guest bed.  I love everything in my linen closet.  I stash all my extra candles, soaps, lotions and blankets there.  It's impossible to keep organized, but it's always fun to pull everything out and find all the treasures that might have slipped to the back.  I know it seems like such a small thing, but I love having candles that smell like the season.  Roasting marshmallows is a flavor for fall that J & I buy each year.  

I think checking in with yourself every once in a while is important.  It made me happy just thinking about things that make me happy.  This happiness calendar was an interesting choice for me.  Each weekend, it gives two resolutions to consider - an example "Choose not to take things personally."  That example made me think long and hard today when I wanted to be offended that a coworker sent me a nasty email.  Deep down, I still think it was meant to offend me... I'm choosing not to take it personally :)  Right next to that on my desk is a family photo from my wedding of my parents, my husband and I.  On the other side of my desk are pictures of the girls and one of J & I at Fenway Park.  Surrounding myself with happy things makes for a happier me.  Just a reminder of some of my favorite things:

At the Children's Museum for a Sunday Funday 
At her Momma's Birthday Dinner

BEST facial expressions.

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.