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Remembering small moments of happiness



Have you ever looked back on your week or month, and you feel like nothing really happened in that time? There wasn't a vacation or a party, you weren't sick, you didn't have a day off work, ... there was nothing interesting at all. Your days were all just 'meh'. And yet, they couldn't have been, you're feeling okay at the moment, they must have actually been just fine. So why can't you remember?



This happened to me when I reviewed the last year for me. In 2017, it felt like nothing big had happened. Or at least, nothing great and big. I had to finance moving around, I lost a job and got another one, and I felt like I was sick a lot, but that was basically it. No vacation to speak of, no big celebrations, nothing. I tried to do a few more things by the end of the year, but that was basically it. So, when I thought about writing a review about my year on the blog, it seemed like it would be a very bleak post. I was scrolling through my photo albums in search of anything colourful to brighten this moody piece of writing when it happened.

There were tons of pictures of cool things! Inspiring pictures at exhibitions, nice countryside views from random road trips, views from the coffee shop (LOTS of those), other people's pets I tried to nick, pieces of art I had created, pretty flowers I had bought, beautiful sunsets I saw on my way home from work ... it was all there! And all from that last moody, uninteresting year. How could I have forgotten?

Pictures of my hometown I had forgotten existed

Now, I took away quite a few resolutions for myself from that review. I need to cook more, and start working out again, I need to read more books and watch more movies in the cinema. These are the resolutions people make every year over and over again. But I also took away something new - I needed to find a way to remind myself that life is colourful and happy, and to find a way to not just live for the big milestones. I didn't want to be the person who sits in the office only counting the days to the next vacation anymore, I wanted to be someone who knows how to enjoy the little things in life.

Being someone who loves lists and projects, I soon realised that there are several things I could do to record small things and ensure that I remember more happy moments.

Twitter

Last year, while I was being moody and forgetful, Floralcars posted something nice that happened to her every day on Twitter. At the time, I thought that this was quite a nice idea, but was sure I wouldn't be able to come up with enough things to keep this going myself.
This year, there is the hashtag #Happy2018 where people are sharing nice things that happen to them. More friends are doing it this year, and I have decided to join in. During the first few weeks, it was difficult to find something nice to tweet about every day, but I have unconsciously started to log small nice things in the back of my mind, These range anywhere from 'I bought new paint' to 'I made a very silly joke and my colleagues laughed a lot'.


Sketchbook

Now, this is something that might only work if you enjoy doodling, but maybe you will find it inspiring nonetheless. I have set it up for myself to do during the summer months - to avoid holiday jealousy while I'm sitting in a stuffy office.

A few years ago, I read An Artist's Journal, and one of the ideas was a small collage of daily drawings. It's small, because smaller drawings are easier to manage. And this is not meant to be the next masterpiece. This is meant for yourself as a little reminder. I did it for one month in 2014, and it is still the month I can remember most vividly, because I remember the drawings I did every day.


1SecondEveryday

1SecondEveryday is something I came across near the end of last year. It's an app, where you take a video you recorded that day (or later), trim it down to one second, and then add it for the day. At the end of the week, month or year, you can create a video of all your seconds for you to look back on.
Like the tweet project, I was worried that I wouldn't find enough things to record, but I slowly learned to work with it. For January, nearly all my seconds feature much shakiness, dodgy zooming, crappy lighting, and creepy breathing because I forgot to unplug the headset, but that's okay. February already looks much better, and if I keep improving at this rate, my December should be an award-winning short film. Or, you know, just a very cool collection of memories to look back on.

Going out this evening or staying in? Taking the bus home or walking through the park? Investing in some comfort food or in a nice evening at the cinema? I will now almost always pick the thing that makes for a cooler second to add to my collection, and it helps. I have a discomfort threshold that keeps me from doing things I might ultimately enjoy, and 1SE helps me to lower my threshold and get going. Not every day is filled with awesomeness, but more days than not, I actively try to create it.



This project of being happier is my #1 goal for the year, and so far, I am pretty much on track and it is working out well. I know, going from nothing to three projects at once is a bit much. I just enjoy it that way. I hope you'll get inspired by one of these, because I can promise you one thing - focusing on the happy things makes you a happier person.
I am in a much better state of mind than I was last year, and it's not because the challenges have stopped coming. It's because I make an effort to remember the nice things that are happening to me, and because I am determined to add new ones. You should try adding more happy moments too - everybody deserves more happiness in their lives.



2 comments :

  1. I love this post and thank you so much for writing it. I happy that you're learning how to enjoy the small things in life. They are very important ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I have a few good teachers ♡.

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