Happiness, it seems to be everywhere these days, & I love it. I enjoyed The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin so that much that my friend Lynne and I started a Happiness Group, and it started me thinking about ways to bring more happiness into my life. Not that I wasn’t happy, my life these days is pretty much where I want it to be, I have a great family, a job that I adore and do more or less what I want when I want but it is easy to ignore what we are grateful for and forget these things, forget to be happy when you are so involved in the busyness of life, so I started my own Happiness Project.
My Happiness Project is #50for50 I am going to be 50 in October 2015 and so am doing 50 things to make me happy in my 50th year. Others of my age might go fly to New York for a shopping spree, buy a motorbike or have big parties, those things wouldn’t make me happy so I’m decided that for my 50th celebration I am doing many things over the year and am recording them in a memory book & on here. (because I am nearly 50 and don’t have a memory anymore…)
So in no particular order, other than the order they appear/happen/get thought up or orgainised…
#1 Flat Stanley; Maybe you know Flat Stanley or maybe you don’t. It’s a kid’s story book that I grew up with and that my Dad used to use as a prop for teaching so a big part of my childhood. The Theatre production by Engine House came to Hull on my 49th Birthday so what a fortuitous coincidence! It is also Flat Stanley’s 50th this year too. Allan (lovely hubby) and I were the only adults in an audience of about 300 kids (with teachers obviously) but we were the only adults there without kids! I think I enjoyed it more than they did. And if my Dad had been in the country at the time that would have been even better but we did have fun discussing it and how they made Stanley flat!
#2 Lunch – with friends… or maybe lots of lunches with lots of friends. I have a great bunch of friends, some of whom I have known since I was 4 and some I have only recently met. My friends are hugely important in my life and as you know sometimes life gets in the way of catching up with friends, so I’m making an effort this year to catch up with more of them, instead of just a text, quick call or card; to actually meet up, in person and have a proper catch up. And adding a good lunch into the mix is a guarantee of lots of laughter, fun and happiness. So far we’ve done Rolandos more than once (in Beverley, favourite spot), Millers, friend’s house with home-made soup, Harvey Nics (Leeds) to name just the ones to start.
#3 My hubby Allan, he makes me happy, always, makes me laugh, often, looks after me better than I look after him, and is generally a fabulous guy. I am so lucky I found him so early. We recently celebrated our 27th Wedding Anniversary. Not only did he take me out to our favourite Hotel/Restaurant (The Downcliffe Hotel, Filey) but he manifested me a rainbow which could have been #4 but I might run out so it counts in #3 (it’s my project, my rules!)
#4 Total inspiration and happiness at the Women of Achievement Awards 2014 with amazing keynote speaker Katie Piper. With my equally amazing friend Alison. Blown away by Katie’s story, her compassion and her authenticity. Huge respect, massively honoured to meet her and get pic and she signed our copies of her latest book. And a mighty big thanks to Emma (event organiser) who went over and beyond the call of duty for us on this occasion.
#5 The Yoga Therapy Foundation Annual Charity Ball where I was presented with the most wonderful bouquet of flowers for the work I’ve done for the charity, and the fund-raising Allan and I did by jumping out of an aeroplane last year (which definitely doesn’t come in my #50for50!! ) The night was a great night and was totally surprised by Ann-Marie and Ella presenting me these flowers.
#6 Sunshine, anywhere, but guaranteed winter sun always scores highly on my list. This was the view from a bar we walked to on holiday in December 2014, and is now my screen saver, bliss. And yes the beach really was that empty
#8 Yoga – anytime anyplace anywhere, and lots of it – makes me happy. I love doing yoga, I love teaching it, I love reading about it, I love studying it, I love planning how I can share it with more people, and I love challenging myself with it each and every day. So to that end I will be doing workshops in areas that I’m not yet accomplished in, and I took a leap of faith and did a handstand and backbend workshop with the amazing Jambo Truong. So I got upside down, and yes I felt sick when I was swung side to side by my lovely partner, but I did it. And felt a real sense of accomplishment. I will continue to play with these throughout the year and yoga will definitely come up again, and again, and probably again!
Enough already… time to go do yoga, so will write more on the next blog.