I stumbled across this yesterday morning and these few words have really made me stop and think:
Make a list of things that make you happy.
Make a list of things you do every day.
Compare the lists.
Before I had pen in hand to write my lists, I immediately thought of the times I laugh out loud in a room by myself. Perhaps that act supersedes happy. Maybe that is joyful. But those were the moments that came immediately to mind when I thought of my list.
What Makes Me Happy:
Happy, content children
Good, deep, reflective conversations
Hearing from a friend and good mail days!!
Quiet, reflective time
Being still with nature - watching snow, rain, clouds, birds...
What I Do Every Day:
Wake up early enough to have time to write.
Daycare by day - watch, listen and then write about our day at daycare by night.
Try to instill adult content into my day
Quiet time for the kids = writing, word puzzle and Facebook time for me
Housework, cook, shop and laundry as necessary.
Write (blogs, letters, email, cards), TV, sleep (Sundays)
Compare the lists:
Being a cat owner (or being owned by cats, whichever is more true) makes me happy. There is no doubt about it. I am entertained, amused and have so many laugh out loud moments as I enjoy our black furry family members. Call me "crazy cat lady", but it is who I am. These guys bring so much joy into our lives I can't imagine life without them.
Was my list swayed by the fact that I was in the thick of a daycare day and I'm still riding my post-holiday euphoria? The second item on my list was "Happy, content children". There is something about those fly-on-the-wall moments when I am watching children at play, who have no idea I'm watching them that makes my heart sing. I'm not even a grandma and I can say this without hesitation. Yes, children-watching (when they are happy and content) is definitely high up on my list.
Maybe I didn't do this exercise properly. I wrote down what brings contentment into my moments. And I pretty much live according to satisfying my own needs. My only real "work day" is Saturday. Other than that, I pretty much live life as I want to live it.
Is happy the same as content? For me, it is. I feel happiest when I am content. Would I be happier if I was planning trips and renovations and booking up my calendar with social engagements and pursuing hobbies? Not at this point in my life. That would just take away from what I enjoy. Quiet, predictable and a low key life. Maybe one day I will crave more than this. But for now, I would say I am living my dream. Maybe I'll dream bigger another day.
How about you? How did your life size up when you compared your lists? Is there any fine tuning necessary?