I just deleted another post about how much I dread clocking into work on Monday morning and how the sadness starts on Sunday night as I realize my weekend is over. I deleted it because I have decided to stop talking about it. It is clear that nothing will change and whining about it here doesn’t help. Instead, enjoy some of my photos that make me happy.
I did a writing challenge awhile back. The daily prompt today as grateful and I do one of those most Sundays. It did remind me that I did this what makes me happy list once. I feel like it is still accurate and the only updates would be that when there is no pandemic both kids live away most of the year. The worry about the effect this is having on #8 is my biggest stress in this situation.
I decided that I needed something like this to get me in the habit of writing every day. I’m even using my lunch break to do this today to make sure I get started. This first topic is a tough one for a grumpy old man like me, but I will give it a try.
10 things that make me really happy:
- Having my entire family together: My son is away at college. My wife works a lot and sometimes travels for work. It’s rare these days for all of us to be together. It makes me happy when we are. I’m not sure I can say the same for them since they are stuck with me.
- Music, especially new music from mt favorite artists: If you are my friend on Facebook you have been subjected to posts of videos of songs from my favorite artists. The music of Bowling for Soup, Patent Pending, The Dollyrots, People on Vacation, and Ryan Hamilton really improves my mood.
- A good book: I read a lot and reading always makes me a little happy and relaxed. What makes me really happy is finding a really good book. I got in a reading rut recently and I am trying to get out of it in hopes of finding more of the books that make me really happy.
- A good meal out: If you have seen me in person you can probably tell that I enjoy food. What I enjoy even more is food someone else prepares and comes with no cleanup. Others in my family don’t really like to eat out, so when I get the opportunity it always makes me happy.
- Going to the movies: This is something that many people do on a regular basis, but that I do only once in a while. I’m a big fan of the movies and the rare opportunity to go out to the movies makes me happy, especially when the movie is actually good.
- Traveling: While I hate airports and driving, I really enjoy travel. I don’t actually mind driving if it is to go someplace new. I hate the tedious drive to Kentucky because it is a long stretch of “been there, done that”. I hate the airport, but like flying and I love going to new places. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do this quite a bit.
- My Teams Winning: I love watching sports and I am a loyal fan. It makes me happy when my teams win championships. I was able to go watch the Ravens win the Super Bowl in person a few years ago and last year saw UK in person at the Final Four(we won’t discuss the results). I enjoy watching games regardless of the outcome, but it is really exciting to see your team win it all.
- Seeing my kids happy: The flip side of this is the agony of seeing my kids struggle. When my kids get good news and do good things that make them happy, I am happy. I am fortunate to have good kids who do things like make honor roll, get jobs they like, make sports teams, etc, so I get to enjoy seeing them successful and happy quite a bit.
- When people laugh at me: I’m sure there are plenty of times when people laugh at me in a way that would not make me happy, but I prefer to stay blissfully ignorant of this. What does make me happy is when I think I’m funny and people actually agree with me. There are even random times when my wife actually laughs at my jokes. This is big because I think her sense of humor is broken. Anyway, this is one of the main reasons I leave my Facebook public. I post dumb jokes there a lot and it makes me happy when random friends of friends like them.
- Being done with this list: This was not an easy way to start the challenge. I hope the later days’ challenges are a little easier than this one.
A friend sent me a Creativity Jumpstart notebook a while back. I have not used it as much as I should. I get stuck a lot and it is very useful in helping me find something to write. Today’s post is brought to you by life lately and the following tweet she included in the notebook:
I can relate to that tweet completely, but, unfortunately, for a good portion of my achieving things, I didn’t have Netflix to get me through. I survived and even before Netflix TV was a big part of my life.
Mine has been a life of thinking that I would be happier if I could just achieve a certain thing.
Going to college was going to make me happier. I was still an awkward social outcast in college.
Graduating and getting a job was going to make me happier. My first job out of grad school was a contract job with no benefits and a terrible boss.
Getting a real job away from that boss was going to make me happier. I ended up back in jail.
Getting out of jail was going to make me happier It took 19 years, but I got out of jail. I was then in a weird, invisible position where no one respected me and I was still the jail guy.
Getting a transfer or a promotion to get an actual title was going to make me happier. What I got was that a title means nothing and I might be more invisible and less respected than I was when I was the jail guy.
I’ve spent years working toward some mythical place that was going to make me happy. I’m still not happy. I’m not happy because my focus on being happy was too career focused. My career was never going to be the source of my happiness. I’ve been reaching for happiness where happiness was not to be found. I will never move up in my career if I stay who I am and I refuse to be someone else. At least that is what people tell me.
So, if you need me, I will be in front of my TV watching Netflix and dreading leaving the house in the morning.