31 Day Happiness Challenge or maybe just an excuse to get up and do something

I wasn’t going to write today. I ended up not sleeping at all last night, not entirely why I didn’t sleep, just couldn’t quite get comfortable or maybe I just had too many thoughts rushing through my mind. I got up early and took “S” to daycare, went shopping with a great friend of mine (we’re always looking for the best deals on amazing outfits for our daughters) and went to pick “S” up from daycare.

Well on the way back home, (the like 7-10 minute drive home) I got into a very minor car accident. (Thank you cursed roundabouts) It seems with roundabouts you either know how to do them or you really just don’t. This woman did not. Either that or she was just really frazzled because she seemed like she was maybe having “one of those days”. She was very sweet and seemed understanding. Although I’m still not entirely sure she understands what she did wrong but I’ll just leave that up to her insurance company to explain to her.

Even though it was a minor accident I was very shaken up afterwards. Having two of my three children in the car is all I could think about. I kept reminding myself that no one was hurt, the vehicle damage was minor, and in fact “S” had fallen asleep while we were waiting for the cops to come and fill out a report. “A” was getting restless but other than that everything was fine. Sometimes my anxiety just gets the best of me. I got home and looked at my “Be The Change” book, hoping I would find something profound. After all, the nap post was exactly what I needed yesterday.

Well today’s post was a bust. It was something about knowing where your coffee comes from and being sure to always buy “Shade Grown: Fair Trade Certified” coffee. Okay actually, it is really neat information about how it may be more expensive but by paying roughly 3 cents more per cup of coffee you are helping support small farmers instead of giving huge corporations and plantation owners that sell to those corporations. (I personally buy Peace Coffee for my family.) But as great as that information is it didn’t really spark any real emotion or inspiration in me. (Except maybe making me feel like a cup of coffee would probably do me good)

I started thinking about other books and/or blogs I’ve seen about daily activities or daily meditations, things that you commit to do daily. I remembered seeing a post on popsugar about a 365-Day Happiness Challenge. There is something to do assigned to everyday for a year and it’s somehow “guaranteed to change your life.” Truth be told, reading through the list it felt a little, for lack of a better word frivolous. And honestly that might not even be the word I’m looking for. But I am tired and just going to roll with it.

I shouldn’t really be judging. It’s hard coming up with a long list of things to do. Last year for Christmas we made an “Acts of Service” Advent Calendar where each day had an envelope with an act of kindness or service in it. You’d think coming up with 20ish nice things to do would be easy but it really wasn’t. When taking into consideration my husband’s work schedule, school, homework, swim, dance, and of course the unpredictable almost arctic climate of Minnesota winters, I had to choose carefully. (which reminds me, I should probably start putting this year’s list together)

Using the Popsugar challenge as a guide I sat down and started making a list of things for myself but kept it down to only 31 things. So at risk of being judged (since I so clearly judged another’s list) here is mine.

Day 1: Wear your favorite T-shirt (or sweater depending on the weather)
Day 2: Sign up for a class for something you’ve wanted to do (free online classes count)
Day 3: Have a sleeping bag and popcorn movie night
Day 4: Start reading an autobiography/biography of someone you admire
Day 5: Start a gratitude journal
Day 6: Watch a funny video
Day 7: Listen to a new station on the radio (Try iheartradio for stations from other states)
Day 8: Stargaze (If you live in the city you might have to take a little road trip for this one)
Day 9: Write yourself a love letter
Day 10: Frame a happy photo
Day 11: Try a new recipe
Day 12: Dance around your kitchen while cleaning (or cooking)
Day 13: Have a game night with loved ones
Day 14: Make homemade pizza
Day 15: Do something kind for a stranger
Day 16: Make something for a family member (bonus points if you aren’t artsy or crafty)
Day 17: Build a fort in your living room
Day 18: Watch the sunset
Day 19: Blow Bubbles
Day 20: Donate clothes or food
Day 21: Watch your favorite movie
Day 22: Spend some time coloring
Day 23: Don’t check in on social media for an entire day (I know scary right?)
Day 24: Do something touristy in your own town or surrounding towns
Day 25: Go on a bike ride (weather permitting)
Day 26: Go to the aquarium
Day 27: Listen to an educational podcast
Day 28: Watch a Ted Talks and take notes like you are in school
Day 29: Meditate
Day 30: Make paper airplanes and race them against a friend
Day 31: Pick a sentence, a mantra even, and learn it in a different language. (Think Dolce Far Niente or In Omnia Paratus)

Here is 31 things that I can easily do over the next 31 days that I can do for myself. You see, I was looking at the other article the wrong way. I was glancing through a list of seemingly meaningless things and that wasn’t fair. Everyone needs to take time to do things that make them happy. (I believed I touched on this yesterday a bit) I’ve always loved the cup analogy.

You see…you are the cup. When you do things for yourself, you fill your cup up a little more. When you do (too much) for others, it takes from your cup.

Now yes, I realize that this analogy tends to be a little black and white. We could bring up a number of selfless people that have dedicated their lives to service of others. But I will also point out that some of those same great people also took time to meditate. Everybody needs to rest, to recharge. This is so that we can give so fully to others. As a mother I spend my days and most of my nights giving to my family and when my cup runs out, maybe I’m not as patient as I should be, or maybe I’m simply just exhausted and instead of truly listening to whatever my “F” or “S” is wanting to talk to me about I’m just going through the motions.

So why not make a list of things to do for myself? Just a once a day reminder to take just a little mama time. Anyone want to do it with me? Leave me a comment below.

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Plus size model, international spy, and habitual liar.

2 thoughts on “31 Day Happiness Challenge or maybe just an excuse to get up and do something

  1. I think you have a wonderful idea. I would be able to do some of the challenge, but wouldn’t be able to follow all of them. I agree with you and you should take some Mama time. You have to recharge every once in awhile. I love you and keep up the great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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