Since probably around October, I feel like I’ve been learning to be more happy overall. On a day-to-day basis, I may have plenty of grumpy days or be lonely or unhappy, but over longer periods of time I feel like I’m gradually getting better at living happily. Sort of like climate change making our planet warmer, though we may not notice it on a daily basis?
I’m not managing to be too adventurous or active yet, but I’m trying to maintain a life that I will feel is generally happy overall, and one where I do some things.
I’m learning that I like being in sunshine and watching little critters outside (much as Patrick makes fun of me for it). I like their little lives and the way they hop through the grass, and the bright looks in their eyes. And of course how much fun they are to scare. ^^ Kai and I may have some traits in common.
With the summer weather, I often go sit in my car to eat lunch so that I can see some sunshine, listen to NPR, and mentally get away from the office, even if I never leave the parking lot. I like walking along the office driveway and seeing the woodchucks, geese, and little birds that live in the fields. I like walking, although here in Rochester I’m very bad about getting up and doing it. I miss the amount I had to walk in Cologne.
I’m trying to become more aware of what makes me feel actually happy, and do those things more regardless of whether they are things most people think of as making them “happy.”
I’ve known for a while that I like having a schedule and a predictable life (even if the predictions involve more adventurous things). I get up, shower, watch the Daily Show over breakfast, drive to work, take half an hour of lunch so I can have a bit more evening, usually come home and skype with Patrick for a while, have dinner, watch Netflix/play computer/talk to my friends, then go to bed and do it the next day. On the weekends I meet with people here, skype a lot, go to church (some weeks), try to do something interesting. I’ve started participating in the church choir. I like having time to myself, and treasure the few hours I have each evening to do my own things, even if they are not particularly productive. I feel like having a consistent schedule with things I like and not having to worry what turn my life will take next, makes up a fair bit for other sources of happiness being absent, like frustration at work or my friends being far away.
I’ve been learning how to leave work at work and feel refreshed by the 20 minute drive home (which is pretty picturesque by daily commute standards I think). I’m getting back in contact with friends from home whom I’ve barely talked to since leaving high school, which is really nice and makes me happy, even if it’s just over IM or Facebook messenger. If you’ve been thinking about getting back in contact with me, now’s the time! :)
With the summer here I’ve been trying to do more interesting stuff than I usually do – going to the movies, traveling to visit friends, working on improving my drawing and photography, trying kayaking, etc. – even trying some new computer games. I’ve been reading (which makes me very happy when I can get lost in a physical book) the Game of Thrones, the Hunger Games, and most recently the latest book from Robin Hobb, City of Dragons.
Patrick and I have been playing Team Fortress 2 (I play with the sillygibs turned on :P), which is nice so that we have something to do besides look at each other through the webcams and discuss politics. I like setting people on fire with the game, although my play style definitely doesn’t lead to long lifetimes yet. We’ve gotten to play with a few players from my friends list, and I’m hopeful that although I’m late to TF2’s party, I can play with more friends in the future!
My apartment is nice too, and feels like “home” even though it has somewhat sparse furnishings. I’m learning to take care of plants and seeing them grow makes me happy. I have pretty clothes, am gradually getting my hair under control, and can apply my makeup in a semi-reasonable way, and sometimes my weight manages to be healthy, so I feel pretty good about my appearance. I finished paying back my parents’ portion of the loan for my car, and my other financial stuff is going fine. I feel like my design skills are reasonable, though I sometimes wish I got more use out of them. When I get to stretch my design-legs I feel happy doing that. One of my projects recently went live too, which is good.
I’ve been trying to think of what other things make me happy. Having a life that feels pretty and comfortable, being outside and watching critters, reading real books, talking to my friends plenty. I like successfully making pretty things (design, art, crafts, etc…), or looking at other people’s pretty things. I hope to improve greatly with the church choir because singing makes me happy too. What are other happy things?
Anyway, that is my life at the moment.