Thursday, October 13, 2011

*Happiness* What Makes You Happy?

A friend of mine posted on the subject of happiness and on what makes her happy in life. It got me thinking about the things that make me happy.... and she invited others to join and make lists of their own. I couldn't resist :) ******Her blog entry*****
She briefly touched on a valid point in that sometimes as a Mom, you get lost in being ONLY a Mom and lose your sense of self. (thats what I took from it anyway) I know I certainly feel that way at times. Your kids start to become your identity as they are a reflection of yourself.... but... yeah! I love being a Mom and it truly makes me happy but you can't forget the other things that make you a person too!

Here is a list in no particular order of the things that make me happy....

1. Taking Pictures/Photography

I take pictures literally every day and could not imagine not doing so. If I do happen to forget a camera (VERY rare but it does happen) I dwell on it all day or turn around to go back and get one. My husband says its a compulsion to photograph things... he's right. Something about hearing the shutter release even makes me happy. Enjoying other peoples photography, creating my own, creative editing... I love it all. I collect cameras and have I think just under 20 of them - and I always have my eye on another one :) Before kids, when I was feeling down or stressed, I would take long walks and just photograph fields or the sky or flowers or snow.... whatever I saw just to get my mind off of things. I still do it with the kids but I can't just up and leave like I used to. I tend to take them somewhere and they help me find things to photograph :) They love it. The picture posted is from the beginning of summer when we had the "super moon" - one of the brightest nights and the moon appears the biggest. We had friends over and where was I? Outside with my tripod :)

2. Music (especially The Beatles)

I know it's a general statement... who doesn't like music... but I'm saying that music tends to make me really happy. I use music as therapy in a way. I pay a lot of attention to lyrics and make playlists according to my mood. I could hate a song, but sometimes if it is playing during a good memory/event, I then like it :) Songs can have a profound effect on people... If I am around, music is probably playing somewhere. I always have a playlist going on my phone or computer. It drives some people (ahem, Jimmy) nuts... but I need music to function!
personally, I adore The Beatles as I grew up on them and grew to love most everything about them. I love reading about them, listening to their music, learning as much as I can about their journey through crazy fame and even beyond the Beatle Years. One of my favorite memories of how music makes me happy is from last year. My husband took me on what we called the "Magical Mystery Anniversary Tour" and surprised me with a trip to NYC... during our time there it was getting late to do much of anything so we decided to take a walk through Central Park and check out the Imagine Circle (I love love love going there). As we got closer and closer, we saw a glow and heard music playing... closer and we realized that people were playing live music. We turned the corner and there was a candle light vigil of sorts celebrating what would be John Lennon's 70th birthday (it was the day before we got there). Just being in such a beloved place and hearing others with the same love for him and his music made me so immensely happy. It is hard to put into words but I teared up. It was almost magical. There was a makeshift band and you can tell others kind of just joined in and the crowd around the circle was all singing Beatles songs. The high of being surrounded by and hearing like-hearted people was just... inexplicable. But yes. Music makes me happy. :)

3. Being Crafty and Creating!

I feel most like myself when I am drawing/painting/sewing/writing/taking pictures... creating anything. The feeling you get when you finish something that you made yourself is just fantastic. I love making something go from inside my head onto paper or whatever medium I am using. Over the years I have kept many sketch journals... I doodle when I am stressed or distracted.... I love drawing detailed little notes to people and filling the outer edges of notebook paper with drawings. Recently I have gotten into sewing more than before and I've made a few things for Maris. It is great to see her enjoy them and know I made them :) Just having a creative mind makes me happy. I can brainstorm and think of ideas for projects or lines for a song or something and just smile knowing I have the ability to create. Pictured is a photo block project that I made from having Jim cut blocks out of a wooden spindle thing and I sanded them and printed out pictures that I took myself and cut coordinating scrapbook paper pieces.. then modge podged them onto the blocks. I really love it :) In a previous post, you can see the Hello Kitty kitchen apron I made my daughter too.

4. My Kids' Laughter

I KNOW I KNOW.... supposed to be a kid-free type list but this truly makes me happy. Just hearing those little belly laughs *especially when they are BOTH cracking up* just warms my heart. They are the best kids... great sense of humor and smart :) That about sums that up... they have great laughs :D

5. Ice/Iced tea

It is a bizarre one but let me tell you.... chewing/eating ice is my biggest vice? haha that sounds like Dr Seuss... but really... something about eating ice soothes me. I craved it big time when I was preggo with my daughter and ever since then, I found great comfort in it and its a hard habit to break now. I bet my teeth will pay for it in the long run but hey... its better than smoking! The first thing I do when in hotels is find the ice machine.... :) iced tea goes along with this. I drink tea every day and it also soothes me.

well, there are 5... this is time consuming! It is almost time to go get Maris from pre-k. Day 2 and she LOVES it. :) I might make a part II list being that I like 10 better than 5. There ya go... even numbers make me happy! boo odd numbers! Yeah... well hope you enjoyed the rambling trip into my head...
quickly and picture/video free, here are a few more.

6. Frasier. This show (the Niles and Daphne aspect especially) makes me ridiculously happy. It is brilliant and all the characters are great. I even named my daughter after a character in the show.

7. Nostalgia. it is probably why I love photographs and scrapbooking so much. I love to look back and see where I was years ago and see how it affected who I am today. Plus its funny to look back on the "what was I thinking?!" times :) Looking at pictures of loved ones and having a good cry bc you miss them... lots of reasons... nostalgic moods are frequent for me.

8. 90's Music
this is somewhat of a repeat/combo of 2 previous on the list... but it deserves its own spot due to how much I love it. Nostalgia and my love of music.... the 90's were my formative years when I became a person instead of a kid and I had so many life events in the 90's. Many memories formed with songs. School dances, heartaches, tortured preteen/teen years with lots of music therapy!, Big Wheel roller rink just about every weekend... sleepovers with the karaoke machine :), singing in the car with my Mom/Dad... yep. good stuff.