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Posts Tagged ‘#happinesslist’

Today’s assignment is to make a list of things you like to do that don’t involve technology.

Yay!

This is going to be fun!

Steve 1 eye

Photography is one thing I greatly enjoy (and I don’t count that as technology!). It’s just fun for me to play with my camera. I have no particular skill with it or even know what I’m doing half the time, but I do have a lot of fun with it.

 

tulip with rain 3

I love flowers of all types, especially those that are fragrant, and enjoy puttering around in my flower beds. I can hardly wait for spring to arrive to see my tulips, daffodils and hyacinths once again. Among the tulip bulbs we have planted are some that came from plantings originally made by Captain Cavedweller’s great-grandmother. The photo above is of one of them. They are the most gorgeous shade of pink.

a perfect rose

I also adore roses. And although I don’t devote as much time to their care as I probably should, I do greatly enjoy our roses.

Cake 1

Baking is another thing I really enjoy. I’ve been baking cookies since I was six and got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. When I was in high school, I started experimenting with recipes and coming up with my own versions to classic standards. To date, my biggest baking projects have both been for weddings: I baked what seemed like a gazillion cupcakes for a friend’s wedding and I baked the cake pictured above for my niece’s wedding. (And no, cake decorating is not my forte, but my niece loved the cake!)

fort vancouver wall

Fort Vancouver

Exploring and traveling are also on my “enjoy” list. Captain Cavedweller and I both like museums and history and just seeing new-to-us things.

alleyoop

Attending rodeos is high on my love to do list. Both CC and I have such fun at them and look forward to each one we get to attend.

So there you have a list of some of my favorite things to do when I’m “unplugged.”

How about you? What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t on a computer, tablet, or your phone?

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think happy

The assignment for this week’s happiness list is to list the greatest compliments and encouragement you’ve ever received.

I should probably preface this by saying my “love language” is words. When someone says something kind or encouraging, it truly means the world to me.

Here are a few compliments that have stayed with me over the years:

  • One day in my high school English class, the teacher told us our assignment for the day was to study one person in the room and share something positive about them. Some of the compliments were silly or funny, others heartfelt and sincere. I have no recollection of who I chose or what I said (probably something very brief because I hated speaking up in class). But I will always remember the compliment I received. It was from one of the “popular” boys… he looked at me and said “her eyes are always so bright and interested, like a sponge just soaking up the world.”  Yeah, pretty profound for a 17-year-old, right?
  • I was two weeks into my sophomore year of college and realized continuing as a business major was going to be a colossal mistake. So I went to the office to see if I could drop the business classes and switch to communications. The adviser assured me I’d be so far behind, I’d never catch up and I’d have to wait until the beginning of the next term to change. I assured him I could not only catch up for that quarter, but also catch up on the rest of the classes I’d need to graduate on time. The dean of the college happened to walk by. I wasn’t arguing with the adviser and hadn’t yet resorted to tears or begging, but he must have sensed my desperation because he stopped and asked what was going on. The adviser told him what I wanted to do and that it was impossible. The dean pulled up my grades from my freshman year, looked at the classes I wanted to take, and then turned to adviser and said, “this girl can do anything she sets her mind to. Let her switch.” I worked so hard and took so many credits, I only had to attend one quarter my senior year before I left for an internship and graduated early. Knowing someone believed in me, made such a difference.
  • Someone I thought was a friend had really disappointed me (as in devastated by something cruel they’d done). I’d mentioned it to my mom but hadn’t said anything to my dad about it. You have to keep in mind my dad was not one to offer words of wisdom, he’s always been more of a show than tell kind of guy. So when he wrote me a note and said one of the traits he admired most about me was that I was always a good, loyal friend, even when others didn’t deserve it, it really touched my heart.
  •  Captain Cavedweller and I had gotten dressed up for a special occasion to go out to dinner. I had a new black dress I’d been saving to wear and had even gone to the hairdresser to have her put my hair up. When I walked into the living room, he sat on the couch, impatiently jiggling his foot since we’d have to hurry to make our reservation. The jiggling stopped and he got to his feet, all the while holding my gaze in his. And he said three little words I’ll always remember – “You are beautiful.” Not you look beautiful, but you are beautiful. That meant so, so much to a girl who’s always thought she looked more like a goofball than anything else.
  • Every time (I’m not kidding – EVERY TIME) someone tells me they loved a book I’ve written or they enjoy my writing or how something in one of my stories touched their heart or made them laugh, it makes my heart light and full of happiness for days. So my heartfelt thank you to you all for lifting me up and continuing to do so! ❤

I hope you’ll take a moment or two this week to list the best compliments or encouragement you’ve received. It really will make you smile and give you a reason to count your blessings.

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happiness by choice

Today’s homework from the happiness list challenge is to list the things (past and present) that feel like blockades in the way of happiness.

Here’s where I’m going to struggle with this one: the only thing that blockades our happiness is our own thoughts. Happiness is a choice we can make anytime, any place – regardless of everything around us.

Honestly, I don’t feel like I have blockades. Maybe bumps in the road, detours, but not blockades. I think that’s because deep in my heart I know it’s up to me to find my happiness and I can do that anytime I intentionally choose to do so.

I can say in the past, I struggled with many things that felt like blockades (brick walls) to finding happiness. Self doubt, that nasty little voice that gets into our heads, anxiety, fear, and a whole slew of what ifs make it hard to focus on happiness. But one thing I’ve learned is when your hands, head, and heart are full of those negative things, you don’t have any room to embrace the positive, good things – the happy things.

So I like to picture those negative things as balloons on a string. With purpose, let each string go and watch it float away. See – now you have oodles of room for happiness and all those good, positive, wonderful things!

If you feel like you are facing blockades ahead, take a look at what is causing them then go over, go under, go around, go through, but keep on going – and let the negatives go.

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list 1

Today’s list challenge:

List the best choices you have made in your life so far

  • Captain Cavedweller – Choosing to take a chance on a blind date led to marrying the man who still makes my heart pitter patter.
  • Faith – Choosing salvation and following my faith has seen me through the worst and best times of my life. Without it… I don’t even want to imagine what my life would look like without it.
  • Writing – Choosing to finally try writing a book then choosing to pursue it as a career has been one of the most fulfilling, amazing choices I’ve made. I am so blessed to do something I love so much!
  • Believing – Choosing to believe in myself when others did not led me on some pretty great adventures in my younger days. I’m glad I didn’t let anyone talk me out of following my heart.
  • Kindness – Years ago, I stood at a crossroads and had to make a choice. I could go down a road of bitterness and sadness, or I could do down a road of kindness and forgiveness. Being witness to someone who had already gone down the bitter road, I chose kindness. And I try to keep choosing kindness, every day. A word spoke in kindness isn’t one we’ll likely ever regret.

Is there a choice or two you made in your life that has brought you joy, or given you peace?

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books and barnwood

This week’s list challenge:

List the things that get you out of your head.

We all have those days when we just can’t seem to get our focus headed in a positive direction. We second guess are decisions. We worry about our choices. We fret over outcomes. We can’t get that nagging, nasty voice in our head to shut up.

So here’s a list of things that help me get out of my head and move me into a place of happiness and / or peace.

  • Captain Cavedweller – The man makes me laugh. So much. It’s hard to be tied in knots when you are laughing so hard your eyes are watering. He’s also fabulous at pep talks. Sometimes all we need is to hear someone we love or trust telling us “You’ve got this!”
  • Reading – Sometimes, just escaping into a great story can change my perspective. Even thirty minutes of reading a book I love can completely turn things around.
  • Get Crafty  – I enjoy doing craft projects, but rarely make time for them. If I’m struggling to get my Negative Nelly voice to be quiet, I find working on a craft project relaxing.
  • Get Cleaning – Sometimes even the most mundane activity, like dusting or folding laundry can help put things in perspective and draw me into a better frame of mind.
  • Go Outside – There’s something about fresh air – deep, big lungfuls of it – that helps clear the mind.
  • Get Moving – Go for a walk or spend 20 minutes exercising. Physical activity forces my brain to shift gears.

At the bottom of the list it says to plan an hour this week to do one or a few things that put your mind at peace.  I think I can handle that.

How about you? Are there things that help you get out of your head and find peace?

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list 3 -18

This week’s assignment is to list things I’m good at.

Which is hard.

Because no matter what I write down, it makes me feel like I’m bragging, and that’s just not cool. I think it’s human nature to be able to rattle off our weaknesses with much greater ease than list our strengths. But we are all good at something.  So here, in no particular order, is my list of things I think I’m good at:

  1. Writing
  2. Listening to others
  3. Being supportive to others
  4. Staying positive
  5. Party planning
  6. Cooking
  7. Baking
  8. Home decorating
  9. Crafts that involve hot glue guns
  10. Thinking creatively
  11. Problem solving
  12. Packing
  13. Graphic design
  14. Organization
  15. Being detail-oriented
  16. Self-Motivation
  17. Dreaming
  18. Being kind to others
  19. Meeting deadlines
  20. Loving Captain Cavedweller

    What tops the list of things you are good at?

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Composite of Clock and Calendar

This week’s happiness list is about sharing the routines in your personal life and work.

Mine tend to intersect since I work from home, but here’s a list of my typical routines.

  • Get up and exercise. If I make it a point to exercise first thing in the morning, it makes me feel more energized and I can cross something off my to-do list that I don’t enjoy doing. Honestly, I’m not an exercise fan, but I know it is necessary. And I am a fan of how much better exercising makes me feel.
  • Shower and get dressed for the day. Since I left my “day job” and began working from home to write full-time, I can’t tell you the times I’ve had someone ask me if I sit around in my pajamas all day. No. No I do not. Would you wear pajamas to work? Would you sit in a board room with your boss and peers with your hair uncombed and fuzzy slippers on your feet? I’m guessing you probably would not. I treat my writing as not just my job, but my career. So I get up, dress up, and show up for work every day. It makes me feel better to be dressed and ready for whatever the day brings. I’ve never been one to lounge around in my pjs. Ever.
  • Breakfast and Bible study. Before I eat breakfast, I like to sit down and do a little Bible study. It helps me find direction, gives me peace, and lightens my heart. Those few moments help me feel prepared for the day ahead.
  • Social Media. I generally spend about an hour or so each morning on social media, sharing posts, responding to comments, answering messages, etc.
  • Work time. Once I get the social media taken care of for the day, it’s writing time (or editing time or cover designing time). I generally work until noon-ish, take a half hour break, then work again until it’s time to start dinner.
  • The dinner hour. One of the highlights of my day is spending an hour with Captain Cavedweller as we eat dinner and chat about the day, share any funny things that happened, and just hang out with each other.
  • Evening work. After the dishes are stowed in the dishwasher and leftovers set in the fridge, I head back into my office for a few more hours of writing before bedtime.
  • Reading. Years ago, a life coach told me the best way to unwind at the end of the day is to spend 30 minutes doing something I love. So I do. I try to spend 30 minutes right before I fall asleep reading. I absolutely love to read and this is the perfect way to end my day.

The instructions say to circle the routines that bring joy. I’d have to circle just about all of these! Even though I hate exercising, I get pleasure from the sense of accomplishment of having done it (and then there is that whole feeling better and stronger thing, too!).

What does your daily routine look like? What brings you joy from those routines?

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