Satisfaction

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Recently, I was talking with someone I am really close to and she made the comment that people are never satisfied. I felt like I had a light bulb go off over my head. Satisfaction. Feeling content and a sense of satisfaction is something that I think is more easy to accomplish than we realize sometimes.

I realized that there are times I could and should have a sense of satisfaction but I don’t allow it. I think I/we make it harder than it really is. There are other times I feel such a sense of contentment and satisfaction from the smallest thing. The picture above was taken one early morning on a bike ride. The scenery around me felt serene, natural, and beautiful. Granted it’s a simple beauty; however, sometimes that’s the best kind.

I don’t believe being satisfied should be mistaken for complacency. We should push ourselves and we should continue to grow. It’s just that it seems to me I have many moments where I should be more content and grateful for what I currently have. That I should appreciate the feeling of contentment and satisfaction every chance I get.

This is what I’ll be working on.

I hope these thoughts find you happy, healthy, content, and satisfied.

Have a fantastic week! And, when you can, notice if you feel content or satisfied. I’ll be doing the same.

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The Happiness of Pursuit – Book Review

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I was excited to get this book and start reading it. I admire the author for visiting every country in the world – so impressive! The author starts off by telling a personal story. He ends the prologue by explaining the lessons he learned in his ten-year journey.

He believes adventure is for everyone and offers criteria that defines a quest:

*A quest has a clear goal and a specific end point.

*A quest presents clear challenge.

*A quest requires sacrifice of some kind.

*A quest is often driven by a calling or sense of mission.

*A quest requires a series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal.

The book is 17 chapters and is broken up into three parts. At times I felt the book didn’t flow well and was somewhat tedious. I enjoyed the real life experiences that the author writes about. I just wish the material would have been presented in a more linear fashion. The book has a lot of information in it, but to me it didn’t feel organized well.  I did very much like the three appendices. Some of the quests he writes about I could relate to and others not at all.

It is an interesting book, and I like that it’s nonfiction. People have accomplished some amazing feats, for sure. For example, walking across the United States, a teenage girl who sailed the world’s oceans on a 38-foot sailboat, living in a tree for a year to protest illegal logging, cooking a meal from every country in the world, and running 250 marathons in a single year, to name a few. It did not make me want to start a quest, but it did motivate and inspire me in other ways.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thanks For Making My Afternoon

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Photo by BK via flickr

“Thanks for making my afternoon!” These were words spoken to me recently by a close friend. She is one of those dear friends that I always enjoy seeing. There is a certain ease, comfortableness, and honesty when we visit. I had dropped off some things for a fundraiser and we took some time to get caught up.

We talked about life, kids, happiness, writing, vacations, etc. It was great. I feel so fortunate to have the friends in my life that I do. The evening before this I visited an older friend who’s in a nursing home. We had such a delightful time together. We talked and laughed and I helped him with his dinner (he calls it supper. We had a humorous conversation about this topic!) Again, he is someone whom I really enjoy his company. He is intelligent, well-mannered, thoughtful, and just delightful to be around. He never thought he would live in a nursing home, but somehow he maintains a positive attitude even though it would be easy to be discouraged.

Last weekend I was going through some old containers and I saw notes, letters, and cards from my best friend from college. We became fast friends when we met when we were 18 and going through Rush. (Sororities called it “rush” back then; now it’s called recruitment.) I felt very grateful that we have maintained our relationship over the years.

These are just three examples of friends that I am fortunate enough to have in my life. I could write pages about each friend I have in my life and what they mean to me. (In fact, that’s a good idea!) Even if I do it for myself, I could write a small book about people who I care about and what makes him or her special.

I do have a point: Friendships are important. I am very thankful for the people in my life that I call friends. So, to that friend I first mentioned, “Thanks for making my  afternoon!!

Have a wonderful Sunday and a fantastic week!!

Be Who You Are

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This happened a few weeks ago. It is 5:20pm on a Sunday. I  just sat down to write a bit and get our schedules organized for the week, and I hear the shower turn on upstairs. I quickly figured out it was my husband taking a shower before he and one of my daughters head out to my other daughter’s basketball game.

If I was the parent going tonight, I would be in the car anxiously waiting for my daughter to come out of the house so we could get on the road, fully aware that it doesn’t take 40 minutes to get to the rec center where the game is, but knowing I wanted to have plenty of time to get there and not walk in late.

I kind of respect and appreciate how laid back he can be at times. I am in awe of lots of people who go with the flow and don’t get excited about things. I am by nature an observer of human behavior, and here is what I know: We are all wired the way we are wired.

I think the sooner we understand that and stop trying to change others in the attempt to be just like us, the better. It’s not that we don’t offer advice or try to lead by example, but we should let people be who they are.

I remember years ago I was talking to my mom about one of my daughters, and she said, “Let Emma be Emma.” I don’t even remember what the conversation was about, maybe that she wasn’t going out for cheerleader or wasn’t doing something else that I wanted her to do. Whatever the situation was, my mom’s advice really helped me.

So, be who you are and let others be who they are. For me, I’ll be the one in the car waiting for someone to come out the door so I’m  not running late.

Have a great week!!!! Enjoy your Sunday hopefully doing something that fills you with joy.

A Short Road to Happiness

being happy now flowerBeing happy now is living in the present moment and being as thankful as you can be. Hopefully, you have in your possession a notebook, journal, or scrap piece of paper.

Grab it and your favorite pencil or pen. Now, write down five things you can think of right this moment, in this present moment, that make you happy.

By writing your things down you acknowledge what is good in your life. And, we all know that what we focus on we get more of. (My wise mom has always said this!!)

Being Happy Now

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Happy Sunday! I hope you have had a good week, and that today is just what you want it to be.

Since the end of 2015, I have been writing every day. I am chronicling my life. I am working hard to find the good: to be happy now. Having spent most of my life thinking of the future, I am now striving to live in the moment and find the good.

I have been writing in journals for as long as I can remember. I don’t really know why I started or exactly why I feel the need to do it. I just do. It feels like something in me that I am compelled to do. I love journals, notebooks, paper, pencils, and pens. I don’t think I’m a great writer by any means. I would love to write a best selling, well written, and well loved novel. I don’t know if that will happen. I’d love to be more published than I am.

One thing I do know I can do, is write about my life. And let me tell you, it means a lot to me to read back through my journals. I grabbed a couple of old journals and I would like to share one entry with you. It’s from May of 1985. It’s pretty personal, and I will have to change some names.

“Today was Missy’s B-day!! Kyle and I went shopping and got her 3 presents. I also made a BIG choc chip cookie that said, “We love you,” on it. It has been a very busy week. I served at the FFA banquet last nite. I worked tonite. It was pretty fun. I had sort of a rough day. Kyle & I got into it because of him not eating. There was a rose on my car tonite after work from him. His is SO sweet toward me. I’m confused, for some reason. I’m not sure of my feelings for him. What they exactly are. I don’t think I want a boyfriend now. Awhile back I really wanted one. Now that I can, I don’t want one.

I do want to date. Jim came in & saw me at work – he also stopped by last nite. We talked & I told him I’d like to be just close friends.

I have sort of sad mixed feelings toward Keith. It’s hard to explain. There is something always there. But it never seems to be enough. Even when I went w/him – I don’t think I was ever satisfied enough.

My mom and dad came home tonite from their trip. My dad was griping about my sister’s work. She’s working hard though. I’m sick of arguments. I’d like to get away. I’m tired of responsibilities too. I’m proud of all I do but I’m hard on myself. I never feel like I do enough.”

I can’t tell you what it felt like to read this. First of all, I don’t remember a lot if it. It was 30 years ago. You know what really resonated with me, besides the fact that I may have been boy crazy or at least thought too much about boys, is the last few lines. Wow. Thirty years later, and I still feel this way too much of the time. But, really, that’s a topic for another essay.

What writing in journals does for me is a chance to revisit the old me. I laugh, cringe, feel, and think. I learn a lot.

I will keep writing. I love it. I want to do it. I will say that writing every day for this Being Happy Now project sometimes seems like a chore, but I know that someday it will mean a lot to look back and read a whole year of my life. I also think looking for the good and being happy now instead of waiting has had a positive influence in my life.

I am fortunate to be working with May Designs on my own writing journals. I was in on every detail of the designs. I have four. I really love them and I am excited. I ordered one of each!! I will include a link with this post. Please take a look. I hope you enjoy it!

Click here to see my writing journals.

Please share if you would like, and please buy a journal. Whether you buy one of mine or buy a composition book from Walgreens, please write. I think someday you’ll be very glad you did.

 

You, a Writer?

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Are you a writer? Do you want to be? What form does writing take for you? Do you journal, write stories, essays, work on articles to pitch, or are you working on a novel? Whatever you write, I encourage you to keep writing.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much experience you have, or even how much success you have had. If you desire to write, then write. It’s hard not to worry about the outcome. I think we all worry to some degree. In the book Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert asserts, “I’ve had to keep defining and defending myself as a writer every single day of my adult life — constantly reminding and re-reminding my soul and the cosmos that I’m very serious about the business of creative living, and that I will never stop creating, no matter what the outcome, and no matter how deep my anxieties and insecurities may be.” Incidentally, Big Magic is a terrific book! If you haven’t read it, pick up a copy. You will be glad you did.

If you want to write and you aren’t sure what kind of writing to do or where to submit, simply do a Google search on becoming a writer. You will find podcasts you can listen to, articles about writing and becoming a published writer, blogs, websites, you name it. There is so much information out there. The most important thing is to take action. Don’t fret about the outcome.

When my kids were younger and in track, one of their coaches told them to try different events and not to be discouraged when they didn’t do well. By trying things that weren’t for them, they could then open themselves up to events that might fit them well. It was such good advice for track, but really just good advice for life.

So, if you want to write, please write. Let it take whatever form it will. You will never know what you can do until you try.

*Photo from flickr/Jimileek /journal, glasses, coffee, pen