The things that made me happy

Things are pretty hectic right now. John Wood, Founder and Board Chair of Room to Read, hits Brisbane for a whirlwind 30 hours next Tuesday. While there is a team of people engaged in the events for this visit, there’s still much for me to think about, plan, bring together and make happen!

To add to the mix, on John’s second day in Brisbane, I start back at uni, doing a Master of Development Practice. Three days later, Michael’s new shop opens. He’ll be in his third week of his own uni studies (Bachelor of Ministry) and has a range of big projects on the go, with which I support him however I can. And that’s not to mention the assortment of other ‘stuff’ going on outside of those five days… I won’t write anything else down because I’ll just scare myself!

These are all wonderful, positive things, about which I am immensely excited. Each is opening up a world of possibilities and represents an amazing opportunity and blessing. But that doesn’t make it all easy to juggle!

Now this post is not about complaining. On the contrary, it’s about a little thought I had a few moments ago while I was out for the all-important head-clearing walk.

I suddenly realised that despite all the ‘stuff’ – led by the tyranny of the urgent – each day  is full of so much happiness, life and love that I can’t help but sail through it all. As I was walking, I was struck by all the little things in my day that had made me happy – had caused me to smile, laugh, feel a sense of peace or a buzz of excitement. When I started to reflect deliberately on them, I wondered how anything negative, stressful or unpleasant could even fit in my life!

Just today, which I spent mostly at my computer busily working away, I was made happy by:

– The cup of Rooibos earl grey tea I had this morning. Delish.
– Michael looking calm and kinda happy (despite the tiredness!) as he left for work this morning.
– A beautiful conversation filled with unsolicited morale-boosting support and encouragement
– The elderly coupled that smiled as I walked past
– The cream cheese and crackers I snacked on this afternoon – too deliciously simple for words!
– The tangible calm I felt as I walked just a few blocks
– A text message that made me laugh
– An email that made me laugh
– The freedom of standing in my loungeroom stretching and messing with yoga poses in a bit of down time
– A few big RSVPs for the Room to Read events
– Achieving a task I was set to deliver by a certain hour (and getting it in not a minute early, and not a minute late!) 🙂
– Determining that at least one of my lecturers is a lovely person
– Getting home from my walk and having no missed calls and no new emails!
– Turning to see the sunset off my balcony turning a sky full of drab clouds into an endless layer of soft, playful colour
– Getting to do a blog post, despite all the other ‘stuff’ going on!

And I’m sure there are even more – these are just off the top of my head for the last 12 hours!

There was really no particular point to this exercise – I’m not now going to try and ensure that every day includes a Rooibos tea, some crackers and at least one good-news email! But having spent some good time reflecting on all this happy stuff, I’m now much more ready and zoned for the next hurdle.

Hurdle? What hurdle?


8 thoughts on “The things that made me happy

  1. Go you.

    I loved this post.

    I’d like to write a list like this every day. Too easy to let a good round of cream cheese and crackers go by without acknowledging their simple perfection.

    Thanks JG.


    1. All morning, I’ve been like “gee that email made me happy” or “gosh I loved how that person was really nice” – a total happy high! I put it down to the list, and therefore perhaps it is worth writing one every day. Dare ya to try it 🙂

  2. I do hope it was my “you’re so Gen Y” email that made you laugh…

    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the simple things… like devouring a plate of choc chips once the children are sound asleep and can’t steal them from me!!!

    1. It was indeed. Had I written this post after our phone call, I would have had many more things to add to my list 🙂
      Hope the choc chips sustained you during all the event prep!!

  3. tyranny of the urgent – loved that phrase, and totally feeling you there. Ehon and I were talking yesterday about how people steal your time by sending lazy emails, so rather than googling or doing something themselves they’ll just email you, or they’ll email you pointlessly or whatever it is… i know that’s not exactly the tenor of your post, but you know i agree with everything you said – had a great time last week after work we just sat by the river for a few hours eating and watching the full moon rise over the story bridge and the bats pour past overhead. 🙂

    1. I first heard the phrase in the 7 Habits – but apparently it’s attributable to a guy called Charles Hummel ( I like the Covey way of looking at it though because it puts it in a framework of important/urgent, important/non-urgent, not-important/urgent, and not-important/not-urgent things. Always a good way to look at the world.
      I’m definitely big on ’empowering’ people to do things themselves – locate info, make decisions, etc etc – it’s a work in progress style for me but I like it 🙂
      I’m hoping for a good few hours relaxing like that…. but maybe in a week or so!

  4. I too have so much ‘STUFF’ going on and was just so inspired by your listing of every little thing that made you happy today that i thought i would do the same:

    -Waking up…gotta love it
    -Having toast for breakfast…YUM!
    -Choosing what clothes to wear (decisions decisions)
    -Watching TV
    -3 text messages that made me laugh
    -2 emails that made me laugh
    -1 joke that made me laugh
    -2 youtube videos that made me laugh
    -1 self-important blog that made me laugh
    -Reading a magazine
    -Reading another magazine
    -Eating food
    -Drinking some water
    -Writing this comment 🙂

    I know that these things are in know way different to anything anyone else does on a daily basis but I am sure you will still enjoy reading. Thanks 🙂

    1. Tom – thank you so much for taking the time to not only read this post, let it start you thinking and reflecting, but also for leaving your comment. It was a timely reminder for me to keep up this practice of reflecting on each and every beautiful moment in life! 🙂

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