Monday, April 05, 2010

Happiness Award gets me thinking...

The lovely Cusp, over on L'Ombre de mon Ombre has kindly given me a Happiness Award.

These awards go around from time to time, with minor variations. I quite like the way they entice the recipient to share some info that probably wouldn't normally be in their blog, but I'd say it's rare that a blog award leads to anything too earth-shattering. In this case, I feel like it has, but I'll get to that shortly. First, according to the rules, I have to:

- Thank the person that awarded you this in the new post.

- Name 10 things that make me happy.

- Pass this award onto other bloggers and inform the winners

So first and foremost, thank-you Cusp. I really appreciate you thinking of me and your support and friendship over the years(!)

Now, 10 Things That Make Me Happy. Well, hm. Actually being a bit of a grumpy old thing who just hides it well, it took me a while to get going on this, but once I was in the flow, I really enjoyed it and had no trouble coming up with at least ten. So here goes:

1. Tropical thunderstorms
2. Walking on the beach
3. Puppies and kittens
4. Anything deep,deep red
5. Floating on my back beyond the breakers, looking at a blue sky
6. The moment when you realize a migraine has passed
7. Watching vision of jellyfish
8. Dachshunds
9. Listening to the type of music that prompts me to dance (albeit briefly) like a maniac
10. Getting to wear my knee high boots (the implication here is that the weather is cool enough to allow this)

When I shared my list with my darling husband, he replied that we should make sure that I get to experience each of these every month. Which made me want to scrub out something on the list and include him instead (perhaps the jellyfish could go...)

Of course, being with Him and with my dearest friends are definitely on the list, as is doing art, but I was just thinking that the list should be more incidental things, those things that you just happen across or find yourself doing in the course of your day. That's just my interpretation though.

So now on to naming some worthy recipients for a Happiness Award. I've purposely avoided nominating anyone who I know already has one (you know who you are). So, as they say, the nominations are: Carol, SCB, ronnie, Ida, dinahmow, Angela and Ampersand Duck. Yes, that's right, I've nominated everyone over at Book*Art*Object because I am so happy to be a part of this group and this project. If you haven't been over there to check out the blog and see how everyone's books are coming along, well there is no time like now. I also recommend taking a peek at the individual blogs of these talented women. Although together at BAO, each has come from somewhere different and their individual creative pursuits are incredibly vibrant and varied.

I have to tell you that the simple exercise of thinking about 10 things that make me happy and my dh's comment about doing them all every month made me realize something. It made me realize that I actually put very little effort into making myself happy. And that's not because I don't want to be happy, I do. It's because it's been a really long time since I thought about what does make me happy. And if you're not aware of those things, then how can you choose to do those things? And if you don't choose to do those things (and others) well, not unreasonably, it's going to be fairly hit-and-miss as to whether you are happy or not.
I guess this is all pretty obvious, but sometimes I think the old Protestant work ethic just kicks in, and you switch on auto-pilot without even realizing. So I've made a decision to start by putting some effort into understanding what does (and would) make me happy. Then I can take some steps to make some of that stuff happen more often. So...we'll see where all this leads. In the mean time, just to make me happy...

Dachshund Parade
Originally uploaded by NY NIK


  1. Amanda, thank you for the award. It certainly does me good to be reminded about the things that make me happy. I consider myself to be generally a happy, even (dare I admit?) "Pollyanna-ish" person but it's a good exercise to write down some of those real "this makes me happy" things. I'm just about to do one of them - going off into the countryside to look at birds for a few days. No computers and thanks to Vodafone's dreadful coverage, no phone most of the time. Talk to you when I return...

  2. Amanda, what a lovely post! I'll have a think about my 10 things later and put it on my blog (possibly after the dentist since that is clouding things a bit today - something to think about while waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect perhaps? Good meditation practice!). I know what you mean about making the effort to be happy. My project for last year was learning to be happier and I realised it was something I needed to practice, which has had real results. I still don't actively DO enough things that make me happy although with practice I hope I'll get better at scheduling them... Thinking about what makes me happy will be a good step. Thank you for including me, Sara x

  3. Wow Amanda, thanks for the vote. I will definitely think carefully about it and put something on my blog in the next couple of days. Like Sara I am aware of the need to be active in the pursuit of happiness and it is very easy to let it lapse. i look forward to choosing 10 things.
    Jane A

  4. Ah, making people happy is what often makes me happy, so thank you so much for the award!

    I love that hot dog...

  5. Thankyou, Amanda. This is a refreshing look at an award that pops up on blogs like hay fever in Spring.

    Yes, being part of BAO has made me happy, to, despite some hair-tearing moments.

    I'll respond after the Libris Opening.
    Off shortly to meet an aeroplane...

  6. thanks amanda - your post reminded me how its the simple little things that bring us (well me at any rate!) the most happiness....

    I finally managed a reply of sorts to your kindness.... it's here...


  7. Thanks Amanda. Great idea, I will do this on my blog - think a lot of my answers will be connected with birds & wildlife! And making books. I agree with everyone else, I am really enjoying Book Art Object, I haven't worked this hard since my MA. Its hard to say this without sounding like a creep, but BAO has such a lovely bunch of people, and that adds to the enjoyment.