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I am writing this post in the midst of doing a 7-page paper on strategic family therapy.  It’s Tuesday and it has already been a busy week.  As the new Executive Director of a smaller nonprofit, I’ve come into the position with some great ideas for growth, surrounded by great people, and a not-so-great accountant that we can’t afford to keep around anymore.  My first job–I have to let them go.  This past week I also had to tell someone that we couldn’t afford something they are passionate we get behind and support–in my very first meeting.  I’ve dealt with my nervousness, with other people’s disappointment, and the inherent learning curve that’s inherited with every new job.  And I love it!

In the midst of all of this, I thought of writing because it helps me process things and it’s something I love to do.  And what better to write about, but happiness!  I feel happy.  I feel challenged in my life–in a good way, I feel focused, I feel (almost) balanced, and I feel so very grateful.  This is my husband’s birthday week and I am thinking of how grateful I am to have him in my life.  I have a lot going on, but I feel so very blessed.

how to be happy
Caroline & Maddy, 2 of our girls at the beach

Thinking about things that makes you happy, can actually make you happy.  It’s like gratitude.  Thinking about all the things that make you feel grateful about makes you appreciate more in your life.  I think that when couples get snippy with one another, they may be taking each other for granted and not appreciating their partner’s good parts.  They need to get back on track with some good ol gratitude (and love)!  Anyway…I’m a little off topic again!

My 83-year-old father-in-law doing a 5k
My 83-year-old father-in-law doing a 5k

Here are two recent photos of what makes me happy.  One is of my father-in-law completing his 2nd 5k (the first was last year).  I feel so grateful he is healthy and able to not only do this, but play football with my husband the next day, then play tennis the following day.  The other is a picture of two of our kids having fun at the beach.  They were such a joy to be around–they took our iPhones and took photos of everything.  It is such a pleasure to see them engaged in life.

What makes you happy?

  • a bubble bath
  • having a fire in the fireplace
  • a good movie
  • working on a favorite hobby
  • date night
  • a laugh with family or friends
  • running or another type of exercise
  • being outside
  • going to a museum
  • having lunch or dinner with friends
  • traveling
  • reading a great book
  • celebrating a holiday or birthday
  • getting out the good china even when it’s not a special occasion
  • cooking
  • getting a massage
  • playing with your pet(s)
  • playing with your kid(s)
  • going to the beach
  • having a pumpkin spice latte or another favorite drink
  • little luxuries like a new soap or lotion
  • doing good for someone else or brightening someone’s day
  • making someone laugh
  • kayaking

Okay, it’s your turn!  What makes you happy?  I know I’ve left some things off this list!