Tag Archives: Happy

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

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I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I wanted to do a 30 Day Writing Challenge (which I found on Sudrobelle’s blog) to help myself get in the swing of blogging. I could wait for a new month or a new week to start, but why? If I don’t do it now while the thought is fresh on my mind, I may just continue to delay it. I forced myself to do NaNoWriMo a few years ago. If I can do that, I can take a little time out of my day to write a bit more.

So here goes nothing!

30 Day Writing Challenge

List 10 Things That Make You Really Happy

I’m honestly an easy person to please; when I get happy, I get really happy, and it’s usually because of the simplest of things.

1.) Sweaters, but more specifically cardigans.

Recently, I fell in love with sweaters of all kinds. Heavy wool ones with big blocky patterns; light, hipster cardigans; baggy Walmart sweatshirts… My wardrobe consists primarily of sweaters stolen from my mother. Falling asleep in my favorite sweatshirt during the dead of winter or enjoying the perfect spring day in my gray cat-patterned cardigan brings a smile to my face.

2.) My Cat – Miss Theodora Epsilonia Darcy

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I love my cat. She can be a jerk, but I love her. She’s a princess. She’s lazy. She’s pear-shaped. But when her tiny face bumps against my forehead or her big ol’ rump plops down on my computer, and I can feel her vibrating with happiness, those are the moments I explode with happiness.

3.) Sweet Potatoes

This is my favorite food. Hands down. Ask anyone, but there are only two foods in the world that make me happy enough to sing: sweet potatoes and ice cream. If you think about it, potatoes are the perfect food. You can do anything with them. Fry them. Stew them. Boil them. Mash them. Smother them in bacon and cheese. They’re a meal, a side, and a dessert. Cover sweet potatoes in butter and brown sugar or maybe marshmallows or just eat them plain. I can’t be sad when I have a sweet potato.

4.) Josh Groban and Benedict Cumberbatch

Okay. I had to combine these two guys, because I fangirl over them equally as much. Josh Groban is my favorite singer, and Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor. I think I were to meet either of them, my heart might stop beating. I can’t be sad when I hear their voices.

5.) Reading an artfully written story

Ever since I started college, I’ve found it almost impossible to enjoy a movie or a book because my professors have trained me to point out flaws in creative content. It sucks. I used to love reading young adult fiction as a guilty pleasure, but now I can’t get over the insane love triangles, dystopian societies, zombie angel vampires… I can’t even remember what the new fad is. But every once in a while, I find a beautiful book that still appreciates language, and it makes me happy. I recently read a book called The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The language captivated me, and even though the story was simple, I enjoyed myself a lot more than I usually could.

6.) Hearing the words “well done” or “good job”

I’m a hard worker. I want to get stuff done. I usually don’t care for recognition, but sometimes, I’ve poured hours into a project. I’ve thrown my soul into an essay. I’ve broken my back to pull off an event. Nothing makes me happier than hearing those simple words from even one person.

7.) Warm showers

I’ve mentioned this before. My “me” time at the end of the day always consists of a warm shower. My day is never complete until I’ve spent at least ten minutes standing under warm water, scrubbing away the rest of my day. It always chases off any worries or headaches I might have.

8.) Lunch/Dinner conversations

You might think my list is devoid of anything super personal to me. Well, this is probably the most personal. For me, my family revolves around meals. Our lives are so different, but they intersect at meal times. The conversations we share are the most memorable and beautiful. I will always remember my grandma throwing ice at me at Mimi’s on my 18th birthday and hitting a nearby waiter instead. I’ll remember listening to four different stories at once and retaining every detail. I’ll remember diving into the platter of fajitas and talking with my mouth half-full of meat after a day at work. Every meal time memory is full of laughter.

9.) The color purple

No. Not the book. I fully believe that the color purple (at least one shade) looks good on anyone. Every time I see someone wearing anything in that color, I tell them they look wonderful, because they do. Purple makes me happy, and I think everyone should be happy wearing that color.

10.) Acting

Peter Quince

Peter Quince from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’m not a professional by any means, but I’ve had plenty of time on stage. Performing on a theatrical stage is wonderful. I get terrible stage fright anywhere else but the theatre. I get to become anyone but myself. I get to make people laugh or cry. Every show is different. Sometimes you have to be a theatre kid to understand the happiness we get from performances.

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11 Ways To Defenestrate the Down-in-the-Dumps

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NOTE: I’ve never used the word defenestrate in a sentence before. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I just want to be creative!!!!

Writing is fascinating. I know it isn’t alive, but at the same time I’m breathing life into it. Writing speaks, and its voice is always unique to the writer. One of my professors says breathing life into your characters and your world is the closest someone can get to playing the role of a deity, and he’s right. When I have the strength to move mountains so do my characters. Unfortunately, when I suffer, so do they. I unintentionally destroy everything I’ve worked to build.

Why write about this now? It seems pretty random as I’m sitting in the middle of Japan on the journey of my life. But every once in a while (usually once a semester) I notice that my writing “darkens,” especially for long periods of time when my mood sours (usually as I start to think about my future and what I’m doing with my life). Recently, I noticed my dark writing, but this time in my daily journal, not just my novel writing. I was writing a tragedy (and a sappy, angsty, young adult tragedy at that) without meaning to. And I know that tragic heroes learn their lessons much too late.

Why am I sad? I don’t know. Someone said maybe culture shock is kicking in, or maybe I’m homesick. But I think these sorts of feelings are just natural for me. That doesn’t mean I have to like them.

I read a post on WordPress the other day about 100 things you can do if you’re feeling sad. I remember thinking to myself, “Huh…I should save this. It might come in handy.” Unfortunately, I didn’t think to save it. Now, I certainly don’t have the time to think of 100 things, but here are 11 things I usually do to perk up. (I’m probably going to be doing a few of these later.)

1.) Go on a mini-trip. Anywhere. Go to the super market, the convenience store, the theatre, the mall, the bar, the park. You don’t have to spend money. Just get out. Go alone and think. Go with a friend and forget what you were worried about. It doesn’t matter.

2.) Enjoy an ice cream. Okay…I’m a stress eater, but so far, ice cream seems to be the best cure. I highly recommend Blue Bell’s “I Heart Chocolate.” (Chocolate ice cream with a chocolate frosting ribbon, fudge, brownies, and chocolate hearts filled with chocolate.)

3.) Watch your favorite episode of your favorite TV show. (Mine’s the musical episode of Psych. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t exist in Japan yet so….)

4.) Watch a favorite movie in a different language. The dub might just make you laugh. (I’m going to watch Meet the Robinsons in Japanese sometime soon. But I’ve heard that The Incredibles in Spanish is great.)

5.) Listen to your favorite music. (Josh Groban or Rend Collective usually helps. I’m listening to Rend Collective right now actually.)

6.) Go sit somewhere public and people watch. You can go with a friend. Share a smoothie (or an ice cream) and make up stories about the people you see. Turn said stories into a soap opera.

7.) Dress up or wear a favorite outfit. For some people, dressing up is uncomfortable, but when I know I look good, I feel good. Sometimes even wearing a bright color of lipstick brightens my mood.

8.) Do something childish. I’m a kid at heart, but I get too caught up in “adult-ing” sometimes, and it stresses me out. I’d much rather act like a kid than resort to drinking or smoking. So watch a favorite cartoon (like Sailor Moon), read a picture book, play a game with friends (like Human Knot or Sardines). Make fools of each other. Laugh.

9.) Surprise someone with a meal. Sometimes you have to do something for others to get that uplifting you need. Buy a meal for a stranger. Bake cookies for your friend. Make your kids Jello. Who can be sad when you’re watching people eat Jello?

10.) Vent all your frustration with video games. Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but I love video games. Sometimes it helps to go completely berserk in Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed. Other times, it’s better to keep it old school with Mario Kart or Smash Bros.

11.) Take a hot shower, make yourself a warm cup of tea, curl up in your comfiest PJs, cuddle your unicorn pillow pet (cats work too), pick any book you have, and read it until you fall asleep. Wake up the next day knowing that yesterday is over. Today is a new day, and it doesn’t have to tank.

BONUS: Make a list of 10 things you can do to not feel sad anymore. I think I might have just saved my little imaginary realm from any further destruction.