Monday, April 21, 2014

Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?...

There is a social media challenge currently doing the rounds and it's gone viral.

It's called 100 Happy Days, and the premise is that each day, for 100 days in a row, you take a photo of something - anything - that has made you happy that day, then post it on social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram etc) with the hashtag  #100happydays.

It doesn't mean that you have to be happy all day, every day, for 100 days. What it's about is getting people to appreciate the little things in which joy can be found. That moment that made you smile, that made your heart skip a beat, that made you say 'ahh this is nice'   I did a post a while back, that has a story about finding 'strawberries' and it's kind of the same thing. You can read it here

It could be your first cuppa for the day, the first bud on a plant you thought was dead, or finally making it past the 5km point in your run - anything at all.  Just snap a pic, post it, and hashtag it. 

The thing is, once you start looking for what has made you happy that day, you'll find that instead of it being a challenge to find one  happy moment, you'll find the challenge will be to narrow down  all the happy moments to just one.

It makes you really think about your reaction to things that happen to you  and around you.  Instead of just going through the day on auto pilot, and waiting for external influences to provide your happiness, it encourages you to focus internally and find it for yourself - which is the only way true happiness can be found.

Having spent the last few months in a cloud of depression, I have taken hold of this challenge with both hands. Having lived with it for several decades, I know depression isn't simply a matter of being sad, it's much more complicated than that, and it's hard to pull yourself out of it when you're in the midst of it. But in order to avoid becoming a complete and utter hermit who is of no discernible use to anyone, that is exactly what I have to do. No one else can do it for me.

I thought this challenge might help me to do that.

I used to do something like it with my kids when they were young. Every day after school I would ask them 3 questions - Did you have a good day dear?  Did you get in any trouble?  What is something good that happened to you today?   By asking them these simple questions I learned all about their day, but they also had to really think about their day in order to come up with the 'something good that happened'. It's helped them to see the positive in every day, and I'm glad I was able to teach them that. 


I've been participating in the challenge now for almost a fortnight, and thought that it might be nice to share my happiness with you at the end of each week. 

Much of the first week happened while we were on the Gold Coast for our Honeymoon/Anniversary, so we were a bit loved up and being happy was very very easy... 

So here we have it, the first seven of  #100happydays...

Day 1:
The kids had booked us in to the Outriggers Surfers Paradise for 3 nights starting on the Friday, and typical us, we arrived a day early.  Not because we were so keen to be there, even though we were, but because we can't make a decision to bless ourselves!  We were going to spend the Thursday night at either Ballina or Byron Bay, but because the conversation about it went like this "Where do you want to stay honey?... I don't know, where do you want to stay?... I don't know, that's why I asked you..." we just kept driving and ended up at the Gold Coast on Thursday.   Luckily the Outrigger was able to get us in a day early.  Not having stayed anywhere quite so posh before, we were like a couple of kids in a lolly shop!  The TV was very friendly and welcomed me by name, there was a menu for getting a different pillow if you didn't like the ones on the bed, and the bathroom had a window complete with venetians that had a view of the bedroom... I lead such a sheltered life...

Day 2:
We spent the day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. It was our first full day on the Gold Coast, and we spent it doing decidedly touristy things at a decidedly touristy place, and being decidedly cute & romantic. We walked nearly 8km, up hill and down dale, me in a pair of sandals, bad decision that one,  while being stalked by more Bearded Dragons than you could poke a stick at.  Also. Children. Large groups of them would randomly appear out of nowhere... It'd be nice and quiet, then nek minnit... squealing hordes of them would be swarming around us!  Would liked to have poked a stick at them, but poking children with sticks is frowned upon...

Day 3:
Part of our honeymoon package was dinner and a show at the Australian Outback Spectacular - OMG you have to go! It's BRILLIANT!!   DD said the ocean view room at our hotel was for me, so BM got the tickets to the Outback Spectacular.  We were both excited to see it, but being a farm boy, I think BM was just a tad more excited than me.  He had even gone to the RM Williams shop at Harbourtown Outlet Centre and bought a shirt just for the occassion!   The tickets are $90 and it's a pretty slick operation, you're no sooner through the door than you're corralled into the souvenir photo booth for the cheesy shots, and then to the money machine souvenir shop... which is full of both RM Williams & Outback Spectacular merchandise naturally.  From there, you go into another area for the pre show entertainment, and then into the arena.  The food wasn't anything flash, but it was well presented, tasty, and hot.  Every night the staff feed between 800 and 900 people 3 courses in about 2 hours! The show was great, lots of action, humour, a salute to Phar Lap, audience participation, in short, a great night out, and well worth the money.

Day 4:
Our first wedding anniversary!  We decided to have an adventure and see where the road took us instead of planning the day.  In the morning the road took us to a pancake restaurant for breaky, which was good... but then it took us into a massive traffic jam caused by several road closures for the Gold Coast Triathlon, which wasn't so good, after which we followed the road to Yatala and had lunch at the famous pie shop there... very disappointing indeed.  We decided the road wasn't making very good choices, so we took back control and went to Harbourtown Outlet Centre for more bargains, and Hogs Breath for tea made up for the really crappy pie we had for lunch. Much better.

Day 5:

It was time to say goodbye to the lovely Gold Coast and head for home, so a full day of travel meant taking the easy way out for today's happiness shot.  I saw this post on my FB feed and it struck a chord.  It seemed very relevant for my journey - both the 12WBT one and the journey out of the cloud.

Day 6:
Home at last!  As much as we loved going away, having all those lovely experiences, and having time just for us as a couple, it is so much more than wonderful to be home.  We really are home bodies at heart.

Day 7:

How do you photograph the bliss of waking up in your own bed after being away?  It was the first morning in a week that I didn't wake up with an aching back.  If you know anyone who has mastered the art of travelling with your very own bed, drop me a line...

Will you take up the challenge?

1 comment:

  1. I've been seeing this pop up a lot on instagram and didn't know what it was about. I think we can find snippets of happiness in everything. It doesn't have to be grand. It just has to give you that feel good moment. I'm going to enjoy following this Annie.