Jackie at the very London chic blog HOME nominated me for this award the other day! Now awards are a bit of a pass the parcel affair and not always welcomed by bloggers far and wide. But I must tell you that I quite like them (at a rate of one or two per year max!!), for the following reasons: They give us a chance to get to the essential of who we are, tell a few secrets and reveal a little more about the person behind the writing. And for me, they give me a creative challenge. What in heaven's name am I going to write about? Goodness, now I have a theme, how do I approach it and how does it fit in with me and the essence of what I am trying to communicate? And this one is just up my alley I must admit. So here we go for 10 things that all make me equally happy !
Being alive. I don't think there is one day in my life that I have ever woken up without being full of gratitude for living (Although, nobody knows the trouble I've seen...). This is not due to any particular faith, other than the one that naturally bubbles out of me. I just can't help myself. It seems as natural as getting out of bed in the morning. And can be quite annoying I'm sure but I try not to be too chirpy all the time and let my joy out in my art instead.
Finding new ways of doing things. I love it when a new solution to a problem that has been niggling at me pops up out of the blue. You could call it 'Epiphany' happiness if you like and it runs from finding new ways to talk to my messmonsters through to accidentally discovering the hidden qualities in a calligraphy that I was thinking of ditching. Nothing is quite as rewarding as when the 'AHA' light goes on!
Having a bona fide project that I want to accomplish! I've been mulling over it for 2 years now and just having a project of my own, that is uniquely me, brings me intense happiness - whether I meet my goal or not. It's the journey towards it that brings the joy... Is it not the same for you? These wise words express it better than I ever could (Thankyou Serendipity for the quote):“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
santiz Patanjali quotes
Getting older! I am really enjoying not being a kid and having the confidence in myself that comes with approaching 40. I don't feel I have to justify my actions anymore, although I am currently making a bullet proof case for homeschooling my own children as the 'intuition' argument doesn't pass in France AT ALL. And "what will other people think?" is a question that belongs back in my 20s.
My messmonsters. I openly admit that children were not high on my list of things I particularly yearned for when I was younger and I felt, at 28 that I was still far too young to even entertain the thought. Then I had them. Every day since then they have been a source of happiness and wonderment for me. As much for who they are, all 3 individual characters, as for the source of daily challenge they provide to their parents!
Change. Change makes me happy. When things don't change around me, I set about making them change: Country, job, house (no it wasn't me that took a match to the last one), furniture... husb...! To me nothing natural is eternally static, which means a certain amount of ...change. This means I have been known to paint the bathroom a bright shade on a whim because it hadn't changed in a while. Beaker used to leave the house in fear of what he would come back to. The landlord lives in eternal fear that I will calligraph on the walls in electric blue. I have of course reassured him that my rebellious streak and need for change is tempered both by a small element of common sense, a profound respect for other people's property, and a slight matter of good taste... But change definitely makes me happy.
Mud. I love mud. When I am adequately dressed for it of course. Splashing through a large, muddy puddle on my mountain bike is one of the most happy and exhilarating things I can do. It's a thumb your nose at convention way of saying I can be a 'pretty girl' and 'live' too! Mind you - a day spa mud bath is just as good for the soul as a tomboy, wind in your face, mud splashing mountain bike ride. I'm not picky! Both make me equally as happy ;-)
Photo courtesy of Issy Aventure
Silent Solitude. Because it brings me peace. I never feel bored or alone in my own company. I get an excited sense of happiness when I am all alone in the silence of a house, or outside in a forest. It is the major reason we live in the country other than giving fresh air to the messmonsters. Solitude makes me happy as it brings me balance. I naturally love to be with people and have to force my self not to put other people first all the time. Solitude gives me the inner resources to spend the rest of my time enjoying the company of all my wonderful friends and family. Which brings me to the next point ;-)
Friends and Family. Well, even in her struggle for solitude, a woman is not a hermit! I am blessed with good friends and a family who cares and who I would do well to call more often. Unfortunately, with my tendency to be equally as happy in my own company as in other people's, I tend to forget to phone. Naughty girl.
GIVING. LIke Jackie, I too love to give. More than anything because I am happy making other people happy around me. And to that end, with no further ado let me give you the winners of my 'give away.' The messmonsters had a great time picking the winners again. I do believe they are getting used to Mum's crazy blog addiction! Girls please stand up and make yourself known!
Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul,
Mme Photoblog, aka Elizabeth Avedon.
As much as giving makes me happy, I'm always left with a sense of disappointment after a competition in that I can't give something to everyone who participates. All I can say is, luckily I didn't have to choose a favourite quote from the pile or I would still be here deciding!
I suggest, if you're looking for more Sunday secrets, you visit the Altered Page while I announce the wonderful bloggers I'm sending this HAPPY 101 award on to as a consolation prize. Their blogs are both inspiring and rich, and I personally would love to know 10 things that make each of them happy...
Lisa at The Wright Stuff
Meredith from Count it all Joy
Julie at Being Ruby (Because she sent my very first award to MOI!!)
Faerwillow at Serendipity
There's another TOME finished, and now "It's goodnight from her, and it's goodnight from her!" - Once again!!
PS I am normal you know, other things like singing and dancing and eating out and sparkling all make me happy too... But I mean, I had to stop somewhere!!!