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Ya’ll… I’ve been a bit stressed lately. There’s one thing in particular that’s been stressing me out (nothing bad and it’ll work itself out). I’ve also seen some people go through things (and my stressor pales in comparison to theirs, #perspective). And all of it makes me think, “The world sucks!” Yes, let’s be real… the world kinda does suck. It’s not always the nicest place to be. BUT. It’s also beautiful and wonderful and there’s happiness to be found.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with stress right now, but I also know there are things that can make us happy. As everyone’s favorite headmaster once said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Thanks, Dumbledore!) Let’s turn on the light and talk about what happiness looks like right now.
Happiness for me looks like…
1 // Little One. Her antics always make me smile and she’s the most soothing and calming little fluff ball to look at and pet. The school I work for recently had a visit from a comfort dog and it brought to mind something that I regularly think about: training Little One to be a comfort dog and taking her to nursing homes. “Don’t you think Mina would bring comfort?” I asked my dad when we talked one afternoon with Little One (aka Mina) sprawled across his lap as he rested a hand on her back. “She brings me comfort,” he responded. And that’s very true. My Little One already is a comfort dog. (Also, Tino and Odin make me happy. You know you’re loved when you brace yourself to be greeted by the 52 pound Olde English Bulldogge puppy racing in your direction!)
2 // Bible Passages. To be honest, I can’t even tell you how many little… “faith nuggets” (for lack of a better term) that I’ve stumbled across recently and they’ve all been so helpful to read. Two in particular that have been on my mind:
>> 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. A coworker sent this to me last week along with her thoughts, which I won’t share since they’re not mine, but I’ve reflected on this ever since.
>> Romans 12:12. I have the YouVersion Bible app on my phone and I have it set so that when I swipe right on the lock screen the first thing I see is the verse of the day. They’ve all been wonderful lately, but I saw this one the day after I had a stressful day (and needed a reminder to breathe) and the day that I found out about some hard things that people I know are going through. It was a great reminder for me to be patient in my own situation (I’m not a patient person) and to lift everyone up in prayer.
3 // Family. Have I ever mentioned that I have the best parents? Because I do… I have the best parents.
And I need to remember to spend more time with my family. Last week my sister had the plague and my brother-in-law had an event, so my dad said he’d take my niece to an appointment and an art class after school one day. I decided to tag along so that my dad would have someone to hang out with during her class and it turned into a really fun evening. I had a chance to spend extra time with my niece that night and I always enjoy dinner or coffee out with my dad. We went to this little upscale diner that we never would have gone to otherwise (it’s a smaller establishment/not in our area) and ordered apps and burgers for dinner. I was pretty exhausted that day and fell asleep as soon as I got home, but it was a lot of fun and so relaxing to spend some time with my dad and my niece.
4 // Anticipation of New(ish) Experiences. I’ve been planning a couple of vacations and it reminded me of a workshop I attended back when I worked in corporate banking. It was about scheduling your time–not just work, but your personal life as well. One thing we were told in the workshop is that we should plan things–like vacations–that we can look forward to. I have a couple on the horizon and have been giving some sneak peaks of the planning for one on Snapchat (dreamsetcblog).
These are a Few of My Favorite Things
>> Spiralizers. (I don’t think this is the one I’ve used, but it’s similar.) My best friend recently posted a video on Instagram of a sauce simmering on the stove with the caption, “Cooking is my therapy.” And I thought, “Yes! Cooking is so therapeutic!” There’s something so beautiful and comforting about preparing food. (Unfortunately cooking also comes with doing dishes, which I don’t find beautiful or comforting at all.) Anyway, probably about a month ago I decided I wanted to make zoodles, so I finally tried out my mom’s spiralizer and I’m obsessed with spiralizing things now. A few of my favorite recipes have been: Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai, Zucchini Shrimp Scampi, and Crispy Baked Spiralized Fries. For that last one I would try different seasonings next time. Also, I made these meatballs and served them over a mix of pasta and zoodles.
>> This oil diffuser. I have a breathe blend of essential oils that I use whenever I’m congested. When I had the plague last month I set up my diffuser and it was obviously working hard to do very little. I immediately ordered this diffuser and I love it! It’s so much prettier than my last one and has more options for settings. I pretty much only diffuse my breathe blend, but now I’d like to look at other oils that I can diffuse, just so that I can use it. Any suggestions?
>> The Beach House books by Mary Alice Monroe. I read The Beach House when I was 17 and immediately connected with Cara, a 40-year-old character. Now that I look back on it, I think that’s pretty cool. I’ve read this book so many times and it never gets old! I also love the others in the series: Swimming Lessons and Beach House Memories. And I’m reading them all in anticipation for Beach House for Rent, which will be out in June. As soon as I opened The Beach House this weekend it was like, “Hello, old friend!”
>> Pandemic. I’ve recently gotten into games and I think my favorite is Pandemic. I don’t know what it is about the game, but I absolutely love it and I’m determined to win! Do any Pandemic fans have tips?
What does happiness look like for you?