#100HappyDays

Happiness is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it feels like you have to work so much harder for it than other feelings. Like being worried, upset, sad or hungover. They all seem to happen pretty effortlessly. But happiness requires a whole lot of hard work sometimes.

When I think about happiness, I often think about Oscar Wilde and the story of the Nightingale and the Rose:

“Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.”

Poor old Oscar – and the poor old nightingale. It’s a great story. And there’s a certain truth in it about never being quite satisfied with what you have (or where you are), and always seeking something else in the name of happiness.

I’ve been feeling a bit on the blue side lately. Nothing serious, but a sustained run of feeling a bit less happy and infinitely less enthusiastic than I’d like. And I’m bored of it. When I go through a grey patch I find that I get to a stage where frankly, I get a bit sick of myself , and it’s at that stage I decide I have to make changes, in order to avoid actually breaking up with myself.  (That’s a whole other post that I won’t bore you with, but suffice to say, there are lists being written and plans being hatched in the background. Which is good.)

Anyway, in an effort to remind myself that Things Are Not All That Bad, and that I have  lots of things to be happy about, I figured that keeping a note of the good things would be a good start.  I’ve seen people all over social media taking part in 100 Happy Days and while my first reaction, if I’m honest was to roll my eyes a bit, I did find that reading them made me smile. So maybe there’s something to it.

It’s been said that taking a few minutes every day to just appreciate what you have is a good habit to get into, and I know that there is evidence that doing so, in turn, makes you happier. The problem is, I’m extremely good at lamenting what I don’t have. However,  looking at the 100 Happy Days website I am extremely excited to see that partaking in this challenge can pretty much produce miracles. From the site:

“People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

 – Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
 – Be in a better mood every day;
 – Start receiving more compliments from other people;
 – Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
 – Become more optimistic;
 – Fall in love during the challenge.”
Well, I never. Why isn’t everyone doing this?!
But, wait. The website also warns against using the challenge to piss other people off:

“It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.”

Well, that’s a bit of a pain, isn’t it? I’d already planned on making you all sick with jealousy with photos of myself standing in the lashing rain at GAA games or covered in muck half way up a mountain in Mayo, but I guess I’ll just have to rein that in, won’t I? And incidentally, if it’s not a competition, how can you cheat in it?  Hmm.

Anyway, skepticism and semantics aside, I’m going to give it a shot. If nothing else, it will be a good exercise in discipline. I’m a crap photographer though, so if you’re expecting anything visually spectacular, you’re in for a disappointment.

 

Here’s my first shot. (Not one of my own, but it doesn’t say you have to take a picture, just that you have to submit it. So thanks to Mick for this one!)
From last Sunday, inMacHale Park,Castlebar, after the Mayo senior football team had just won their fourth Connacht title in a row.There’s a lovely sense of togetherness that comes with being a GAA supporter. While I adore the sport itself, it’s the joy of the shared experience that gets me every time, even when the result doesn’t go your way. But Sunday was one of those days when it did – the sun was shining, the flags were flying and everyone was smiling. In Mayo, we so desperately want to win the big one, that it’s easy to take lovely days like this for granted. And there’s another lesson right there.
10393858_659806970775629_5967054180186378585_n (1)
We’ll all be hoping for a few of these days over the coming months, but this one will keep us smiling for a week at least.
Til next time!
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10 thoughts on “#100HappyDays

    • I don’t think that really matters. I already know I won’t manage 100 in a row (real life will happily get in the way), but if I get to 100, that’ll be an achievement in itself.

  1. I was very much a roll your eyes person when people first started doing it and now look at me! Some days are really hard but I vowed not to skip a day even though I am late with posting sometimes! Really looking forward to your posts! 😀

  2. Good stuff, Anne-Marie, looking forward to it. I’m basically the same with the rolling of the eyes at first, but I do find myself enjoying other people’s moments from time to time. And anyway, I roll my eyes at everything the first time; I’m surprised my retinas haven’t detached.

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