So, today is day 100 of this challenge. I’m finished! At first, I have to say, it felt really cringe to be posting pictures of my life, especially as I spend a lot of days just sitting at my desk and venturing no further than the gym or the shops. But I’m glad I carried on with it, as it’s shown me I do a lot of cool things – the past three months in particular have been very busy, with lots of travelling, and a few big life decisions as well. It’s also shown me that the things which really make me happy are small. Some of them include:
Reading, writing, and everything to do with books. I am genuinely happy when I sit down at my desk on a cold rainy morning, or walk into a bookshop or library and breathe in.
Trying new food, going out for tea and cake or afternoon tea.
Swimming outdoors, ideally in the sea, but if not a lido will do.
Going to new places, though not necessarily far-flung ones. It turns out that it’s possible to travel too much, and get burned out. Balance seems to be what I need.
Seeing friends – I’m lucky to have been able to do a lot of that over the summer, plus making some new ones. Having proper conversations, not just touching the surface.
So, if I’ve learned anything about happiness, by going through many times of unhappiness, the secret is simply this:
- Avoid things that actively make you unhappy, as much as you can, such as terrible jobs, mean people, toxic relationships (easier said than done, of course). But still there will always be days of irritation, illness, and disappointment and I think we have to leave space for sadness in our lives.
- Seek out the things that you love and enjoy, which may not be the ones we’re led to believe will do the trick, like expensive holidays or new shoes. It might be that, of course. But also it might just be a walk in the woods, gathering pine cones, or a trip to the public swimming pool with the plasters on the floor of the changing rooms. Sometimes it might just be doing nothing at all, something I am not very good at remembering.
I honestly think maybe that’s the key? Anyway, the 100 days is up, and HOW TO BE HAPPY is out now, with much more musing on the nature of life, happiness, friendship, and hot doctors.