Saturday, May 26, 2012

Four Factors of Happiness

As I merged into summer break the last week, I have defined what makes me most happy. I think it would make anyone happy, and it makes me grateful that I have all four factors of what constitutes happiness, because not everyone does.

First, I would start with Fitness. The reason I think Fitness comes first, is because I have to put myself first and so do you. You know what they say, you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with others. I also think Fitness is most important, because it is the absolute quickest jolt into an energy high . . . . . .which feels great. It catapults us through the dark tunnel of stress and negativity into fresh air, bright light, and need I say? Happiness. Lastly, fitness is most important because good health means you feel good. I read somewhere that the biggest obstacle to quality of life as we age is poor health, sickness, injuries, etc. Sure, we may have a great life, but if we don't feel good, that great life will always be overshadowed.

The second factor to happiness is family. This is where I feel most lucky because many many people don't have family, or supportive family, or family that lives nearby. I really don't think there is more of a genuine love than for family. When I see my brother or dad or mom, I get a little overwhelmed with joy, especially when we are all together.

The last two, friends and fun, really go together and need no explanation. We need friends in order to get away from the bore of everyday living. A night out, a backyard barbecue, a bike ride, whatever it takes to exchange ideas and experiences. Where family brings love, Friends bring excitement.

It's easy to focus on the good things when you're on an extended vacation. Our country needs more breaks, vacations, and time off from work. At the very least, I hope you plan your next jog at the park :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blue Clouds

So turning 30 was great. It really was! The Golden birthday party was all I could have asked for, and it made me feel young. I wasn't expecting that at all, so afterwards I was on such a surge of happiness and energy. Thanks to all of the friends and family that attended, and especially Tino for making the entire weekend rockstar great. Having the extra two days off work made the weekend long enough to relax while hosting a large number of people. We watched roller derby in Kansas city Saturday night, then came home and hosted our friends, we girls glammed up in gold like I hoped, and the party at Fitters was a perfect time. Like I said, it couldn't have been better.

After the party, I only have a week left of teaching now before summer break. It's great being a teacher! The last two weeks of the year have been super hectic, stressful, and quite a letdown compared to the calm ease in which I coasted through the rest of the year, but at least the end is near. I have turned to a private written journal in order to release and clear my thoughts as I get through this last week. It's been so long since I had work stress I almost forgot what it felt like: Nausea, anxiety, a rotten feeling in my gut, a heavy feeling on my chest. Thats the kind of stress that shortens a persons life. Teachers aren't allowed to complain about work though, people won't put up with it since we have summers off :) haha. Maybe so.

On another note, I want to declare to the world how awesome Darrin is. He welcomed me home from my last trip with so much love that I tear up with happiness. I love returning home to him, to Missouri, the fresh air, the ducks and pond, the calm and steady gleam of nature surrounding our house. We spent the weekend together visiting friends and family and making sure our mom's were spoiled for Mothers Day. Darrin really took care of me and I'm so grateful for what I have.

Now to survive this final week: I know I can do it. I will continue my early exercise routine, do a couple chores each night after the other jobs, and take constant deep breaths. I've also started a personal meditation exercise I named "blue clouds" when I worry too much. I imagine rolling blue and white puffy clouds in fast motion. If I have time, it would be nice to do a painting of the blue cloud images. What do you do to clear your mind? Until next time: Love, calmness, and Zen to you all.