A Happiness Jar
Like everyone else in the world, I was full of ambition on January 1 and thought that along with my other resolutions/goals I would keep a happiness jar. Of course I can’t find the Instagram post where I originally saw the idea, but essentially it’s just the idea of at the end of every day you write down one thing on a piece of paper that brought you joy that day. Then at the end of the year you get to go back and see all the things that made you smile. I love the thought process behind it, but I found out after about a week that I just don’t have a good enough memory to do it on a regular basis.
Instead, I’ve decided to make a virtual happiness jar and list out five things that made me happy this week every Friday. When thinking about this blog post, I honestly had to try really hard to narrow it down to only five. This is such a good reminder when we feel like our days suck and that life isn’t going how we want it to. There is ALWAYS at least one small piece of joy in every day, and sometimes it actually requires us to sit down and think about it to come to that realization.
So with that all being said, here are the top five things that made me happy this week:
1. A “stretch” yoga class at my new studio
As I wrote about in this post, I’ve been going to a new yoga studio this week. On Monday night I tried out a stretching class. I used to be the type of person that really only went to hot yoga classes for the calorie burn and how sore it made me the next day, so a yin stretching class is totally out of my element. I would say that we really only moved through five postures throughout the whole hour, but it was so relaxing and I was actually able to shut off my mind for a bit and just focus on opening up my hips, shoulders, and back.
2. Cooking a wonderful meal with Chris on Valentine’s Day
Since all we really wanted to do was avoid the inevitable crowds at restaurants and eat some good food/watch our favorite shows, cooking dinner at home was the perfect idea. It was so yummy and fun and easy and you can read about it here. The nice thing was that we stepped a little our of our comfort zone and tried making something new together in individual cast-iron skillets. We’re really good at sticking to what we know in the way of cooking, but over the last couple of months he has encouraged me to branch out a bit. Mainly with gifting me Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook (obsessed with her) and Edward Lee’s cookbook (we went to his restaurant in Louisville, KY last year and loved it).
3. Getting a really good workout in
I was feeling really gross on Wednesday and all day at work I just wanted to go to the gym and be by myself, not talk to anyone for an hour, and sweat a lot. I ended up doing the below workout and felt almost 100% better once I was done:
25 minutes run/walk on treadmill (2.5 miles total)
3 rounds of:
15 kneeling side crunches/side (w/ 7.5# dumbbell overhead)
15 kneeling alternating arm/leg raises (w/ 7.5# dumbbell)
15 deadlifts (80# barbell)
10 back lunges to tricep extension (w/ 12.5# dumbbell)
5 minute cool-down walk on treadmill
4. This Is Us
MAN do I love this show. I do not think I have made it through one episode without crying. It is just so darn sweet and realistic and really portrays parts of life that a lot of shows seem too scared to dive into. I was majorly obsessed with Parenthood thanks to my mother and while This Is Us will never trump that for me, it’s not too far behind.
5. Costco chicken noodle soup
For as long as my parents have been shopping at Costco, they have been buying their chicken noodle soup. It. Is. So. Good. And they got me hooked. So with Chris and I wanting really easy lunches for work this week, we picked up a container of it over the weekend. It’s definitely good for four (maybe five) meals, is super filling, and goes wonderfully with the Kirkland grain bread. We are proud Costco fanatics, and I will defend Kirkland products until the day I die.
So there you have it! I do not think that something has to be a huge event or tangible to make you happy. Some of the happiest things in my life are a pretty sunrise in the morning on my drive into work, opening a wine bottle without breaking the cork, going to bed at 9:30 and sleeping through the night without waking up until 7:00, laughing at my cats rolling around on the floor, and watching a TV show with my friends. Happiness is all around us, and it’s up to us to choose if we want to see it or not. I will totally admit that there of plenty of times where I don’t see it, but I am really lucky that I have great people around me that will remind me how good I have it when I need to hear it the most.
The above quote is something I’m also trying to remember in the way of happiness. Every single situation we are placed in is for a reason, and if we can just shift our perspective to understand that, it’s much easier to see the joy in it. Just because something isn’t “how we thought it would be” on paper doesn’t mean it’s not good in a different way.
I hope you have the best weekend and encounter a ton of happy things and people! <3
What were the three happiest things in your week?