I'm going to make a confession: I don't always do the greatest job of looking on the bright side. I realize this isn't the most ridiculous thing in the world since there are a lot of people who tend to be self-proclaimed "realists" [ c'mon, in all honesty that's just an excuse to be a negative Nancy ] and don't always consider the glass half full. However, a huge part of my motivation to revamp this blog was to change the name to Chasing Peonies, which was actually a metaphor for me to lean more towards optimism on a daily basis.
I used to be a bubble of flowers and butterflies, hopes and dreams. But somewhere along the way, for a myriad of reasons that need not be delved into, I transformed into a dark hole filled with nothing but shrewdness and negativity. While I've since come out of that [ thank goodness ] , a small part lingers and threatens to take over when I lose sight of what is so good and real in my life now. In fact, it probably comes out more than I realize, considering all too often Justin will encouragingly remind me to change my attitude with one simple phrase: "Please chase a peony, love."
So I've decided to challenge myself to do a blog post at least every month about things that make me truly happy. Then when I'm feeling blue or extra dumpy and pulled toward that Debbie downer attitude, they can serve as little reminders to get a grip and refocus. I'm not trying to say that I should be pooping out rainbows [ apologies for that visual ] all the time. I think it's healthy for everyone to allow themselves to feel a full range of emotions and acknowledge the good, bad, ugly and super-sweet-awesome. For me, though, I really do need to dwell less on the bad and ugly and more on the good and plenty. These things may be current, everyday, repeats [ if they're especially happiness-inducing ], random, personal and / or weird. They are in no particular order, just what comes to mind and makes me smile.
10 Things That Make Me Happy
1. Justinbefore he heads out for a run [ only he really knows the exact reasoning behind this... ]
2. Finding a good book and getting so totally engrossed in it that I don't even realize that hours have passed
3. Doing my "I have too much energy" dance in front of Justin, our dog and whoever else just happens to be around and [ unfortunately ] witnesses it
4. Picking up a McDonald's caramel mocha latte [ non-fat milk, with a little whipped cream, size medium, please ] just before the start of a long car ride..or the HP7P2 premiere...or really anytime for that matter...
5. The retired cops and firefighters that I work with at the hospital - they are full of not only corny jokes but also good hearts
6. Walking through our town's farmers market and breathing in deeply [ the mix of fresh produce, flowers and baked goods is heavenly ]
7. Extended family get-togethers that bring back so many good memories of my childhood [ plus all the classic homemade Dutch-American food! Raspberry fluff or Snickers salad, anyone?]
8. Spending time and relaxing at my in-laws' house [ I'm lucky enough to not only get along with my in-laws, but like them, too ] - Justin and I always say it's like a mini-vacation going there!
9. Picking [ and sampling while picking... ] the freshest and tastiest berries at Earl's
10. Deep, heartfelt, hours-long conversations whilst sitting in the comfy chairs at Starbucks