The Happiness Project: September 2015

The Happiness Project tracks my efforts to live a happier life by relishing in the little moments of joy. Inspired by Only Do One Thing, I’ll be doing monthly roundups of my favourite happy moments from the month. Part one can be found here!

I think we’re just going to have to accept that this is going to be late every single month. But it seems fruitless to make myself miserable about a blog being late because you were too busy doing the happy-making things that the blog is about. September was a bit of an odd month, to be honest. Lots of glorious highs, including my first ever cruise, but lots of wandering around listlessly and feeling a bit aimless. So I was very grateful for my happy things. They help me to put a little bit of sparkle in each day, even when I’d really rather sulk.

Here’s what September brought!

Cosy up.

I could have cried with happiness when this came up as a nudge. I hate the cold, dark nights but I absolutely love the chance to come home, light my candles and wrap myself in a duvet. Double points if I have a pot of soup on the boil. Triple points if I have a glass of wine in my hand. On this night, we went hell for leather and, inspired by that Edinburgh cafe that went viral on Buzzfeed, made ourselves hot chocolates with a big scoop of caramel ice cream in. Yes, you do have to drink it quickly otherwise it gets cold. Yes, it is delicious. Yes, you should try it. Get a spoonful of ice cream, dunk it under the hot chocolate and shove the whole melty mess in your mouth.

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Eat the most delicious thing you can imagine and enjoy every bite.

Oh, Only Do One Thing, you don’t have to tell me twice. In my house, virtually any disaster can be soothed with the question “Shall we make meatballs for dinner?”. Once, on a particularly bad day, Niall literally scooped a miserable me off the sofa and gave me a piggy back to the shop, chanting “Meatballs! Meatballs!”. Based on the Londoner’s lovely recipe, these meatballs are best eaten scalding hot on a huge hunk of crusty bread.

Not the most photogenic dinner but definitely the most delicious.

Not the most photogenic dinner but definitely the most delicious.

Love fiercely.

This nudge made me giggle because I read it while on a totally packed bus, which I had had to get on because I was running late, having run back from my front door to give Niall another kiss goodbye. I love him fiercely, with all of my heart, every single day.

Book tickets to something.

This was a good one! I love having something to look forward to, so booking things always makes me happy. We fancied getting a bit of culture about ourselves, so we booked to see a panel featuring Yanis Varoufakis speak about alternatives to austerity. I know, check us out. It was most excellent. The man can talk.

Practice stillness.

This nudge just so happened to fall on the day of my first yoga class in months. I’m planning a whole post about why I love this class, so I shan’t say too much, but basically it’s amazing to spend a whole hour really being present in your body. To go “Oh hey body, so that’s what you’re doing now. That’s great. Well done you. Well done us. That’s how far we can go? Awesome, let’s rest there for a while”.

Non-Only-Do-One-Thing Happy Stuff

These weren’t nudges, just things that made me happy!

Going on a friend date.

Me and one of the girls from work finally broke the office-friend barrier and went out and drank a frankly obscene amount of wine. We talked about vastly inappropriate things and laughed until my face hurt and when we got peckish, we ordered a baked camembert each and a bowl of curly fries. It was glorious.

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Going on a Fiona date.

Again, I’m going to post about this, so I shan’t post too many spoilers. But Niall went away for a long weekend to visit his family, so I got all dressed up and took myself on not one but two romantic dates. If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

What made you guys happy in September?

The Happiness Project: July 2015

Welcome, lovely ladies and gentlemen, to a brand new feature on the Escapologist’s Daughter: the Happiness Project! A little while ago, I stumbled on a website called Only Do One Thing, which gives you one tiny thing to do per day that could turn a bad day around. And I thought, why not give it a go? So, I’m going to follow their little nudges and at the end of each month, I’ll do a round up of the fun stuff that they’ve encouraged me to do.

I’m an absolute expert at turning fun things into new excuses to feel guilty and berate myself over (hence why I don’t keep a schedule for this blog), so I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t manage to do it every day. But we’ll give it a go and see how happy I can get!

Are you ready for July’s highlights?

Schedule some serious time to look at the moon.

Girl, please. Scheduling time to look at the sky is a fundamental part of my day. Whether it’s watching grey clouds bruise a blue sky, watching the sunset paint my bedroom with golden light or gazing at the moon, wondering who else is looking at it too. And yes, it does make me happy. There’s something about the enormity of the sky that makes me feel like I should relax, because we’re all so tiny in comparison anyway. In one of my favourite books (The Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks), a girl comments to her date that the size of the sky makes her feel insignificant. He points out that when compared to something of that scale, everything is insignificant, and by that logic, them being there together looking at the sky is the most important thing that has ever happened. For the record, if you say this to me, I will marry you immediately, no questions asked.

Buy flowers for someone.

I was thrilled as when this nudge came up. I know they’re silly, really. But I love getting flowers and I love giving them. So I send a lovely bunch of orchids to my best friend Ruth, who I don’t get to see much since we live on opposite sides of this island. And I bought myself a big handful of freesia for good measure.

Snip20150730_1I got my text from Ruth being delighted with her flowers and went about my day, pleased as punch with myself. And then I got home to find these waiting for me:

Snip20150730_2I texted Ruth to find out whether Niall had rumbled me. He hadn’t. And as far as I know, she doesn’t even know the Only Do One Thing site exists. Having never sent flowers to each other before, we both spontaneously sent them to each other on the same day. Spooky. But wonderful.

Make something from scratch.

This was a good one, because it was one that I totally couldn’t be bothered doing. I was hot and tired and I would much rather have sat on the sofa and rinsed a few episodes of Gossip Girl. But I didn’t.

Snip20150730_3How do you like them apple pies? It may have been significantly too hot to make pastry, but I rolled up my sleeves and did it anyway. It turns out that getting out of your own head for a while and doing something that takes a bit of time and effort is really great for soothing jangled minds. In a world where we’re constantly rushing around, even when we don’t have to, it’s kind of nice to do something that only works if you do it slowly.

Wear your best underwear, just because.

Ahem. Done. In fact, I did it twice.

Enjoy this picture of a baby camel.

babycamel-hero2You bet your ass I enjoyed this picture.

Complete this sentence: “Love is like…”

Love is like coming home.

I can’t wait to see what August has in store!