10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Monday, January 7, 2013
My Favorite Day
I saw this cartoon on Tess Marshall’s Facebook page recently. I immediately thought of two things.
First is the funny email that circulates every year or so about a dog’s diary and a cat’s diary. I’ll just include the dog’s diary here.
From a Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Anyone who has a dog or knows a dog will appreciate this!
The second thing I thought of was my daughter Mia. When she was little, she was the most exuberant sprite on the planet. Everything was her favorite thing. Every day she would ask me what I was making for dinner, and when I answered her, she would invariably exclaim, “That’s my favorite food!” This was true even if I was making something I was sure she had never tasted before.
Many of us were like this as kids. But somewhere along the way, we stopped embracing life. We became teenagers. When Mia and her sister were teens, they would look at each other and roll their eyes or make a face when I told them what I was making for dinner. Finally, one day, feeling especially unappreciated and a bit cranky, I responded to their inquiry about what I was making for dinner by saying, “We’re having whatever y’all are making. Please let me know when dinner is ready. I’ll be in my room.”
They thought I was kidding, but when I walked off and settled into my favorite chair with a book, they knew the jig was up. I don’t remember what we had for dinner that night, but I remember telling them how much I appreciated their cooking and how good the food was. And from then on, the kids (the guys, too) were responsible for dinner on certain nights. And we all learned, or rather re-learned, to welcome the gifts that life brings us.
Seeing this Pooh cartoon brought back sweet memories of raising my children, all the more poignant as I am learning to embrace my empty nest. Which is, I must admit, quickly becoming my favorite thing!
related post: Wow; It's a Dog's Life
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empty nests are great -- one of my favorite things! although, raising my kids was one of my favorite things too! and TODAY is always my favorite day ;-)ReplyDelete
Linda, Exactly! I did love raising my kids, and now I love my empty nest. And today is indeed my favorite day!Delete
I loved that cartoon the first time I had seen it on Facebook a few days back too Galen. :)ReplyDelete
Yes indeed, as we grow up we forget to enjoy life's little moments or take time to think about our favorite's, which we should. So, thanks for this wonderful reminder. :)
Harleena, My pleasure! Maybe you have a favorite day today and every day.Delete
I really like this cartoon. It expresses the importance of finding joy in what we have now--today. I'm glad you're enjoying your empty nest. Each stage in life can become our favorite thing! :-)ReplyDelete
Tina, I like your observation about each stage being our favorite. That has certainly been true for me.Delete
I love it. What a beautiful teaching master you are. You must have a very happy household.ReplyDelete
The description of your daughter when little sounds like the video on YT of a little frizzy haired girl who is looking in the mirror and saying all the things she loves.... and it's everything....as in.."I love my hair, I love my bed etc. etc.
Actually, I feel like everything is my favorite right now. I'm on a cleanse and on a beautiful natural high.
Thank you for a lovely post.
Manzanita, My household got happier as we went along. As I learned to be happier, I became a better parent, and then everyone was happier. Love the description of the little girl. So glad for you that you are having a favorite and healthy day.Delete
I can see you sitting in your chair waiting for someone else to prepare a meal! We did that when we had teenagers. Each person was responsible for one dinner a week. It could be anything. When it was my son James' turn, we always had canned chili. I taught him how to make cornbread from a box to go with it. He made it, though.ReplyDelete
Linda, Yes, it was a great relief to me to just stop and accept with serenity the things I couldn't change! And then it turned out to be a great experience for the whole family. I have a son named James, too. His favorite dinner to make was frozen pizza. Still is, I think.Delete
Galen - a reminder that I've been having for the past few months - do more things in life that are my favorite things and bring me more happiness. I'm consciously trying to do this more! IF it makes me happy, I'll do it. If it doesn't, I try not too. It's been a fun way to live life with many new experiences, friends and opportunities coming into my life because of this way of living.ReplyDelete
Vishnu, That's a great approach to life. When I was teaching, I used to plan my courses around the starting premise of what made it fun for me. Then it all worked out.Delete
Lucky, lucky me. My son still says "my favorite thing" and I respond the same way to him - and we both laugh when we know we're saying it for fun.ReplyDelete
Love that cartoon.I remember Tess sharing it. And I have it in my bunch of favorite photos. Thank you for sharing! I have a sense of deja vu reading about Mia. Hugs!
Vidya, You are lucky to still have a child at home with that positive attitude. He clearly gets it from you.Delete
What a great cartoon and a message for us all. May we all wake up each day and call it our favorite! :)ReplyDelete
Indeed. Thanks, Martha. Blessings to you, too.Delete
Tonight is book group - my favorite thingReplyDelete
Sunday I guided an Epiphany Workshop - my favorite thing
Today it is raining hard - my favorite thing
Oh this is such a fun exercise, I am going to remember to do this.
Also it was fabulous to have everyone plus friends here for the holidays. Then they all went home, happy and contented and filled up and refreshed and I was so happy to just enjoy the peace of my own life.
I am trying to work on cleaning out filing cabinets as I prepare for our income taxes, etc....now this will be a trick - my new favorite thing? (when the task is all done it always feels great)
Patricia, So glad you are having fun with this! And right about those filing cabinets. When we can say that whatever we are doing is our favorite thing, we will have arrived!Delete
Great post, Galen! Lovely images too. I can picture your daughter kneeling on the chair, hands on the counter, bouncing up and down with childlike enthusiasm.ReplyDelete
I like Patricia's approach. I'm trying to apply some reverse psychology today.
Waking up at 4 a.m. - my favorite thing.
Going to Wal-Mart early in the morning - my favorite thing.
Answering long, explanatory work emails - my favorite thing.
Taking a nap on a rainy afternoon - not my favorite thing. Oh wait! I didn't mean to reverse that one!
Thanks for the lighthearted approach for days when I take myself far too seriously.
Beth, I like Patricia's approach, too! I'm going to try it.Delete
Exactly! I'd hate to think what my life would be like if I never had children (or grand-children now) and all my animals! Because everyday is my favorite day!ReplyDelete
Karen, They do bring a lot of joy into our lives. So many favorite days!Delete
What a delightful post; I am smiling on this one. I read the Dog one to my husband and it is so our dog. We do need to embrace life and do more of our favorite things. I find it so interesting that as soon as one of my grandchildren becomes a teenager; there is such a change in them. I loved the story of your daughter. It is amazing how as soon as they hit 13 there is a change in attitude.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminders today and blessings to you!
LeAnn, The cat diary that goes with it is too funny. Here is a link if you want to read it. http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/humor/otherhumor/dog_cat_diary.htmDelete
Yeah, what to do when they become teens?! Well, they get through it and become nice people again. But I don't know that many of us truly recapture the exuberance of childhood. Today is my birthday so I'm going to try!
I grew up with Winnie the Pooh and still find the wisdom in those books applies to life today. Very gratifying is that my grandkids have the full of Pooh books and love them just as much as I did.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you are feeling good about your empty nest. Is there a dog in your future?
Bob, I spent some time with a great dog yesterday and it was sure nice to get some quality fur time. But for me right now? I'm not ready yet. We'll see what the year brings. I'm "waiting"--my word for the year!Delete
Dogs earn our love. They are so special. We could learn much from them.ReplyDelete
JJ, I've learned a lot from dogs over the years. Before I ever had children, I developed what I called the puppy theory of child rearing from watching my dog raise her puppies. I would have been a much better mother if I had adhered more closely to her example!Delete
Love this! I think my boyfriend is my favorite thing, because he cooks dinner EVERY night! Of course, I might be saying that because I'm really hungry right now. But he IS pretty cool.ReplyDelete
Enjoy your empty nest, but put some nice soft feathers in it anyway. You deserve it. :)
Jennifer, Those soft feathers look a lot like fleece sweats--my favorite clothes these days!Delete
Happy birthday Galen! I think that picture is so cute and vintage =) And I love the message in this post. I need to connect to my inner child soon, I've been acting like a serious adult too much lately, haha! Hope all is well! I might save that dog excerpt, that a wonderful example of being truly grateful and in the present moment.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kim! I had a great day. The dog diary is really a terrific reminder. Enjoy your inner dog tomorrow!Delete
Ha, I do so much miss my empty nest...I have fond memories of doing my favorite thing, walking till my feet quit, taking photos of nothing and everything, doing nothing, yes those days were great. Now my happiest moment though is when one of those little ones exclaims with pure joy, "Oh, gramma, that's my favorite thing," to do,eat, watch whatever it is. I loved this post, made me smile .ReplyDelete
jan, So glad I brought a smile to you--my favorite thing!Delete