For me, it’s when I’m writing. Pen to paper is my favorite form, but hands on a keyboard will also do it for me. It’s simply the art of having a blank page and filling it with thoughts—hopefully thoughts that can inspire and change those around me—that makes me feel most like myself. My writing sessions always include a hot cup of tea or coffee (okay, sometimes a glass of wine), and it must be completely silent. Maybe the sound of nature around me, or the whirr of the refrigerator as I sit at the kitchen table. But music is a big no-no, it’s too distracting. Even the sound of my husband talking is distracting—I usually shush him.
So…when are you your happiest? Here’s why I’m asking.
Recently, I’ve noticed I spend a lot of my days doing things that really aren’t important to me. Sometimes these things come in the form of projects I signed up for through work or church. Other times it’s distracting myself with things that I think will make me happy—like watching television, scrolling through social media, or even buying things online.
A few emotional breakdowns later, I had to come to terms with this bad habit in my life. A habit where I’m choosing things that truly aren’t making me my happiest.
So…I sat down with my journal. And I answered the question, when am I my happiest?
- I’m writing a story
- I’m cooking a new recipe
- I’m re-cooking a very successful recipe
- I’m blogging daily
- I’m eating healthy
- I’m working out regularly
- I’m not scrolling through social media
- I’m taking breaks
- I’m shopping secondhand
- I’m accomplishing my goals
- I’m with my husband
- I’m reading a good book
- I’m wearing a well-put-together outfit
- I’m dining on delicious food with a friend (like random oysters in an Eataly last summer…sigh)
- I’m taking time to love on others in my life
- I’m worshipping God
It feels really simple. And yet, I neglect this list and choose things that I don’t like to do. Because for some reason, in my head I think I “have” to do the things I don’t like. Like sitting on Twitter to get the latest on the election that will never end. Or watching the hottest television because everyone else is talking about it.
Why am I determining the happiness of my life by doing the things that make others happy? Didn’t I learn time-and-time again in grade school that I need to just be myself and not try so hard to be someone else?
Today, I encourage you to take some time to really think about the things that make you happy. Because I truly believe our personalities really shine in those little things we love. Why derail ourselves from our true personas when we can simply be who we are meant to be?
So ask yourself—when am I truly my happiest?