Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Night Survey: Happiness/Wholeness Jar Edition

Last night I read through my Happiness Jar (that turned into a Wholeness Jar). (For an explanation of what a Happiness Jar is, let me introduce you to my role model, Elizabeth Gilbert.) This morning I woke up (sort of late--sleeping off a cold) and went for a walk before I started drafting this post. Why would I trudge through falling snow on a Sunday when all that's required of me is to watch the playoffs from my couch? Well, after reading the close to 365 scraps of pink, green, and purple paper, I realized that nature was a big part of my happiness AND wholeness last year, and walking showed up on more than a few slips. Of course, most of the nature-related ones also featured "warm" or "sunny" aspects, but I figured if nothing else great happens today, at least I'd have my quiet snow-filled walk to write down.

Now, at the end of the day, I can say other great things did happen, but I'm still writing down something from my walk as my piece of happiness for the day. Not the walk itself, which was nice, peaceful, and thought-filled, but the part of it where a young boy shoveled off the sidewalk in front of me as I walked in the cleared path. When he got as far as he could  go pushing the wet snow, he stepped off to the side. "Sorry, I can't go any further!" he apologized, his cheeks flush and his breath condensing in the air. I reassured him his effort was still appreciated for the path he created. That was my happy moment of the day.

What else made me happy or whole last year? What trends did I find? First off, I was a little scared to get started. What if everything I wrote was lame? What if I read through all my slips and felt nothing? Dumb fears, for sure. So I just got started. I dumped out all the scraps of paper and started reading. Here's what I found:

Things I like (in no particular order)
sunshine/warm wind
Just Doing It (twice I wrote this specific phrase)
food, especially pizza or anything I made myself
"getting work done" (again, an exact phrase I wrote more than once)
anything with Jesus (but usually it was goofing off, exploring, or eating)
things at work unrelated to work
activities with friends
when work ended early or on a positive note
Breaking Bad/The X-Files
leisurely days
feelings (having them, controlling them, expressing them)

Things I have further questions about
"Having feelings" (9/28/14)--which ones?
"Getting that story out" (1/21/14) --what story?
"Things resolving themselves" (6/2/14)--what things?

Why was I so secretive with some of my happy moments? Did I think I was being coy or poetic? I need to cut that out for 2015.

Favorite moments to re-read, categorically
short and sweet
slightly ironic
not related to work at all

The best example I have of all of these is the slip that read just "Chipotle"--it still makes me happy to think about how happy a simple meal makes me.

Plans for this year's jar
more on that later this week!

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