It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted, and it hasn’t been for a lack of wanting to write. I’ve had several ideas that I want to discuss, but we’ve been busy, you know, without being busy. Everyday items have kept us going until I got in the habit of not making time to sit down and write, which is an awful thing to get use to doing. Even now I’m using borrowed time because I am working from home today and my laptop was dead when I sat down to start the day. So I’m taking advantage of the few minutes before it’ll be ready to join my schedule to write a little, and it’s a simple realization I’ve been focusing on lately: happiness.
The other morning I sat down to put on my shoes before we headed off to the farmers’ market, and I was hit with the realization of how happy I am. It was one of those simple moments where you look around and see only good among your everyday situations. I had on one of my favorite t-shirts, was putting on my converse shoes (which I would wear daily if I could), and was about to walk to the market with my partner. It was just a happy day! I started paying attention to how we live our lives nowadays with the intention of recognizing the little happy moments or things that make us happy that we can easily overlook as everyday occurrences. An example is cooking: we try to cook regularly now to save money and be healthier, but some nights we’re not too excited about making a mess that we have to clean up after eating a full meal. More often than not, however, we’re glad we’ve cooked at home because some days we are chef level in our kitchen. I mean we rock it! And cooking together is something that we enjoy–a simple activity but something we’ve made an effort to incorporate into our lives and relationship. And it makes us happy to do it.
Another example is my introduction to volunteering. My partner has taken on more hours in her position at the local nature center where she is an informal educator. This has her working on Sundays, which takes away our second day of the weekend together, mostly in the afternoons. Rather than stressing about it, we decided I could volunteer to help their Sunday program, which requires at least one volunteer with the instructor, so we could still spend the time together. Now, let me be clear: I am not an outdoorsy person. So we were both unsure of how well this would work out. Surprisingly, I love it! Making time to be out in nature, especially with a biologist who can teach you about practically everything you see, is an eye-opening experience! Add in that we are educating children on why conservation and preserving nature is significant, and the benefits are endless. Despite the oddity of some sort of bug managing to crawl into my boots and through my socks to bite me, and only me, almost every week (and I’m talking massive bites), overall the experience has been rewarding. We lose a little of our weekend to relax, but it makes me happy to be in nature and spend the time learning with my partner. Literally, I realized that volunteering, something I’ve always wanted to try, has added value to my time by giving me something to focus on (learning more about nature), letting me participate in what I am passionate about sharing (adding to conservation education), and mentally enabling me to be a happier person (seriously, just take a walk in nature). Let’s add to this the fact that I magically have time to volunteer, something I never could find time to do before we moved and began reassessing our lifestyle.
Some of my realizations have been the bigger life changes like starting to volunteer while others are small–clothes fitting better because of our healthier eating, saving more money, discovering new podcasts–but they all contributed to that moment when I bent down to tie my shoe and realized that I was in a great mood because I was experiencing a great time in my life. Now is pretty awesome. And it should be. Living intentionally is about living in the now, letting go of worry, and focusing on the happy things in life. And with that, it’s time I get back to work; although, the open windows announcing eventual autumn and You’ve Got Mail playing while the cat sleeps at my feet tells me I might take another moment before jumping back in.