I tried something new during the course of 2017. Everyday (okay, nearly every day) I wrote down on a slip of paper something that happened during that day to make me happy. I can’t remember where I read about this practice but it’s about finding your gratitude, your peace, your happiness – even if it’s something small. I didn’t turn into a Pollyanna or anything – I’m far too cynical and sarcastic for that – but I did enjoy reflecting on my day and finding a moment that made it happy. Some days were easier than others, of course. But I think most people would find that even on the darkest of days, there exists some sliver of happiness.
I randomly picked ten slips of paper to see what made me happy this past year. They were mostly small things, insignificant even. Had I not written them down, I probably would have forgotten they even happened. But as I read these scribbles, I found myself smiling and these moments made me happy for a second time:
- January 23 – AFTERNOON NAP I love naps. They are decadent, they are relaxing, they always make me happy.
- February 22 – LISTENED TO “DEAR EVAN HANSEN” FOR THE FIRST TIME This and “Hamilton” have been life-changing for me and I haven’t even seen them on stage yet – that’s for 2018!
- March 9 – ONLY ONE EMAIL IN MY INBOX THIS MORNING Is there anything more freeing than not having an onslaught of emails greeting you at the start of your work day?
- March 31 – FIDDLE LESSON I am a truly horrible fiddle player. My lessons didn’t make my neighbors happy I’m sure, but they did bring me joy.
- April 15 – LIE IN ON A SATURDAY MORNING ‘Nuff said.
- May 27 – RAINY DAY IN DUBLIN I’m one of the few who actually likes the weather in Dublin. And I love a cozy, rainy day.
- September 23 – MY NEPHEW FACETIMED ME SO I COULD WATCH HIM PUT LEGOS TOGETHER Yes, it was beyond boring. But I also loved every mundane second of it.
- October 16 – RODE OUT THE HURRICANE WITH A FRIEND As natural disasters go, this hurricane proved to be just a windy afternoon spent drinking wine with a friend.
- November 2 – FRIEND SUPPORTIVE OF PARIS MOVE This person is not only my dear friend but my business partner and her instantaneous support of me when I told her my plans meant the world to me.
- December 10 – FACETIME CHAT WITH FRIEND As I prepare to leave Dublin, this chat really resonated with me. It was with a friend who left Dublin more than three years ago. The fact that we’ve maintained a close friendship despite living in different countries reassures me that my friends in Dublin will remain a part of my life even when I am in Paris.
It really wasn’t hard to come up with a happy moment every day. Some days, many days, I had a hard time picking just one. It was a nice way to spend the year and I plan to keep up the ritual in 2018.
I hope that all of you have started 2018 with at least one happy moment – hopefully many more. As we all embark on this new year, I’ll leave you with this quote from Ralph Waldo Emmerson:
Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.