100 Happy Days

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I’ve always admired people who do photo a day challenges. I thought they looked fun, but I told myself several times: there’s no point starting one, you’ll never finish. You just don’t have that type of personality.

It was about 25 days into the #100happydays challenge that I realised I was in fact taking part in a photo a day challenge, and even better, I was still finding it fun and easy to do. The idea is that you take a picture every day of something that has made you happy. Not only have I enjoyed making the effort to actively celebrate positivity in my daily life, but now that I’ve passed the halfway point, I think I’ve started to learn some valuable lessons.

1. Once you’ve posted the day’s picture, something else much better will generally happen. Annoying, but luckily there’s no such thing as too much happiness.

2. Some days are just crap. Particularly the ones where I sleep in, work a 12 hour shift then collapse wearily into bed. There have been days where I’ve been driving home from work at midnight racking my brains for something I can post about. And that’s okay. As the wise Liz always says, your goals are not a stick with which to beat yourself, and criticising myself for not feeling happy for one day is the beginning of a downward spiral I don’t want to ride. But, if this challenge helps me really embrace the small thing that makes me smile on a tough day, that’s great too.

3. I need to prioritise the things that make me feel good. I love reading, and a good book brings a lot of happiness to me, yet it hardly shows in my pictures at all. Why? Because I’ve been mindlessly watching repeats of The Hills instead. Nothing wrong with that, but it happens too often. To a certain extent, I can create my own happiness by being smarter about how I choose to spend my time.

4. Food is a bit of a tricky one. I love food, but posting my dinner every day is not in the spirit of the challenge. Neither is it remotely interesting to others, since I mainly eat cheese on toast, or crisps. For the rest of the challenge, I’ll be trying to think twice about food snaps. Is it the food that makes me happy? Or is it the company, the surroundings, the excitement of trying something new, the pleasure of a rare night off?

5. I’m a cat lady now. And what?

I’ve loved doing this challenge, and even if you don’t fancy committing to it as a daily activity, I’d recommend trying to get into the habit of recording the big and the little things that make you smile. See my posts on Instagram here, and, if you want, sign up to the challenge here.

In other news…

An inadvertent literary theme today:

I’m currently rereading Bill Bryson’s Down Under. It makes me alternately howl with laughter and pine for Australia.

I can’t seem to find tour dates yet, but I’m really hoping this theatre adaptation of The Kite Runner comes to Leeds.

I’m excited about the Bailey’s Prize longlist announcement! I need to get reading… Check out The Writes of Woman – I love her reviews of books by women.

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