The Happiness Tag

Tag! I guess I’m it! When I was little, we neighborhood kids came up with some pretty creative variations on the game of tag (television tag was a favorite, although the rules were constantly changing), but I think this happiness tag is the most wholehearted version I have come across, by far! Thank you to Ioana of Music Teacher Lifestyle for tagging me. Reading her posts always puts a smile on my face. You can read all of the beautiful, wonderful things that make her happy, here. Thank you for tagging me, and for inspiring this post, Ioana!

Without further ado…

Five Things that Make Me Happy

  1. A truly restful night of sleep! Is there anything quite so refreshing? All the delicious, black coffee in the world can’t replicate this feeling. When I’m rested, it is so much easier to be mindful, to find gratitude in unlikely places and situations, to cope with distressing circumstances, to connect with others… I could go on and on!
  2. Traveling home to visit my family and closest friends. They are all concentrated together in one area of New England. Getting away from work and spending time with these people, with whom I share my deepest connections, restores my heart and soul!
  3. Riding my bike along the quiet, paved, wooded trail near my house. It’s peaceful and serene to feel the breeze against my skin on a sunny afternoon, to let all the sights, sounds, and smells of nature seep into me, and to exchange friendly smiles with the other people who are enjoying the outdoors.
  4. Lingering over breakfast on my back patio. I am blessed to live on a little pond, with two fountains, and my townhouse is set far back from the narrow, grassy road. It is peaceful and serene. The ducks love to come right up to my back door, looking for wayward crumbs. This summer, a hummingbird is making a home nearby, and I sometimes catch a glimpse of him as he darts between leaves and stems. An overhanging eve keeps the hot rays of the sun and the sprinkling of raindrops at bay. When I sit there with my journal and a cup of tea, it feels like I am on vacation in my own backyard.
  5. The mass. It might sound like a pretty odd thing to draw happiness from, but participating in the liturgy is one of the experiences that often brings me the most joy and sends my heart soaring. Although, for most of my life, nearly the exact opposite was true. I have always been religious, but I was motivated by fear, guilt, shame, obligation, a deep belief that I was not good enough and that God did not love me, and a perfectionistic, rigid, anxious, angry drive to follow all the rules. It was in recovery that my perspective began to shift. I discovered my worthiness. I wish that I could describe how that transformation happened. It was both a gradual process and a sudden, shocking realization. Now, my entire manner of relating to God, the church, and my spirituality is changing. Exploring the actual roots of my faith and learning more about its vibrant traditions is changing my life in ways I never thought possible. Granted, I don’t walk away from every mass feeling elated. It often remains very difficult to stay present and to find meaning and connection. Yet, on those occasions when I am truly open, loving, and mindful, I find joy and beauty that move me to tears.
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The view from my porch, Summer 2015.

Five Songs that Make Me Happy

  1. Come Fly with Me, by Frank Sinatra. There is something classic and timeless about this song, but also simple and nostalgic.
  2. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), by The Proclaimers. Who wouldn’t want someone to walk 1,000 miles for them? This song doesn’t bring to mind any particular person for me, but it summons thoughts of all the people I love and who love me. I can’t help but sing along.
  3. We Belong, by Pat Benatar. Because everyone wants to belong, and this song reminds me that we all do. We all belong. We are all worthy. And we don’t have to do anything to earn it.
  4. Once Upon a December, from the animated movie “Anastasia.” This song makes me think of memories of my younger self and brings me comfort when I feel lonely.
  5. Away in a Manger. On her list of happy songs, Ioana included a Christmas carol that brings her happiness the whole year through, so I thought I would do the same! There is a reminder for me in this song that no matter how old I grow, I am always God’s little child, and it strengthens and consoles me even on the hottest summer days.

True happiness needs to be passed on! I am nominating the following bloggers (whose writing often brings me much gratitude and joy) to continue the happiness tag by writing about five things that make them happy and five songs that stir happiness in their hearts.

Happiness Tags:

  1. Anne, of ainsobriety
  2. Jenny, of Peace from Panic
  3. Lauren, of Milly’s Guide to Happiness
  4. Eli, of Coach Daddy
  5. Jenn, of HealthyJenn
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Mallard Family, August 2016
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14 thoughts on “The Happiness Tag

    1. Thanks, Bernadette! I do love my little water-front view. My place is a rental, and it does have it’s good and bad, but the good far outweighs the bad, and so I stay. 🙂 Even though I dream of moving back to New England, if that day ever comes, I will miss this place.

      I wasn’t sure about mentioning the mass in my post, to be honest, because I was afraid of how people might take it, but it is honestly one of the things that makes me feel the most grounded, authentic, peaceful, and hopeful – all of those things that go into “happiness.” Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  1. Wow! Your pond is beautiful! Thanks for nominating me…I mean THANK YOU…I was spending some time in my head this week focusing on my struggles (they are real but don’t require me to dwell on them of course)…so…I will spend today reflecting on what makes me happy. Stay tuned for my happiness list 🙂
    Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome! We all need a little boost every once in awhile. I am looking forward to reading your post!

      I have to be honest… the pond isn’t really *mine.* My townhouse is a rental, though I’ve been in the same place for six years now. It’s one of the reasons I don’t want to leave! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe I forgot about how much happiness a good sleep can bring…and of course, traveling home to see friends and family…that’s the best. How did I miss that? I was recently visited by my best friends and days later a neighbour stopped me to ask me who they were and she said I looked so happy that she wanted to hug them too :))).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it amazing how just being around those we are close to can bring this out? Thank you for sharing! Hearing about how happy you were when you were with your friends brought a big smile to my face 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Happiness Tag! I remember writing mine last month. I see The Coach Daddy, Eli, is our common thread. That makes me happy. Great song choices, too! Love “500 Miles”. And any Christmas song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Where you feel most at home, among those you love and who love you – that’s the place to be, right? It’s not always easy to identify. I also love that thousand-miles song. Can’t help but sing along.

    I look forward to passing this on, Lulu. Thank you for the nomination.

    Liked by 1 person

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