OWTK's Helpful Ideas / Parenting Blog

OWTK’s Helpful Idea #10: Do What Makes You Happy

The Pacific Ocean. The warmth of the sun cutting through a cool breeze coming in off the coast. Feet dug into the soft sand. Again the juxtaposition of disparate temperatures. The crashing of waves. Kids with pants rolled up, unprepared for this impromptu pit stop, jumping into the water as it rolls up and back. Up and back. Hysterical laughter from people with no worry. This. Give me this.


What makes you happy? Do you give this question much thought in the busyness of the every day?

What gives you that tingly kind of joy? That’s right, I said tingly. Deal with it.

There’s at least a singular something and probably / most likely / I hope for your sake a few somethings that fit this description. What I’d like for you to do is find what they are, really hone in on ’em — focus, grasshopper! — and do those things every. single. day.

Maybe it’s binge watching late 90’s TV. Whatevs, I’m not judging…much. Maybe it’s knitting hats for sick kids at the local children’s hospital. Maybe it’s baking muffins only to make the house smell pretty (like reading Penthouse only for the letters.)

For me, it’s a variety of things and experiences and actions and sights. Making my bed brings me a modicum of joy and so I do it first thing every morning. Sometimes (read: all the time), I am first to rise and I’ll make my side of the bed while my wife sleeps the AM away on hers. Yeah, I’m a bit of a nutbag but a well-made bed with a smooth comforter resting atop it sets my mind at ease upon entering my bedroom throughout the day, something I do 50 times at least, and I am a teensy-bit happier as a result.

Observing my girls and their bonkers imaginative play with Playmobil people, that brings me joy. And so I do that.

Creating hypothetical book titles, story ideas, and first paragraphs (the rest is SO much more difficult) with my goofy kids — book titles like The Dancing Beard of Abraham Lincoln’s Son’s Son, that brings me joy. And so we do that.

Having the kitchen cleaned up completely, no dishes in the sink or drying, before I retire to my well-made bed every night, that brings me joy. And so I do that.

You shouldn’t do what I do to feel joy, unless doing what I do to feel joy is also what you can do to feel joy. Phew, that was a mouthful. What I’m saying is this: spend a few hours / days / weeks figuring out what, right now in your life, will cover you like a warm blanket with happiness, inner calm, ease, joy, peace, and love of self, and own that, do that every day.

Be happy, god dammit.

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