100 Happy Days: A Skeptic’s Approach To Bliss

Published on June 15, 2014 by   ·   1 Comment

0000000000000000 100 Happy QuestionsI don’t usually get involved in these social networking crazes.  Ok, so maybe once I posted who my Zombie Apocalypse team would be (based on the people showing up at the top of your Facebook Friends list), but I don’t make it a habit.  I’m perfectly able to come up with my own stripper/hooker/pirate/superhero name without consulting the letters of my name or the month and day I was born, I don’t need care if you read my wall and I don’t need you to post a one-word response about how we met, and unless you bought me dinner and/or I’ve had a long island tea (or ten) I probably don’t want you to poke me.  I did post a pic for “Doppelganger Week” but that’s just because I love me some fat Anna Nicole, may she rest in peace.  So when a friend told me that she was do “100 Happy Days,” I didn’t jump immediately on the bandwagon.

I think part of me is too cynical for a challenge like this.  It seems kind of schmaltzy, like an overdone Hallmark card.  Or like those creepy “born-agains” who always have huge toothpaste commercial smiles and dead eyes.  And, if you hadn’t noticed by the time you read that last sentence, I’m kind of a bitch.  And I like it that way; I like being sassy, able to meet any situation with an eye roll and a smart remark.

0000000000000000 ButterflyA friend and I are in the process of starting a “Life Revolution,” or something like that.  That’s what we call it anyway.  When it comes to our short term goals, those are easier to state and much more complete: go to the gym or do some other meaningful sort of exercise at least 3 times a week, bring lunch to work so that we make better choices and save money, keep a food journal.  The long term goals were a little tougher.  We didn’t have as many concrete statements or specific things that we wanted to do; basically, most of our long term goals amounted to the fact that we wanted to feel more comfortable in our skin, we wanted to regain some of the confidence we used to feel, we wanted to recognize ourselves in the mirror.  Basically, we wanted to be happier.

The cynical, skeptical me is still not entirely convinced.  I’m pretty sure that Twitter is responsible for more than its share of unhappiness in the world; the idea that whatever you are thinking or feeling can be fully expressed in only 140 characters causes a pain in this English major’s heart.  And I’ve said on more than one occasion that Instagram only exists for people who are pathologically obsessed with documenting everything they ever put in their mouths, and for hipsters who can’t read.  But while it would be easy for me to sit back and smirk at the whole thing and feel oh so better than, that’s not going to help me get any closer to where I said I wanted to be when I listed my long range goals in my “Life Revolution” journal.  Finding something to be happy about every day for 100 days isn’t the magic ticket, but it certainly can’t hurt.

0000000000000000 100 SMileysThe more I thought about it, I couldn’t find any good reasons not to do it.  I check Facebook at least once a day, so a daily post isn’t a huge strain on my time.  And the not quite so sassy part of me knows that I have a lot of things in my life to be happy about.  On good days, they spring to mind easily.  This project will hopefully make them more accessible to my mind on the not-so-good days.

So I’m giving it a shot, and though I’m famous for starting these kind of self-improvement projects (oh, if only I had a dollar for every journal I’ve ever started that ended before page 20!) I’m really going to do my best to follow through with this one.  My cynical self will just have to sit back with one eyebrow raised an see how it turns out.

004So what about day 1?  This morning I created a new playlist called “Rainy Days and Mondays.”  I’d been thinking about it all week at work; I have a couple of dance/pop playlists for working out and some sappy ballads for when I’m in a more melancholy mood, but I don’t have anything that collects my favorite mellow songs – nothing too fancy, not a lot of vocal acrobatics, just a nice smooth collection of songs for when I’m feeling sort of “AM Gold.”  I had kept a list of songs that came on during shuffle mode, and added some more as I was going through the song list and adding.  When I was done, I had 127 songs, almost 9 full hours of aural satisfaction.  And when I plugged my iPod into my little green speaker and hit shuffle, what was the first song to come on?  “Rainy Days and Mondays” by the Carpenters.  How can you not be happy about that?

Well, that’s day 1…

(For more information on 100 Happy Days or to enroll yourself in the challenge, visit their website HERE)

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. Sandy G. says:

    One of the homework assignments I’ve given patients that are dealing with depression is to keep a gratitude journal by their bedside & write 3 things that they were grateful for that day before they go to sleep. There is actual scientific support for the decrease in depressive symptoms after doing this for 30 days. Some nights it is tougher to do this than other nights & I tell people it counts to even list something small- so go ahead Janessa- think of it as your own N of 1 experiment & see what happens :-)

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