I was scrolling through the trending topics on Twitter when I came across the hashtag #ImTheHappiestWhen. I decided to check it out; I love a nice feel-good tweet. I noticed a lot of sarcastic ones, which I expected, and I noticed a lot of ones you’d expect – “My love is happy” or “I’m snuggling with my pet” or “I’m reading a good book”.
Reading all of them got me to thinking – when am I the happiest?
Obviously, my family and friends being happy makes me happy, and snuggling my dog, and finding a good book. But I also have a tendency to get anxious when those things are happening. And not as a result of them, just that’s how my brain and body work – my anxiety sometimes hits at the most random, unexpected times.
So, then, if I can experience an anxiety attack, or even just the beginnings of the knot in my stomach tightening (and my heartrate quickening and my hands getting cold and clammy), when am I happiest?
I am happiest when I’m sitting with my husband in the evening, watching a funny show (currently Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and eating dinner, with the dog on the ottoman, waiting for one of us to finish so he can cuddle, but also just close enough to Shane’s food that he can snatch up anything that falls, but not so close that he gets in trouble. Although, he tries.
I am happiest when I’m crafting and making. Even more so when I’m making things for other people. I love being able to let go of everything that’s going on in my mind, and just create. Sometimes it’s painting. Sometimes it’s hot-gluing. Sometimes it’s making little pumpkins out of yarn and stringing them onto twine to make a cute little pumpkin garland (DIY coming soon). I love having a vision in my head, and then being able to bring it to life.
I am happiest when it’s rainy and overcast. In Texas, the sun usually means heat, and I abhor being hot. Rain and clouds make me feel as alive and energized as sunny days do for others. I am creative and happy and excited when it’s “gloomy” out, and if it’s cool and cloudy, that’s even better. I’d much prefer to walk around bundled up in a sweater than in shorts.
I am happiest when I’m with my best friends. Whether we’re on a specific adventure, or just sitting at home watching movies, eating Jiffy Pop and drinking wine. I am happiest when we can catch up and gossip and snack and just be in each other’s company without needing to constantly be doing something. There are no pretenses of fake perfection or images. We usually don’t even remember to take pictures together because we’re so focused on just being in the moment.
I am happiest when I’ve just gotten done exercising. I am particularly susceptible to endorphin highs, so when I get them going, I feel unstoppable. I love when my body feels strong and capable and I’m reminded how much it does for me. I love my body most during those times. I love the smell of the gym and stretching and the “hurts so good” feeling.
I am happiest when I get to make a stop at my favorite coffee shop, Pearl Cup, and have a delicious, warm Pearl Latte. It doesn’t matter how hot it is outside or what the weather is like, that first sip of Pearl Latte is magical. And because they don’t have a drive-thru, I am forced to go inside and wait for my drink, and that small amount of time is enough for me to unwind.
I am happiest in the fall and winter. I love when it’s cool out and I can finally breathe. I love how pretty everything is when my allergies aren’t trying to swell my airways close. I love how happy the holidays make most people. I love the shorter days and longer nights. I love feeling like I have more time in my day than I thought I did and I love that it means I’m being creative and watching seasonal movies and listening to seasonal music and taking in all the sights and sounds and smells.
I am happiest when I’m learning something new. I recently started learning video editing, and as frustrating and tedious as it can be, I become entranced by the magic that can come of it. I love figuring out that I have the knowledge and skills to do something I’d never really thought I could do. I learn by watching and then doing, so YouTube tutorials have been supremely helpful over the years. I’ve learned things from changing my windshield wipers to knitting to video editing. I check out books from the library and access free e-courses where I can on whatever I can. I try not to let my inability to go to school keep me from learning something new and gaining knowledge in all the areas and studies that interest me.
As J.K. Rowling once wrote, “Happiness comes, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” So, figure out what your light is, and turn it on as often as you can. Because you deserve to be the happiest you can be as often as is possible.