There is a reason we keep souvenirs. We keep little nicknacks or pictures to remind us of happy times. They are tangible reminders of a moment we want to remember… but the happiness in our lives doesn’t have to be limited to big vacations, holidays or birthdays. If we stop to recognize them, our day is filled with little moments worth recording.
Today I did an experiment. I took 12 rocks and put them in my left pocket. Each time I experienced something that made me happy I moved it to the right pocket. The idea was to have something solid at the end of the day as proof of my happiness. It was an interesting experience. I made a note of each rock I moved:
- Rock One: Big Dude crawled into bed with me and, after cuddling a bit, we had a rather detailed conversation about hot wheels tracks.
- Rock Two: Little Dude insisting on brushing his teeth by himself, while singing his newly learned alphabet, glossing over the ‘l,m,n,o,p’ part that still trips him up.
- Rock Three: Walking the Big Dude to a friend/neighbour’s house so they could drive him to school (I am without a vehicle today since the back window of the van imploded yesterday afternoon – either vandalism or a flaw in the glass, we don’t know). I’ve said it before but I am very grateful to have friends I know I can call on when I need a little help.
- Rock Four: Coming back to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and an empty house… insert satisfied sign here.
- Rock Five: Cleaning out the office (a project I’ve been avoiding for months!) and finding a still wrapped Belgian chocolate. The world stops for a moment will said chocolate is slowly consumed.
- Rock Six: Getting a phone call that I’ve been dreading may not come… it looks like the fundraising piece of this Lenten journey is coming together. Plans are in the works to team up with a cancer prevention awareness group to spread the word and raise some money… hopefully taking my message to more people (I will blog more about this as it comes together).
- Rock Seven: The Girl came home from school while I was taking a coffee break and we had a nice chat – about nothing in particular but it was nice to just talk. We don’t get to do that enough.
- Rock Eight: Having Little Dude run to the door and cling to my leg smiling when I picked the Dudes up at day care – watching them run up the driveway in their matching yellow rain slickers was pretty great too.
- Rock Nine: Finishing my meeting of the Board of Directors of the Military Family Resources Centre after a busy evening’s work and knowing I’m doing my part to ensure military families are supported.
- Rock Ten: Having a full half hour to spare before having to pick up The Girl. Granted, wandering around Sobeys and Shoppers Drug Mart at night isn’t exactly ideal shopping, but I got to peruse the books and magazine without anyone pulling my coat or telling me they had to pee… and I got some bright yellow tulips for half price.
- Rock Eleven: Putting my hand in my pocket and feeling all the stones that represent my moments of happiness.
- Rock Twelve: Sitting in the quiet of my house with everyone in bed and knowing I had a good day.
Science has already shown that happy people live longer and healthier lives. Laughter is good for you. So is being socially active. Happiness has even proven to be infectious (we all know how we feel after being with an unhappy person). The World Health Organization even embraces the importance of happiness in good health.
Perhaps today I was doing my part in staying healthy. The experiment must have been a good one because I am sitting here smiling and playing with my little collection of rocks still warm from being in my pocket all day. I highly recommend trying it.