Day 67: Great conversations make me happy. Cornelius (my bestie from college) and I had a wonderful phone conversation–I love catching up with him! We even made plans to get together in person later this summer and I can’t wait.
Corn and me last summer. You could say we were excited to see each other.
Day 68: Fridays make me happy. Sometimes you just gotta celebrate the end of the workweek!
Day 69: Morning walks make me happy. My boyfriend and I took a walk around the neighborhood before the heat of the day (and the rain) set it, and it was awesome.
Day 70: Celebrating fathers makes me happy. Father’s Day! This day is tough for me (check this post for reasons why) but I was joyful because I got to celebrate two awesome men in my life. My stepdad (whom I just call “Dad”) is one of the greatest men I’ve ever known (look here to see just how awesome he is). Even though we didn’t get to celebrate together, I loved hearing his voice on the phone and was glad I got to tell him how much he means to me. My boyfriend and I also made dinner for his parents so we could celebrate his dad–a great day spent honoring great men!
The two men who shaped me into who I am: my biological father (top) and my stepdad (bottom).
Day 71: Learning more about fitness makes me happy. I had a session with my personal trainer and we talked about how diet impacts fitness goals. He sent me home with a task to complete–track all my food for the day so we can review it during our next session. I’m excited to find ways to improve my diet (and hopefully improve the results from my workouts)!
Day 72: Office days make me happy. This is my last office day before a straight week of training customers. Trust that I’m savoring the moments of working in solitude with my headphones in. 🙂
Day 60: Developing new processes makes me happy. I worked with a few coworkers to improve a process for getting trainer review for updates to our software and I think it’s going to make everybody’s job a lot easier. No complaints there!
Day 61: Seeing where my company is going next makes me happy. I had the opportunity to preview some development coming in the next version of my company’s software, and it was so cool! I never imagined I’d work in IT–especially healthcare IT–but I truly enjoy what I do.
Day 62-63: Spending time with my parents makes me happy. My parents were in Wisconsin for a motorcycle club event and I got to hang out with them! I know I post a lot about my parents, but they really are the most wonderful people on the planet and any opportunity I have to see them is really special to me. We went to a fun ’70s themed dinner and dance and then hung out in the RV talking until almost midnight.
Day 64: Small classes make me happy. I taught a class of 10 students today. Most of our customer classes are somewhere between 20-30 students, so having this smaller class was a welcome reprieve. Also, I feel like I’m able to really connect with each student when the class size is small–I like being able to answer out of scope questions and spend extra time with them one-on-one.
Day 65: International travel makes me happy. My sabbatical is in October, so my mom and I will be heading to…Costa Rica! I had a call with my travel agent today to go over our itinerary and I am PUMPED! My last jaunt to a foreign land wasn’t the best experience (Long story short: I was racially profiled by a hotel employee and accused of being a prostitute.) but I’m really looking forward to this trip. Most of all, I’m looking forward to traveling with my mom! This chance to take her around the world is the least I can do to thank her for being the best mother ever.
Day 54: Curriculum design makes me happy. I spent most of the day working on new stuff for work, and it was…kind of awesome. Most people wouldn’t be geeked to spend a whole day in front of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but putting together this new program to help people learn our software better makes this geeky gal pretty happy.
Day 55: Movies make me happy. Especially when you can watch them in the comfort of your own home–DVDs from the library for the win!
Day 56: Flea markets make me happy. Yes, you read that right: flea markets. My daddy and I used to go to the flea market all the time when I was little; I loved seeing all the cool stuff for sale. So, when I found out a flea market was going on near my house I definitely wanted to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, but I did see some interesting stuff–I’d love to go to more flea markets now that the weather is nice.
Day 57: Parental advice makes me happy. At least once a week, I call my parents to catch up…and also ask for advice (usually about basic adult stuff that I should probably know already, but don’t). Lucky for me, they are always willing to give it andddd it’s always great advice! Win-win!
Day 58: Being in a supportive relationship makes me happy. My boyfriend is there for me whenever I need him, and I am so lucky (and happy) because of it.
Day 32: Solving people’s problems makes me happy. This was my last day of customer class this week, and I love seeing how our software will solve the problems people have at their organizations. I spoke with a woman who was very excited about the provider suspension workflow she saw in class–apparently it would make her job much easier–and her excitement made me excited. I know I didn’t develop the software, but being able to share it with customers and see their delight makes me happy.
Day 33: Finalizing decisions makes me happy. This day was a rough one. I had a headache that just wouldn’t go away, a rough morning class, and a million things on my mind. However, something did make me happy–I signed papers to purchase a new car! I love my current car–I’ve had her since I graduated college–but she is not the best car for Wisconsin winters. I’d been stressed about my car situation all winter, so finally making a decision on which car to get and getting everything signed was my happy point of the day.
Day 34: #HomeownerProblems make me happy. I know it’s odd to be happy because of a problem, but that’s the case for this day. 🙂 This summer I finally decided to do my lawn maintenance myself, only to find that my lawn mower wouldn’t start. I was initially very frustrated by this–once I made up my mind to mow the lawn myself I just wanted to get it done–but the situation taught me a lot. I learned how to change a spark plug and that a clogged carburetor can cause small engines to refuse to start (#TheMoreYouKnow). I got an exercise in patience and realized that I have a great support network. And now I’m extra motivated to mow the lawn myself sometime soon.
Day 35: Boyfriends and moms make me happy. This day was twice as special as most days–it was my boyfriend’s 31st birthday *and* Mother’s Day! My mom is the most spectacular human being–she is my role model in life and I love her more than anything. My boyfriend is such a great man; he’s kind and patient and funny and actually lets me be myself. Honoring both of them on the same day was so powerful and I’m so blessed to have both of them in my life.
Day 36: Travel agents make me happy. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to plan my sabbatical, but thanks to the advice of my officemate I now have a travel agent to help me! Originally I thought that a travel agent would be too expensive, but her rate is very affordable and she’s got decades of experience too. Planning this trip has been stressing me OUT and the thought of someone doing the heavy lifting for me makes me so very happy!
Day 17: Phone calls with my mommy make me happy. I speak with my mom on the phone a couple of times a week–I literally just got off the phone with her–and every time I hear her voice, I smile. She is so smart and always has the best advice and I love her more than anything in the world! I wish I lived closer so that we could spend more time together face-to-face, but these phone calls keep me happy in between visits.
Day 11: Fresh flowers make me happy.
Things are just starting to bloom around here, but not fast enough for my liking. After what felt like a decades-long winter, I need to see some flowers blooming! That’s why I really appreciated the fresh flowers my boyfriend’s dad brought over this weekend when I hosted dinner at my house. Today I saw that a few of the buds have opened and those bursts of color made me so happy! Photo below for your viewing pleasure:
Bright and blooming flowers!
Bonus: My Granny Loma loved fresh flowers, and every time I have some in my home I think of her. She made me–and everyone who knew her–very happy. Check out my tribute to her here
Four days of happiness comin’ atcha in three…two…ONE:
Day 7: Safe travels make me happy. My parents headed back to Kentucky on this day, so it was bittersweet for me. I was sad to see them go, but happy when I got the text from my mom telling me they made it back safely. I always worry about them when they travel–too many crazy drivers out there for my comfort–so getting the confirmation that their travels were safe put a big smile on my face.
Day 8: Staff Meeting (oddly enough) makes me happy. Most folks wouldn’t say they enjoy attending a staff meeting at work, especially when that meeting is over two hours long. But I enjoy attending the monthly staff meeting at my company. I like learning what’s new with the company and the software and hearing our CEO speak about topics related to the business we do. I also appreciate the monthly grammar tip–who doesn’t want to improve their grammar? 🙂
Day 9: Making dinner with my boyfriend makes me happy. I’ve always been able to throw a recipe together, but wasn’t really someone who enjoyed cooking. That changed after I started cooking with my boyfriend. We make dinners together a few nights a week and it is always more fun cooking with him than when I cook solo. Whether we’re trying something completely new or making an old favorite, we always have a good time. (And the food usually turns out pretty great too! Check out my Instagram for photos of some of the meals we’ve made.)
Day 10: Being appreciated makes me happy. After pinch-hitting for a coworker who was out with a sick kiddo this week, my team lead (TL) told me I was “the reason why we keep the doors open for HIM training.” Apparently this isn’t the only time someone has said that–she said she stole the phrase from another TL who supervised me while my TL was out on maternity leave! In a company of 9,000+ people, it’s easy to fly under the radar. I love helping others and I don’t need to be recognized for it, but knowing that someone notices and appreciates the ways I help out makes me very happy indeed.
Day 6: Spending time with family makes me happy.
Most of my family is still in Kentucky, and since I’ve been living in Wisconsin I’ve often felt disconnected from them. I was born and raised in Kentucky, surrounded by family, and I miss being able to see them whenever I want and keep up with the ins and outs of their daily lives. Today though, I got to spend quality time with my parents. We sat around watching tv and talking and had lunch together. That might sound like a boring day to some, but I enjoyed every single minute with them.
And on top of that, my parents and my boyfriend’s parents finally met! I made dinner for everyone at my house and lots of laughs were shared. I am so glad that everyone hit it off and I’m looking forward to the next time we can all get together again.
Bonus: My mom and I got makeovers today at Sephora. I am always happy in Sephora. 🙂 (And our makeup turned out great!)
Hello again, friends!
Lately, I’ve been struggling with appreciation. There are a lot of stressful things going on in my life right now (personal, professional, even legal) that can make seeing the beautiful things in life very hard to do. Therefore, for the next 100 days, I will post something that makes me happy and tag it with #100HappyDays to make myself reflect on the positive aspects of my life. These posts will include people, places, things, whatever–anything that makes me happy is eligible for the 100HappyDays hashtag. 🙂
Day 1: This blog makes me happy! Even though I don’t update every day (or even every month) I enjoy having this space to voice my opinions. There are some things I want to share with the entire world; this blog gives me the opportunity to get those thoughts and ideas out to a wide audience. There are some times when I’m sad, lonely, scared, angry, or just need to vent–this blog is the safe space I need to get those feelings out.
(PS: I got this idea from my friend/coworker Nicole. Check out her awesome blog here!)
Last Father’s Day, I ate tomatoes in honor of my late father. My daddy wasn’t perfect, but he was mine, and I am sorry he left this Earth so soon.
Losing my biological father at a young age taught me a lot. I learned to be independent, that women can do anything men can. I learned about the black hole of addiction, ruins families and takes lives with complete indiscrimination. I learned to cherish each day with the ones you love. I learned to grieve.
But God–in His infinite grace–knew I wasn’t finished learning. So, He sent Malcolm.
Malcolm didn’t come into my life until I was an adult, but he immediately became that father figure I needed. He laughs with me. He fusses at me when I need to be fussed at. He gives me advice about work, love, and life. But most of all, he is there.
Whenever I need anything, I know Malcolm is there for me. Just like fathers are supposed to be. He’s never tried to take my father’s place, but–whether he knows it or not–he’s started to fill the void my daddy’s death left in my heart.
Malcolm has taught me so many things too–I couldn’t begin to list them all. But the most important lesson he taught me is, even if you aren’t their biological kid, a dad will be a dad because he loves you. Malcolm met me when I was already grown and living my own life, but he stepped into that role because he wanted to. He didn’t have to get so involved in my life, but he did.
Thank you, Malcolm, for the all the laughs, love, and lessons. Happy Father’s Day.
So many lessons.