When I first started this blog, I’d just celebrated my 26th birthday.
Yesterday, I turned 31. #OldLadyClub
What would I tell myself, at the beginning?
- Control is not love. You deserve better than him, even if you don’t think you do.
- Yes, you do love your new job. Money isn’t everything–you’ll get by, I promise–and you’ll be soooooo much happier.
- DO NOT COSIGN ON THAT CAR. Trust me.
- DO NOT PAY FOR THAT WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD. Again, trust me.
- Old friends will leave your life–let them go, girl! The ones that stay are the ones that belong.
- You are beautiful at any weight.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people who love you.
- You’re going to travel the world. Take lots of pictures!
- Love–real love–will find you. But you have to love yourself first.
- You are so much stronger than you know. Physically and emotionally–you can handle anything that comes your way.
Many thanks to all of you who’ve been part of my life’s journey. Here’s to 31–I’ve only just begun!
Day 96: Dog-sitting makes me happy. My boyfriend planned an out of town trip, so he asked me to watch his dog while he was away. Luckily his dog and I have lots in common (specifically, a love of snacks and napping). I don’t think I’m ready for a dog of my own yet, but being a temporary dog mom has been fun. Check out a few photos of some of our adventures!
Day 97: Company picnics make me happy. My company goes all out when it comes to our annual picnic. Earlier this week I volunteered to help with pre-picnic stuff (more on that here) and the end result was spectacular! Here are some pics of (just one side!) of our celebration:
Day 98: Catching up with friends makes me happy. My friend Judith was in town this weekend, so we met up for brunch at one of my favorite restaurants. We met through a work opportunity and became fast friends! Even though she no longer lives in Madison, we make a point to keep in touch. It was awesome catching up with her in person!
Day 99: Free lunch makes me happy. Today was staff meeting day and the wrap (sweet chili tofu) was so good! It tasted even better because it was free. 🙂
Day 100: Taking classes makes me happy. This week, I get to take a class instead of teach a class! I absolutely love learning and am thrilled to be the one being taught this time around.
Also…today is my last entry for #100HappyDays. This was a fantastic exercise in gratitude! Taking a step back and finding something to celebrate in every day–no matter how small–helped me to put my life in perspective and realize I’ve been blessed with an amazing life. Honestly, some days it was hard for me to come up with something more than “Waking up this morning makes me happy.” Not every day will be filled with joy–that much is certain. But I found that the happy moments outweigh the unhappy ones overall, and that’s pretty good to me.
Day 94: Eating well makes me happy. I’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog but for those who may not know, I’m a vegetarian. (Fun fact: July 8 was my one year veggie-versary!) I originally became vegetarian in order to eat healthier and improve my lifestyle, but quickly fell into the habit of eating very unhealthy vegetarian foods. (Another fun fact: French fries and cheese pizza are in fact vegetarian, but they aren’t the best foods for you. #TheMoreYouKnow) I’ve also been working with a personal trainer, and he encouraged me to start a food diary to keep up with the number of calories and amount of protein I’m eating (peep this post for more on that). Now I know it’s possible to have a delicious, filling dinner for under 700 calories! (Final fun fact: This does not mean I’m never going to each french fries or cheese pizza again. A lady has to indulge every now and again.)
Day 95: Helping out my company makes me happy. I actually have *two* days in the office this week! And I chose to spend two hours of each one not working in my office. (That’s #assbackwards I know.) Our annual company picnic is on Saturday, and I’m helping out with advance registration. Volunteering for this internal opportunity made me happy in a few ways:
- I get to spend time in a part of campus that I never go to.
- I met three really cool coworkers that I probably wouldn’t have talked otherwise. (In a company of 9000+ people, it’s easy to work with folks you’ve never met.)
- I got to brush off my retail customer service skills.
- I got to pick up my own tickets in advance.
- I got a free t-shirt!
Day 90: Wedding receptions make me happy. My boyfriend invited me to the reception of one of his good friends. We had a great time! My boyfriend was so handsome in his suit and meeting his friends was really fun.
Day 91: Experiencing new music makes me happy. My boyfriend is really into the Grateful Dead, and a documentary about the group came out recently on Amazon Prime, so we watched it. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I never knew too much about the Dead–basically that it was “hippie” music and Jerry Garcia was involved–so I liked learning more about the group and the music they made.
Day 92: Coaching others makes me happy. I’m part of a group that helps trainers improve their adult education skills, and I had a 1:1 session with one of my colleagues today. We focused on determining if trainees “got it”–she really wanted to make sure that trainees were understanding the information she taught them. It was really fun to look at another class and find ways to make the information stick.
Day 93: Surprise packages make me happy. Imagine my surprise when I go to the mailbox and see a package from my friend Kathy! She sent me a favor from her baby shower and lots of other goodies as an early birthday present. She’s into fashion and makeup, so I’m excited to try the cosmetics she included in the box. Yay for great friends!
Day 80: Surviving makes me happy. This was my sixth day in a row of teaching customer class and my voice started going out. I was able to get through my class anyway though–sometimes you just have to be happy you made it through.
Day 81: Buying snacks makes me happy. For our upcoming family vacation (more on that below) I was in charge of buying the snacks. Who doesn’t like buying snacks?!? The hardest part was trying not to eat them before the trip (and remembering to load everything into the car). For the record, I did try to buy healthier snacks…but some s’more ingredients may or may not have made their way into the cart too.
Day 82: Fridays make me happy. Especially Fridays before a long weekend!
Days 83-87: Family vacations make me happy. My family and I camped near Mammoth Cave for the holiday and it was really fun! We had the most awesome RV in the park (and that’s not me bragging–people came by multiple times a day to compliment it). We hiked a trail near the cave, which was somewhat challenging in 90° weather with 1,000,000% humidity. But we made it–and rewarded ourselves with great food and lots of laughs. Check out the view from our campsite and my new friend Belle below!
Days 88-89: Short work weeks make me happy. That’s the awesome thing about coming back to work on Thursday–you’re already basically at the weekend! Is it bad that I’m already counting down the hours until the weekend officially starts?
Day 73: Throwing shade makes me happy. Two of my very best squirrel friends, Kathy and Julia, love RuPaul’s Drag Race as much as I do. We have a call every two weeks to throw shade on the current season (and also to catch up on life). Hearing their opinions on the queens and latest life updates makes me so happy.
Day 74: Using analogies makes me happy. As someone who teaches adults every day, I’ve come to realize that the adult brain learns a bit differently than the child brain does. So, I like to come up with fun analogies to help my trainees learn the new information. The analogy I used this time? Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. 🙂 A lot of my trainees said they had a “light bulb moment” after hearing that analogy, so I think I’ll keep using it!
Day 75: Being creative make me happy. Speaking of teaching adults, I wrote a haiku for my class because they were so awesome. They had great question and paid excellent attention during class, so I wrote them a quick poem to express my gratitude. They really liked it!
Day 76: Weddings make me happy. My boyfriend invited me to the wedding of one of his coworkers. It was beautiful! The weather was perfect for the outdoor ceremony, and the groom cried when the bride walked down the aisle (So sweet!). I had a great time meeting the groom, bride, and other folks my boyfriend works with–and the cake was delicious!
Day 77: Reliving my childhood makes me happy. I downloaded a bunch of sweet 90s music and it really took me back to “the good old days.” You know–the days when I got summers off and didn’t have to pay bills. Here’s one of the many songs I got–enjoy!
Day 78: Getting fit makes me happy. Today was my monthly weigh-in at the gym–and I lost 3.6 lbs! I’m really working on lowering the number of calories I eat and getting enough protein in my diet. Hopefully next month I’ll have even better progress!
Day 79: Getting rid of old stuff makes me happy. Today I sold Raven, my old car. It was a bittersweet moment–that car was my college graduation gift and saw me through my first apartment, a move to Madison, and six snowy Wisconsin winters. But now that I have Stella (peep this post to meet her) I couldn’t justify keeping Raven too. The money I got from selling Raven will go toward paying down my credit card. (Not a fun way to spend the cash, I know, but #adulting) I hope Raven’s new owners enjoy her as much as I did!