Things That Make Me Happy

It's September my favorite month of the year.  The air is crisp, the sun is brilliant, the temperature is cooler in the evening and just right during the day.  What's not to love?  (Besides fall allergies, but let's pretend that's not an issue.)

After this busy summer, I feel like I've caught my breath and can rearrange my head somewhat. It's amazing what a little recharge will do.  I feel like I had to take a step back and remember some things-the things that make my life feel full and my soul at peace.   Little and big things.

-The most important is practicing contentment. I crave that feeling and I really do feel like it's the key to happiness-because it goes right along with gratitude.  For the last six months, I have been spending money-picking out light fixtures, cabinet knobs, carpet, BLAH.  Dumb stuff.  It was necessary for me to do those things at the time, but heck, I want off that track, and now that we are finished here, and things are functional and basic, I'm jumping off!  Life is so much more important-so much more full-than STUFF.  And oh, does it feel good.  Function and organization and beautiful living spaces-I love them to the point where real life can shine through, beyond that it's all just feels like it robs me of precious time.  Sounds hokey but it's true to me.

And contentment doesn't just end with material goods.  It also means to me a settling in-finding contentment in small tasks, not large projects, or slow days, not "busy".  Busy never breeds contentment, it makes us miss the important stuff that life is made of.  Being content in just an ordinary day's work-that's the best.

-Staying far away from any/all media.  I haven't watched TV most of spring and all summer.  Or read the paper.  What is the latest news story?  I have no idea!  It's awesome.  I don't know how to explain it but it makes me feel so much better about humankind in general.  The news media operates on negativity, drama, fear and lies.  When around me I can see kindness, generosity, best interest, and love.  Sure evil too, I know it, but if I'm consumed by the negativity, I am not able to operate out of love, and the real story-that's never reported.  Does that make sense?  I'm sure it doesn't, but somehow I feel it's right.  Knowing the latest and greatest doesn't change things, it's action that changes things.  How often do we act on what we hear or do we just 'gossip' about it?  Real change happens with kindness and understanding, not fear and mistrust in human kind.

-Routine.  Getting work down before play, doing the same things every day, even when I don't want to.  Preparing dinner in the morning, staying on top of the laundry, making beds, running a vacuum or sweeping the floor, running as few errands as possible-being orderly-it orders my mind and allows me to be present for the important stuff.