What makes you HAPPY?

I’ve been reading, and rereading, The Happiness Project for more than a year now. I’ve read it a couple of times and just really like the motivation it continually gives me. Plus, it gives me a lot to think about and makes for good conversation with T.J.

One of my favorite parts talks about how we should figure out what makes us most happy in our spare time and do those things. And then cut out the extra stuff when possible. Simple enough, right? But you’d be surprised when you think about it a lot. How are we spending our time? If I have extra time, money, and a babysitter, what do I do? What should I really be doing to maximize my everyday happiness?

I instantly thought about eating out. FOOD. I love food, my hips don’t lie! But then I dug deeper. I’m just as happy eating from a taco truck as I am at a fine restaurant in NYC. In fact, I’m happier eating at a taco truck because it doesn’t cost as much money and I don’t feel so full at the end of the night. I also like trying new things, but often times feel overwhelmed in NYC because there are SO many choices. We end up going to the same places over and over. So, to maximize my happiness, I need to do a little work beforehand to find a casual, yet new spot that is good on the budget and doesn’t have a heavy menu.

There are a couple other things that I thoroughly enjoy and feel like I’m happy when I’m doing (other than the obvious churchy/family stuff… no judging, okay?).

  • Bargain shopping, I love getting great deals! I can’t remember when I bought something at the mall for full price. Just today, I was walking around the mall and found my favorite sweater from this past Winter on sale for $4! Soooo, I bought three more in all different colors because IT IS MY FAVORITE SWEATER SO WHY THE HECK NOT? And then I had a 20% off coupon on top of that! Next Winter is going to be awesome.
  • Seeing a great movie. I say great because movies out here are about $15 a ticket and so we don’t see them often, but when we do, it’s got to be a good one and we always enjoy it!
  • Exploring. Sometimes I’m reluctant to go explore in the city, but after an outing, I’m always SO happy I went out and had fun! Sometimes it seems like it’s a lot of work, for example, it took about an hour to get to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but I’m so glad I went because it was a new adventure, a fun memory with Eva, and a great FREE activity!
  • Going along with that, just being outside. After such a horrible Winter, I’m really trying to take advantage of every warm day outside! In Jersey, it tends to be overcast quite often so I think, oh it’s a gross day, can’t go out. But then I make myself take Eva out to the park anyway and it turns out we have a wonderful time! If it’s not raining, it doesn’t matter what it looks like! Being outside and enjoying all of the nature (though there’s not as much out here in the city) makes me happy!
  • Finally, going to concerts and Broadway shows. When we were at Piano Guys, I literally cried out of happiness. I’m ridiculous. But I just enjoyed the concert so much. And then when we’ve seen Broadway shows, I can’t stop thinking about it for days! Those are my MOST favorite dates! And fortunately, my husband loves it just as much as me so we get on these happiness highs together. So, after seeing Piano Guys, we decided we would start saving up to see more shows and concerts because we’re in New York and need to do it right! We just saw Les Mis… Matilda, Newsies, and Rocky are on our list for the next couple of months!

So, what makes you happy? Are you doing those things? Sometimes the things that make us the happiest in our spare time take a lot of effort or money, but it really can be worth it. It’s easy to fall in a rut, be lazy, or make excuses, but I when we figure out those activities we enjoy the most and start doing them… it makes all the difference in our overall happiness!

And since we are talking about things that make us happy, this video falls into that category! Such a cute proposal!

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