So for the last … 36 days or so, I have been participating in the 100 Happy Days Project, aka #100happydays
A few friends of mine on Facebook and Instagram were participating and I kept seeing these great pictures – some brilliant moments, some amazingly ordinary ones – with the hashtag #100happydays and then the day it was (Like, Day 35). I noticed them at the beginning of July, in one of my post-studying brain cooling exercises where I lay on my bed and paged through blogs and instagram. At first I was kind of like “What is this? Weirdness …” then I kept seeing photos pop up, hashtags … tagged. And I decided to look it up.
That investigation led me here.
Basically, here’s the idea: for 100 days, you document one thing a day, one thing that makes you happy. The statistics are staggering – unhappiness is everywhere. How many of us feel the weight of the world on our own shoulders? Sometimes so much so that it feels impossible to smile and mean it. Added to this are commercials and instagram accounts and other such things, photos and ads that pile on top of each other showing us the better life – the good life, and it always seems just a little out of reach.
I think the digital world and social media has made this more prevalent than it used to be. Mind, I grew up – I became an adult – as social media began to flourish, so I am definitely not an expert on the world as it was pre-Myspace. But I imagine even if it did exist (and yeah, I know, it did) it existed with less prominence. Nowadays, you log on and see beautiful homes, five-star vacations, perfect make up and decadent meals prepared for Monday night dinner. Perfection – if you take all the photos and string them into perfection, so easily you see a life perfected.
You don’t see the moments that make the picture, of course – the part where the budding chef is covered in flour dust and egg yolk, or the house is cluttered with boxes and clothing that’s been thrown about. You don’t see the price tag that comes with the holidays or the hundreds of selfies that didn’t really work out before you posted the one that did.
The Boy usually makes fun of me for that – for the three or four pictures I will take of one plate of food, while he waits to eat impatiently behind me so as not to wreck the lighting, of the one plated dish, or the weird contortion of my body as I try and take the perfect selfie. He has, sagely I will add, pointed out that I am propagating the stereotype – the idea that life is about perfection, and I guess he’s right. Or at least, there is some truth in it – I am just adding to the mountain of unattainability. And yet … when something goes right, how hard is not to document it? Right?
And so the 100 Happy Days intrigued me.
I mean, I am all for documenting. I like the idea of documenting for my future self, for any offspring or friends or hell, even for my mother’s sanity as she sits at her computer some 3000 miles away, pining for me (heh heh). And moreso, I am for documenting the little things that make me happy – from clean, fresh smelling (vanilla and lemon!) laundry to my early morning tennis match with the spouse. The little things that make me happy, the ordinary moments in my life that remind me to keep smiling.
That way, I have an account of all the things that make me happy.
And really – what a great idea!
Document your happiness – remind yourself that happiness is possible, that it is desirable that it should be a priority.
So, here we are – 37 days in, another 63 to go. I’ll report back occasionally with my thoughts, how it’s going and what I think of the merits of this. As of right now, I think that it’s a well thought out exercise and I can’t wait to extend beyond the original 100 days! 🙂
By happy, my friends!