The other day I was thinking about the things that make me happy VS things that I like to do, or things that I want to do… Things that I enjoy, but that don’t necessarily make me feel happy…
Know what I mean?
Like, playing on a swing-set makes me happy. It brings me pure, unadulterated joy that I can feel radiating throughout my entire body, almost bringing me back to what it feels like to be a kid…
Or roasting a marshmallow until it’s perfectly golden brown, smashing it between two graham crackers with just the right amount of chocolate, and then biting into its perfect, golden, gooey deliciousness… Complete and utter happiness.
But then there are the things I like to do and the things I want to do… Like writing and practicing yoga. Doing those sort of things makes me feel good, but they don’t make me feel happy…. Content maybe? Accomplished? Complete? They give me the space I need to be me in a world that requires a lot of “fitting in.” And I love that. But it’s not the same as just doing something because it makes you happy.
When I sit down to write, I don’t do it because I know it will make me happy. I do it because I have a deep seeded urge to create and to share. When I practice yoga, it’s because I need balance, and peace and physical relief.
But when I roast a marshmallow, or sit on a swing set, I do it because it’s fun. Because it’s going to make me smile and laugh. It doesn’t come from a need to accomplish anything. It just comes from the child inside of me who wants to let loose a little.
Anyway, the point is, theres a difference. I feel like I do a lot of things that I need to do. A lot of things that I want to do. And that’s good. I’m a very motivated human being and I actually enjoy doing things that’s lead to accomplishment. I have a lot of energy and using it in positive ways makes me feel great. Theres no denying that.
I do a lot of things that make me feel good, but perhaps I don’t do enough of the things that make me feel happy…
As adults, if we want to have a good time, have fun, and experience joy, often times, we turn to substances, like alcohol, which is fine, but I think that if we made more time to let the children inside of us out, we wouldn’t need to turn to substances as much. And who knows, maybe for some of us, substances are the only things that give us the ability to let that child out.
But I’m not one of those people. I’m very capable of feeling every emotion that’s available to me and I’m very capable of getting in touch with different aspects of myself.
So, I want to make more time for that feeling of unadulterated joy. I want to do more things that make my whole body smile. I want to build more campfires and roast more marshmallows. I want to buy a swing set for my back yard, and go nuts. I want to visit more theme parks, and spend more time joking around with my husband, and swimming in fresh water, and having wonderful conversations with my family, and whatever else I can find that makes me smile from ear to ear; that brings out the little kid that lives in my heart; and that makes me feel happy.
I work hard to keep up with the things that are important to me… To be accomplished. I work hard to live the kind of life that I want. So shouldn’t I do the same when it comes to having fun and feeling happy?
Well if I wasn’t before, I’m going to start, now.
This is my happiness project and it involves me finding ways to experience moments of joy without necessarily accomplishing anything. Things that make me feel good just because. I think as adults, we stop seeking out those sort of moments because we get so caught up in adulting, or, avoiding audulting in some cases. We forget how to experience joy in its purest form. We look for easier ways to achieve it. Or we stop trying all together.
I want to keep trying. And when I look back on my life, I want to remember moments where I felt happy. I want to know that I enjoyed my life as much as I possibly could. Through accomplishment, love, family, friends, and moments of pure, uninhibited joy.