The Pursuit of Happiness

16 Apr

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Before I begin my Happiness Project I would like to take a moment to talk about the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  I dipped my toe into the running community last year when I set a personal goal to run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego.  I ran for a second time this year in the Carlsbad Half Marathon.  Running is a journey.  Training is part of the experience.  I can only imagine the fear a midst all of the chaos as bombs exploded at yesterday’s event.  The finish line at any race is full of spectators cheering your approach.  You feel as if they are cheering for you.  As we rebuild from this moment of shock and horror I want to acknowledge how deeply sad I am for anyone that was injured and of course for the families of those whose lives were cut too short.  I believe that the good in the world will always out weigh the bad.  In the days ahead I’m going to take a moment to tell those I love, how much I do.  Life can be snatched from you in an instant.  It is not a guarantee that the moment to say how you feel will be there tomorrow.  The point of my Happiness Project is to force myself to take a step back and think.  I want to be mindful of the good things in my life even if a moment tastes more bitter than sweet.  Seeing something so senseless happen really made writing this blog especially important for me today.  Life sometimes gives us lemons and in my Happiness Project the recipe calls for Lemon Drops when it does.  Bostonians, my heart is with you.  Mr. Rodgers summed it up best…

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Where you see bad.  You will also see good.  Always.

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The Constitution of the United States of America only gives us the right to the pursuit of happiness.  It does not give us the right to be happy.  You have to find your keys to happiness yourself.  Being happy is a choice.  How you react to life is your decision.  I find it funny when people act like they have no choice in how their emotions integrate into their lives.  I am someone that wears her heart on her sleeve.  I am an emotional individual.  It’s a strength and a weakness at the same time.  As I flipped through my journal looking at my entries over the last month (yes, month…sorry for the delay), I found that even on days where my happiness levels were not firing on all cylinders I could still find the happiest part of my day to focus on.  Even if it was something so small and simple, it was still there.  I took some time from blogging to recharge my batteries and relax.  I sit in front of a computer at my big girl job all week long so spending more time on a computer when I return home isn’t always that appealing.  The compromise I made with myself was I will blog when my heart is pulled to it.  I promise to always shout it from the roof tops when I do.  My Happiness Project is not work.  It’s fun.  Having deadlines was sucking away the fun though and since I am my own boss I decided to cancel them.  Here is what my journal has been buzzing about…

As I mentioned before, it’s been nearly a month since I last shared my life with you.  I have been a busy bee as always.  My boyfriend and I decided to do the RDdetox again.  As most females I know, when I look in the mirror I see this:

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While the above picture is not reality, I have gained fifteen pounds over the last two years by not taking care of myself.  I am happy to say that I have managed to widdle off 8 pounds and 10 inches overall over the last month.  I can see muscle definition that I have been missing in the mirror.  The most important thing is I am feeling AHHHHHMAZING.  I am continuing to make healthy choices despite the hard core detox being over.  My nutritionist said that the most important thing is to be realistic.  80% of the time be healthy.  15% of the time be healthy but perhaps relax a bit (for example, a cocktail isn’t going to kill your fitness goals).  5% of the time throw caution to the wind and really indulge.  As long as I continue to remain committed to my fitness goals and healthy lifestyle choices I will be in my skinny jeans and shorty shorts before I know it.  Mike of course lost almost 20 pounds.  He has it so easy.  Losing weight is like turning on a faucet for him.  He looks so fantastic.

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Many many moons ago Mike started to try to sell me on how we needed to purchase a Vitamix.  I am not a fan of appliances cluttering the kitchen counter top.  I didn’t see the point in buying a restaurant quality blender.  Plus they are super expensive so that made the idea of buying one even more ridiculous in my eyes.  Well, our neighbors have one and they gushed and gushed about how they couldn’t live without it.  Between their first hand account and Mike drooling over the Vitamix display every time we went shopping at Costco I felt inclined to help his dream be realized.  For Christmas this past year I sent our families an email letting them know if they were searching for gift ideas for Mike a Costco gift card would be ideal.  He was able to combine all of them and buy a Vitamix due to their generosity.  He was so happy I was so sneaky.  I must say that the Vitamix is down right AWESOME.  Mike enjoys teasing me incessantly about how I did not vote yes on it to begin with.  Here I am going on record saying that he was right, I was wrong.  The Vitamix is so fab it has counter top privileges.  That’s a big deal at The Tree House.

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While Mike and I were living in Santa Barbara we were lucky enough to make a few Long Time Forever Friends or LTFFs.  These are your best besties in the universe.  Often times your stories with them begin with, “remember when – insert inappropriate story here…”.  We had the pleasure of entertaining not one but TWO of our LTFFs over Easter Weekend.  We had my college roommate, Cindy, come for a visit.  We also had Mike’s bromance and bestie, Joey stay with us as well.  Even though we were mid detox we still had the best time catching up with them.  Cindy showed up with three bottles of really fancy Prosecco and a cake.  She looked a bit concerned when I told her I would not be partaking in the treats she brought.  As always, we laughed until the wee hours.  I had my SD LTFFs, Smalls and Bets, join in for the girl’s night.  It’s always so fun to see worlds colliding.  When Cindy left to celebrate Easter with her family I was sad but not for long because Joey arrived the very next day.  Joey is the BEST.  We spent a lot of time reminiscing.  We were even lucky enough to watch the Giants season opener against the Dodgers together (he’s as big of a fan as me…he even has season tickets).   We had to record the game and avoid the MLB app and social media all day in order to make our date to watch it together.  Somehow we managed and it was sooooooooooooo worth it even if we did lose.  It was so nice to have a buddy to cheer with since my couch is solo for my baseball obsession most days.  Joey is a gem.  I hope to go visit SF again soon to spend some time with him.  Nothing beats time with your LTFFs.  Life is good.

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Sidebar: I’m not going to elaborate any further on this but I am so happy my beloved GIGANTES are back.  I heart baseball and it brings me instant joy.  Since baseball season began, many happy moments have been spent cheering on my team.  GO GIANTS!

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The love of my life, Charlie the true gentleman dog, returned for another adventure at The Tree House.  He is just the sweetest pup ever.  I really enjoy thinking of fun dog activities for him while he is in my care.  This particular Saturday I spent a large chunk of my day watching the Giants game and I feared Charlie was looking at me with disappointment in his eyes.  I made sure to give him an action packed magic hour at the dog park to make up for our lazy afternoon snuggling on the couch.  One of the funnier moments of his visit was when he decided to treat himself to the lone strawberry growing in Mike’s garden.  I found it hilarious to see him happily chewing.  The Tree House gardener, Mike, did not.  Charlie’s palate is quite refined or unrefined depending how you look at it.  He will eat anything.  Between the chicken I treated him to and the organic strawberry right off the vine, he left with a full happy belly.

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Below is a picture of our new garden.  Mike got super nifty and used old wine boxes as planters.  He planted strawberries (Chars fav), basil, oregano, mint, parsley, thyme, spinach, and rainbow chard.  He has a serious green thumb.  I turn plants into sticks so I only look at the garden from afar.  I fear even my gaze my cause the plants with wither.

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Spring cleaning my entire life has been a major focus this past month.  My house is clean.  However, over time the closets and drawers have just seemed to accumulate all sorts of junk.  I don’t know where is comes from but it just appears and then grows AND grows AND grows some more.  It was Mike’s idea to do a serious overhaul while we were wrapping up our detox.  We successfully went through every inch of our house and reorganized.  I no longer live in fear of emersion blenders falling on my head as I try to grab a water bottle.  My OCD is firing on high and I love it.  I highly recommend doing a serious purge.  It’s good for the soul to rid your life of the material things that you have no use for anymore.

The light of my life, Mike, had a very happy moment last week that made me jump for joy.  He has been volunteering with the California Center for Sustainable Energy.  He’s been doing such fantastic work that they offered him a part time job.  His new gig is making his schedule a bit nuts but I am so proud of him.  He’s doing so well and I’m sure this will grow into something even more amazing before we know it.  He’s a super smart and dedicated.  They are wise to snatch him up and add him to their team.  I couldn’t be prouder of him.

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I want to take a moment to acknowledge how much I love my Seeeeeester, Savann.  Throughout her busy day of raising my three month old nephew she takes time to send me pictures constantly.  Anytime I see her name pop up on my phone I stop whatever I am doing to see Peyton’s darling face.  It instantly brightens my day.  Auntie Erin loves her Tan lil’ Man oh so much!  I am a huge fan of hats so the pic above really flipped my lid.

As far as the future life of moi, I have lots to look forward too.  My birthday is on the horizon.  The Giants will be playing the Padres in San Diego this year.  Last year I went to the game in San Francisco on my Birthday.  I figured that if I wanted to give the team the same good juju that lead to them being World Series Champs I must see them play as I turn thirty-one-derful.

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I’d like to close my blog with a quote from the late Roger Ebert that resonated with me tremendously…

“I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” -Roger Ebert

Hope you all are finding success in your pursuit of happiness.  Thanks for reading.

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