Let’s throw it back to August 2014 when I was anticipating my last semester at SDSU and my wonderful friends from back home drove from the South Bay to SD for our 2nd annual camping trip. To my friends that were on this trip, SURPRISE! I have the lost and forgotten photos from Tristan’s camera! He recently and sneakily gave them to me after asking him if I could use them for a blog post 🙂 He didn’t even know I blogged….rude.
Time continues to baffle me with how fast it goes by. I’m writing this post on one of those rare rainy days in San Diego and flipping through these photos reminds me of how long ago this trip happened. When ever I come back from a camping trip I always feel as if I just returned from a retreat. Even though sleeping on a floor in a tent and waking up even earlier than usual for a whole weekend doesn’t necessarily sound like a relaxing vacation, it’s more reinvigorating of an experience for me than staying in a hotel. Unlike most hotel experiences, with camping, I don’t have to go anywhere else to make the experience worthwhile. Having a healthy hiatus from social media during this time also doesn’t hurt.
I sincerely think that the virtual absence of social media is a huge contributing factor to that zen factor that comes with camping. Don’t get me wrong, we all still had our phones and cameras with us, but because there was horrible signal, no one was pulled into the mindless scrolling of social media.
Looking through these photos also reminded me of how it was a combination of little things that made this camping trip one of my favorite memories with my friends. Moments like working together to set up tents, everyone laughing at how sorry my football throw was, busting a mission to cook bomb food (we had kbbq and pho…just sayin’), playing haky sack until it got too dark to see our own feet, taking an unintended three-hour hike because we got lost (at least we were all together) or realizing on this hike just how quiet it can be…and how unbelievably renewed I felt closing my eyes to enjoy it. These are all minor things, but when weaved together, made the trip as memorable as it was.
I’m all about reminding myself to appreciate life as it is regardless of where I’m at because otherwise, we can always find a reason to be wound up about something. It’s humbling to know that there are people out there that would gladly take on the struggles I consider difficult and kill for the opportunities that I’ve been blessed have. Whether it’s taking a moment to enjoy my surroundings before bee-lining my way to my car to head to work, calling my mom a billion times in one day because I just want to hear a supporting voice, recognizing my little victories of the day, shrugging off awful moments, it’s necessary in order to continue down a path of happiness. Which brings me to this list. I believe that an existence of general happiness consists of, like I mentioned previously, a series of positive moments weaved together. Que devil’s advocate: but Melissa, what happens when all my moments are negative ones? One, that’s a lie. Two, you are being dramatic and three…you can ALWAYS find a positive take-away from a negative situation.
So, with that, I present you with this list of minor things that bring me joy.
15 Little Things that Make me Happy (in no particular order)
- Stepping into Barnes & Noble and getting that refreshing whiff of book smell – I should probably support the business more by purchasing more books, but I usually just enjoy browsing and getting work done there.
- Camping and everything that comes with it – really getting to star gaze, hiking, crisp air, not wearing make up. These are all happy-inducing actions.
- YouTube – To explain this would reveal how weird I really am. So I won’t delve into it. #TeamInternet
- Walking through Ikea during an OFF time – you all know what I mean. I want to imagine myself in these idealistic rooms with out strangers all up in it! Plus, the ice cream.
- Being in the presence of my family – we don’t even have to be deliberately hanging out with each other. Just hearing the sounds of my family all doing their own thing through out the house, it brings about a comfort that can’t be duplicated.
- Exploring – Whether it’s hiking, driving somewhere scenic or going on food adventures, if I’m doing it with people I love, then it’s a great time.
- Thrift shopping – I walk in with $20, I walk out with quirky pre-loved clothes and other items that for some reason convinced myself I needed. I some how convince myself these things describe my life and therefore I purchase them in fear it would end up in the wrong hands.
- Getting work done at the library or a cute coffee house – I can be productive, but when I do day dream, I can people watch or enjoy the ambiance of the space.
- A charged phone – yeah.
- Arts & crafts – I’m not particularly great at art, but I do like doing artsy things. Getting my tinker on is a stress reliever.
- A good quality hug from someone I want to be hugged by – I’m not much a “touchy-feely” person, but when I do desire a hug and it’s a good one….yes. Like Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland? Great hugger.
- Movies – I ❤ cinematography, quality acting, a great score, enticing writing styles, all of it. I’m the person that buys the Blu-Ray DVD just to watch the 6 hours of behind the scenes extras. Also, I like watching movies multiple times in different periods of my life to see if I catch something different or view it from a different perspective.
- Ice cream – I can never decide between pistachio, butter pecan and good ‘ol chocolate chip
- Clear sunny days in SoCal with crisp cold air – I remember the moment I decided this was one of my favorite things. I was about 10- years-old and I decided one afternoon that I wanted to lay down on my front porch to look at the sky. I breathed in the crisp air, felt the cold porch beneath me, felt the warm sun on my skin and thought, “this is my sh*t.” Just kidding, I probably just smiled and continued doing whatever 10-year-olds do.
- Power Naps – Naps in general are not appreciated until one ventures into their college years. But mastering power naps are sometimes even more satisfying than the rest gained from the nap. When I successfully take a 45 minute nap, I feel like I perfect life at that moment and that’s a victory in itself isn’t it?
That’s it! There are definitely more things in life that result in my happiness, but in an effort to not bore you, I limited myself to 15. It’s so easy to fall into a habit of negativity, so exercises like these can potentially help you pan out to see the bigger picture. I encourage you to take some time to think about 15 minor things, actions and places that make YOU happy. Trust me, it can be therapeutic. Then, next time you are feeling down, read your list and do those 15 things. YOUR WELCOME. Share with me what little things make YOU happy 🙂