This morning I woke up feeling like today was going to be the day. It absolutely was the day. I got the call to say that I would begin my new job tomorrow. So, I thought, what do I want my last day off (in the month off that I have had) to be filled with?
Happiness, of course! What a way to get the Happiness Project ball sliding down that mountain!
Every single day in this month of paid leave I have gone for at least a coffee, and perhaps had lunch out or gobbled down a slice of cake. No matter what it was, I spent some amount of money ranging from $5 to $150. For someone without an income until April 15th I realised that my spending had had an adverse reaction on my mental health. I was no longer pleased that I brought that wool cardigan from Topshop, or my vintage necklace from Coucou. This was not a lifestyle that I could afford. I felt, in fact, displeased and like a financial failure.
So, what a way to relinquish my mind of my money fuelled guilt than by trapping myself in my apartment and making a list of the tiny things in life that make me happy and challenging myself not to spend a single cent today. This is something that I have NEVER achieved since my first payslip 7 years ago. That’s right, never.
And. What. A. Day. I. Have. Had.
I started by going for a run because I knew that come 1pm I would have my conscious complain about how lazy and fat I am and subsequently fall into a depression. Alas, thankyou run, this did not happen! No fat and lazy thoughts for me! Oh no, I am a painter, a writer, a reader, a chef, even an athlete (I literally LOLed at that last one).
I put Vivaldi on loud and sat with a cup of tea on my balcony that overlooks Auckland Harbour and finished the very last pages of The Happiness Project. I felt that sense of pride and relief one gets when flicking the pages of a fabulous book like a hefty fan and counting the short amount of days it took to read. Winner.
Then I planned my Happiness Project. That has come out a treat. I even painted my 12 commandments on a spare canvas I had, because I needed an excuse to paint, because this is happiness! Here it is:
I love daisies and the sun and I love drawing vine leaves when I doodle. Yellow and blue are such fitting colours, too. I even finished it with a quote from my favourite poet and writer, Sylvia Plath. Not the happiest of favourites, I know, but her voice, her writing, and her memoirs inspire me and oddly enough make me happy inside.
Then I made red lentil curry for my lunch, which I experimented with by throwing in everything grown in the ground that was left over in my fridge. Nomnomnom. Tasty soup. Ah crap, I just remembered that I actually meant to look up the recipe for dahl – no wonder it was runnier than I thought it should be.
I even made a calender for the days that my dad is visiting from Saturday next week and planned his visit so that I don’t forget any good places to see, eat or drink!
Finally, I printed off my contract for my job, found out that I was getting paid more than initially thought, and had my partner email me to say that our residency application for New Zealand had been accepted – all in one day of trying to find the happiness in the smaller things that I have sitting right in front of me! I think that’s a sign…
Now, back to the reality of going to work and being a happier me at the same time.