1. Plant something and nurture it
2. Count your blessings - at least five - at the end of each day
3. Take time to talk - have an hour-long conversation with a loved one each week
4. Phone a friend whom you have not spoken to for a while and arrange to meet up
5. Give yourself a treat every day and take the time to really enjoy it
6. Have a good laugh at least once a day
7. Get physical - exercise for half an hour three times a week
8. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once each day
9. Cut your TV viewing by half
10. Spread some kindness - do a good turn for someone every day
I tend to believe it's good to take this kind of thing (relatively) seriously, since it is often through believing in things that you can make them happen (which is why we should only ever believe in good things!) and so I started to "check" how close I am to "happiness". Three points, namely 1, 6 and 8, caught my attention most for the following reasons:
1. The most troubling step. Why? Well, I planted seeds in the window boxes on our balcony in May and, indeed, "nurtured" them. Soon enough little purple flowers (I can't remember what they're called anymore!) grew. However, the flowers have now fallen off and as you can see on the photo below, the only thing left is a big long weed that sticks out high above what is left of the flowers... the weed has invaded and taken over the box.... What does that mean about my nurturing skills and potential happiness????!!!! My only comfort is that I can honestly say that I am a very happy person.. indeed, I would rate my level of happiness between a 9 and a 9.5 out of 10... so perhaps it has another meaning, like the ability to grow and blossom despite the presence of weeds- or something! (Actually, I can think of at least one weed in my life! ;-)
6. The step I most agree with. The perfect example was our knitting meeting on Wednesday, when first Betty told us about the hilarious situation she found herself in recently (I will spare her the embarrassment of writing the details down here! ;-) and then I told them about some of the ridiculous situations I have managed to get myself in, and we all shrieked and screamed with laughter, causing quite a scene in the otherwise peaceful Starbucks we meet up in! Anyways, the point is: laughing is good and healthy, laughing is great, and we should indeed all make sure that we have a good laugh at least once a day. Betty has found the ideal way to have a good laugh this Sunday afternoon: she has organised a competition called "your most embarrassing/silly/absurd moment", and the grand prize (she will choose the winner on Sunday afternoon) is a set of 5 balls of mohair wool. I'm not much of a mohair fan, but it goes without saying that I intend to win the competition!!! :-) When I finish this post I will write down my very best "most embarrassing moment" on her blog. Is anyone else staring to think that perhaps I have too much time on my hands?! ;-) Anyway, the last thing I want to say about this point is that I thought maybe we should start thinking about starting another blog called "the come and have a good laugh blog" or something like that, where everyone contributes their silliest/most embarrassing/most ridiculous/etc. experiences, situations, thoughts, ideas etc. and where we can then go and have a good laugh at each other's expense when in need (in a nice way, of course!)!
8. The step I find most intriguing. The reason is that for about a year and a half now, every morning when I run to the tube (you can take the "run" bit quite literally!) I pass this old granny walking in the opposite direction with two little boys (probably her grandsons who she walks to school). After a few months of running past her every morning I would start to wonder what had happened if I didn't see her, and I could tell how late I was by how far along my way to the tube I ran past her. That was when I decided it was crazy that we saw each other every morning and didn't even say hello... So one day, thereby unknowingly embarking on my journey to happiness, I started smiling at her. But so now my question is: despite the fact that I don't know her name, her age or anything else about her, can she still be my stranger for the day if we have been smiling at each other for over a year now?! I have decided that to be on the safe side I should probably find myself some new strangers to smile at, even if I am likely to end up with a strange reputation if I suddenly start walking about the neighbourhood nodding and smiling left right and centre, but who cares...it's all in the name of happiness!
So there you have it- the ten steps to happiness have finally been revealed, and the good news is that happiness lies within everyone's reach- all you have to do now is believe in it and get started, and you will get there in no time! A por la felicidad amigos! :-D