I am obsessed with books but I admit, I'm mainly obsessed with novels. From old favourites like Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird to new favourites like Chris Carter's The Death Sculptor, I read novels. I have never in my life picked up a self help book or books that claim to change your life in a self-help sense. While this could be classed as a self help book it's also one woman's journey to happiness. After researching happiness and spending a year on a mission to achieve happiness, Rubin comes out with not only a brighter ending but also a great book. While I'm sure I will be using some of the tips she advises in the book, I'm also going to be on my own journey to happiness. It's not that I am unhappy in my life but that I am feeling as if I am in a rut and that I need to start appreciating what I have instead of thinking along the lines of "If I had [insert thing here] my life would be better" or "If I was a size 10 I would be happy".
So, this book (which I utterly recommend everyone who is feeling a bit 'meh' reads) has inspired me to come up with a list of what makes me happy. Some points on the list are shallow and some are not so but this is my list and happy people don't judge.
1. Cold, dry days when my cheeks are flushed, my body is warm under layers of clothing and I'm clutching a coffee.
2. Videos of cats and dogs on YouTube. I am also partial to monkeys and the odd loris.
3. Polite children. Polite people.
4. New stationary, especially new pens and notebooks.
5. January 1st. As silly as it may be it always feels like a time to start anew.
6. Living a new life inside a novel.
7. Live acoustic music.
8. Autumn in general.
9. Making the bed right after I get up. It gets me started for the day.
10. A tidy house that smells of a scented candle.
11. Long, hot bubble baths.
12. Smiles, cuddles and songs from my daughters.
13. Baking and the scents associated with it.
14. Feeling appreciated and loved.
15. Car boot sales and charity shop finds.
16. Coming in under budget.
17. Watching my daughters learn and grow as individuals.
18. Time alone to write, think, sing in my head and zone out from the day.
19. The confidence of looking and feeling good.
20. Coffee, a cigarette and the cool Autumn air on my face in the mornings.
22. The 'perfect' outfit.
23. Feeling satisfied.
24. Thank you notes, texts, e-mails - writing and receiving them.
25. Texts from friends just with general chit chat.
I could go on all day about things that make me feel happy from the perfect berry shade lipstick to feeling at peace with change in the world. I like feeling like I appreciate the little things that people do or say or little things in nature that really are awe-inspiring when you stop to think. So much of the time I am an anxious wreck about one thing or another, constantly late on bills with too little money to go around, feeling like I'm a failure for not providing more and I forget to shut the hell up, sit down and realise that I am lucky. No matter what happens I have food on my table, warmth (even if it is a blanket and my boyfriend rather than the central heating) and two young daughters who every day make me thankful to be alive.