Small Happinesses

From Psychology Today:

“Researchers estimate that much of happiness is under personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures (such as warm baths!), getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself are all actions that increase life satisfaction.”

What small (or large) happinesses did you find this week?

(Also, happy Mother’s Day!)

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64 thoughts on “Small Happinesses

  1. Mmm, enjoying homemade cold brew coffee now that the weather is warmer. Giving presents for teacher appreciation week and hearing thank you. Snuggles with people I love. And a new Ruso and Tilla mystery novel.

    Happy Mother’s Day to everyone celebrating today. And for anyone who struggles with the holiday, “may the day land gently” as my favorite columnist, Connie Schultz, would say.

    7+

  2. I like that. “May the day land gently.” That’s good for a lot of occasions.

    I actually took a hot bath last night. Almost got a very surprised half-grown kitten in there with me, but other wise it was very nice. The good book I was reading in the bath helped.

    Got a call from one of the artists who worked at the shop (an artists’ cooperative I run) yesterday, telling me I sold a couple of my more expensive necklaces for Mother’s Day, which was also nice. (Her theory was that the guy must have done something really wrong, since he bought a ton of stuff, all for his wife. Snort.)

    Today I’m getting a massage (to combat a horrible fibro flare, but it will still be a happiness, and a few moments with less pain will REALLY be a happiness) and a friend is coming to help in the garden.

    9+

    1. Yes, I stole that expression years ago, but I always give her credit. 😉 It’s especially useful on social media where you may not know more personal details, friends of friends, etc.

      5+

  3. We just returned from a few days’ vacation at Lake Constance, where you have the chance of traveling through 4 European countries within one afternoon. Actually, we just crossed from Germany through Austria to Switzerland (deciding not to go to the Principality of Liechtenstein because we don’t have large fortunes to hide) where we had the most expensive icecream cone ever, but it was worth it! The weather was great so we could make good use of the convertible. And when we returned, we found that our daughter and her husband had come home for a surprise visit for Mother’s Day.

    So, a lot of small happinesses that I’m grateful for.

    10+

    1. That place is on my list – my mother’s German ancestors are from the city of Konstanz, and there’s some conflicting info about whether they’re German or Swiss (pretty sure they’re German, but the Swiss references are pre-WWI, which makes them more credible). It looks like a beautiful place to visit!

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      1. It’s a beautiful region, I can really recommend it. The big lake and the Alps are a great combination. You can take ferry boats to cross the lake (driving is a bit time-consuming, too much traffic most of the time) and there’s a lot to see and do. We never made it to Konstanz (our airbnb apartment was near Lindau which is in the Eastern corner of the lake), so we have many reasons to go back and explore the rest of the sights.

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  4. I got to visit with my daughter for a day. She’s living in another state and I was so happy to be an or to visit with her in person

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  5. Lots of happinesses this week. The dogs like the dog sitter which is a huge relief. Yesterday was a friend’s birthday and we went to see Infinity War again and out for supper.
    Last weekend I went to visit my parents and took Fred, the puppy. He had a wonderful time meeting grandma and grandpa and Cousin Sugar, their dog, and the humans had a very nice visit.

    Big happiness is yesterday we bought my new car. It’s a 2018 and the dealership didn’t have many left in stock so we decided to go ahead with it as we’ve only been planning this for a year and not having a personal vehicle (the company owns the trucks) sucked. The bigger happiness was the 0.5% interest rate!

    9+

  6. I usually don’t get to read Saturday until Sunday, so I greatly enjoyed the limericks. My dear mother said that if you make up enough of them, they inevitably end up dirty. My darling grandfather was in a nursing home, and on one visit, I read ones out of my (children’s) poetry book, and he recited a different one for every one in my book.

    So happies of looking back on my beloved family members and continuing to feel blessed for having had them in my life.

    And I had home made chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.

    And thank you Jill for “may the day land gently” a wonderful sentiment.

    8+

  7. This was the week that was – not in any order. Three books came in at the same time at the library one of which is Mary Kay Andrews ‘The High Tide Club’. Also an Australian dvd series ‘The Heart Guy’ I think that in Australia it is titled ‘Doctor, Doctor’. It’s about an entitled surgeon who is placed on probation from the hospital due to bad choices in his life. He is sent back home for a year to his dysfunctional family and goes to work in the local hospital as a GP. He’s not allowed to perform surgery. It’s pretty much a dramedy.

    Next two turkeys landed on top of our fence but luckily for us they did not come into the yard. I did see on the news about a peacocks being pests, they are so pretty but I also see why they can be a nuisance. Oh, and I think I’ve mastered opening a split ring by using a larger size split ring, seeing that a few bracelets have shrunk and I have to extend them to wear.

    Last but most important we went to see our grandchildren. It has been three weeks since they lost their dog to cancer and we were asked not to bring it up unless they did. They didn’t. They’re really good kids and fun to be with.

    6+

    1. Oh, I love the Heart Guy. I thought it would be too sentimental for me or the main character would be too much of a jerk, but they somehow manage to stay on the good side of both lines. Love it! Need more episodes! Although I suppose that might risk the quality.

      3+

      1. Because the actors are new to me I googled the cast and found out the Series 2 will be out at the end of June in the USA.

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  8. Friday was my last day at a job I loved but that wasn’t right for me anymore, and that was lovely – people saying goodbye, etc. Except that I keep having dreams about ways to sell next season, so I don’t think my brain knows that I’m done yet.

    Today is all the mother’s day stuff – I got my Mom a book of cocktail recipes, since she always needs a signature drink to offer when she hosts bookclub, and for her bi-annual girls beach weekend. Grandma is getting the more traditional gift – flowers in a cute little ceramic vase.

    And then this week I get time off between jobs. That’s a big happiness. A week off to just be. I’m going to try and relax and enjoy it instead of worrying about stuff I didn’t do at the last job and stuff I don’t know about yet at the new job.

    11+

  9. Small happinesses: miniature apple turnovers. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Signing a new book contract. Walking a block to my hairdressers and getting a cut (the cane has been put away). I still tire easily but I’m celebrating all the small victories. Today, lunch with the kids and the SO’s and the dogs. Happy mother’s day to all who mother!

    14+

  10. The not good news is that the ovarian cancer has returned and I am undergoing more chemo for the next six months. This time has been rougher than the last and the prognosis is not nearly as cheery. But my daughter is visiting from Buffalo and we have really had some good talks and I am getting the chance to really tell her how much I love her and how much having her in my life has meant to me. Lots of tears but in a strange way happy that she will know how important she has been to me!

    16+

    1. Sending good wishes and prayers your way. And pot really does help with chemo, speaking from experience here.

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        1. No personal experience, but someone in a cancer support group I attended was raving about it helping them. So, secondhand experience is positive?

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        2. Oh, and if you can’t get that easily where you are, I had a synthetic one that really helped with bad nausea although I’m weird and didn’t love the mental effects like some other patients I know did. It was called Dronabinol (generic) or Marinol (brand name). It’s legal even where medical marijuana isn’t in the USA.

          1+

        3. I understand there are different strains hybridized to aid appetite, suppress nausea, counter anxiety, etc. We give our dogs PCR oil saturated chews to counter anxiety. Not all the time but situationally, and it seems to help. Worth investigating.
          Sending all my strongest hippy positive vibes your way.

          1+

        4. I have experience with CBD oil, but not for helping with chemo. For what it may be worth, I’m happy to share what I know.

          Basically, CBD is a cannabis extract, but not a psychoactive one: it doesn’t make you feel “high” or giggly, doesn’t give you the munchies, but might make you feel a kind of deep body relaxation/heaviness (or it might not…every person seems to react a little differently). I do find it relaxing, and I’ve found that it helps me somewhat with things like pain and sleeping better. I have never tried it for nausea, so I can’t give any personal experience for that.

          CBD oil is extracted from hemp (which is legal) and doesn’t contain any THC (the main thing in pot that makes you high), so as far as I know, you can buy it in any state (or order it online). For me, I live in a state where marijuana is legal, so I have a whole range of options when it comes to cannabis products! If you also live somewhere where medical marijuana is legal, I strongly recommend talking to a real expert, someone who specializes in the different strains enough to suggest a variety that does exactly what you’re looking for…there are a surprising variety, and I have many friends & family members who have benefited.

          I never experienced any negative effects from CBD oil, but I have also not personally found it as effective as marijuana-derived products, so I usually buy those instead. Among my many friends & family members, the worst side-effect I have observed is that if someone overdoes it with a CBD-dominant marijuana product, they get super sleepy and need to take a nap. It’s probably good to start with a low dose and then work up, so that you can dial it in for your own needs.

          Sending good thoughts your way, RanchGirl.

          2+

    2. Hugs for your bad news, but so happy you get to spend time with your daughter. I haven’t had any experience with the CBC oil myself, but I know a couple of people who swear it has changed their lives.

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    3. I’m so very sorry. I’m glad that your daughter is with you and that you have treatment as an option. I hope that your doctors are able to find ways to help you get through the chemo. You’ll be in my thoughts *hug*

      Do you have enough books to get through the next six months? I’ve found audiobooks really helpful, especially (weird as it sounds) beloved favorites ranging from Dogs and Goddesses to childhood favorites like The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (by Patricia Wrede, performed with a full cast!) and Half Magic since when tired they can still entertain and comfort without having to have one’s eyes open. I started with Overdrive from my library before finally breaking down and getting an Audible subscription.

      2+

    4. I’m sorry you have to fight this battle again, but hope the love and support of those who mean so much to you give you strength.

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  11. Prayers and healing energy to RanchGirl–Cancer is a wicked bitch. My good news is that Son passed his dissertation defense with flying colors and is now just a graduation ceremony away from being Dr. Reinhardt. It’s been a long 6 years! We are so proud of him!

    12+

  12. Small things- my friends who just get me. It is such a blessing to be able to say something and it’s understood.

    It’s good to be that for someone else. A work friend referenced an author and educationist and I was able to be the one teacher out of staff that one who she was talking about.

    5+

  13. The irises in our yard popped last night, and they’re gorgeous! Plus I got to see looks of surprise and delight on both my mother’s face and my mother-in-law’s face and I told them the giant beautiful orchids on the table were for them.

    I have also perfected my Bisquick pancake recipe, which is their recipe from the back of the box for “ultimate pancakes,” minus the sugar, plus fresh grated nutmeg, lemon zest, and blueberries. Oh, and replace half the milk with Greek yogurt. Unstoppably fluffy and Delicious. Bonus points if you butter the griddle before you cook them!

    7+

  14. Saturday my day of indulgence. I had the best time !
    I found a puzzle and bought it for myself. Then I called my son and thanked him for his Mother’s Day present and told him to pay me ten bucks.
    I bought myself a half a pound of sees candy. And yesterday I ate some of the candy and did a jigsaw puzzle and sang songs to myself. it was bliss

    10+

  15. Small things, small creatures: kittens are a lot of work (for me as well as for momcat), but they make me laugh. We moved them (in their crate) from the laundry room (where they could be kept extra warm and away from my grown-up cats) to my dining room (because momcat was getting stressed by the washing machine noise, undoing any progress I made with her between laundry loads). I was worried that my grown-up cats would harass the new arrivals, but so far (two days) they’ve been more afraid of the crate and its contents than aggressive toward it. They’re all adjusting, and I’m looking forward to taking “mini me” pictures of my grown-up orange with kitten orange and my grown-up calico with a calico kitten who has somewhat matching color patterns.

    5+

  16. Small thing: Got the DNA results back on my Oreo dog. I knew she wasn’t a cairn terrier! Not that I care what she is, it was just fun to get the results. And it was a very inexpensive test so I wasn’t really hoping for much. I was pleasantly surprised at the detail.

    Big Thing: I survived a heart attack Friday, after dithering around wondering if I should call 911 for 45 minutes. If the pain is bad enough to make you toss your cookies, go to the ER. And as it turns out, they fixed the rupture and the rest of my heart is very healthy. That is a Big, Big happy. AND I get to take two weeks off from my horrible stress-filled job! But seriously I’ve always been so afraid that I’ll get to the hospital and the doctors will look at me like I’m crazy and send me home, don’t worry about that. That kind of pain means there is something wrong.

    20+

    1. Kate, I’m so glad everything is well now. Heart attacks are so often misdiagnosed in women. Yes, go to Emergency and be persistent.

      So, what kind of dog is Oreo?

      1+

    2. Really big thing to recognize a Really Big Thing and do something about it. Feel all the good about yourself and in yourself.

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    3. Goodness! That is a big thing inddeed. Happy to hear that you went to ER and that you are OK. Now take good care of your heart and be good to yourself. *hugs*

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  17. My little thing was actually taking a friend up on her offer to walk and, despite needing several breaks, making it 3 miles without feeling completely like death afterward. Plus, I got to see some really lovely creek scenery and then pet her super affectionate cat afterwards which was just soothing for my soul.

    Also, my liver function is good enough that I’m allowed to keep drinking at the same level (a few a week, nothing insane) which is really nice since sometimes the medication I’m on can really screw with liver function and I really do enjoy a nice glass of wine or a good sidecar some days.

    I’m a big fan of the little things.

    9+

  18. Made a couple small changes to a painting that took it from looking like a kid did it to looking like…um, an older kid did it. I am happy with it. And I do so love squirting a blob of pretty paint onto a palette.

    4+

  19. In Balboa Park way too early one morning heard an impassioned lecture by the guy who founded Cultural Landscape Foundation. I was happily in company with an array of my favorite people.
    Roses are blooming. Oh, the purity of large-flowered white Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria climbing the tower outside the bedroom’s glass French doors! First thing I see these mornings.
    Coronado Historic Home Tour happened today, and the best experience was greeting a swarm of friends everywhere.

    2+

  20. Daffodils are in bloom, and it’s asparagus season here! YUMMMM! And my daughter successfully finished her third year in college, and my nephew is graduating next week. Cue the “Sunrise, Sunset” song, but gosh, it’s great to see them grow up and thrive.

    4+

  21. My son is home for six weeks between college and his summer internship. Among many reasons for happiness there he has a sly sense of humor that just kind of sneaks up on you, so a lot more laughter.

    My bearded irises and my husband’s roses are in bloom (which is good because the rest of the garden is in that ragged state between spring bulbs and summer flowers).

    One of my “back up” kids gave me a plant for Mother’s Day (we use the term for any kids we were back-up parents for on school papers or in emergencies or just for support, so it’s nice to know she thinks of me as a mom).

    We figured out how to cook five new dishes on the left over heat after my husband made pizza.

    Ranchgirl I’m so glad your daughter is with you and you are having this time together.

    1+

  22. I’ve been a small-things-are-happiness-believer for ages. Many people my age (I just turned 29) think it’s the big things and the grand gestures that makes happiness or romance, and I don’t get it for to me it’s SO obvious it’s the small details that makes the whole puzzle fit nicely together. Not that big things can’t be good! But the small things are what you need in the long term.

    So this week the small things that kept me on my feet were:
    – Friend came and spent 4 days here, taking me out on walks in the sun every day. It was glorious. Haven’t walked this much in a loong time. Also, I got hugs!

    – We walked to the “Kids’ farms” in two different parks here just so I could pet the goats and the cows and the donkeys and the pigs. That’s one great thing with The Netherlands: They fit those small stables and paddocks in here and there so city kids can come close to, get to know and pet animals and not just see them on pictures in books. And you can see they take good care of them, which is essential to me. Friend knows how much I love animals and miss living outside the city, so she made me greet everything within reach.

    – We tried bubble tea! And oh what a delight! I’m in love. Read about it in Kevin Hearne’s last Iron Druid Chronicles-book, Scourged, and was so curious. Tried with honeydew melon tea and blueberry bubbles. Mmmmmmm.

    – The tea shop where I buy most of my teas recently announced a new green tea flavour, so I had to buy and try it. Roses and raspberry. It’s SO GOOD! I only have to open the jar to feel happy – the scent is so sweet and summery and wonderful. My new favourite green tea.

    – Also, we made raspberry & white chocolate cupcakes. Mmmmm, again.

    – I cooked for friend and she kept telling me how delicious it was. Made me happy.

    – Also, she fell in love with one of my clay dragons; a wingless lizardy one in bronze and gold. She kept walking to the place where it stands just to look at it. Made me super-happy.
    (I have asked MIL (Mother-in-law) if she can snap some pictures of my clay things and she promised to do that, so hopefully I can post something soon.)

    – Fiancé managed to have dinner with us one night without feeling panicky, stressed or anxious. First time in weeks we’ve had dinner together. Made me happy, too. Baby steps!

    Many small happy things this week. I really needed this.

    2+

  23. My big things was a lovely holiday with my husband in the Dominican. However, the best memories are the little things – collecting shells on the beach, a 10 km walk on the beach together, lounging by the pool and eating together. I celebrated my 59th BD a couple of days later and DS gave me a lovely pair of earrings he picked out himself. Gardening all weekend – turning my neighbour’s wild backyard into a vegetable garden (with his blessing) will be a series of little steps this summer. Since I love gardening, this prolongs my happiness.

    2+

  24. Thank you to everyone for positive thoughts and encouraging words. I think we have such a good community of people in this group who are here for each other. And so glad you are doing better Kate George!! Going to do more research on the CBD oil :).

    4+

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