Happiness is Progress

So this week two guys came in and basically scalped my yard, getting rid of a ton of limbs and grass and miscellaneous trash, and then I ordered a dumpster to put it all in along with all the stuff I’m discarding as I empty out this house. It’s stressful, but it also makes me happy. PROGRESS!

How did you progress on happiness this week?

70 thoughts on “Happiness is Progress

  1. **Repost from other device because I got bot-checked and upon completion of captcha got Argh Ink not responding.**

    I lurked a bit on here, that made me happy. Hi everyone.

    I realise, just like Aunt Snack, I am not motivated to move and do exercises and activities, even though I enjoy moving! So when I do it, I turn on a video from someone like Yoga With Adriene or Train with BTS (Now Cake?), or Hybrid Calisthenics and I write down the number viewed. When I am done, I check that number. It has likely changed, so that’s who I worked out with.

    I reminded myself that I can’t force myself into habits but I like rhythms. By making “If this… then that” links I am more likely do things consistently. I’ve been successful with “if sit for breakfast, take meds”, “if take meds, eat breakfast.” It doesn’t work if I am late and try to eat while standing.

    I made lists of who I called and messaged yesterday and who I need to call and message on Monday. I wrote ideas and suggestions to share with people who need it.

    I’m doing my calculations for distances that I drive and the time cost and fuel cost. I have never done this because driving freely and without consequences of cost was the one indulgence I truly had. I’d scrimp on clothes, shoes, haircuts BUT NEVER counted cost of driving. Now tho’ many scheduled electricity outages and increased fuel costs here mean that things are different and I have been late, (just idling on the road) to too many things, including work. I hate being late. It’s disrespectful to others as if I don’t consider their time valuable as mine. Grrr.

    The Thai Drama ‘Between Us’ made me happy, it’s MM romance fyi. As did the Chinese My Lethal Man, where the male lead is terribly toxic to begin with, TW – controlling behaviour especially against the female lead, but does redeem himself.

    Thank Goddess for friends who laugh with me, and Qi Gong and Yoga. And unlimited internet access to watch what I want.

    1. I had the same experience with the interrupting bot/captcha/being discarded a couple of weeks ago, though it’s been fine since. It was a long comment, like yours, that included a link.

  2. My three-night break in NYC did wonders for my soul, if not my bank balance. The travel went smoothly, the hotel was exactly what I needed it to be and in a perfect location, and I bought 18 books. I finally walked a portion of the High Line, which I’ve wanted to do for ages, and spent some restorative time in both Bryant Park and Central Park. I could have been braver during my first solo travel adventure (I ate breakfast solo but didn’t go out for dinner anywhere) but, all in all, I’m pleased with how I did.

    Now I’m back, I’m battling to stay calm-minded through Mother’s Day, house selling, and the prospect of going back to work tomorrow by going to see the donkeys at the local donkey sanctuary, and planning my next travel adventure.

      1. Sorry – that didn’t come out right. Glad you had a good time. I find a book, or a journal, is always good for company when I need it. Plus my camera – though not when I’m eating.

        1. I knew what you meant, don’t worry. I did take a book out with me for breakfast reading – something was holding me back from going out for dinner, and I’m not sure what it was. Never mind, snacks in the hotel room was an adequate alternative!

          1. In NY, my sister & I discovered the hot food takeaways section of Whole Foods (we’re from UK, there is a pricey one in London now) So we took dinner back to the room, that was a good alternative to eating out at the time

    1. So glad you enjoyed your trip! As a New Yorker, just to let you know for your next trip, NYC is one of the few places where eating out alone at any time of day doesn’t get you any weird looks. No pressure though! I’d also recommend the Little Island Park, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (smaller and more manageable than the NY Botanical Garden up in the Bronx), and Brooklyn Bridge Park if you like green spaces. Books Are Magic is a really charming and much-loved (but a bit small) Brooklyn bookstore, and another nice green space is actually Greenwood Cemetery. My mom goes walking there all the time. She especially loves finding historical tombstones hahaha

      1. I am also saving these recommendations for our next trip to NYC! I have not explored Brooklyn as much as I have wanted to. My husband and I have taken the Brooklyn Pizza Tour twice when we’ve gone to visit NYC for the marathon and have loved it! I would love to explore Brooklyn more the next time around, and visiting that small bookstore you mentioned is going right to the top of the list. 🙂

    2. How did the Strand look? I heard they were struggling because of Covid. I’m hoping they’re doing better now.

      1. The Strand was busy. I’d heard something similar to you, but I went on a Tuesday around lunchtime and there were plenty of people browsing and buying. Hopefully this means they’ve turned a corner and things are more stable now.

  3. What made me happy this week is seeing a friend in person who I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. She’s always kind and full of happiness and introduced me to Noodles & Co chicken noodle soup. Wonderful. Also, I’m happy about getting another week in finally warm Arizona…or possible going home to colder Oregon. Either way, I’ll be happy.

  4. I’m also emptying out things and it is very satisfying. What makes it even better is that the local animal rescue organization I support (the one that inspired the cozy mysteries) is having a huge rummage sale fundraiser, so I can take them the “too good to just dump at the Salvation Army” stuff without guilt. So far I’ve taken them over a half a dozen bags of books, many of them hardcovers I’ve only read once and won’t likely read again, my Singer sewing machine and the table that goes with it (I learned how to sew on that thing, but realistically, I haven’t touched it since I moved into this house 21 years ago and made curtains), and some misc. games and such. I’ve got next weekend to bring them more stuff, so I’m going through the house and staring at things with narrowed eyes, trying to decide which things I’d actually miss if I got rid of them.

    I’ve also finally decided to take my jewelry out of the shop I used to run. I quit as manager a year ago last week, and it just isn’t a comfortable space for me anymore. So I’m selling off the remaining jewelry at bargain prices, and whatever is left I’ll probably put up on my Etsy shop then run a sale. Since the Artisans’ Guild was the last place I sold things, that basically means I’m shutting down the jewelry business for good. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years, and while I still love it, the perpetual eye strain issue makes it tricky, so now I also have to figure out how to get rid of thousands of dollars of gemstones and seed beads and other supplies. Big changes, but I think it is just time. In the end, letting go will make me happy, even if it is tough now.

    Sadly, when the contractors built the new 4-season porch, they basically wrecked the front yard, so I’m going to have to do something drastic with it in the spring. The list of “expensive things I have to do around the house in the spring” is long, and making me a little twitchy, but I’m sure it will be fine. She said, not being sure at all. Still happy to have the new porch. Mostly.

    1. Let us know when you run that sale on Etsy and be sure and include a link. Big milestone (pun intended).

    2. I have a friend who is doing the same thing with her jewelry supplies. $$$ worth of beads, etc. She’s moving across country, her eyes don’t really do that anymore, and now we’re looking for the best place for them. Possibly Facebook Market.

    3. Put out the word to your friends and neighbors that you are willing to provide a home for any excess plants they want to get rid of and you may have enough stuff offered to you to get you started. Then any you don’t want can either be moved along to someone else or be composted. I never inquire as to the fate of plants that I have gifted because 1. I would compost them myself in all likelihood if I need them gone and no one takes them and 2. Even if they did everything to transplant the plants perfectly, the plants might still go into a snit and die.

      If you are willing to wait a year or two for a plant, take cuttings and start your own. Your 4 season porch sounds like a great place to start cuttings. This year I started ceanothus “Julia Phelps”, a plumbago auriculate (they die in bad winters so I always take some cuttings. One spring I ended up with 12 plants. But with bad winters I am now down to two), and zonal geraniums which strike really easy for me. In the past I have done hydrangeas. I don’t have enough space to really do as much as I would like. And people usually will let you take some cuttings if you are doing your own. Last year I started some prostrate rosemary which had exactly the shade of blue flowers I have been looking for thanks to a nice man at a furniture stripping place that had a planter full of it.

    4. I can go months without looking at my bead collection and then I will get an itch to make something. I saw a bracelet on Novica and thought I could make the same piece. Especially since once I brought it up, it kept flashing me every time I turned on my computer. And I had every component except blue lapis beads. So I ordered a string of beads and made one last week, didn’t care too much for it and set it aside. Today for some reason I started again, with no distractions, and I’m much happier. Lighting was great, my eyes were focused, hands steady and I flew through the project. But it is pearls and beads a no brainer. Maybe in a few months I’ll get another urge. Just keep a few tools for those if only times. It’s only a suggestion.

  5. This was a weird week. Some major things got handled, after sufficient drama and strain. My change to a new phone company did not, despite my efforts. Cross your fingers for me that the next try goes better! Let’s all eat cake!

  6. My husband is off on a three week business trip and I’m really enjoying the time alone. I will enjoy having him back too, it’s just nice to have total control over my time.

    I celebrated Pi day with the neighbors and that was really lovely, and I’m still eating raspberry Pi. (We are finally down to the last bag of frozen raspberries from when the grocery store accidentally gave us 28 bags. I was not troubled by this.)

    My mother continues to try to find ways to get her license back, which is impressive if not happy making. She meets with her doctor next Friday so we will see how that goes …

    My miniature daffodils and giant snow drops are in bloom and the cherry trees are about to bloom. But I think i may have suffered attrition among the tulips.

    A team of us have been reading the public’s recommendations on how to improve the 2030 census. Favorite so far:
    enumerators should carry chocolate, and make sure respondents see the chocolate, but only give them chocolate after they respond.

    1. Debbie — Are you also Deborah Stein? Your description of your mother made me laugh. I took away my mom’s credit card because she loved to order things — all the more so when she didn’t have any money. Then, rascal that she was, she’d kept the credit card number and simply invented expiration dates. This was in the early 2000s. I was forced to pay off the card and close the account. She was damned proud of herself.

        1. Not really. It’s easier to put together the story afterwards. Memories are great ways to both distance the pain and keep the person “as if” living.

          However, from your past posts I can tell that you have thought long and deeply about the subject.

  7. Dumpsters are magical. Problems that you don’t know how to resolve just disappear into them. And there is still room for more, like Mary Poppins bags. I usually try to donate, recycle, etc, but sometimes you just need it gone.

    I’m not sure what I am doing with myself today. So many choices, so little motivation.

  8. Connections make me happy. My brother in Arizona called me last night, and it was great talking with him and learning more about his experience with cataract surgery. I will be better prepared for mine in just over a week. It’s coming soon!!!

    This afternoon I will get back to my faith community. We will celebrate Ostara/Spring Equinox. The meetings end at 6:00, and I don’t like to drive in the dark, so hadn’t attended for months. It was getting to be light enough before DST kicked in, but it’s really OK, now. I will take the heavy clothing I’ve been saving to put out for the unhoused, some milkweed seeds I’ve saved since fall for someone who wanted to plant them, and some still brand new little crunchy mouse toys that I bought a dozen of, years ago. They were hard to find, and my cat, then, loved them to “death”. Others in the group have cats who might enjoy them.

    It’s still in the teens, here, but will warm up and rain a lot this week, then go to the teens again. Kansas: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a while. It will change.”

    Jenny, when you say “empty out the house”, do you mean that literally? Are you moving??? Oh, my.

  9. Structuring my days a bit more – into a mix of work (includes gardening, editing personal projects, sorting stuff out, etc), exercise (going for a walk), social contact and play/creativity – is helping. I’ve been stressed about my wind-damaged greenhouse, but am feeling much better now it’s been put back together, and is being strengthened (just off to buy more Gorilla tape and apply it).

    The first four lots of seeds are up, and the sun’s causing buds to show colour – feels like spring’s on the brink.

    1. I’m so glad you got your greenhouse back together. I passed one on my walks last week, and it was much smaller, but had metal struts and connectors, which probably keep it safe in the Kansas winds. Gorilla Tape sounds like a wonderful thing!

  10. I spent time with a friend yesterday, learning (and doing) a new-to-me term, body-doubling, which basically just means that I spend time at her house, gently guiding her back on-task when she goes down a rabbit hole, and forcing her to do a critical project that she would otherwise not have the attention span to complete. I’ve done it before for her, but hadn’t realized there was an actual term for it! Makes me happy to know I could help with a project she’s finding overwhelming. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/body-doubling-adhd

    In other progress, I’d been feeling stuck with the publishing part of being a writer, and kept producing proposals that didn’t quite fit in the cozy genre neatly. So I’ve been working on something that I think is smack-dab in the middle of the “millennial cozy” genre (yes, that’s a thing, intended to appeal to a slightly younger demographic than most cozy readers, without necessarily turning away boomer readers). I was still a little nervous about sending it to my agent, not sure if, once again, I’d written something not-quite-cozy, but my lovely, amazing agent read it the same night I sent it, and responded the ver next day, before I had time to worry much, that she loved it, so it will be going out on submission in the next week or two! So happy that she liked it and happy to have finally written something that didn’t have all sorts of “not quite a cozy” elements. The story still has some slightly odd elements that appeal to me and make it fun to write, but it’s less blatantly in the “not quite sure cozy readers would appreciate this, even if it is technically a cozy” category.

    1. I didn’t know there was a term for that either – and I’m not ADHD but I use that technique for tasks I hate; namely cold calling which is one of the few things in life I will procrastinate on. I set up a zoom link with one of our employees, and his job is to babysit me while I get on the phone. He sends me encouraging messages occasionally while he goes about his own work.

    2. I’ve had friends do that for me for years. She found it relaxing sitting around watching me clean and I actually cleaned. Yes I do have ADHD. Nice to know there is a name.

  11. Combination of allergies (snow mould) and time change kicked my butt this week and necessitated lots of reading in bed and napping. Spring is coming but slowly. At least it’s sunny today.

    DH and I went to a local craft/flea market. We found lots of lovely homemade items and most of my spring/summer birthdays are under control.

    My SD bread was excellent this week. I’ve figured out my starter feeding schedule. Unfortunately, when I came downstairs at 7am this morning to feed my starter, DH was lying in the doorway. He’d taken the dog out, slipped on an icy step and fallen, injuring his leg. He’d managed to crawl his way back up to the doorway. He’s currently at the hospital – wait times are very long in my city/province, so it may be a while before we know the extent of his injury.

    1. Oh my gosh! How scary that must have been for both you and your husband! And the dog, too, I’m guessing. Did the dog stay by him? It sounds as if the spirits of sourdough were on his side as well, which was a good & lucky thing. Hope he gets back to himself in no time!

    2. Thanks for the well wishes. He’s torn a tendon and will hopefully see a specialist this week to determine if he needs surgery.

  12. I’m in the ferry lineup waiting to board. Had a great one day conference with my favourite people. Held the wee baby girl born last year. So sweet and bright and not a fussy child. Love my born from another mother family. Shared a room with a dear friend.

    My eldest granddaughter was picked to speak at the closing ceremonies at the Montessori Model United Nations conference. Media.un.org if anyone is interested. She was so happy. Can’t wait to hear all her stories. A very good week for everyone. Eldest and wife skiing. Second son and wife at conference. Eldest granddaughter in New York. Youngest granddaughter with other Grandparents visiting cousins for a week. DH insured his motorcycle. I had an away weekend. The weather was perfect for waking along the beach. I wasn’t too tempted to buy some shoes.

  13. A poem of mine has been accepted for publication, so that made me happy, and signified progress. I am tossing old Morning Pages; I have nearly 30 years’ worth, and there’s no need to keep them. I check each notebook for corners I turned down, thinking maybe I’d written something worth keeping it. And I’m continuing to edit meditations, one day.

    1. Kudos to you for doing morning pages for 30 years! Wow! That’s a testimony to their effectiveness.

    2. One of the most freeing actions I have ever taken was to toss my years of morning pages. I still write every morning before meditation, but I toss each notebook when filled.

      For me, the process is beneficial but not the product.

  14. I have made progress with my unpacking. I may have to adjust the target date, however. I confess that I am one of those people, the ones that unpack three things and move one to the side to deal with… later.

    Some of my delay is waiting on new stuff from stores. I ordered key hooks from which to hang kitchen utensils and more coat hangers and pants hangers. I freed up some hangers by trying on clothes as I unpacked and making a Goodwill donation bag. That slowed me down as I started going through the unpacked stuff, too.

    How many shirts should a retired man own? How many tee-shirts? Pairs of pants? Socks? Boxers? Coats? Hoodies? I’m only sure that I have Too Much Stuff, but I don’t know where to put the cut-off. (Cut-offs go to Goodwill.)

    Definitely First World problems.

    Health report: I think all the ribs are healed but one. I can even sneeze without screaming in mingled rage and fear.

    Farm Report: Everything is growing, mostly.

    1. My personal theory is you need to own enough of everything to fill a washer during each season with a few outfits left over so that you don’t need to do half full laundry loads.
      After that it’s a matter of taste, memories, and whether you will want to keep stuff now or buy replacements later.

  15. I made some progress on some things. I need to make some progress on two more things; which I hope I can do this week.

    I am sleeping really well. The daylight savings time change seems to be the reason. I really love it when it stays light later. I can drive to my meetings and home from one of them when it’s light.

  16. Two feet of snow, three days without electricity, and into a fourth day before the driveway was plowed. I’ve had enough of melting snow by the fire in order to flush the toilet — time for winter to get out of here.

    Our video is up on YouTube. In it, we describe our Climate Forest Plan. I look very old, but it was fun.

    Tripped over my computer cord and swore at the MacBook Pro that I hate. Hurt my neck in the process. My husband told me we could afford a new one, so I traded mine in today. I’m excited about the Mag-Safe connector and a bunch of “improvements” that Apple got wrong on the 2021 version of the MacBook Pro.

  17. Happiness is being done with the drug store job for the month. I did 3 days this week and that was waaaaay to much peopling for me.

    I’m also very happy my cat is still doing well. It’s warm and sunshiny outside, well, warm for mid-March here, so I have the doors open (storm doors closed and locked) and there’s sunshine pouring into the house. We are at the stage where you can see actual pavement when you go driving around town, some streets are bare curb to curb in a few places, and everyone is cautiously poking their heads out. We are well prepared for the inevitable spring blizzards but it’s good to soak up the sun while we can.

    My dahlia tubers are putting out shoots, including 1 I had almost given up on. I gave it a good soaking a few days ago and it has 2 little green eyes popping out. Yay!

    I’m finalizing our 2022 taxes today. Paul had a document arrive late so I have to add that. I’ll do one final once over tonight and submit them then that chore is done for another year.

    1. I love your “way too much peopling” remark. I resonate with that. Also “you can see actual pavement” speaks volumes. Good luck with the taxes. I stalled out, and hope to start up an them again this week.

  18. Oh, wow, sounds like a drastic yard cleanup and house cleanout. How do the animals feel about that?

    Happiness this week; graduating teen officially accepted to university. And we’re finally getting a good soaking rain which will do the garden a world of good.

  19. Something happens and I think – wow that’s a good thing to share on the Sunday blog because it’s making me happy. Then Sunday rolls around and I can’t remember.

    I was happy overall last week because I took paid time off so I was off from Mon 9am to Sat 915pm. And part of that time I was being paid not to work – happy!

    Several things around my writing made me happy – zoom meeting and some outside of zoom meeting communications with my writing club members – researching (reading books, I mean) and writing my ghost backstory – that might be it.

    Went to a bookstore yesterday and the beach for a few minutes – both fun. Did a park change of scenery today.

    Listened to a really good podcast this week about moving fat out of cells so that it can be activated for use & promoting fat loss. Fidgeting appears to be a valuable tool in weight loss / maintenance.

  20. We had our quilt show this past weekend. It was well attended, and well received – I think we even had record attendance! Once it was over, we struck the set and redistributed quilts back to the makers. I only had one person who forgot – and she picked up her quilt yesterday.

    So now its time to relax – and get ready for my dad’s celebration of life next weekend.

  21. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune*, must be in want of a keeper. Indeed, Downpour/Blackstone Audio sent me an email offering the audiobook of Pride and Prejudice for $3.95 and having no keeper** to dissuade me, I promptly bought it. I added it to the eBook versions I possess, and fondly recall the treebook versions I donated to Goodwill and the library. Just to hear that immortal opening line, I started a playback, and found myself pausing seven chapters in. It will be mentioned again Thursday next.
    = = = = =
    * Good fortune, in this case, means either luck or a fixed income not exceeded by mortgages or utilities or insurance or groceries.
    ** A keeper would have checked my Audible library and found that I already have Emma and Pride and Prejudice by Ms. Austen there.

  22. What made me happy this week was cleaning out my refrigerator. Yes, you heard correctly. For some reason I get completely lost in the task of dumping and organizing my refrigerator every now and then. I have a rule that if something is left unattended for a couple of days it goes past my “statute of limitations” and I have full and complete authority to dump it — or eat it if it’s something like chocolate!

  23. I have recently discovered the you tube channel of Dr. Octavia Cox, a professor at Oxford. She discusses classic literature with close readings and dissects the stories/characters in an interesting fashion. So far I have watched her dissection of “Why did Mr. Bennet marry Mrs. Bennet?; Charlotte Lucas engaged to Mr. Collins; How does Jane Austen expose Isabella Thorpe; What class are the Bingleys; Who betrays Elizabeth to Lady Catherine de Bourg for example. She has done this for several of Jane Ausent’s works as well as many of the other classic writers.

  24. Happiness was progress, indeed. Another attack on the hell strip; it begins to look manageable. Planted five baby Spanish lavenders that beguiled me. I was only at Home Depot for mulch, but … resistance was futile. I hope they thrive in my almost-entirely-sunny front yard.

    Deposited the passport renewal in the mail: progress on the to-do list. Dropped off a carload at Goodwill: progress on decluttering.

    Also finished first draft of the holiday novelette, got some great notes from excellent beta reader Tammy, and am glad that A) I have a couple thousand words left in the budget; B) pretty much all the words I need to add are attraction, affection, and sexytimes. By far the easiest & most fun to write. 🙂

  25. At the moment happiness lies in the fact that Saturday,April 15 is still a little out of worrying range for my short-term oriented brain.
    On the strength of having illustrated a single children’s picture book, I was asked to do a couple of workshops at a Young Author’s Conference in my province. Today I got an email saying someone had to withdraw and did I feel I could do a third 90 minute session that day.
    I said yes and sent off a few potential topics, but the imposter-syndrome plagued version of me that will exist three weeks from now will be pretty freely cursing present me.

  26. I am on my way home from a lovely week in València, Spain. On Sunday I was busy experiencing the final day of the Falles…lots of fire, fireworks, music, and a few too many bangers. I hear actual Valencianos hate it now, but I had a wonderful time. I last experienced it as a student in the 80s, and have long wanted to go back. There’s definitely a drunken-tourist/student aspect, but I mostly ignored that part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.