This is a long, rambly post. If you’re just here for the follow info, scrolllllllll to the bottom. 🙂
In 2014, I completed the 100 Happy Days challenge. It may sound exceptionally cheesy but doing so changed my life. My general outlook on things got a lot brighter. It strengthened a good habit in me where, even when things are completely shitty, I can always acknowledge something good. It made me more appreciative of everything I have.
Like all good habits though, it needs maintenance. Unfortunately, when we learn lessons, it’s not just a one-time thing where we learn it and that’s that. Lessons need to be put into practice in order for them to stick. Usually, we have to remind ourselves of the things we have learned over and over again.
Lately I’ve been in a bit of a rut. When taking stock of my life, all in all, things are pretty great – but I don’t always feel that. As they always do, my emotional levels roll in and out like the tide. (Or maybe something less predictable. Tide goes in and out according to schedule and you always know what to expect, whereas the change in my moods is erratic and changes course without warning.) When I go through a bout of the lower emotions, I tend to lose sight of all the positive things I’ve got going on.
A few weeks ago, one of those Facebook memory things popped up in my feed of when I started the challenge last time. I almost never share the memories (I find it kind of a redundant, useless feature most of the time) but I did repost that one – with a side remark saying I should do it again because of the impact it had had.
I’ve been toying with the idea since then. It was a great experience but I was hesitant to do it again because it was a lot of work and I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate in another daily challenge so soon after doing the #AYearOfTwilight one I did for Team Fireball. When I take on these challenges, I don’t do them half-assed. That’s not the kind of person I am. When I commit myself to something, I give it everything I have, perhaps to my own detriment at times. Once I start, I’m in it to win it.
I spent this past week talking to a few friends and getting an outside perspective to help me make up my mind. I wasn’t looking for input per se – I can make up my own mind. I just like to talk through things to an audience so that I can organize my reasoning. By talking to other people, I solidified a few ideas:
I will go ahead with the challenge, despite my reservations.
I’m going to start tomorrow, April 1st, because it’s a nice round number and will make date-tracking easier. I also have a big trip coming up that will be a good opportunity to have lots of experiences.
I decided I’m going to further challenge myself – because doing the exact same thing is boring – and use the challenge to better my photography skills. I don’t want to do a challenge just for the sake of doing a challenge. I find the photo-a-day challenges somewhat pointless after awhile. With the Twilight one, it got to a point where I was doing it just because I felt I had to. If someone is participating in one of those and is having fun, that’s one thing – but when it gets to be a burden, it’s useless. (It could be argued that I was working on my photography and photo-editing skills during some of our Twilight year, I guess.) So, I’m going to be more happy AND a better picture taker. 😉
I also want to do more things that have to do with the actual day rather than sometimes just posting generic things that make me happy (more on target with the vision of the original creator).
And~ the main thing I want to keep in mind throughout the challenge is that I’m doing it for myself. I honestly do not care at all if I don’t receive one single ‘like’ or comment on my pictures. I don’t care if people unfollow me or get annoyed with the sudden surge in posts. I’ve heard people say that the only reason for posting anything online is to interact with others, but I disagree and will defend my position whenever questioned. Yeah, it’s nice to communicate with others, especially when it’s regarding something you’re passionate about, but the main reason I post anything on any of the many platforms I use all over the internet is because I hoard memories and actually go back and look at them quite often. You know the expression ‘pic or it didn’t happen’? That could sum up my life. I used to have such a good memory but now nothing sticks at all. If I don’t have a picture or some notes to remind me of something, it’s like it never happened. I don’t know if anyone else does this but I frequently go through my feeds on whatever social media and reminisce over my own shit. I reread my blogs and Facebook posts. I scroll through my pictures on Instagram and Flickr. I watch my own videos on YouTube. I pore over my collections on Pinterest. (There’s a whole blog post about that coming soon!) I even periodically read my old tweets even though I very very rarely use Twitter anymore. So, not only am I posting these pictures daily to cultivate the habit of gratitude and positivity but so that at the end, I have 100 good memories and remember the pride I’ll feel in completing the challenge.
It’s not to say that I want to do this completely on my own. I will and I have no problem with it but it would be great if other people join in and do the challenge too. It was a wonderful thing for me last time and I think it would be awesome if other people found that it was just as beneficial for them. It’s nice for me to increase my own happiness but all the more better if I can help other people find their own as well.
A few of my friends have said they are up for giving it a go, but I’ve also heard a lot of hesitation from people too. To a certain extent, I can understand that. We are so conditioned in “we must not fail!” that many people think this challenge is too hard. It’s really not though – especially for those who are already posting stuff prolifically anyway. It is so easy to pick up your phone, snap something – anything – that makes you smile, and post it online. It takes seconds. (Other people don’t have to do it the way I do…)
One friend said she’d try to do it but would most likely end up forgetting and drop out after only a few days. Really, I think that’s fine too. Yeah, it’s a challenge to do it for 100 days in a row, but the benefits of actively looking for happiness and learning to create your own happiness when none can be found can be reaped in only a few days. Or even just once. I don’t see this challenge of something you can really “fail” at. If you participate, even for one day, I think you win.
If you’re up for increasing your own happiness, you can join in too. Take a picture of one thing that made you happy and post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or wherever, using the tag #100HappyDays. If you want to learn more about it, take a look at the official website (register your info at the bottom if you’re participating) or read what I wrote about it back in 2014 and/or see the collection of pictures I posted last time. And watch this video~
If you only want to see what things make me happy over the next 100 days, I’ll be posting on Instagram for sure and probably Facebook too and maybe even Twitter. And, c’mon, let’s be honest… There will most likely be a bunch of blog posts here highlighting the best (and one big one at the end).