Friday Five- The Happiness Post


So anyways, it’s been an up and down week.

I was supposed to spend last weekend painting, but my back was a tad on the dodgy side, so I decided to play it safe and instead attacked my bookcases and the paperwork that had been building up in every available corner.

I ended the weekend having released more than a shelf full of astro books into the wild, and piles and piles and piles of fiction books looked out to give away. I ended up donating these to the Beecroft Rotary Club- who are holding their annual monster book fair this weekend.

I dropped them off on my way to work on Tuesday- in the process aggravating my dodgy back into full on can’t sit, can’t stand, hurts to drive, hurts to sleep mode. Whatever, it’s now on the mend. Suffice to say, I won’t be painting this weekend either.

Speaking of books, I’ve just finished Nicky Pellegrino’s One Summer in Venice. I’ve read a few reviews describing it as a fictional Eat, Pray, Love…of sorts. In a way, it probably is, but I love that sort of self-indulgent escape from reality in order to find yourself type of story. I think I love so much because it’s the sort of thing I’ve dreamed of doing myself.


The over-riding theme of this book- happiness, and the pursuit of it- was what had me thinking long after I’d finished the last page.

Now, I’m not one of those people who think you should be deliriously happy all the time. You need the other stuff to add texture- and to know the difference. I do, however, consider myself generally optimistic- not so much glass half full, but more along the lines of ‘that was great and now there’s room for more.’ I’m a top-up, yes please, sort of girl. Yet I had no idea what I’d write on my what makes me happy list.

I mentioned it to my hubby while we were cooking dinner the other night.

‘I spend all my time either working or getting to work so I can be happy when we go on holidays,’ I complained. Don’t look at me like that- I was in a world of pain and it’s end of month in the partition…

‘I’m as busy as you, and I can still think of a few everyday things,’ he said. Given that one of the things on his list was me singing badly to daggy songs when I’m cooking, I won’t bore you with what he said. But he was right- adventures and holidays will always make me happy, but it can be broken down more than that.

Here’s my list- there are more than five once I started, I had trouble stopping)…and they’re in no particular order.

  1. Letting Kali in to wake Miss 17 each morning. As the door opens Miss 17 groans and just lifts one arm to catch the dog in a headlock as she launches herself onto the bed and the lump that is our daughter.
  2. The half hour in the evenings when hubby and I catch up on our day while we prepare dinner- ok, he prepares dinner, I sip wine. Again, don’t look at me like that- I make the decision, do the hunter gathering, and cook on weekends…
  3. Early morning walks. I especially love watching cities wake up, and beaches wake up, but failing that, a sunrise and dawn chorus will do the job. Walking without purpose, walking with purpose, lunchtime walks and walks when everyone else in the world is working.
  4. Walking out of the gym- especially after an early morning workout. I tell myself that one day I’ll enjoy the gym itself, but after all these years, I’d prefer a walk any day of the week.
  5. An empty pool. With an empty deckchair…and a book.
  6. Clean sheets.
  7. Miss 17’s sense of humour. Man, she makes me laugh.
  8. Doggy grins and doggy welcomes- there truly is very little more guaranteed to lift your mood- even when it’s end of month.
  9. Having a wine (or two) in a bar in Melbourne with a pen and a journal for company.
  10. Leisurely weekend cooking with daggy pop music blaring.
  11. Writing outside on a sunny day when the words are flowing.
  12. Blue skies.
  13. That light you get after storms.
  14. Jacaranda trees in Spring
  15. Autumn leaves and cold country mornings where the mist rises and the smell of open fires is in the air
  16. Sunrises
  17. Sunsets
  18. Seeing someone you love at the airport waiting for you
  19. Watching people at airports greet people they love
  20. The three of us and Kali the Wonder Spaniel. Together.

What makes you happy?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

2 thoughts

  1. I think I read that book not long after or just before yours as the list thing seemed perfectly timed. I’ll have to go back and read my review of the book now. I think I liked the list stuff and the culture etc but not sure about the rest of it…

    I love the idea of your list as I automatically think I’ve little to put on there (food, wine, books, tv)?! But you’re right… there are other things that bring me joy. I just watched the sunset (from my balcony) for the first time in months!

    1. I was the same. What to put on it? But so many things bring a smile. Oh to watch a sunset from your own balcony…that would top my list!

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