Do More Of What Makes You Happy

posted in: Life 117 comments

Last week, I read and finished three books. One that I’d started in January, and stopped at page 85, picked up a few times, read a couple of pages, then stopped. The sheer size of 11/22/63 intimidated me, and I felt that Mr King (yes, THAT Mr King) was taking a long time to set up the story, and in our now, now, now culture, I wanted it to move along, I wanted to know what happens next, I wanted to know how it ends, NOW. So, I stopped reading it. 

I did a lot of things in the time between then and now, even managing to read over a dozen other books.

Good as many of them were, none made me feel the way 11/22/63 made me feel when I finally finished it. Do you know it? It’s that strange, tingly feeling of saying goodbye to something you wish you didn’t have to. It’s the finality of something – you know the twists and turns, you re-read the ending (am I the only one who re-reads certain paragraphs, and yes, sometimes, the ending), and you go damn, I want to do that again. All over again, and again.

At the same time, I was also shopping online. For more books (obviously), gifts for friends expecting babies, goodies for friends who are having a stressful time because of the holidays. I like giving. It made me feel good, and it made me happy.

I had not felt happier than I did last week. It was like falling in love with something you’d forgotten you loved in the first place. It made me wonder why I didn’t do more of it. Why wasn’t I reading more? Why wasn’t I giving more? (The second question led me to start the Comment To Win An Ad initiative) Why wasn’t I doing things that make me happy all the time?

Happiness quote by Dalai Lama

I don’t do resolutions. It sets me up for unnecessary stress and potential failure. I prefer to focus on one word for the year

I think I know what my word for 2014 will be. More on that in er, 2014.

What about you? Are you doing what makes you happy? If you’re not, why not? What’s stopping you? Time? Money? Laziness? Haven’t thought about it?

I want you to think about it. I want you to make yourself happy. Being happy is good for you. It has a ripple effect. It spills over to every aspect of your life, and people you love. 

It doesn’t have to be big things. Read a book. Spend an extra 5 minutes in the shower. Treat yourself to a manicure. Watch an old movie. Walk the dog. Go for a run. Join your kids in the playground. Eat a cupcake. 

Whatever it is, do more of what makes you happy. Life is too short to do otherwise. 

Speaking of giving, I shared 5 awesome toys you can buy, that gives back to the community, and those in need/ less fortunate, over at Everyday Family. Be a dear and check out my post? Thank you!

Comment on at least two blog posts in December, and stand a chance to win a 30-day, 150×150 sidebar ad on Writing, Wishing! Get all the details here!

Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • December 4, 2013 Tricia

    Yes! I love how you say it doesn’t have to be a big thing. Some days spending that extra 5 minutes in the shower makes me so truly happy. Love this challenge – thinking now about what I can do today to make me happy.

    Also, I also re-read paragraphs and sometimes the entire ending of a book when I stumble aross something that really hits me and needs more time. πŸ™‚
    Tricia recently wrote…A flash of a moment in timeMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I hope you found some happy moments in your week, Tricia!

  • December 4, 2013 Barbara

    I love books that make me feel this way. For me it was writing. I let it go and pushed it aside when other things in my life came along and it was the one thing that was missing.

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you’ve got back to writing, Barbara!

  • December 4, 2013 Nicole

    YES! Life is too short to be grumpy! That’s why I eat dessert almost every night, slurp down fountain Cokes, and run my little legs off. It’s also why I overshop for others & rock my baby to sleep at night…and usually nod off for a few minutes too. These things make me ridiculously happy! I also re-read the endings of good books over & over.
    Nicole recently wrote…O (Fake) TannenbaumMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I totally overshopped for others this weekend – and it made me so happy! I got gifts for a friend’s 3 daughters, all of whom NEVER ask for anything, so I really wanted to get them something. And, I never get to shop for girls, so it was fun! Your happy things sound wonderful, truly.

  • December 4, 2013 Cheryl

    Amen! I tend to forget about those little things that make me happy when life gets really crazy, but those are the times when I need those things the most. I have finally gotten back into the habit of reading – and that makes me SO happy – am trying to blog a bit more, and even busted out my baking equipment a few times in the past week. I think the biggest thing I’ve had to overcome is not letting these things become “shoulds” instead of “wants.” (Oh, and last night, I totally reread the ending of a book I finished the previous evening. It was so amazing, I just had to read it one more time before letting it go.)
    Cheryl recently wrote…Once in a lifetimeMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Yes, exactly! Wants cannot be shoulds. Ever.

  • December 4, 2013 Andrea

    I’m much the same, and prefer not to make sweeping resolutions on one big day in favor of small, easy to maintain adjustments periodically. I want to read more. It does make me feel better. πŸ™‚
    Andrea recently wrote…DIY Mac and Cheese on the StoveMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Read more!! Holidays are coming, more time! (?)

  • December 4, 2013 tracy

    I’ve read so many books this year and spent so much more time offline – and it has made me so happy. xo
    tracy recently wrote…Renting A House In Nosara Costa RicaMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      When you’re happy, I’m happy. #winwin xo

  • December 4, 2013 Allie

    I LOVE reading and I know that feeling you’re talking about. I’ve read a lot of nonfiction this year, for various reasons. I get less attached to nonfiction, unless it’s a biography. I review chick lit for a couple of book blogs and I’ve had a run of so-so fiction books. But just yesterday I finished a book I wanted to read and I LOVED it. I miss all the characters and I’m wondering what they’re up to!
    Allie recently wrote…Author Interview: Samantha MarchMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, I know what you mean about missing characters! It’s odd and kinda not at the same time.

  • December 4, 2013 Michelle

    I know I need to stop and smell the roses more. I wonder where all the time went but I rush, rush, rush to get things done and I rarely spend an extra moment doing something not necessarily productive. But that’s a fallacy isn’t it? We need to do things like this to be more productive. Thanks for the reminder Alison – I think I needed to hear it.
    Michelle recently wrote…Gifts Any Photographer Will LoveMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      It’s a reminder I’m happy to dish out daily, Michelle! πŸ™‚

  • December 4, 2013 vanita

    as much as i do what makes me happy, i know i could be doing more of what will make me happy. time is always an issue and a sad excuse. πŸ˜€
    vanita recently wrote…The Ultimate Secret To Making Your Blog Go Cha-Ching!My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Time is a bitch, I know it!

  • December 4, 2013 Mary

    So very inspirational. I have abandoned so many things that make me happy to do things I “needed” to do. It’s easier to do what we need to do when we’re happy. Thank you for the kind reminder.
    Mary recently wrote…Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Yes, exactly that!

  • December 4, 2013 Cori

    I am a HUGE lover of the “one word a year” focus instead of resolutions. It’s amazing how much MORE can be accomplished when you take that route. I’m pumped up for my 2014 word already!
    Cori recently wrote…I Questioned This PostMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I am too!! I definitely do better with one word than actual specific resolutions. πŸ™‚

  • December 4, 2013 Shannon

    Reading makes me so happy, yet I have done so very little of it this year. I keep saying that I’m going to remedy that, yet…
    Learning something new or figuring out something that I didn’t understand before makes me very happy. A good conversation makes me happy. Taking pictures and writing words make me happy, but sometimes frustrate me, too. Funny how those two emotions, frustration and happiness, sometimes pair with each other. I guess we feel joy and contentment when we overcome frustration.
    Thanks for the food for thought today, Alison.
    Shannon recently wrote…ThankfulMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I love the feeling of learning something new too. And yes, absolutely, overcoming frustration IS reason for happy!

  • December 4, 2013 Christine

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Definitely with reading – I love that feeling you describe and when there’s nothing that will tear me away from a good story. But also I realized through teacher training is that I part of the reason I liked it so much was because of the creative aspect of teaching and I missed being creative and expressive in an artistic way. It’s time, money (and the need to “make money”) and expectations that hold me back for sure.
    Christine recently wrote…9 Things I Learned During Yoga Teacher TrainingMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you got so much out of your training, Christine!

  • December 4, 2013 Kerstin

    I’m so glad you finished that book! I still want to read it and I’m still too chickenshit (tell me – is it really scary?).
    Yes to more happiness and yes to more joy!
    I don’t think we can be happy all the time and honestly, I don’t want to be either… I love the ups and downs of life πŸ™‚
    But I can’t help and feel the same way – I have so much to be grateful for right now and that brings me a lot of joy. Yes to reading, yes to giving and yes to happiness!
    Kerstin recently wrote…Spreading JoyMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      It’s not at all scary! It’s about time travel.
      We definitely can’t be happy all the time – without the downs, how will we recognize the ups? But I’m definitely a fan of more ups!

  • December 4, 2013 Emily

    “Do more of what makes you happy.” Ah. I love this. I recently finished a book- Cutting for Stone, and had a similar experience. It took me forever, and touched me on so many levels, I just cried that it was over, and was so beautiful. Have a lovely day, you inspiring, happy writer!
    Emily recently wrote…mtn mama: To JJ, inbetween holidaysMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      And happy weekend to you, Emily!

  • December 4, 2013 melissa

    I definitely get in a funk of where I am not doing something that makes me happy out of pure laziness! Sometimes even a punishment.Blank is not clean so No painting! Bad! That kind of thing
    melissa recently wrote…Blended.My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I know what you mean!

  • December 5, 2013 GiGi Eats Celebrities

    That is the best quote and couldn’t be more true. People complain about not being happy, well guess what – you can DO SOMETHING about that!!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently wrote…Evil Weight Gain Doesn’t Stand a Chance!My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      YES, exactly!!

  • December 5, 2013 Tamara

    I love reading and giving too. I feel like I don’t do either enough. I think I’d give more if I had more, but I do have enough to give and sometimes it’s a small token of appreciation, sometimes a handwritten card and hey, I can also give people free professional photo sessions! So there’s that.
    And I love how it can be something small. A cupcake or a longer shower. We should spread the love. I’m going to start by sharing this post!
    Tamara recently wrote…Honey, I Broke The Baby & My Mind.My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I love the idea of free sessions! So many people want family photos, and cost just holds them back, and they lose those precious years of getting everyone into a photo, clean and happy. It’s a great thing to do!

  • December 5, 2013 My Inner Chick

    That dog-gone Mr. King. I shall tell him to get more on the ball with his story lines.

    Did you mention the other books, Dear?

    I’ve been terrible at finishing books, but I buy several. One click and it’s on my Kindle. SO gratifying & immediate. I love!

    Btw, Girl Gone kicked my ass. It made me a better writer.
    ….also, have I told you lately that you rock like gaga?! xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…(Easy) Almost Better Than Sex Holiday DessertMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Yes, yes you have, and thank you!
      The other books I finished were – Hyperbole and a Half and Love Anthony. Both superb.
      xoxo

  • December 5, 2013 Rivki Silver

    Life is absolutely too short to not choose happiness. Absolutely. I also don’t really do resolutions, but I have a yearly goal and then little mini-goals that help me reach that yearly goal. And part of those mini-goals is striving to find balance in my life which allows me to have room to do the things that make me happy. Wow, that was kind of an awkward sentence.

    Anyways, maybe I’ll go play piano for 5 minutes. Because that makes me happy. πŸ™‚
    Rivki Silver recently wrote…Dealing with DisappointmentMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      I hope you did play the piano for a few minutes! Thinking about that makes me happy. Music is awesome, and making music, even more so.

  • December 5, 2013 sarah reinhart

    Happiness is a choice, I think. Sometimes it’s a hard choice. Because, you know. There’s other stuff to not be happy about. I’m rediscovering things I love too. xo.

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      That makes my heart glad! xo

  • December 5, 2013 Kim

    I have been tuning in to things that make me happy more, too. It really does brighten my day – even just little things like a little snack and an afternoon coffee. It gives me a little break, a little boost – and my day is better for it.
    And I also have been known to go back to favourite parts of books and reread endings – I just want to soak it in one more time before letting go.
    Kim recently wrote…EmbracedMy Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      Yes, it’s the letting go of the book’s characters that I have the hardest time with. I actually miss them!

  • December 5, 2013 Keely

    You know, I feel the exact same way when I read (or re-read) a good book- and then I wonder why I don’t power down and do that sort of thing more often. Is it weird for a blogger to hope for more powering down in 2014?
    Keely recently wrote…Ridiculously Tired Recap.My Profile

    • December 8, 2013 Alison

      It is totally NOT weird. I think I might do the same. xo

  • December 5, 2013 MomWithaDot

    These days, I find myself asking the same thing – “why am I not reading more?” I think my life has become so hectic, there’s not a quiet moment I can spend focusing on what I’m reading. Flipping pages and not registering a thing makes it worse, so I stopped. But then, I am enjoying everything I’m doing, most of which is volunteering at school, hosting parties, getting to know my new neighbors (we moved over summer). So, on the whole quite happy, though I will try to slow down and read a bit too.
    MomWithaDot recently wrote…Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy The Feast!!My Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      It’s great that you’re enjoying what you do manage to do – that’s the other side of happiness!

  • December 5, 2013 Rebeccafaith

    You are a big reader! I love reading and when a book is too good and resonating with me a little too close, I have to stop reading it because I don’t want it to end. Sometimes I will read a mere three pages a day to prolong the end. And I do re-read paragraphs, it’s necessary to bask in each word. I love your “word” theme opposed to the declaration of a resolution! I am so happy to have found your blog. You are amazing!
    Rebeccafaith recently wrote…A Helmet for Humpty DumptyMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much for you sweet words!
      I understand not wanting to finish a book. Yet, I want to know how it plays out. Ah, the dichotomy of reading a good book!

  • December 5, 2013 Elaine A.

    You are SO right about our happiness spilling over to the others around us. It’s contagious! I agree, do what makes you happy.

    I am glad you took the time out to finish that book… πŸ™‚

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Me too!

  • December 5, 2013 Katie E

    This was a perfect day for me to read this most – and it’s something I’m working on – living a life that makes me happier, even by just doing little things for myself, instead of spending so much time worrying about making everyone else happy.
    Katie E recently wrote…Christmas Countdown #iPPPMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you’re doing happy things, Katie!

  • December 5, 2013 Kristen

    Root beer. Root beer makes me happy. I know it’s not exactly good for me, so I try to keep my consumption at a minimum. But I’m like you. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t exactly stick to things very long. If I really want to change something in my life, I just do it. I don’t wait for the New Year.
    Kristen recently wrote…Things I don’t understandMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Whatever makes you happy! (and in moderation)

  • December 5, 2013 Adrienne

    Truth be told, I’m not doing enough of the things that make me happy. This is a timely post! Well done!
    Adrienne recently wrote…The Best Of Christmas at The Mommy MessMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Adrienne! I do hope you do more happy!

  • December 5, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    I haven’t finished a book in forever! I need to make time to read.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Yuletide Tree {34/365}My Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Do it, it’s so worth it.

  • December 5, 2013 Herchel S

    I love to get my hair done. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference because it is hard for me to find the time to do it. I have to take time off from work or find a sitter for a few hours on the weekend or at night. I took getting my hair done for granted when I was able to leave the kids with my husband. While he’s been away, it can be months before I get my hair trimmed.

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I’m the same way! I haven’t had a haircut for nearly a year. So I’m growing it out. πŸ™‚

  • December 5, 2013 Sarah

    Why aren’t I, indeed?! I could give you a litany of excuses of why I don’t do more of those little things that make me happy, but it’s really all about priorities, isn’t it? I feel like so much of my life is checking off to-do lists, finding lost shoes/keys/phones, and keeping our house and lives running smoothly, it’s hard to turn off go-go-go mode and just relax and have fun sometimes.
    Sarah recently wrote…Traditions: Christmas on the FarmMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I know what you mean. However, shouldn’t your happiness and well-being be a priority?

  • December 5, 2013 Stevie

    Yes! We should be happy. We need to be happy. I don’t do this enough. I don’t slow down enough. I try, but I need to try harder. Christmas time has been good though, there are lot of sensory pleasures, lights, scents, treats, things that make me smile and remember, oh yes, I need to stop and savor this.
    Stevie recently wrote…Ask Away Friday with Michelle of A Dish of Daily LifeMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Do! I really hope you do. xo

  • December 5, 2013 Tracie

    I love books that make me feel that way. How did I not know about 11/22/63? I am adding it to my reading list now.
    Tracie recently wrote…The Wheel Of Time Turns To MurderMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Enjoy the book!

  • December 5, 2013 Amy

    Haha I read the first paragraph and thought, \\\”Mr. King, hmmm…\\\” but since the book title referenced 1963, I wasn\\\’t sure if you meant Mr. King as in Martin Luther, or Mr. King as in Stephen. So I had to click on the link and find out! Looks like a great book – I love history-ish books like that.

    P.S. I’ve tried to post this comment three times now, and I keep being told to go back and really read the post to ensure that I’m not a spammer. Not sure what’s going on, because clearly I read it πŸ˜‰
    Amy recently wrote…Healthy Holiday Veggie of the MonthMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      It’s a time travel book, hence the historical bit. πŸ™‚
      Sorry about the commenting thing – I’ve been plagued by spammers, and one way to prevent it (other than the litany of things I’ve had to do), is to compel readers to stay on the page for over a minute.

      • December 9, 2013 Amy

        Oh I understand. I’ve recently started getting spam emails. Not sure HOW that’s happening. I think I messed up with my comment because I read the post and THEN clicked the link at the top, then came back. So that probably started my timer over. I’ll know for the future. Have a great week!
        Amy recently wrote…I Looked At It and then I Saw a Christmas TreeMy Profile

  • December 5, 2013 misssrobin

    Very good advice. And great Dalai Lama quote — I just love him!

    I have gotten good at not doing things I don’t really want to do, but I still don’t do enough of what makes me happy. I think I’ve often confused doing nothing with self-care. Not the same thing. I’m working on it.

    And it fits beautifully with my word for next year. (I’ve chosen mine already, too.) Can’t wait to see what you’ve chosen. Best wishes finding happiness.
    misssrobin recently wrote…Conversations with God About My HealthMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I’m still mulling over a couple of words for 2014. It should be interesting!

  • December 5, 2013 Jeanne

    I also do that with books… there are probably three that I’ve started and not yet finished. I’ve recently started working on quilts and sewing projects again after a very long time, which had me asking myself why I stopped doing this for so long because I love it.
    Jeanne recently wrote…Did I Hear Him Right?My Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      That’s great, Jeanne!

  • December 6, 2013 Gracielle

    I feel the same way when I reach the end of a book! It’s gratifying to reach the end and finally find out what happens at the end, but at the same time it’s like saying goodbye to a friend. Is that weird that I think of characters in a book as my friends? Lol re-reading the end makes them last a little bit longer. Epilogues help, too!
    Gracielle recently wrote…Turkey, Netflix, and LightsMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      It’s not weird at all, I’m the same way!

  • December 6, 2013 Kir

    Oh shoes, cupcakes, books and a little more time for myself would make me happy.
    I haven’t finished a book, one that wasn’t written by someone I know or anthologies of EXCELLENT stories since April. I am tired, overworked and honestly, I can’t blog and write and comment and still sleep (and spend time with my sons and husband) without giving up the reading of actual books etc.

    but it is December and I’m in a Christmas spirit, a loving, caring, giving back kind of place…however I’m not doing it in the public eye on FB or instagram etc, I simply know in my heart that I am loving people, I am spreading cheer and caring about my fellow man/woman/person.

    For right now, in my heart, it’s enough.

    Love you…thank you for being as giving as YOU always are.
    Kir recently wrote…Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday – We Need a Little ChristmasMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      You are one of the most amazing people I know. And I know this time is hard for you right now. Know that I’m keeping you and yours in my heart. xo

  • December 6, 2013 Greta

    I just finished a book (in the nick of time, for a book club chat) and I felt so good about it. It’s sad, but I don’t read as much as I want to, because there are so many other things I end up doing with my (very little) spare time. I’m making an effort to read more, though, because it does make me happy.
    Greta recently wrote…My #JamberryChallengeMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I do think you deserve the time to do what makes you happy!

  • December 6, 2013 Ilene

    I agree – the happy things don’t have to be big things. Just little things that make us feel good. Like a piece of chocolate or five minutes to read a blog post perhaps?
    Ilene recently wrote…Modern Family: Jersey EditionMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, that is happiness wrapped up in 5 minutes!

  • December 6, 2013 Jenn

    I love this – my therapist always reminds me to do this. One thing for myself a day and as busy moms we all know how tough it is. I think all day about what my self-care would be that day and by the end of the day I’m too tired. But I’ve been doing a better job lately of making myself a priority and I can tell a difference in my overall mood. πŸ™‚

    Great post, Alison!
    Jenn recently wrote…Using doTERRA in my treatment planMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad that you’re making yourself a priority – our own well-being is just as important as our family’s.

  • December 6, 2013 Crystal

    I don’t do resolutions in the traditional sense either, Alison. I set goals and try to achieve them. Loved this post! Lack of time is my downfall. πŸ™‚
    Crystal recently wrote…Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party: These Crazy, Stressful HolidaysMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Thanks, Crystal! I can imagine you must be really busy. I struggle with making time for myself too.

  • December 6, 2013 Virtually Vegan Mama

    I don’t do resolutions either! what makes me happiest is my family….my wonderful husband and my three beautiful children…what would make me happier?? Finding more time for ME…just to exercise for 30 minutes a day…that’s all I want right now! lol =)

    Jen
    Virtually Vegan Mama recently wrote…Hearty Minestrone SoupMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      And I hope you find that time, Jen!

  • December 7, 2013 Nina

    I was reminded of this a few months ago when I realized I need to do fun things that bring me joy, apart from the whole family thing. For me, it’s dance. I don’t have much time or money to attend classes too often, but I try to make it a point to go at least once a month, preferably with a friend (two birds with one stone, they say).
    Nina recently wrote…When does life with a newborn get easier?My Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Once or twice a month is still good!

  • December 7, 2013 Allie

    I was just thinking about exactly what is stopping me from the “what I really want to do is…” and yes, there are a lot of things that MUST be done but, just like with my exercise, I have to make time for reading or yoga or whatever other relaxing thing that is important to me.
    As for re-reading books? Yes! I actually read the same book every Christmas. I love it and love who I am when I’m reading it so, yes, I completely get it.
    Can’t wait to read more about your word for 2014!
    Allie recently wrote…How To Survive the Elements & 20% Off…My Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I love that, reading the same book every Christmas! It’s like watching a classic Christmas movie, isn’t it?

  • December 7, 2013 AwesomelyOZ

    Congrats on finishing the book! I’m never that successful with finishing books anymore.. I’ve had 3 that I’ve started this year that I’ve quit mid-way. It’s not a good look but I jump from one thing to another. That’s one of the things I’d like to do more of is read! Happiness for me is not having to wake up early the next morning- sleeping in is bliss. And I’d like to do more cooking, reading, and learning to make me happier since I’m already pretty happy thankfully! Have a great one Alison! -Iva
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    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Sleeping in – something I’ve not had the pleasure of doing for a LONG time. Sigh.
      I hope you do manage more cooking and reading soon!

  • December 7, 2013 Shana Norris

    I had many of the same thoughts about 11/22/63. King DID take a long time to set up the story, but when it ended … I don’t even know HOW I felt. You did a better job of articulating your feelings than I did.

    Can you believe it was the first King I’ve read?! I don’t do scary.
    Shana Norris recently wrote…Weekend LinksMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      Ooh, I love scary! And 11/22/63 wasn’t scary, so it’s a good way to start King.

  • December 7, 2013 Lady Jennie

    I am happy lately. Maybe it’s because I’m in this particular weekend where our whole plan is to spend time as a family. There are stressful things going on, but I’m glad we took this time to enjoy it.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Back to our Regularly Scheduled ProgramMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad that things are good for you ow, Jennie. You deserve it!

  • December 7, 2013 Susan

    You got me thinking about my One Word for 2014. Hrrrmmmmm….in 2013 it was “FUN.” Because like you said, you gotta do what makes you happy. I’d like 2014 to be about intention maybe. I want to think on it for sure.
    Susan recently wrote…Yes, I’m Still BreastfeedingMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      My word this year was full of intention. It is DO. And I did DO. So I know the one word thing really works, at least for me. Time to ramp it up for 2014!

  • December 8, 2013 Arnebya

    I don’t know what changed for me recently, but I have absolutely felt the mental switch of do more of what you like. And so I have. It’s been incredible.
    Arnebya recently wrote…Be Glad I’m Not Your Mom Because Evidently I Am THAT MomMy Profile

    • December 9, 2013 Alison

      That makes me happy!

  • December 9, 2013 Lisa Howard

    I think we all lose sight of the fact it is an accumulation of the little things that makes life sweeter. Two very major life events (divorce…then cancer) drove the point home for me. But I still need to be reminded from time to time, so thank you for this post.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your 2014 word of the year. I share your views on resolutions. I usually adopt themes for self growth. One year I called The Year Of Learning To Love Myself. Another was The Year of Adventure. Funny thing, that was the year I was diagnosed with cancer. It was not the exact adventure I had in mind. lol! The idea of focusing on adventures and tackling challenges was to learn to stretch myself and step outside my comfort zone. Cancer actually helped me accomplish that and more.

    • December 10, 2013 Alison

      I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with so much, Lisa. It does appear to me though, that you have a great attitude with whatever life throws your way, and that is so inspiring.

      I like that – “The Year Of” – something to think about. πŸ™‚

  • December 10, 2013 Julia

    I have been trying to do more of what makes me happy, I read The Happiness Project and it really has changed my whole perspective I try to do something every day that just makes me happy.
    Julia recently wrote…Tips for Christmas Decorating with KidsMy Profile

    • December 10, 2013 Alison

      That was a really good book!

  • December 10, 2013 Andrea B (

    Thank you for reminding me about the one word thing. I totally didn’t do that last year and now – here I am – thinking ahead. πŸ˜‰

    Interesting about that book. I didn’t want to read it but maybe now I do.
    Andrea B ( recently wrote…Amazing Reads.My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      It’s a good time to think about the one word thing! It’s the 2nd year I’ve done it, and it’s truly helped me anchor down whatever the situation, and helped me towards my goals for the year.

  • December 11, 2013 Karen

    Funny, I also love to read and haven’t done so in a long time. I picked up a book in October and now am back to reading 2-3 per week. As for resolutions, each Sunday I pick something to work on that week, every week is like a new year, a new opportunity to me. As for something to spoil myself, I have one hour between the time my husband leaves for work and I have to pick up the kids at school. I have decided to take that hour to watch Law and Order on Netflix. When I finish that series, I will pick another. Silly? Perhaps. But it’s the only time I get the TV to myself and can do something mindless!
    Karen recently wrote…Scrooge Slashed My TiresMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I think that’s a great way to do something you enjoy!

  • December 14, 2013 runnermom-jen

    You’re not the only one who re-reads paragraphs or endings…I do that all the time πŸ™‚
    Love your word idea for 2014.
    xo
    runnermom-jen recently wrote…Sunset Running…My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      #SamePerson πŸ™‚

  • December 19, 2013 Kimberly

    Laziness makes me happy.
    Don’t judge me and my pj’s that I’ve worn 2 days in a row.
    Stay at home mom problems.
    You’re absolutely right. Being good to ourselves is crucial to keeping us sane…and happy. Even on those dark days when we feel like curling in a ball, we have to remember all of those things that put a smile on our face and just fucking do them.
    I have started and stopped so many books this year too. They’re now the mountains in my Christmas village display. Yes, I own tacky Christmas houses. What?
    My word of 2014 is vagina.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Wrecking The WallsMy Profile

    • December 20, 2013 Alison

      Vagina!! I love you.
      I love that you own Christmas houses. It’s so you.
      Love you. And I do hope you do more of what makes you happy, always. xoxo

  • December 20, 2013 Stacey

    Doing what makes you happy is so important! I like to think of those things as my refuel so I can do the things that must be done. I love to read. It’s been a while though.
    Stacey recently wrote…Why I blog…six years laterMy Profile

    • December 20, 2013 Alison

      It’s filling up your own bucket, right? Before we can fill up other people’s. I hope you get more time to read next year!

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