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How do I know what makes me happy?

I know that rightly now I should be feeling in full throes of post-holiday blues; hiding under the quilt refusing to go out into the shivering temperatures, cursing at the impending Monday morning in my diary and browsing Expedia for my next holiday.  But honestly, I love coming back from holidays.  Not only because I love being at home and all the comforts it brings (my own bed, my little bum divot on the sofa...) but because I always feel really recharged with creativity and inspiration after a bout of being away.  There's something about being at home that clears my head of all the usual routine and minutia and allows ideas and excitement to ruminate.  Two things that also helped this process were things I read; The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, and Simple Things magazine, which I picked up in the airport and devoured in the first few days of being away.  I'm actually going to write about both of these in separate posts but just to give you a quick bit of background, the first is a book about a woman's year long 'happiness project', to explore, and improve her own happiness, and the second is a wonderful magazine about the simple things in life - it describes itself as 'about slowing down, enjoying what you have, making the most of enjoying the company of friends and family and making simple food for simple gatherings' - perfect, huh?

As part of Gretchen's 'Happiness Project', she comes up with resolutions to tackle each month, and one of these was 'Find more fun'.  In doing this she discovers that it can sometimes be really difficult to examine and acknowledge the things you find fun.  I know that personally I find it difficult to shake off influences from others in terms of things that are fun, or even things that I really, really want to find fun, but in truth, don't.  Gretchen comes up with several Secrets of Adulthood, and one of these is; “What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you — and vice versa.  I wrote about this in a post back in April called 'Do stuff you like doing' where I finally admitted that I don't really enjoy going out drinking or to big social events that revolve around drinking, like house parties.  I wrote a little list there of things that I enjoy, or find fun, but having read The Happiness Project I wanted to revisit it and make sure I make time for these things.  The magazine I read made me feel even more inspired as it contains so many of the things I love doing, and it warmed my heart remembering them, and realising that Autumn is perfect for a lot of them.  Talking of Autumn, I re-read last year's post about the things I love about Autumn and that too made me feel excited to be home and ready to enjoy my favourite season.

This afternoon I've been writing another list of things I enjoy - it sounds so simple but I wanted to really get to the heart of the things I do that I just get lost in or feel really rejuvenated and excited by doing.  I've made sure to challenge myself and drop off anything that's aspirational (things I'd like to love but really don't!).



My list is going to be really important for my own Happiness Project and it feels like such a good thing to do to be honest with yourself about the things you enjoy.  Have you made a similar list?  Do you find it challenging to acknowledge what it is you really enjoy doing?



11 comments

  1. I love your list! I've been feeling a little bit blue over the last week, but I've found that just writing about things I like doing makes me feel so much better :)

    http://elettravelle.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Love this! I might make my own list! Always on a quest for more happiness x

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  3. Love this post Rosie!welcome back,glad to hear u feel refreshed!I wish I could write so eloquently as u!I agree!I think I've improved a lot with doing things u enjoy and trying to reduce those u feel u should enjoy.sometimes this makes me analytical tho,for example,It means a fair amount of those I see do things I don't enjoy and I begin to question whether this means I should then distance myself from,and I get scared about whether this is the right thing to do or not!it feels right,but I wonder that I'll end up with my one friend who shares the same ideology (hi Lauren)!interestingly,it makes me reflect on single life and how that pushed me to do things I didn't necessary love,is that good or bad?!xx

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  4. I love this. I completely agree that often it's difficult to hide behind things that other people around you enjoy and get absorbed into thinking you should like them too, rather than just accepting that you can't enjoy everything the same as others. I suppose it's important to invest time in yourself and learn to enjoy what you like doing and do that! (: xx

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  5. I always enjoy that day or two after a holiday or break away, homely comforts are the best, especially when the seasons are transitioning! (: I especially love making PS graphics and planning new projects (as you probably have already noticed!) and there's nothing better at the weekend than a bath with music and candles! Hope you're well my lovely. xxxx

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  6. Love the list! It's so refreshing to see a list of things that would/do make you happy that are really easy to achieve. Yes it's important to dream but something you need a quick fix not a long slog to feel good about yourself.

    Laura x
    http://firstclassramblings.blogspot.com

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  7. I have that very same book gathering dust on the shelf. Must dig it out and restart my own happiness project! I concur completely on the thrill of getting home. Nothing like the change in routine to get the creative juices flowing, but it's when you get home that those lovely ideas can come into fruition.

    Thanks for having my blog in your September favourites by the way lady!

    Much love xx

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  8. Fun for me is seeing you which I will be doing so on Saturday!! SO excited xx

    Sarah : A Million Dresses

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  9. Oh Rosie, I love you. Bone fide, rib crushing love Rosie. Honestly, just at the moment, I'm not sure what I find fun. There are a few things that make me happy, but I don't think it's the same as things I find fun. As ever, you're leaving me with lots of things to think about.

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  10. I don't find it challenging to acknowledge what I enjoy doing. I do find it challenging to do them. Especially lately. Will this darn baby grow up so I can have some selfish time :P. I have been forcing myself to do a routine of sun salutations (yoga) in the morning. I have to stop at least three times to relocate the baby but I do feel much happier since I started about a month ago.

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  11. I've just come across your blog, congratulations on an upbeat and inspiring read! Emma Louise Layla x

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.