You know, sometimes I forget the subtitle to my blog, MIA is 'one woman's pursuit of happiness'.
Handing my business card to a woman whose cafe I want to post about soon, she asked: 'And have you found it yet? Happiness I mean'."
I thought for a minute, before replying that no, I was still in pursuit. Hot pursuit even.
But I certainly haven't found it. (If you have, can you send some over my way? Thanks.)
And in fact, this hasn't been a happy week for me.
It's been a week of struggles, and disappointments, and mornings where I have fought the urge to pull the doona over my head and stay in bed for the day.
But I didn't.
I got up.
I got up and I did stuff. And a lot of that stuff made me happy, at least for a while.
Practising Mindfulness means that even when crappy things happen, I can deal with them, and quite well most of the time. But even better, Mindfulness means that I can always find things to love and be grateful for. And I can really appreciate those moments, and enjoy them fully.
Here are just a few things that have made me happy this week:
* My kids. Well, d'uh, that's a given. But I got them back on Sunday and it's been awesome. I particularly loved going into their rooms on Monday morning and giving each of them a special cuddle and telling them how lovely it was to see them first thing in the morning. I so miss morning cuddles when they're not with me. (Cuddling a dog is cute, but not quite the same ...)
* Making it to school before the bell rang.
* Helping the kids sell a book and a half of raffle tickets as a fundraiser for their school. Gosh, we have some lovely (and generous) neighbours.
* Having dinner with my brother and his family during the week, where the kids were spoiled rotten and given their 'Easter Bags'. Instead of chocolate and eggs, my sister-in-law took great delight in putting together bags of goodies to get them through the holidays - books about bunnies and pets for Miss 8, and Pokemon stuff for Mr 10. And soft toys for both of them. They were an instant hit!
* Having a spontaneous coffee with a good mate, and meeting one of her lovely friends. Chatting with good friends is like instant therapy, and much cheaper than a psychologist!
* The pets. Even though the poor guinea pigs were being washed and dried and brushed and dressed up within an inch of their lives minutes after the kids lobbed on my doorstep.
* Zsa Zsa the toy poodle waking up the kids with a lick and a snuggle, then entertaining them for ages fetching her toy bone, and chasing her tail.
* Working out at my local Fernwood...I'm still not perfect, but I'm working on it, as their slogan goes. Exercise is an instant mood and energy booster, and even though I'm still battling the Boombah, I can tell I'm much fitter and more flexible than when I joined. And having been a member of many gyms in my life, I can honestly say that my Fernwood gym is the friendliest and most supportive environment I've ever experienced.
* Having a laugh with my friends on twitter and leaning on them for support when I've needed to. You guys rock!
* Eavesdropping on the kids. Like this conversation, as we were driving home from school the other day.
H: 'And anyway, Auntie Bel doesn't play with her soft toys, she puts them on display.'
C (disparagingly): 'H, when people grow up they don't play with their toys.'
H: 'I will!'
Now having shared my happy moments, it's time to make someone else happy. The winner of the Mars Needs Moms pass, courtesy of Disney Entertainment, is @Nicole. Her kids will now get to go to the movies with their grandmother over the holidays. Nicole tweet or email me with your details so I can send your prize.
Readers, what makes you happy?