Just before Christmas, I decided I'd like to choose a word for 2014. This word would be significant in that it would illuminate my path throughout the year ahead. The word had to be something to aspire to, something I could truly believe in, something that I wanted to be, do or have in my life.
I chose Happy.
Now please don't think that by choosing Happy that Im a miserable soul. It's not that I'm not a happy person, generally I would say that I am, well at least most of the time I think I am - but I've had a niggling feeling for a while now that I might be able to be, well, just happier.
I think with the responsibilities of getting a little older, having a family to care for and so forth it's often easy to lose oneself in the muddle and despair of day to day living. Often I potter about spending much of my time dwelling in the future or revisiting the past and not enough time in this glorious present.
So that's why I chose *Happy* for 2014. It was kind of like a pact with myself to help my life become happier on a daily basis, to be more in tune with the ordinary moments, to slow down and appreciate things.
And as if by magic, and the power that is Facebook, I stumbled upon this:
I stared at the link. That was my word of the year there, and here I was being challenged to step up to the job of making a go of this happy business.
I felt a little bubble of possibility stir.
I could do that, I thought.
That would be the perfect project to commit to; a daily incentive to seek out happy moments in my days. Just one photograph each day, for 100 days. Yep, I could do that for sure.
And so I started, and it's rather incredible how when given a happy moment to seek out and capture on camera once a day, how you begin to look in all kinds of places for that moment:
Having breakfast on the sofa with my daughter, watching her little hand holding her pink spoon.
The glorious hot pink petals of a cheap bunch of roses in a blue enamel jug.
Puffy white clouds in a winter blue sky.
The delight of freshly laundered sheets, folded and put away.
The delight of a freshly made bed, and a good book at bedtime.
I could go on, but I think you can see what this is about. Happiness lurks in the ordinary, and when we start to look for it in the ordinary, we see how glorious our ordinary actually is. Our eyes open wider, we see things as if they are brand new - tiny things become miraculous and uplifting. And you know something else, if you do something repeatedly for a period of time, it forms a habit, it becomes part of your person and you begin to do this thing you set out to do as a bit of fun without even thinking about it.
You can follow me and my 100 happy days on my Instagram feed.
If you'd like to join in, you can start anytime, just click the link under the last picture and you'll be able to read more about what to do to take part.
Happy 2014 all of you.