Ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you check off time by tasks completed rather than days on the calendar?  This is (apparently) my busy time of the semester, and  I’m trying to keep my head above water by checking off all the things I’m supposed to do.

  • My new workshop seemed to go well today – no one fell asleep or left at the break.  I consider both to be good signs.  Perhaps it helped that the workshop started with a  game, included prizes, and ended with chocolate.  (No, I am not above bribing my participants to participate.)
  • Half of my conference presentation is done.  I still have a few weeks to finish and get it posted to the conference  website (per the agreement they made  me sign – after changing my topic, combining my session  with another, and adding time back to my presentation after other presenters dropped  out), but I’m thrilled to say I have PowerPoint slides rather than just a general idea floating around in my head.
  • My annual performance review is 99% finished – so I’m nearly ready for my meeting with my boss.  Not stressful in the least – just a pain because  of the level of documentation required.
  • A few more hoops are now jumped in my quest to eventually become a homeowner: my debt is down by a considerable sum, I have copies of my credit reports and scores, I’ve talked with my insurance agent about coverage, and I’ve found the neighborhood  (and house!) where I want to live.  Now  I just need to save half my paycheck for the next 3 years and I’ll be set.

It’s been a long week . . . and it’s only Wednesday.  I’m  looking forward to March, when I finally get some time off and can plan for some fun.   Mild-mannered, inexpensive fun, but a simple break from the task-oriented madness is most welcome.

And instead of complianing about the things in life that are stressing me out, I’m  going to continue to look at things that made me happy today.

  1. Pat made decaf coffee for me this morning . . . she knows that I only drink decaf, and makes sure I have a pot whenever I teach a class.  She doesn’t normally make a pot of decaf, so I feel special.
  2. A surprise phone call from a very sweet  lady from  MI (complimenting me on my hand-made cards and commiserating over the torn rotator cuff situation) just made my evening.
  3. The cool front arrived this evening; after a high of 82, I was thrilled that opening the windows was an option.  I refuse to turn on the AC in February!

Oh, and for those of you keeping count, Time Warner just pulled the TV  Guide Channel from the basic lineup.  Instead of red carpet coverage and annoying reality show coverage, I now get a shockingly bright red and blue screen that displays the time and date.  Down to 17 channels and counting.

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I’ve seen a lot of Resolutions posted in the last few days – most of them make me shake my head because they’re straight off the “most popular resolutions” list – vague, useless, and forgotten by February.   I have a few goals for the year, but most are boring and not worth mentioning.   One I do think is worth sharing:  in addition to continuing last year’s goal of stating 3 things a day that I’m thankful for, I plan to acknowledge a few of the little things that make me happy.   Here’s my list for today:

  1. Starbucks decaf venti nonfat caramel macchiato at 140 degrees F.
  2. Grocery shopping at 8am . . .  it was worth driving in heavy fog for no crowds an no lines at the HEB.
  3. Finding my Christmas decor I bought last year (while reorganizing and cleaning my closet – woohoo!).
  4. Watching Glenn and Joe being silly and enjoying themselves during “Life’s Been Good”  (Eagles Farewell Tour I DVD, Live from Melbourne).
  5. Reconnecting with friends I haven’t  corresponded with in a while.
  6. Finally finishing a few more card sets (see images below for a sampling of one theme).
  7. Oh, and the recipe for green beans with brown butter and pine nuts turned out great.  I smashed the pine nuts before browning; they still lingered on the bottom, but were easier to pick up to eat.  Very tasty!

2009-all-you-need-in-life22009-you-make-me-smile2There will always be things in our lives that we can’t control.  But happiness is  within our grasp because we have control over how we view the world.  Each and every day we wake up and make a choice: to be happy or to be miserable.  I hope you’ll join me on the bright side of life and make a conscious choice to be happy.  Think about things that bring you joy so you can seek out ways to be happy.

What little things did you encounter today that made you happy?