Friday, May 16, 2014

50% Happier and Summer Travels

Checking in halfway through the #100happydays challenge, and guess what? I feel happier! Go figure!

Don't get me wrong, I was happy before (I will forever be that annoyingly optimistic person who says "Things could always be worse!"), and there were plenty of non-happy moments these past 50 days (read: med school), but like I said, I was starting to focus too much on the negative and forgetting about all the little happy, positive things in my day-to-day life. 

So starting on my 25th birthday, I began to try to focus on and capture one (or two) things that made me happy each day. Sometimes it was very easy, like having great friends who spoiled me for my birthday:

Sometimes it was something as simple as looking up while walking home and seeing the full moon, a silly note, or making pizza on a rainy Friday night.

I started noticing patterns of things that make me the happiest. My happiest moments seem to often be related to being outside (especially running), music, and food...but most importantly, spending time with my family and friends.

My favorite picture is still the very first one I took.
A mother-daughter birthday dinner (and some awesome Belgian beer) 

Around Day 20-25, I also started noticing that I was going about smiling for no reason, feeling extra appreciative, and had an extra bounce in my step again. 

Back when I used to bounce and hop a lot more.
And didn't have hands apparently.

And more and more I realized that it helps to smile, even if you don't always feel like smiling, even if there is nothing in particular to smile about (cue the Charlie Chaplin music), because eventually there will be something to smile about, and worrying and frowning is not going to make the time go by any faster or easier.

In short, I can say that only halfway done and the 100 happy days challenge has been a success. So if you were considering doing the challenge, but haven't yet, hopefully this will convince you to give it a try.

The second half of the challenge should be even more interesting. I will be finishing up my first year of med school and then doing this:

Oh, you know, just going to spend four weeks in India working with kids in a health clinic followed by traveling to Vietnam, Thailand, and Bali. Just an ordinary summer. 

You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be chronicling those adventures here, so stay tuned if you're interested in following along with my (hopefully) exciting and (slightly...probably...definitely) scary adventures this summer!