Do You Have Time to Be Happy?

I think that most of us would agree that happiness is an utmost priority. Life is very complex, and many factors contribute to one’s level of happiness.

For us to be happy, basic life needs have to be met for us to feel comfortable. We need food, water, shelter, ability to pay bills, we need love, support, and respect. Of course, many other things can bring us happiness, some are considered a luxury, while others are a means of survival.

Happiness Is a Priority 

Above all, your happiness and well-being are priceless. No relationship, job, or situation is worth it if it takes away your happiness and zest for life.

There will be sacrifices when making adjustments in life, however, happiness is the ultimate goal! If you can get past the sacrifices and have the strength and determination to make changes along the way, you are on your way to a happier life.

Start Your Day 

What you expose yourself to first thing in the morning when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. Start your day with positive words, inspirational stories, start with looking yourself in the mirror and saying that you love yourself, and mention some qualities that you love about yourself.

You may want to read religious doctrines, play some calming or upbeat music, write, journal, or even meditate. Anything that brings you happiness, even for just a few minutes is worth it!

It Only Takes a Few Minutes

Often people say that they don’t have time, that they are too busy, or too tired to include any sort of routine like this into their day, but it only takes a moment of your time, and the benefits will be worth it. If someone were to ask you if you have a few minutes in your day to feel happier in life, what would you tell them? Oftentimes the solutions to our problems lies in our own hands!

My First Time Camping Overnight Was My Last

Many years ago, I was finally about to experience my first camping trip. I had always wanted to see what camping was all about. There are always fun stories being shared and so much to do, it was something that I wanted to try.

There was a group of us at work that were talking about taking a weekend trip to the mountains a couple of hours away. A few of them had been to this particular campground before, so they knew the ins and outs, which made me even more comfortable. We were all so excited and ready for an adventure in the mountains!

I Double-Checked

I am a very anxious person. I have been told time and time again that I hide it well because people are shocked to hear me say that I am always anxious. I feel like I am all over the place, but from outward appearance, I guess that is not the case.

Anyway, given me and my anxiety, I double, triple, and quadruple-checked where we would be staying the night on our camping trip. I was told by one of the gentlemen going on the trip that we had all chipped in to get a cabin.

I was relieved to hear the word cabin because you would never find me sleeping outdoors in just a tent, I would be terrified! We all made food and packed paper plates, napkins, and plastic utensils. We made sure to bring enough snacks, water bottles, and some delicious desserts.

The Day Had Come

The plan was for me to pick up one of my friends that I worked with, and we were going to drive down to the campground together. The other people in the group were all going to meet up and drive together and we would all meet there.

Excitement was all that you could see on my face as I drove to pick up my friend and head to the campground for my first camping experience. We had a blast together listening to music and talking. About two hours later, we made it to the camp!

Our Friend Gave Us a Tour

We unloaded most of our belongings. The view was breathtaking, we were deep into the woods, surrounded by large hills, a lake, and a little Visitor’s Center. Our friend, who we will call Dave, was the guy that knew this place like the back of his hand, so we let him tour us around.

Our first stop was the outhouse, I had never used one before, but that was about to change. It had a burning candle, smelled horrendous, and a small roll of toilet paper lay on top of the wooden board.

Next up was the cabin. As we approached the cabin, my jaw dropped in shock, and then the fear set in. Yes, this was a cabin, but it was not the type of cabin that I had in mind.

This cabin was completely open on both sides! The front and back had a wooden frame that you could walk through, there was no door. The windows had no glass. Technically, in my eyes, this was worse than a tent, because at least with a tent there is coverage all around. This was completely open!

Panic Set In

One of my worst fears is being outside in the dark, it never used to bother me, but it creeps me out to no end now that I am older. Maybe I have watched too much TV, but all that I can think about is wild animals attacking me, or even humans with bad intentions approaching me. There goes my anxiety again.

I tried to get myself together and I was determined to make the most out of my trip. I asked my friend if he would take us to explore the fun adventures that this campground had to offer, and I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as I pictured it in my mind. I can do this, I thought to myself.

We Got Our Feet Wet

There was so much to explore here! We went hiking up the large dirt hills and we found fossils. We couldn’t believe the shell prints that we found in some of the rocks. There was a lake nearby, we went out on the water in Dave’s boat. He did some fishing and we all just sat and enjoyed the sun, fresh air, and the beauty that surrounded us.

We got into some camping activities and Dave taught me how to use a slingshot, I had never used one before. It was just for fun, and I was aiming it at the lake, but I’ll never forget that. Also, one of the other people with us was showing us how to melt glass in the campfire. It would come out in the oddest shapes and reminded me of dried maple syrup.

After all of the fun, we were hungry and thirsty. We decided to unwind for the night with some good food. We sat around talking and laughing, sharing stories as we made s’mores by the campfire.

I had finished my dinner and I saw a bag full of plastic water bottles and I put my paper plate in that bag. I then heard one of my friends yell “stop!” I had never camped before, and I was completely unaware that even plates with no food left on them will attract bears, not to mention other animals because of their incredible sense of smell. Anything with a trace of food on it needed to be burned in the fire. I was mortified to hear that bears were even this close to us, I guess I shouldn’t have been, considering this was a mountain.

I Was Being Tested

My first trip to the outhouse was a memorable one. The smell was so foul, and I shared my little space there with flies and even a few spiders.

 We had spent so much time enjoying the campground that I hadn’t even checked my phone, but nightfall was approaching. I went to get my phone out of the car and to my surprise, there was no service. We were so far into the mountains that our phones didn’t work. I started to worry, there was no way that we could reach out or have anyone reach us.

My heart was racing at the fact that we were all about to spend the night in a wide-open “cabin” and the thought of not having any service just made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. What if we needed help?

Nightfall

Night had come and it was time to lay down in our “beds” made of blankets. The campground was very dark, some lampposts were overlooking the lake which gave us some light and we had some very dim lighting around the cabin area itself, but the majority of the area was like looking out into a sea of darkness.

All that I could imagine was an animal coming down from the woods or out of the lake and stepping foot inside our cabin. After all, there was nothing there to stop them. We were fresh meat. The first part of the night was quiet. That was about to change.

I Will Never Forget the Noises

Sleeping on a campground, at least this one, was incredibly noisy. I was scared out of my mind and my heart was racing the entire night. I didn’t sleep a wink between hearing the bullfrogs in the lake, and the footsteps of animals that I couldn’t even see. I could hear some sort of animal trying to get into the trash can. I just kept praying for our safety. I kept hearing an animal make a grunting noise and I could hear heavy breathing.

The sounds still play in my head today, I was completely mortified. I felt so vulnerable, and I was truly afraid for my life. It is somewhat funny now looking back on it, but it sure was not funny at that moment.

This Trip Taught Me Something

I have gone on many camping trips during the day since this one, however, after that night I vowed to never spend the night again on a campground. Half the fun is missing when you don’t spend the night, but the fear that I felt that night will prevent me from ever doing it again.

I did learn a lot from this trip. I was forced to face my fears that night. Yes, I was completely uncomfortable, and as difficult as that was for me when the sun had risen the next morning, I felt like I had won. I faced a massive fear of mine.

I was upset at Dave for not being completely honest with me about the layout of the cabin, but I know that if he was, I would have never gone. All of the fun memories that we made during that trip wouldn’t have happened. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. Besides the experience at night, this camping trip was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had with an amazing group of people.

I Miss You, Dave

Sadly, Dave passed away a few years ago. My heart still breaks, I have so many memories of him and his passion for life. I will never forget the night that he pushed me to face my fears, the night that he showed me what I can learn about myself and life if I just live a little and not let my anxiety get the best of me. I will never forget the night that Dave believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. I miss you, Dave. Thank you for all that you taught me.

Truly Love Yourself

I’ve always heard that you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. To be honest, I never really believed that until recently. I always thought that I have plenty of love to give, why couldn’t I possibly love someone completely without 100% loving myself first? I have started to realize why.

We are our own worst critics, possibly because we know ourselves as no one else does, also we know all of our faults and our past. I’m sure that many of you have been given a compliment from someone and you appreciated it so much, yet you didn’t believe it to be true. Maybe you were told that you are a good communicator, that you are attractive, smart, and funny. It was great to hear a sincere compliment from someone, but you didn’t feel it inside and that took some of the joy away from those wonderful words. We are putting distance between ourselves and those that we love when we don’t truly love and have confidence in ourselves.

The act of loving oneself is not saying that you love yourself and your qualities 100% of the time. We all have things that we do not like about ourselves, however, the art of loving yourself comes down to forgiving yourself, being at peace with your past, having confidence in who you are and what you stand for, and truly being able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are proud and happy of who you have become.

When we love ourselves wholly, it opens up a brand new world for us to find, we are then able to sincerely love someone else as we can finally share pieces of ourselves that we may have hidden before accepting ourselves.
For those of you that love yourself unconditionally, I am very proud of you for reaching this level of confidence and peace. For those of you that have yet to reach this, I have faith that you will get there and I understand because I have been in your place, sometimes I still find myself there, but I can bring myself back.

The biggest step that I feel has been the most helpful in my life is negating every destructive thought with something positive, or at the very least, neutral. For example, if you are working on a challenging project at work and you are ready to give up, instead of telling yourself “I can’t do this, I am always a failure,” negate that thought to tell yourself that you acknowledge that the project is difficult, but you are trying your best and giving it your all. If you feel that you are not good at relationships you might feel that it’s all your fault and that no one loves you. Instead of this approach, negate that thought to tell yourself that you will work hard on communicating your feelings and that sometimes people are not always compatible.

Start working on all aspects of yourself until you are happy and can confidently say that you love yourself. Once you have mastered loving yourself, the whole world opens up to you and it is then that you will truly be ready to love someone else with your entire heart and soul. Get out a journal, or a piece of paper and write down all of the things that you love about yourself and the things that you are grateful for, you will find out what a mood booster this is!

The Importance of a Hobby

What are you passionate about? Chances are, you have a hobby or pastime that truly brings you joy and allows you to grow as a person. Many common hobbies are writing, art, sports, fishing, collections, for example.

Your hobbies and interests may have changed since you were younger, but hopefully you have some sort of hobby or personal interest that really sets your soul on fire! Think of your favorite pastime and how it makes you feel. Think of how this hobby makes you feel like you and makes you feel complete. It’s very important to have something in life that you can always turn to and be excited about no matter what you are going through.

My absolute favorite hobby is writing! I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed writing since I was a little girl. I’ve grown to love it even more so as an adult. Writing makes me feel so free and it helps me express myself and I have hopes that my work will help others in some way. I want to pass on the life lessons that I’ve learned. Thank you to Arushi for this blog post recommendation and all of your support! What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Motivation

Happy Sunday my friends. How is everyone doing? I usually find motivation and inspiration anywhere, just going about my daily life brings me a lot of ideas and thoughts that come to my head. It sometimes seems that everywhere I turn, every situation I’m in, every person I meet, could end up being my next idea for a blog post.

Motivation for me also comes from other people. Perhaps my biggest motivator is you all and the kind people that keep telling me to push and pursue my passion of writing and blogging. I’ve loved writing since I was a child. When I was younger it would take a while for the ideas to come to me, but now as an adult, the ideas keep flowing. I love the feeling of sitting down with a pen and putting my thoughts on paper, I also love to sit down with my laptop and type away.

Whatever makes you feel motivated, keep seeking it. Keep pushing towards your goals and your passions. You were meant to pursue the things that light your soul on fire!