One of my tattoos—the one that elicits the most questions—is a quote on my forearm:
If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. -Kurt Vonnegut
I got the ink as a reminder to stay present and grateful. Rather than dwelling on the negatives in life, I make a conscious effort to notice the good things and appreciate when I’m feeling happy. As a result, I spend quite a lot of my time sitting around an 8 on the happiness scale.
I present you with this list today as inspiration. Consider creating your own as an exercise in gratitude.
1. The beautiful state of Pennsylvania and its changing leaves and fall weather
Just a few days ago, I went camping in upstate PA with my brother and my fiance. We traipsed around Kinzua Bridge State Park and then headed to Cherry Springs State Park (a dark sky park!) for some stargazing.
We had beautiful, sunny weather for the entire trip, and though it was cold at night, I couldn’t have asked for a better day to explore my beautiful state. We got to see leaves changing color, stunning mountains and valleys, and even a shooting star!
Though we did have summer weather into October this year, it has finally cooled off to gorgeous fall temperatures where I am, and I am so grateful for it. I know fall won’t last long, so I’m trying to soak up the last bits of nice weather before it gets cold. I’m aiming to go apple picking sometime soon as well. (Also all of the bugs are gone now, YAY!)
2. My house plants
I’ve never had much of a green thumb, but over the last year or so, my house plant collection has exploded. I went from owning a few little pothos plants to having nearly two dozen green leafy friends.
Many of them were gifts from friends and relatives, and a few of them (peppers and rosemary) are edible, making them even more fun.
All of this greenery keeps my apartment feeling cheerful, even when it’s gloomy outside. It helps turn the space into a home that I enjoy living in and makes it feel truly ours.
3. Tea szn.
Colder weather means warm drinks. Of course, I’m a coffee and tea lover year-round, but it’s so much more satisfying to curl up with a mug of tea when it’s chilly outside.
Lately, along with my morning mug, I’ve started a late-afternoon tea ritual. I have a mug of tea nearly every evening as the sun is setting. Most of the time, it’s peppermint or some other soothing drink—and definitely no caffeine.
I’ve also been finding joy in making tea for my boyfriend. Even if I’m not making any for myself, I’ll periodically offer him tea or hot chocolate and make him whatever he wants. It’s a small act of kindness that makes both of us happy. Often, doing something nice for someone else with no expectation of anything in return is one of the best ways to find a small bit of genuine happiness.
4. The library
Fall is perfect for reading, especially paired with that tea that I just mentioned. Even though I’ve cut my morning routine down a bit to save time, I’ve still been trying to read for 20 minutes every morning while I drink my tea. My library card allows me to do this for free.
I’ve already passed my 2019 goal of reading 18 books this year, and I’ve started to look forward to my 2020 goal. I’m thinking 52 books in 52 weeks, which would be quite an expensive goal if it weren’t for the library.
Reading is one of my favorite ways to spend my time. It allows me to see perspectives that I may never have seen otherwise and explore whole new worlds. If you’re interested in seeing what I’m reading or what I recommend, check out my Goodreads.
5. My boyfriend
Admittedly, this one is a constant. My boyfriend makes me happy every single day and has for years. I won’t get too mushy gushy here, but suffice it to say that I love that man to the moon and back, and he is a neverending source of joy and love in my life. :)
I am about to rave super hard so I just want to preface this by saying this isn’t sponsored. PiMP has no idea I exist.
Periods aren’t something that I talk about often, but I recently tried out some reusable pads and they seriously make me so happy. I’d been wanting to make the switch to reusable for years, largely for environmental reasons, and I finally took the leap a few weeks ago. The moment I saw PiMP’s Halloween collection, I knew I had to try some.
I started out with 4 pads just to try them and very quickly bought a whole bunch more. The upfront cost does sting a little, but I know that they’re cheaper in the long run than disposables. And, luckily for me, the whole Halloween collection is 40% off from now until November 1st, and you can get 20% off using this link.
It’s weird to me that a menstrual product is making me so genuinely happy, but honestly, I’m just not over how cute the patterns are. It was a money-saving, eco-friendly way to treat myself, and I’m very glad I did.
(Seriously, not sponsored. Just in love.)
7. Keeping my apartment clean
Aside from a bit of kitchen chaos that occurred earlier this week, my boyfriend and I have been doing a pretty solid job keeping our apartment clean lately. The Roomba runs three times a week, the laundry gets folded on the day it was washed, and I’ve been cleaning my bathroom on a weekly basis. We even totally reorganized our kitchen a few weeks ago.
Though our apartment is rarely totally out of control, keeping it extra clean brings me joy. My 15 year old self would be shocked to hear me say that because I always felt like the mess wasn’t a big deal, but now that I’ve lived in a clean space, there’s no going back.
A clean apartment saves me time and helps me stay in a good place mentally. It makes my entire life so much easier and is much more relaxing than a messy apartment.
Though our apartment is usually cleanish, the extra bit of effort we’ve been putting in lately to keep things even cleaner does make a difference, and that difference makes me happy.
What’s made you happy this month? By the way, I tweet out some (more-or-less) daily gratitude on my Twitter that you might like if you enjoyed this post!