I came across an article online called 21 Habits of Happy People. I’ve never considered myself a happy person in the typical sense. I’ve been working to give kindness wherever I can, whether it’s picking up a dropped cane for a senior, holding a door open for a delivery man or making a meal for someone who’s tired, busy or stressed. What I’ve discovered is that these small, everyday things have caused a feeling of inner peace that I have never known. That, to me, is happiness. When I read the 21 Habits, I realized that on a daily basis I participate in all but four (highlighted in bold). I’m confident that if I had read this list even three years ago, the bolded type would’ve been more prevalent.
IN A NUTSHELL
1. Appreciate Life – Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning.
2. Choose Friends Wisely – Surround yourself with happy, positive people.
3. Be Considerate – Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life.
4. Learn Continuously – Keep up-to-date with news regarding your career and hobbies.
5. Creative Problem Solving – As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution.
6. Do What You Love – Choose a career that you enjoy, make time to enjoy your hobbies.
7. Enjoy Life – Take the time to see the beauty around you.
8. Laugh – Don’t take yourself – or life too seriously.
9. Forgive – Forgive others for your own peace of mind. This includes forgiving YOU.
10. Gratitude – Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings, all of them.
11. Invest in Relationships – Always make sure your loved ones know you love them.
12. Keep Your Word – Honesty is the best policy.
13. Meditate – Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level.
14. Mind Your Own Business – Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying.
15. Optimism – Find the positive side of any given situation, even if it’s hard to find.
16. Love Unconditionally – Accept others for who they are.
17. Persistence – You will never fail, as long as you never give up.
18. Be Proactive – Accept what can’t be changed, like things beyond your control.
19. Self-Care – Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water.
20. Self-Confidence – Don’t try to be someone else. Be confident in who you are.
21. Take Responsibility – Be 100% responsible for your life – moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
Now I know where I need to focus my energies. And when thinking (and making a list) about it, I realized 99% of my irritations stem from Commuter Anger. Letting a door close in someone’s face, cutting ahead in line, walking slowly (or even coming to a full stop) because you’re paying more attention to your phone, eating with your mouth open (includes gum chewing), talking on the phone loudly – they all have to do with inconsiderate people who don’t care about or do anything to help those around them.
My commute, one way:
Walk to the train – 10 minutes
Train ride – 60 minutes
Subway ride – 20 minutes
Walk to work – 5 minutes
Total – 95 minutes (1 hour, 35 minutes) twice a day
That’s 160 minutes spent in close proximity to other human beings, every day. That figure also doesn’t take into account any number of delays – passenger assistance alarms, mechanical problems, pedestrian accidents, fire and police investigations, extreme weather, etc. Like my 4-hour commute in February after a woman thought she could outrun the train in a blizzard, got stuck on the tracks and was almost killed while the train I was riding totalled her car.
Most of the people I commute with are reasonable because we’re all in the same boat. There is always the exception. I think my problem is that I expect the same treatment that I would give. Despite my success with the above list, I struggle with minding my own business because I like to think that if I show an example, I’ll be able to change someone’s behaviour.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
A first quarter JBay Recycling Project update:
With funding from Rotary Foundation, the Rotary Club of Bayview Sunshine Hong Kong and the Rotary Club of Jeffreys Bay we were able to supply school shoes, shirts and socks to the recyclers at 16 mulas per set (that means 32 kg of glass; or 6 kg of plastic bottles; or 16kg of cardboard).
Donations from friends of the project, Gerald and the Kelston Motor Group, enabled us to buy a gazebo for the volunteers at the Registration desk! Trusted and true businesses like P’n P, InFood and Nina’s provide delicious food every Monday, much appreciated! Green Guardian supplies big storage bags and an electronic scale every Monday… and cart away the 2 to 3 tons of recyclables that the kids deliver and trade on Mondays.
The numbers: (since we started January 2011): on 84 trading Mondays, 2745 kids have delivered 177 tons of recyclable material.
We regularly see 350 kids delivering 2 to 3 tons material on a Monday, the recyclers arrive at the project site before 10 am, waiting in line for more than 4 hours to earn enough to buy a roll of toilet paper and a packet of breakfast cereal… certainly gives us some perspective and insight about their need and the role the project plays.
THE SQUARES – WEEK 12
This week it’s “Bars and Stripes.” Even square four fits with the black and yellow bee pattern, which also uses the Overlaid Chain technique from last week. Square five is my impression of a flower bush, the popcorn stitches being the flowers. I really like square seven’s pattern.
The Overlaid Chain technique is called surface crochet and is worked in the space each stitch makes. Insert your hook from the right side to the wrong side. Making a loop with your yarn (and leaving a tail) on the underside of the work, draw up a loop. Insert your hook down into the next “stitch” and pull up another loop from behind. Pull through the first loop on the hook, essentially making a slip stitch. Repeat. To break up the chain like I did with this square, pull the yarn all the way through, as though you’re fastening off. Pull it back down into the same
space, insert your hook into the new stitch and start again. The yarn is carried behind the work.
Have a safe and happy Easter!
Square Count: 84