don’t wait…. do what makes you happy

When do we start doing what makes us happy and fulfilled, that will make us less one-dimensional?

For those who are not married – after you get married so you can embark on them with the one you love? 

For those who are married with kids – after the kids’ graduation?   After they get married?  After your grandkids are more independent?

For working folks – after that big project?  After that bigger and more important project?  After the big promotion?  After marking scripts?  After marking more scripts?  After retirement?

There will always be something else.  Another “legitimate” barrier.  I say don’t postpone doing what will make us happy.  Fulfilled.  Apportion and pepper, throughout our lives, activities that are fun and meaningful.  Don’t wait.  Life is too unpredictable. 

Is work worth the while for us to postpone doing what makes us happy?  I remind myself that if I keeled over at my desk never to raise my head (on my own effort) anymore, what would I get?  Flowers, monetary contribution at best.  At worst, they just replace you.  Life goes on.  A friend’s colleague so looking forward to retirement and embarking on all the things she’d always wanted to do, died soon after. 

Don’t let work hold you back; don’t let the kids or anything else be your excuse for not pursuing those “things-you-have-always-wanted-to-do-but-never-had-the-time” too.  Plan to.  It may sound too prescriptive but everything requires planning.  Even seemingly simple things.  Getting around to starting the exercise routine, meeting with old friends, going on that much deferred trip with a loved one, bringing your parents and family out for a meal or to a new mall or new place of interest, even time to be quiet.  If not, one day will pass to the next and nothing different would have happened. 

Frankly, sometimes, we just find some excuse not to pursue anything different from our normal routine.  We are, after all, creatures of habit.  It is easier to vegetate in front of the TV or grab that console for mind-numbing computer games, after a long, exhaustive day at work or school.

We start now.  First, we think of what would make us happy.    Then we can start checking off the list.

Here’s the start of a “happy” list for me:

  • Cut out some noise.  Be quiet with my own thoughts.  To be still
  • Take periodic breaks – one long holiday or two short holidays a year! 🙂  There’s a mental list of the places I want to go to at least once in my life
  • Go for another extended family holiday
  • Take up inline skating then roller blade for exercise (hopefully this accident prone person, will survive with life and limb intact)
  • Learn to play the piano
  • Start getting published and paid by some online greeting card company.  If that works, it goes towards retirement plans to fund those little luxuries 😉 and to keep the grey matter going
  • Start the process of blogging and how long the momentum can be sustained.  If so, plan for blog targeting my peers as we move into our golden years, also gearing towards retirement.

Can’t think of anything else at the moment.  Maybe I have been quite good at timeout stuff, busy or not :p  Keeping in touch with friends.  Chilling over a meal or coffee, spa treatments, mani/pedicure and holidays.  Had tennis lessons until my hand started hurting :p Mentoring younger girls.  Embarked on some mission-type/socially conscious activities (could do with more though).  Singing with an acapella group (didn’t quite make a full-fledged recording but sang back up for a friend on his debut album)….hmmm… could I also add “buy my own place” to my happy list? :p

What about you? What’s your happy to-do list, even if it’s just a mental list?  Where are you at with them?

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8 thoughts on “don’t wait…. do what makes you happy”

    1. dontch know BJC … i adjusted the time when i was setting up. in the settings, it reflects local time. not sure why when we post, the timing goes askew. nvm. we’ll just be on whatever time, whichever zone, we choose to think we are in. 🙂

  1. My list:
    1. To bring back my ‘alone’ days – one day in a week where I do not entertain phone calls, sms, complaints at work. I shut the door and the world with it.
    2. Bring my cat Bujang downstairs for his daily walk – Its the only time I ‘walk’ also.
    3. Spend the whole of Saturday reading a novel, always a thriller of some sort – easy reading after my horror days with little Dorrit.
    4. Eating kuih-kuih with my mom, especially Pulut err..dunno the name from Bengawan Solo
    5. Getting a nice suntan – usually in a nice bikini (now graduated to one piece swimsuit that does not shock the world) 🙂

    ok..5 will do for now.

    1. haven’t we all graduated to that shockproof one-piece? hahaha….

      can’t imagine anyone still going through serialised dickensian terror! happy five things, BJC, especially three. the rest you’ll enjoy. three you deserve.

  2. my happy list:
    – my own home
    – curling up on the sofa in a sunny spot with a good book
    – time with famiy and friends
    – shopping for food and more food!

    my must do happy list:
    – take time off to do pastry chef course
    – run a bakery

    1. hear, hear…. can i still collect money? since i am so slow at everything else? oh wait, i am the “greeter”. or is this shop and carry? that makes me redundant even before it’s even started… hahaha… that’s the measure of my usefulness to a bakery. 😀

  3. What a coincidence. I was just telling someone the other day about not getting stuck in overdrive mode. When we started work after school, we were determined to make our mark in our career. With the commitments which come along the way, it is easy to be so focused on those commitments that we miss the seemingly little, but important things in life. E.g. children’s school concerts, award ceremonies, special days for relatives, parent teacher meetings, etc
    We sometimes expect that our families should understand because we are working to give them a better life. But alas, the better life to them is often the time we spend with them and not the presents we lavish on them to make up for our absence.
    One of my former bosses told me something once – “Remember to look after yourself and your family. The company can do without you, but your family cannot.” Wise words indeed.
    I recently came across somehting that underscores this point. It goes like this:
    Nobody at his/her death bed has ever said, “I wish I spent more time in the office.”
    While work provides us with money, and money makes the world go round, we must never forget that money is merely a means to the end and not the end itself. We arrive on this earth penniless and we will leave it in the same way. I have seen too many rich families fight over money after the patriach or matriach dies. Children bringing their parents to court, siblings fight over their share of the family fortune. This is the ugly side of our material world.
    So I say, spend within your means and on things that make you happy. I don’t mean lavishing ourselves with material things, but also on fellowship with friends – even a simple meal or a drink. It is only by giving that we also receive, and often many times more than what we give.
    Oops…sorry for long story. To cut to the chase, what’s my happy list? The one at the top of the list is:
    – To appreciate my family and friends around me. They look out and support me in my times of need and I hope never to ever let them down.

    Other items would be:
    – write a book (about what I have learned in this life) – I hope it will not be as serious as it sounds.
    – get a motorbike licence and perhaps even a Class 4 licence. I have always dreamed of driving all categories of transport as a kid.
    – photography – to create a series on clouds, sunrise and sunset. This hobby has enabled me to truly appreciate the beauty of this world we live in.

    1. wow! 2 Cents. this must have struck a chord with you to post such a deliberate, resonating response.

      yeah know what you mean – family tops for me too (not counting my heavenly one 🙂 they are a definite ongoing. targeting the out of the ordinary (given everyone’s scheds) for my happy list – another immediate, extended family holiday. before that, my niece (cuz’ daughter) championing an extended, extended family chalet stay in Sep. will involve aunties, cousins, nieces/nephews and grand nephews too. that will be a RIOT!! 😀

      look forward to reading the book (need an editor? ;p) seeing e photos. can i thumb a lift as pillion? way cool! 🙂

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