Living Life Happy

Aug 22, 2016

I've been thinking a lot about life recently. About how I used to look at life, about how I look at life now, and about how I want to look at and live life. I think having kids can do that to you. I began to not only see life through my children's eyes, but also consider how my views on life could have a direct impact on their lives.

Living with this awareness made me start to question my attitude and to look at life a little differently than I had in the past. Life is inevitable. Life has good times and life has bad times. There are also millions of ok times. And there's lots of amazing times, awe inspiring times, beautiful times, peaceful times, contented times and hilarious times. In the mix unfortunately there will also be terrible times. Heart wrenching times, gut aching times, physically painful times, stressful times, sad times and so much more.

The thing is, we've only got one life, here and now, on this earth, as it is, with this particular group of humans around us. We don't know how many days we've got, just that we're here and that we feel.

If I live every day for the weekend, I miss five out of seven days of my life, just being ok, or just surviving. If I live worrying about what might come, I miss enjoying what I have right now. And what am I showing my children? How does my attitude towards life effect their attitudes and in turn, their lives?

Looking at the lives of others, in lands far removed has also changed how I see life. In India, on my recent trip with World Vision, I got to meet children, young adults and adults who, given some of their circumstances, in comparison to my circumstances, should, (by my original ideals of life), be wallowing in self pity for the unfair dealing of life they've been given. Except, that they weren't.

They were living life. They were living life, making the most of what they had and they were doing it with a smile at the ready.

Happiness that with the installation of these bio toilets by World Vision, in an urban slum in Chennai, they now have access to be able to perform normal human bodily functions in safety, privacy and with dignity. Sixty families who are so happy that they now have something I've always taken for granted. (And grumbled about should I have to wait a minute.)
Happiness that they may go to school, in an environment that thanks to the people who sponsor a child through World Vision, is covered in bright, inspiring and educational paintings, as well as having availability to fresh, clean drinking water.
Happiness that thanks to iron boxes and education provided by World Vision, they may run businesses that allow them to feed and clothe and educate their children.
Happiness that thanks to education and support by World Vision, these women no longer need to borrow money from high interest money lenders, keeping them in a cycle of debt, as they now have their own support groups in one another where they can invest and borrow from the group safely and learn to save for the future.

Witnessing so much joy for just the most basic things in life definitely made me reconsider how I find my joy. Happiness is infectious and more than living a "good" life, filled only with "good" moments, I want to live a happy life, filled with as much joy as I can cram in. Not only do I want happiness, but I want to be able to find it wherever possible. I want to find it in the boring times and to try to look for it when things are bad. I want to lead by example for my children, and help them to find happiness in the little things. To appreciate what they have. To love and be loved. To help others. To live the best lives that they can, and I think so much of that has to do with how we choose to look at life.
So, what makes me happy? There are so many things we can do! Some of my favourites, as cliche as they may be are.

Happy Things
  • reading with your kids
  • sponsoring a child and providing a better life and happiness for others 
  • going to the beach and feeling the sand on your toes as you watch the waves rolling in and out
  • telling someone you love them 
  • feeling the wind on your face 
  • sipping a hot cup of coffee 
  • listening to music and singing along at the top of your voice
  • getting into bed with fresh sheets 
  • catching up with a friend you've not seen in ages 
  • standing barefoot on freshly mowed grass 
  • cuddling
  • doing a favour for someone
  • the smell of the earth after the rain
  • starting a brand new notebook
  • walking a dog
  • going to the zoo
  • anything to do with animals actually
  • feeling weightless in a pool
  • having a big drink of water when you're really thirsty
  • loving someone
  • being loved
  • so many foods, I can't help it, some foods are just happiness and if I break it down the list will be too long
  • secretly watching your kids playing make believe
  • drawing with a brand new set of markers
  • watching tv you love
  • hearing the rain on your roof while tucked up in bed
  • going through a car wash
  • realising it's only Saturday when you think it's Sunday
  • collecting pebbles and building them as tall as you can
  • sitting outside late at night in complete silence with no sounds around
  • reorganising something
  • reading a book
  • thinking about everything you have
  • thinking about the people you love
  • writing a proper letter and mailing it, with a stamp and everything
  • helping out others
  • smiling
  • calling your mum or best friend
  • exercising
  • camping
  • having a break from technology
  • getting outside
  • trying something new
  • learning a new skill
  • swinging on a swing
  • being kind 

Ok, this could go on forever. I really could just keep writing but I think that's enough for now. What have I missed? What makes you happy?


Happy happiness,
Debs :)


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10 free Printable Father's Day Questionnaires for Kids to complete

Aug 10, 2016


More than socks, jocks and golf tees, dad's just love their kids. I've asked a number of dads what it is that they'd like for Father's Day and it turns out that anything that has to do with spending time together or something personalised from the heart, is generally going to be best received by Dad this Father's Day.

A sweet, frugal and often amusing gift is a personalised survey, interview or writing prompt about Dad, completed by the kids. Fill-in-the-blanks can be a lovely way to record children's thoughts, knowledge and feelings about Dad each year and can be laminated to preserve for years to come. I also love the added literacy practice for kids and that they can be a great thought starter for children who need some inspiration to help them think of what to write.

I've made a couple of different designs, both with this year (2016) printed on them, and blank ones that you could use for any year.
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Invitation to Play. Simple Superhero Slime

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Sensory Play is one of the few activities that I know will entertain my kids for quite a long period of time. The quicker and easier the set-up for me, the better. 

For today's activity, rather than make up some slime for my son to play with, I gave him the two basic ingredients, popped out a selection of his little superhero figurines and let him make it for himself. 
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