Sunday, 17 January 2010

Getting personal: Happiness and Highlights

I've received two tags in the last couple of week, one from Alybean at Life's Laundry a high-five meme to reveal my top five highlights of 2009 and the other from Sooz, at The Last Biscuit, awarding me the Happy 101 award for listing the 10 things that make me happy.

I am normally rubbish at memes. I often forget to do them or wonder where I'll squeeze them in and before you know it something more pressing comes along. However, I've had an exhausting time of it lately and as both of these offer an opportunity to reflect on positive things I thought I'd give them a go. You get the opportunity to see what makes me tick and I get a chance to avoid decluttering.

So to start the ball rolling, I'm giving a big High-Five to the following events of 2009, in no particular order of importance.

1. My 5-year-old bin saboteur finally understood what the compost bin was for.

For two years I've tried to explain why banana skins can't go in the recycling bin, to which the reply would come "They can Mummy, look!" Finally he gets it. Hoorah.

2. Doing a bin round to raise money for Comic Relief

It was a proper shift too, not just a couple of hours. I donned a pair of steel toe-capped boots and a hi-vis vest and spent seven hours with the lads from the local council. Thanks again to all who donated. We raised over £200. You can read more and see the videos in the blogpost On the bins for Comic Relief.

3. Drinking champagne at awards ceremonies

2009 blessed me with reaching the final at two awards ceremonies. The first was the MediaGuardian's Awards for Innovation, where I came joint runner up in the Independent Media category. The second was the CIWM awards for environmental excellence where I also came joint runner up in the category of Recycling Champion. Despite not winning, they were great events and I got a chance to meet some inspirational people and see some novel toilets too. But the real highlight was my own awards ceremony in March where I gathered a fabulous group of people together to drink virtual champagne and celebrate their own achievements and the influence they've had on me.

4. Getting Chickens

What can I say! Brilliant pets, and good eggs all round! The boys love 'em and even my 8-year-old will now try to pick them up. You can find out all about them in this blogpost aptly named Cluck, Cluck, Cluck.

5. Meeting Tony Juniper

I had a chance to meet leading environmentalist and author Tony Juniper last year. He even did a video for The Rubbish Diet blog, explaining why we need to reduce rubbish. You can see it at the end of my own ramblings in the blogpost: It's not just how, it's also about why, or take the short-cut and find it in the sidebar.


Being a positive spirited being, it's hard to come up with a short-list, as most things make me happy but here goes.

1. My Children
When I notice they've grown an extra inch, or they've done something new I get a warm fuzzy feeling that carries me through the day. And I love it when they make me laugh and when we indulge in huggles - our very own word for hugs and cuddles.

2. My husband.
The fact that he puts up with my blogging makes me happy. He used to bring me flowers but nowadays I'm happy if he just remembers not to bring home any more carrier bags. I'm a firm believer that romance isn't dead, we're just recycling it to make it last longer.

3. Seeing my sister.
I love visiting my sister and her family in Switzerland. I also love it when they come to us. We've not lived near each other for 23 years and I miss her, so I am always happy when I'm with her. I may be the eldest, but she's the one who teaches me the most important lessons.

4. Being with friends.
I love the laughter and support, and catching up with old friends who I haven't seen in a while. I enjoy growing older together and sharing our observations on how things have changed and what we can look forward to in the future.

5. Being inspired.
It doesn't matter who it is or what they are doing, but if they're inspirational, I'm hooked.

6. Making people laugh and smile.
I love making other people laugh or smile. I buy random hot-chocolates for Big Issue sellers, give complements to bored looking staff on the London Underground and I love making grumpy waitresses smile. And if I've ever made you chuckle on this blog, that makes me happier still.

7. New challenges.
I love stretching myself with new adventures and whenever I succeed, I lenjoy the happy feeling that comes with it and the relief of overcoming the self-doubt and fear. If I don't succeed, then there's always wine.

8. Watching the robin in my garden.
That always makes me happy, and can break a bad or a sad mood.

9. Tweeting from the bath
I love it that nobody on Twitter knows that I might just be sending my updates from the bath. Having a bath makes me happy and so does seeing what people are up to on Twitter, because I'm a real nosey parker at heart.

10. Your comments!
Your comments always make me happy, unless you're a spammer of course or you write something horrible. So if you want to make me happy, you know what to do.

So that's it. Thanks to Alybean and Sooz for giving me the opportunity to stop and pause a while.

Of course the next action would be to tag others. However, instead of doing that, I invite you to take part too, whether you're a blogger or not. So even if you haven't got a blog, feel free to share your highlights and happy moments in the comments below.



growfamilygrow said...

What a lovely review. So much positivity. I rather needed to see that today.

Thanks again for the inspiration. After Week One on the Rubbish Diet I believe we're down to one bag from two. Admittedly a big bag. Will check later. Mainly, I've been diving into the kitchen trash after my husband and saying, 'No, we can recycle that. Yes, I know it is only small, but...just the next bin over. Come on love.' He is very good, and very patient. Only thing is once he commits to something there is no going back. We're in for the long haul I expect.

Evil Edna said...

i think that is a lovely list and really mature for instance it doesn't say "seeing jeffrey Archer books being recycled" or doing the squishing your head thing to annoying people when they have turned around.


John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

It's good to know that a lot of people ( not material things) includes the list of what makes you happy. I agree, no one will make you happy more than the people you love and loves you. I am also glad that our comments makes you happy. Well, as long as you keep writing and inspiring us with your post we will always be here and continue reading and giving comments on your post.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Lovely lists Karen - made me smile.

sooz said...

Aww what a lovely list...stay happy :D x


Hi GFG - LOL, I think you're turning into me. I'm beginning to wonder whether my husband should write a guide for people with partners and spouses who nag about recycling :-D

Great going though. Sounds like you're doing brilliantly. Maybe you could schedule in a zero waste week for sometime in March ...worth a thought perhaps? And it's really not scary...honest. Let me know if you're up for it :-D x

LOL Evil Edna - it's lovely to see you. You always make me laugh :-) x

Hi John - thank you and yes your comment's made me very happy :-D x

Hi Anne - LOL, thank you. Glad to be of service and I hope you're well :-) x

Hi Sooz - thank you again for including me. Sorry I didn't get chance to list the 10 bloggers who make me happy, but the word on the street is that if I'm following you all or visit you now and again, it's because you all do. You can tell I'm still happy, I'm blowing kisses to everyone who's commenting on this post. Here's one for you too :-D x

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