What Makes Me Happy?

I decided to do a Year in Pixels for 2018 (basically a daily mood tracker), and just finished up January:

It’s a bit hard to figure out the dates, because I had deliberately not put months/days to keep it cleaner.  I may add them later though; it’s getting annoying to count them out to double check the date.

I also did one for Jack:

There was a weekend that we were in Tahoe (the large green chunk in my tracker), and when I asked Jack for his mood to fill his in, it seemed a bit like he was just saying he was happy because he felt like he had to since he spent the weekend on a trip with me (something that he denies).  It made me think about the days I was marking as happy, and I realized that I didn’t necessarily actually feel happy.  I was doing things that I wanted to do, on a trip having fun, and it felt like I should feel happy, so I had marked those as happy.  But I realized I didn’t really feel that much happier than a normal day – to be honest, all of those happy days were probably really neutral days.

So in reality, my month was pretty much just chugging along and being pretty meh the whole time.

After we got back from Tahoe, I tried to think of things that actually made me feel happy, and this is what I had come up with at the time:

  • Cat snuggles
  • Skiing amongst trees
  • Going to Penguins games
  • Sleeping in
  • Snuggles

Cat snuggles, sleeping in, and snuggles are pretty passive and more about just relaxing – I think it would probably be more appropriate to say that I am content in those cases, rather than happy.

Skiing amongst trees was something I only remembered because we had just gone skiing; it made me think of one time years ago in Idaho when I was skiing somewhere further away from the more popular runs, and for some reason I was by myself.  This was many many years ago, probably middle school, and the Lord of the Rings movies were very new.  It was just me skiing in an area where the path was narrower and there were more dense trees around, and in my head I just heard Lord of the Rings music.  I had a sense of wonderment, and felt very calm and connected, just surrounded by nature.

Going to Penguins games is something I can definitely say makes me very happy.  It’s really exciting to be at the game watching everything happen.  It’s a lot of fun to be around everyone else cheering or booing along with you, with no obligation to actually talk to any of them.  Even though I have to be around large crowds of people, the excitement and happiness outweighs the feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted, and the lack of actual interaction with strangers is relieving to me.

I figure I should probably try to do more things that make me happy, after this very blah January retrospective, so I asked Jack what makes him happy and what he thinks makes me happy.

For Jack, he is happy playing games, especially with friends.  He is also happy when he drinks and plays games with friends, or drinks and talks about thought-provoking topics with friends.  Personally, hanging out with friends is fun for me, but I think it’s overall more neutral than happy because being around people, paying attention to so many conversations and reactions and anticipating if people need something (especially when we’re hosting) or watching out for when people are done with things so I can clean and get them out of the way (when hosting) makes me exhausted, and I need recovery time afterward to just stay in and not do anything.

The only new thing we could come up with that makes me happy was eating good food.  However this is not very practical to do often, as all the instances of good food where I was very happy were expensive fancy places.

In writing this and reading back through it, I think I’ve found the disconnect between when I have fun and when I’m happy.  Having fun for me is something that is very in-the-moment, but there are consequences to the fun, especially since being around people drains me.  So I can have a lot of fun but not end up being overall happy, because I’m exhausted and I need recharge time.  The cases where I’m happy are situations where I have fun but don’t get as drained, or where I get recharged (as it seems like being surrounded by nature may do, or just lazing around at home doing nothing).

So perhaps I should not be measuring purely just how happy I am?  It would be a very boring life if I was happy but not also having a lot of fun.  Maybe I should start splitting my tracker to track both mood and level of fun, and keep mood more honest to how I’m feeling overall, but also track when I had moments of fun.

I don’t really have a specific plan to make February more happy, but being aware of fun vs happiness will hopefully help me find ways to increase happiness.

So I guess the answer to what makes me happy is that I don’t know, but I’ll make sure to have fun finding out! (Wow that was so cheesy)

Healthy kitties

Jokulhaups and Dragon just came back from the vet and they are very healthy! I have to get some of Dragon’s poop for a fecal test though, not looking forward to that.

The humane society suggested a vet that covers $200 of initial exam + shots within the first two weeks per kitty. So today I have like a -$260 balance after the two exams and pre-paying the fecal test. They both have one more vaccine to get that the humane society doesn’t cover and Jokulhaups’ is on Tuesday so we get it for free but Dragon needs hers the day after the two weeks… Nooooo

They need rabies shots from the humane society in a few months then they are set! They are both asleep right now, guess the car ride was exhausting. Dragon is stretched out in my lap and I snuck a round toy onto her leg, wonder if she’ll notice when she wakes up!

More pictures to come later, my netbook power cord broke so I’m on my phone.

Cats

Mine is the black one and is named Jokulhaups.
Brownish tabby one is Allison’s and is named Dragon.


I’m pretty sure I win the name competition.

Meow

While my parents have been in Hong Kong, Jack has been taking care of my cats.  Elli is still afraid of everything, but Rhomba seems to have been warming up to Jack.  Today I watched him try to steal Jack’s milk and taco on Skype… so adorable!

Jack’s roommate was really nice and bought toys, treats and catnip for the cats.  Rhomba has been the only one to play though.  Here is a photo Jack’s roommate took of the result.

Off-schedule already…

Went to the TSA/ASA/etc. Labor Day party yesterday.  We were planning on getting on the 11:30pm bus, but there were SO many people that we didn’t end up getting there until 12:30am because not everyone could fit on the bus.  It was PACKED.  There were so many sweaty dudes all over the place.  Oh well, it was fun, and I got a good use out of my new dress!

I think I’ve ruined my sleep schedule.  I woke up in time for a lunch today, but took a nap at 6:00pm.  I meant to only sleep until 7:00pm, but that totally didn’t happen – I just got out of bed at 11:30pm.  I also didn’t get any work done today.  I think I’ll stay up late to get work done, since I seem to be most productive late at night, and sleep in tomorrow, then just do work until around midnight and try to sleep then.  I need to stop staying up until 3:00am just to talk to Jack >.>

I’m still not sure how I feel about being a senior.  I’m looking forward to graduating and living in California, but I’m scared of having to find a job first.  I’m so terrible at technical interviews.  I’m worried I’ll be a failure and not find a job at all.  But Jack said he’d support me anyway, RIGHT??? :P

I miss my cats.

EDIT: I changed the temporary theme since you (Jack) were complaining about it.  I’ll find time to make a real one featuring Piggy, probably after TOC.  Also, I guess I miss you too.