I have broken the rules of blogging and neglected to ‘post’ anything for nearly a month, it was a break well needed from writing.
Traveling was amazing, fun, exciting, scary and enlightening. Love or hate the USA, it is full of the most amazingly friendly people, awesome and diverse countryside and the biggest ‘corn dog’ I have ever seen anyone eat….
We were house sitting in the USA, so we made the most of the time and traveled around.
We visited 5 states, traveled 2500 road miles and almost 15000 air miles and boy did we feel it when we landed back in Spain.
We met amazing people, ate some great and bad food and got to see sights I have sat on my sofa at home and dreamed of seeing.
I will be blogging about our adventure!
Travel time thinking!
Travel time always gives me chance to breathe, my mind to think and contemplate stuff. This is a good and a bad thing, I love to be occupied or distracted as my mind has a funny way of being an ‘ass’ even when I am having the best time in the world.
I thought a lot about my mental illness, family, friends and the future and especially happiness.
Living in Spain is great, its quiet, warm, we are 2 minutes away from the beach, yet there is always something missing. I have never felt truly happy here, Paul describes it as I am 70% here and 30% somewhere else. I know, ungrateful, right? Wrong, its all part of the process of finding your happy and I am just starting to realize this.
Traveling and moving on to a new place every couple of days made me feel happy, I felt intensely content and relaxed. Paul said it was like the ‘old’ Katie came back.
I recently realised it was the living for the day and the moment that made me feel happy and complete.
Initially I assumed it was the nomadic lifestyle, the constant moving, the chance to forget about problems and worries, so when it dawned on me it was the ability to live for now, it was a sort of revelation.
Each day we would wake up and just think about the day ahead, where we would go, how far we had to drive….all along the way we enjoyed what we were doing, we were enjoying the journey and we were happy! We did not think about the future or next week, we just lived for the day…without really knowing it.
Now I have to say, this only became clear when I arrived back home to Spain.
Since we got back I have spent a little more time meditating (as well as sleeping) and its only when your mind is clear and open, that the obvious hits you….I am not going all ‘spiritual’ on you, but personally for me meditation is a path I intend to explore and embrace. It really has helped me get this far.
Inspired by a recent conversation with my friend ‘Abs the Original’, I started to really think about it. What is happiness? (Love you Abs)
A new year always brings a certain amount of looking back, seeing what we failed at or achieved in the previous year and it also brings with it the need to set ourselves more goals for the next 12 months.
I used to LOVE the list, giving myself a long list of what I wanted to achieve and how I could do it. Run a marathon, learn something new, start a new business, be successful….blah, blah, blah and I have to admit on the plane home I started the exact same list again this year.
As a side note; We happened to fly home on new years eve, leaving LA at 9pm and arriving back in the UK 3pm on new years day. We did not have a big countdown, the fireworks or pretending to sing ‘Auld langs syn’ (who actually knows the words). It actually felt good! We said a quiet Happy New Years to each other and spoke about how excited we were to be seeing our family….Its a new year I will always remember. No pressure, no false happiness, just living for the moment we were in….36000 feet above the earth!
OK moving on…..Since I have realised that we cannot control how happy we will feel in the future, I have deleted my ‘to do’ list for the year, I have taken away the need for my happiness to be dictated to by a future success that I am not even sure will happen and more importantly I am giving myself a break.
I liken it to looking forward to the happiness you will feel on your summer vacation, the two weeks where you will feel happy, only to get there and feel bored after three days and be frustrated that you do not feel happy. You cannot wait to get back to normality. You cannot control your future happiness, so why not just feel happy now?!
Happiness is realising you cannot control happiness.
Happiness is living the moment. Even if that means sitting at your desk on a cold Monday morning and embracing that happy feeling. You are happy because you get to go home to your family and watch trash TV for the evening!
I believe that’s when your true happy will come through, its not about being grateful for what you have, its about finding your nominal happy.
We all have a set level of happiness, some of us are pre disposed to be positive, happy people and some of us will always have a ‘grumpy b&gger’ inside that fights to come out.
Do you know scientists actually have a formula for happy?!
H = S+C+V – Now stay with me, its pretty interesting.
S = 50% Our individual ‘set point’ of happiness
C = 10% Conditions of living
V = 40% Voluntary or contribution.
So in simple terms
S = Set Point. Your happiness is 50% accountable to your personal set level or point of happiness. If you are a positive and upbeat person, your level of happiness will be greater than the miserable b&gger sitting next to you at work.
That’s fine, the miserable b&gger will still feel happy, but just not at the same level as the annoyingly hyper, happy b&gger sat next to them.
Personal example; I am a worrier with anxiety and Anorexia so my set point of happiness is sitting pretty low, this is the point at which you wake in the morning, open your eyes and deep down think about how you feel. 4 days out of 7 I feel good, even happy but the other 3 days – meh! It never used to be this way, I was a pretty, happy, positive person, but that’s life.
C = Conditions of Living. If your conditions of living are where you expect them to be then this is accountable for 10% of your happiness.
This is individual to you. For example; when I culled nearly everything materialistic from my life and I mean car, house and everything associated around this (except clothes, a few pieces of jewellery and some awesome shoes I could not possibly ditch) my level of happiness actually increased.
For you, it maybe going back to your big house, nice car and large expensive comfy sofa, that’s fine. Thankfully though its only accountable for 10%, so if you are unfortunate enough to lose it all, its not going to effect you for long – you’ll get over it!
Now this next one surprised me
V = Voluntary Contribution. Our contribution to society, voluntary work or whatever that looks like to you is actually 40% accountable to our happiness!
If you have ever raised money for charity or taken part in an event for a good cause, you will know the feeling you get from just taking part. You feel good, warm, fuzzy and happy. You feel like you have contributed in someway.
Yes it makes you feel good, but at the same time your good deed is also helping someone else in some way. Your happy and someone also benefits – awesome!
Once you realise this formula and actually start to understand what it means in your life, I believe we ALL have a chance for happiness.
Happiness = Live in the now, accept you might be a grumpy b&gger and volunteer more! SIMPLE!
For me this understanding has started my year in a positive way.
YES I am still living with anorexia, yes I still get anxious and worry BUT I now understand I have a chance at happiness and even though I will not pressure myself (as my perfectionist nature wants me too) I will think about happiness on a daily basis and not try too hard to plan my future around my happiness.
Sure we all have to plan, for us more than most as we often have no idea where we will be staying one month to the next BUT If I do plan, I will make sure I enjoy the journey along the way!
It feels natural to move from family to happiness – well for most of us anyway!
Being away from family this last four months has also helped me realize a few things.
Most people will say, they realized how much they appreciated their family and missed them and where this is absolutely true for me too, it has also made me realize you are not responsible for your families happiness.
Family are important and should be respected but you cannot carry or accept their fears. It’s ok not to agree with their views and it’s also ok to be ready to leave again and wave goodbye.
Family has the ability to make you feel guilty and you are not even sure why. I am always happy to see my family and in years gone passed I would have felt guilt around how I maybe making them feel, but on my own path to happiness, I have realized the guilt around my family is not healthy.
Going back to see our families was amazing and we enjoyed every minute of the time we spent with them, but waving goodbye again was just as amazing and welcome.
Power of Positive
I know I have gone all ‘preacher’ in this blog, but it has always been a blog about life and feelings and this is the place I am now….make the most of it?!
Happiness and positivity surely come hand in hand?
In some respect this is true, but the power of positivity and the outcome you have over its benefits is amazing.
I am contemplating positivity, so will save this for another time!
All I know is that be surrounded with positive people and people who agree with your values and outlook on life and you will reap the rewards. Visit and spend time with the people that mean something to you and never be made to feel guilty for living the life you choose.
I am still on my journey to happiness and the new year brought a certain amount of easy promises and hopeful thoughts. All I know is that I can still be happy but filled with sadness.
Anorexia still knocks on my front door, but the door at some point will be shut, locked and walked away from…..for good! Day by day is all I have.