One Happy Thing

September 30, 2019

“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world to do what we want, and it takes the greatest kind of courage.”
Ayn Rand

Do you agree or disagree with this quote?

For the most part, I agree, though I know different personality types may not have as much trouble embracing enjoyment as I do. I mostly feel like I have to “get everything else done” before I can have fun.

While we were on vacation, our pattern was to get up fairly early and explore all day, then find our lodging and have an early night. Every night, we had several hours to do what we liked. I noticed that in the evenings when we were tucked into our hotel rooms, I had a hard time settling down to relax. I’d write in my trip journal, plan the next day’s activities, then read or sketch. No kitchen to clean up, no laundry to fold, or writing project to take one more look at. It took me several days to feel comfortable with the added pleasure of a free evening after spending all day engaged in the happy activities of exploring new places. Maybe because I went from one extreme to another. The past few weeks at home have been long on work and short on happiness.

I don’t want to fall into that pattern again, so I’m instituting a new practice. Each week, I’m going to schedule “One Happy Thing”—something that I will do strictly for my own pleasure. This week it’s “ride Tank” (he’s so much better he can be ridden at the walk!). Next week, it might be “have a pumpkin spice latte,” or “watch a movie on Netflix you’ve been meaning to see.” I’m writing it into a specific space in my planner, alongside “pay bills, return library books, and work on writing projects.” Otherwise, it might not get done, because it’s just too easy to put off pleasure when things get busy (and when aren’t things busy?). 

While I enjoy at least 90 percent of my work, now I’ll have something to look forward to intended strictly for pleasure, no matter how busy my week. One happy thing. How hard can that be?

Do you find it hard to do what you enjoy? Do you put off pleasure until everything else is done? 

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  1. Kathy I am with you...all my work needs to be done before I do happy things. :(! I am thinking there is something wrong in this thought. I like your idea of planning a fun treat at least once a week...think that needs to be done in my planner too. Thanks as always for your great posts. Glad to read Tank is doing well and you are going to take a ride. Stay safe friend.

    1. Debbie--Is your work ever really done?! Mine never seems to be. That's why I'm going to sneak that Happy Thing into the planner! Hope you do the same. And thanks for your kind thoughts.