My Five Happiness Non-Negotiables

I was not so  recently tagged by one of my favourite humans, Sarah, over at Forget Me Knit to participate in the Happiness Non-Negotiables blog post. And since it was such a sweet idea with such happy incentives, I thought I’d jump on the band wagon, because it’s the sweetest idea and we need more happy in our lives.

I like being happy. I think it makes the world a better place. Two weeks ago, a gent in a BMW on the local ring road drove into the back of me during my commute to work at 7am and I remember feeling furious. Stepping out of the car and talking to the most apologetic human being I’ve ever met, I realised; there are worse things that could happen. He text me later that day and said “Thank you for being the nicest person I could have bumped into” and it made me smile. Life is what you make it, after all.

So, here goes.

Number One: My Weekends

No…ahem…Sherlock, I hear most of you cry. But seriously. Nath and I are away from Darcey 5 days a week. Weekends are literally sacred in our house. It’s not about missing the daily grind or anything like that – we actually set a 7.30am alarm every day of the weekend, so that we don’t miss out on minutes! If we shun you or make an excuse for not meeting up with you then please, don’t be offended. It’s one of two things: we are probably actually genuinely busy because we cram every last second of our time with activities. Or, we just don’t want to share our time with our Bug in that moment. It’s not us being selfish, we’re just trying to make up for lost time when we’d rather have been with her for the five days previous. It’s hard, trying to keep friends and family happy when actually, happiness is solitude in our little team of four. We adore those around us, but Team Reed is where it’s at for us, and that time is not being wasted on anyone except our baby girl.

Number Two: My (Todd) Family

I’m the eldest of six children, as most of you know, and four of us already have small persons of our own. Whenever I can I try to see these chaps, and their little humans because life just gets in the way of catching up. We have a lot of the same annual passes as my sister Gina so this often gives us the perfect excuse to get out in the fresh air and see some of our beautiful nephews. Since having Darcey, I’ve also gotten increasingly close with my brilliant Mum and we like to make sure we take her out with us as often as possible. God knows she’s given up enough for us over the last 29 years, I figured it’s about time we start looking after her back. That often means we see my youngest sister, Meg, too, who Darcey loves (in spite of calling her ‘Meh’!). My brother, Harris, has moved away with his girlfriend to Norwich which has been the weirdest thing because it’s odd going so long without catching up with one of us, but whenever they are back, we clear the diary and hang out. We semi-regularly do Todd-Family games nights which are always brilliant fun and usually involve a portion of wine…or four.

Number Three: QT with Nath

I’m still yet to leave Darcey overnight (it’s coming up for the first time in a couple of weeks so I don’t even want to talk about it) but he’s been my best mate for the last twelve years and Darcey doesn’t even vaguely change that so we try to make sure we get the occasional time together, too. Once again, my brilliant Mum generally facilitates this. We’ve started doing an A-Z of dates, which I’m going to blog about in the coming months and we’ve taken alternate letters to surprise each other with, each time liaising with Mum about making sure Darcey is with one of her favourites, still. Some of them will be family dates but mostly they will be just Nath and I. Team Reed is only getting better with the addition of our Reedling but it’s really important to us to put aside some time for us once a month or so.

Number Four: My Job

This is a bit of a weird one because, at times, it’s also the bane of my life. But. I love my job. I feel privileged to be a teacher and to (occasionally) inspire minds blah blah blah. But it’s not about that. I don’t do things by halves. I worked my bum off for over four years, right up until the day I was 39 weeks pregnant with Darcey and I cried when I left school on my final day out of sheer fear that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without teaching. I went back to work fairly quickly after having Darcey, just under eight months later and, although it killed me to leave Darcey, I was desperate to get back to History and get back to doing a job that I loved. A happy compromise would be doing this part-time but it’s not to be at the moment. I always said that if, when I went back to teaching after having Darcey, I wasn’t doing it as well as I did before then I’d simply find another profession. I take huge pride in what I do and teaching isn’t an ordinary job – I’m never going to do something that negatively affects the children I teach so I’d just have to not do it. I’m off to France & Belgium in a few days for our annual WWI Battlefields tour and it’s the epitome of why I do what I do. So, as much as it takes over my life at points, I genuinely don’t know what I’d do without it.

Number Five: The Office: An American Workplace

This one’s ridiculous, but the rest are serious so I thought I’d throw this in to lighten the mood! Nath and I are OBSESSED with the American Office. We have Seasons 1-9 on DVD and have probably watched them somewhere between 8-10 times over. We don’t watch TV but this is one of the only things where we will sit for a couple of hours on a Saturday night watching back to back episodes and belly-laughing. Not a day goes by where one, or both of us doesn’t make an Office reference or quote and it always leaves us satisfied and smiling (‘That’s what she said’) so our little Happy Places owe a lot to Michael Scott and Dunder Mifflin. If you haven’t checked it out, take my word for it and watch. Push through the dodgy production and camera work of Season One and you’ll be crying with laughter from then on in.

 

So that’s it. I don’t need anything fancy to keep me happy; I’ve got it all right here, but it’s nice to stop and take stock of it from time to time – thanks for the incentive, Sarah! I’m not going to tag anyone in case people don’t fancy doing it but if you want to give it a go, consider yourself virtually tagged!

 

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