If It Makes You Happy…

As Happiness Happens Month draws to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on some of the things that have made me happy this month.

Originally, I’d planned to write about the guilt of happiness, but it seemed contradictory to be talking about not being happy, about being happy. I find it difficult to be openly happy when others are so openly unhappy. It feels to me a bit like metaphorically screaming it in someone’s face, and that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. However, having deep-dived into this, I’ve come to realise that this is most likely linked to anxiety and depression, and the expectation that if something good happens, it’ll soon be taken away.

For those of us who have been working from home for the last (almost) six months, in many ways it feels like time has stood still. And for many of us experiencing mental health issues, it’s given us a lot of quiet time with our own thoughts that we weren’t prepared for. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt the wave of depression rolling up, ready to come crashing down on me again. It’s probably been inevitable. This year has been a voyage of self-discovery on a stormy sea for many of us..

The thought of writing a closing post for Happiness Happens Month wasn’t something I was rushing to do. However, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the things that have made me happy in August.

  • Seeing my family for the first time in six months. I really needed this! One of the things I love most is the time spent just being silly with my nieces and nephew. Also, I cannot forget about Seamus! Seamus is my sister’s dog. And in case it hasn’t been clear enough in previous posts, I LOVE dogs!
  • Dogs! Dogs are the best! Anyone who says dogs shouldn’t have their own social media account is wrong. 
  • Finally getting the Japanese Royal Milk Tea I ordered 5 months ago!
  • Having the time to have some really excellent conversations with friends.
  • Regular humans of code calls! We’ve had pretty much weekly Zoom calls since the beginning of lockdown. Given that we were essentially three strangers at the beginning of this, I think it’s a true testament to our commitment to making this work. 
  • Getting a haircut! Oh my word, that was long overdue! I just got that done this morning, so I’m still enjoying my head feeling lighter and cooler than it has done in months!
  • My four year old niece, doing a ridiculous dance on TikTok! This makes me laugh too much! 

Some of these things seem trivial in the grand scheme of things. I think that’s where a lot of my guilt about being happy comes from. What I always try to keep in mind though, is that it’s all relative. What seems trivial to one person, might be the only good thing that happened to someone else in a long time. We don’t know what’s going on in anyone else’s head, so if having a nice cup of tea is what makes you happy, then go ahead and enjoy it! Then have another one. Sometimes you’ve just got to do whatever it takes to get you through the day.

I find it really useful to reflect on what’s happened over the last few weeks, as I often get mentally stuck on one thing that annoyed me, or something that didn’t go as planned. Reflecting on the things that have made me happy has led me to instagram to watch the video of my 9 year old niece realising I’d crept into her house to surprise her. It reminded me of some of the conversations I’ve had with friends. It made me go off and watch that video on TikTok again! It made me send a cute puppy pic to someone. And these things have made me happy all over again. 

Reflection also helps me to put all the other stuff into perspective. Who cares if someone was a bit of arse? I’m not going to let the actions of one person impact my mood. Well….. I’m certainly going to try not to!

I hope you can think of a few things that have brought you happiness recently. They can be all too easy to forget. When they do happen though, make a note of them. It doesn’t matter how small they are. Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact.

Take care of yourselves!


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Debi Skea
Debi Skea

Director & Co-Founder at Humans of Code

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