My morning normally begins before the dawn breaks. Felix wakes us up between 5 and 6am most days, letting us know he’s awake with his happy morning coos. As quietly as I can muster – which, if we’re being honest, isn’t very quiet after all (sorry Dave) – I hop out of bed, pick up Felix, find my dressing gown, tip toe to the living room and put on the kettle. I change Felix’s nappy, give him some cuddles, and then pop him on the playmat while I make a cup of tea and sit down in Mum and Dad’s rocking chair.
I will often then check emails, read a chapter of my book, make eyes and coo with Felix, and sip on my tea as I wait to watch the sun rise. It’s become this beautiful ritual that I’ve so enjoyed, and begun to look forward to. Life right now doesn’t allow for many moments of peace or time to myself (which is something I greatly treasure and miss), so making this time each morning count really makes a difference to how I approach the rest of the day.
I read a book last year called ‘The Happiness Project’, by Gretchen Rubin. It was one of my favourite books of the year – I have seen it change my attitude towards a lot of different things, and it has helped me approach life from a happier and more grateful place.
As silly as it sounds, one of the biggest things I came away with from the book was to go after what makes me happy. From small things, to the big things. If an organised home makes me happy, then make sure my house is organised. If being outdoors makes me happy, then get outdoors. If switching off from technology, and really engaging with the people around me makes me happy, then turn off! But sometimes those simplest things can be the most difficult ones to action. I am a lazy person by nature. I leave things to the last minute; I will sometimes walk past something on the floor for a few days(!) before I pick it up, and I fall back on bad habits more often than not because it’s easier to stay seated, and be complacent, than to look up from my phone, get outside and do what really makes me happy. It’s funny that doing what truly lights us up inside can often be the stuff that takes the most energy (but, once we do that activity, don’t we all feel energised?!).
I know that life is not all about happiness. But for me, learning about happiness, is also teaching me about a lot of other things in life. I feel like questioning my own happiness has started a cascade of learning about life. We are a quarter of the way through the year, and I have never been more excited. Not because life is perfect, but because I feel a stirring in my soul; to get out of my seat, to not be complacent. To waking up to the world and taking an active part in life. So here is to enjoying those too-early mornings, finding the good in the hard, and getting out of our seats to do what really makes us happy.