Apparently Thursday, 3/20/14, was the International Day of Happiness. That sounds awesome. Sorry I missed it.
I didn't miss it in the sense that I was miserable all day or anything, rather I just didn't know it was happening. Celebrating happiness seems to have hit a new high ever since Pharrell's song "Happy" blew up. With its catchy tune and association with minions (the giddiest little creatures ever), that song is impossible to dislike. If you do, you're a heartless soul. You probably hate puppies, too.
Anyways, the concept of an International Day of Happiness is great. I think we should all take a moment to step back and appreciate life in its simplest forms: dancing, singing, breathing in fresh air, laughing with a friend, tasting Chipotle, etc. Don't worry -- I'm not going to write about how the concept is great, but how we shouldn't need a holiday to be happy. No, I actually mean it when I say that a holiday for happiness is great. Clearly nobody thinks that the International Day of Happiness is the only time we should reflect on the positive things in life. Just like Valentine's Day isn't the only day you should show someone you love them, Thanksgiving isn't the only day to be grateful, and St. Patrick's Day isn't the only day to drink an exorbitant amount of Guinness. Those things should happen frequently. Obviously.
Instead of debating "happy" vs. "joy" or whether or not we should have a single day dedicated to happiness, I'd like to list 24 things throughout each 24 hour period that can make anyone happy. You may fail to see them as life whizzes past, but consider this a boost towards paying attention so that your spirit will bubble over:
1. That moment when you get the shower temperature just right. You push the nozzle just teeny tiny bit up...nope, too much... a teeny tiny bit down... and barely a smidge up one more time. Ahhh. Euphoric.
2. When you're locking the door to your house and apartment and realize that you actually have a roof over your head, no matter how unideal it might be (I'm looking at you, fellow broke millennials).
3. As you walk to the car or subway and feel the wind on your skin. You're alive. You have another day to make the most of this life.
4. Being called by your first name by the cashier at your favorite morning coffee stop. Kind of embarrassing, but mostly heart-warming.
5a. When someone lets you merge in front of them and responds to your wave with a wave of their own. Waving is like hugging through your hand.
5b. City folks: When someone scoots over so you can sit on the train (Bonus: they're showered and have in headphones).
6. When someone on the elevator chats you up about the weather. Another nice person on earth! Yay!
7. Your coworker makes fun of your lunch choice, but the fact that they know your usual eating habits shows their affection for you.
8. The hilarious text your friend sends you. Maybe it's a dream she had about you. Maybe it's a really ugly picture of her face. Maybe it's the poop emoji. I hope you have friends like mine, or else this could sound weird.
9. When you figure out what's wrong with the copy machine and start thinking of yourself as the most brilliant IT professional in the world.
10. When there's no one else in the bathroom and you get a moment of silence during your otherwise hectic work day. Try not to be too unhappy if there's someone else in there, though. You're probably ruining their afternoon silence plan, too.
11. When your boss smiles at you. Score.
12. Your favorite song starts playing on your commute back home from work and you feel like the world must be on your side.
13. The gym only has one elliptical [name your machine] open and it has your name on it.
14. When you tell the cashier at the convenient store to have a great rest of the day and they look you in the eye and say the same. They meant it. They definitely meant it.
15. When New Girl, Mindy Project, or whatever happy show you watch makes you laugh out loud. By yourself. Alone in the room. Note: This is why you need to branch out from The Walking Dead and House of Cards.
16a. For relationship folks: The moment your S.O. gives you a huge hug, a kiss on the forehead, and says (s)he missed you today.
16b. For single folks: The moment your blanket covers your feet and shoulders at the same time even though you could swear it's not big enough to do that just by looking at it.
17. When you talk to someone on the phone at the end of the day. Maybe your parents. Maybe your sibling. Maybe your best friend. Just someone else in the world whose voice is coming through a wire and reminding you that you're worth holding up a plastic device to their face just so they can be with you.
19. When you realize a prayer has been answered.
20. Drinking a glass of wine and getting so relaxed that you think your face must look like Droopy's. Nothing in the world could get to you.
21. When your head hits the pillow. It's so fluffy. Like a cloud. What would clouds feel like if they were actually giant cotton balls? Like this pillow. For sure.
22. Thinking about all the bad things happening in the world and knowing that you're safe in bed with the ability to spend 30 seconds being grateful. Do that.
23. Waking up to your alarm and knowing you still get one full snooze before getting up.
24. Getting up to start another new day. Time to nail that shower temperature.
Follow Shannon Oliver on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shannythegranny