My Happiness Project

If you haven’t heard of this book, you may want to check it out.  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  As what usually happens with me, is I read something and I have a bit of a different slant on things.  I wanted to use the concept of the book to create my own little Happiness Project.  Here is what it entailed: The Objective of this list is to identify something that brings a genuine smile to my face.  Something where observing a simple little act or a gesture.  Something that very few people would notice or take notice of.  Yet if viewed can bring a bit of joy to the world.  The execution of this will be done by recording something every day that brings a bit of joy to my life.

Here is my list (for 2013):
July
1-July – relaxing on the veranda – sipping iced tea with 30c temps
2-July – seeing a flight attendant stop and smell the flowers in an airport flower shop.
3-July – going for a run and later getting a message from a friend (Chelsea) saying they saw you.
4-July – Getting on a plane and going home
5-July –  getting a new set of tires and driving with the top down.
6-July – getting a nose bleed in my yoga class and getting some very encouraging words from the instructor (Tyna).
7-July –  enjoying dinner and drinks with good friends that happen to be neighbours as well (James & Judith).
8-July – meeting up with my best friend (Rob)
9-July – having some really good laughs with my best friend’s sister (Sue)
10-July – picking my wife up and going to our first Calgary Stampede
11-July – hearing a Bob Marley tune while waiting for my latte and
– looking out at a large commercial plane and seeing the sun shine off it and wonder how it actually gets off the ground.
12-July – Helping my Parents rebuild a fence, nothing like looking at it when it’s done and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment
13-July – going to a yoga class with a friend (Meghan) that is not longer living in my home town and getting a chance to catch up on life.
14-July – hanging out and playing with my 2-year-old godson (Teagan)
15-July – having lunch with a friend (Tanya) that really makes you think and appreciate life at the same time.
16-July – practicing different languages with my best friends 10-year-old son (Yuri), and realizing how fortunate he is to have all these experiences at such an early age.
17-July – Sitting in an airport lounge with the sun on my face and a drink in my hand
18-July – being at home and getting things done
19-July – having dinner with my parents and having drinks with my neighbors.
20-July – going out for a 7 mile run and not really having a care in the world.
21-July – a sunny morning, having  latte and being able to read the newspaper
22-July – getting some extra sleep, even though it was on the plane
23-July – finding out that someone in my hometown anonymously bought 500 coffees for the next 500 people at a Tim Horton’s
24-July – going for a short but sweet little run
25-July – Having a snuggling cat by my side while watching TV
26-July – Having an awesome yoga class (with Leanne).
27-July – Playing with my 2-year-old god-son (Teagan) and seeing the playground through his eyes.
28-July – going out for a drive with my wife in the country with the top down on the convertible.
29-July – having a good nap on the Monday morning flight to work.
30-July – having my yoga instructor compliment me
31-July – meeting up with some friends/co-workers for dinner and a drink
August
1-Aug – Sitting out on the veranda having a mojito with the mint leaves from the mint plant in the garden.
2-Aug – Having plans with friends fall through, only to have neighbors drop by to make for a wonderful evening
3-Aug – Going to the Edmonton Heritage Festival
4-Aug – Going to my Godson’s (Odin) 1 month party.
5-Aug – Getting an extra day at home – Thank you long weekends !
6-Aug – Having a little oink-fest at sushi restaurant.
7-Aug – Going to a yoga class and having the instructor tell you after class that you were very strong in your practice.
8-Aug – Going to Miracle Treat Day and getting a DQ Blizzard.
9-Aug – Opening up the front door for the cat to look out… to find a young man in a suit standing there, he says “Hello!”. I am surprised to see someone there… I say “You frightened the Hell out of me…” He stands there with a Bible and a copy of “Awake”… I’m thinking…can we have a do-over ?
10-Aug – Sharing a delicious plate of smoked ribs and beef brisket with my wife.
11-Aug – Watching an amazing Lightening storm from the front veranda
12-Aug – Goofing around with a co-worker(Ken)
13-Aug – Going down a 110m vertical and 500m horizontal zip line, reaching 120Km/h !
14-Aug – Sitting on a patio with my oldest friend(Rob) and laughing like we did 30 years ago.
15-Aug –
16-Aug – Going to my favorite auto detailing shop and the owner takes me around the shop to show off the cars they are working on.
17-Aug – Going to the dealership to make a service appointment for my car and finding my dream car (Ferrari 458 Spider)
18-Aug – Getting my lawn mowed minutes before heavy rain.
19-Aug – Having my flight canceled, seated beside a screaming child, and then getting to the rental car lot to find a convertible waiting for me.
20-Aug – Going for a long run and wishing it was a bit longer.
22-Aug – Travelling home to have dinner outside.
23-Aug – Home-made salsa.
24-Aug – Cold Martinis on a warm summer day.
25-Aug – Mini-donuts
26-Aug – 6 mile run
27-Aug – Another 6 mile run
28-Aug – “I have a dream…” That I live in a time where we are free to say it and act upon it. MLK Jr Day.
30-Aug – Getting a speeding ticket, I know it doesn’t make most people happy, but the fact is it was done in a convertible.
31-Aug – Getting a pedi.
September
1-Sept – a run, mojitos, and steak for dinner
2-Sept – turning my face towards the warm sun
3-Sept – creating my journal/blog
4-Sept – yoga class with one of my fave teachers.
5-Sept – enjoying indian summer
6-Sept – 7 mile run
7-Sept – Getting together with friends from High School.
8-Sept – Spending time with my godsons.
9-Sept – 7 mile run
10-Sept – Missing my Aunt Gay.
11-Sept – Marvelling at the innovation and wonderful ideas of youth.
12-Sept – Thankful for the concierge, iPad left on plane (whoops)
13-Sept – More BBQing
14-Sept – wandering around a corn maze with my 2 year old godson.
15-Sept – Steak and Lobster dinner at my parents.
16-Sept – Understanding what is important by watching what others fret over
17-Sept – Dinner and wine with my best friend
18-Sept – Dinner with a bunch of co-workers – drinks for everyone !
19-Sept –
20-Sept –
21-Sept – 6 mile run
22-Sept – Getting invited out to breakfast.
25-Sept –
26-Sept – Christmas decorations are out in store(s) – Crappy Tire at least.
27-Sept – Japanese dinner host by my mum.
28-Sept – Attending a corporate event and getting to watch the horse races.
29-Sept – Grateful for not having to pack a suitcase today.
30-Sept – Enjoying some very yummy mexican food
October
1-Oct – Riding my familiar bus (aka: the Dash-8)
2-Oct – Yoga.
3-Oct – Getting to see John Cleese on stage.
4-Oct – Sushi.
5-Oct – Wine by the case (sale), you say ?
6-Oct – A 0.02 mile run, or at least that what MapMyRun says 🙂
7-Oct – People watching @ YEG (again).
8-Oct – Clearing my mind in a yoga class.
9-Oct – A run and sushi.
10-Oct – Hearing a symphony orchestra play Oh Canada.
11-Oct – Canadian Thanksgiving dinner in the SF Bay Area.
12-Oct – Getting invited out to dinner in Tiburon
13-Oct – A 7 mile run in Tiburon
14-Oct – Flying home from SF – mixed emotions.
15-Oct –
16-Oct – Trying a new place to eat with some friends/co-workers
17-Oct – Re-qualifying for top tier status.
18-Oct – Making King crab dinner for us.
19-Oct – NAIT friends gathering.
20-Oct – Fondly remembering my wonderful dentist (Dr. Yeung).
21-Oct –
22-Oct –
23-Oct – unhappiness – waking up @ 3a with a sore throat and knowing a cold is coming on.
24-Oct – Travelling home to nurse myself out of this cold
25-Oct – making myself a blueberry tea.
26-Oct – Having Steak and Lobster dinner.
27-Oct – Putting the finishing touches on my work in YYC
28-Oct – Overhearing a conversation where one person rats out another.
29-Oct – Writing my blog
30-Oct – Dinner out with some wonderful friends in YYC
31-Oct – Halloween !
November
1-Nov – Sending all the left-over Halloween candy into the office and letting the co-workers have it.
2-Nov – Focusing in my yoga class
3-Nov – Packing my bags for a new work assignment
4-Nov – Hanging in my nations capital
5-Nov – Having dinner with a co-worker that I haven’t seen in 8 years.
6-Nov – Found my new fave burger joint (in Ottawa).
7-Nov – Airport funness – running into prior co-workers in the lounge
8-Nov – Home-made Lasagna !
9-Nov – Likely the last time I’ll see gas prices below $1.00/Liter in my lifetime.
10-Nov – The coming Winter and Pho season !
11-Nov – Remembering all of the fallen that have fought for a better life for all of us.
12-Nov –
13-Nov – Meeting up with a school friend (elementary, Jr, High and High School), in Ottawa.
14-Nov – Meeting up with another school friend in the lounge, what a great week.
15-Nov – Getting back into my painting.
16-Nov – Pedicures are awesome.
17-Nov – Getting to work from home.
18-Nov – Being missed by my YYC Friends having sushi.
19-Nov – Having our neighbour clearing my snowy side-walks – the dad not the son who we hired.  So I offered him up a beer for his hard work.  I’d do the same for the son if he was old enough.
20-Nov – Going out for mid-week dinner with my wife (may seem odd, but if you work out of town, it’s a treat)
21-Nov – Printing my boarding pass for my vacation
22-Nov – Leaving the snow behind, and arriving in the tropical wonderfulness of Hawaii.
23-Nov – Opening the cupboard to find a can of Spam
24-Nov – Using the BBQ to grill the ingredients for Salsa
25-Nov – Making Guacamole with fresh Avos
26-Nov – 7 mile run, fresh fish and krispy kreme donuts.
27-Nov – Watching the sunset from 5000 feet on the side on a mountain
28-Nov – 5 mile run, making salsa and having US Thanksgiving dinner
29-Nov – Driving up Haleakalā,(“house of the sun”) at 10,000 feet above sea level.
30-Nov – Going to my favourite Hawaiian island (Kauai)
December
1-Dec – Ahi Burrito
2-Dec – 4.5 mile run and making pineapple salsa to have with grilled mahi mahi.
3-Dec – 5 mile run in paradise.
4-Dec – Taking my wife shopping to Macy’s
5-Dec – 5 mile run and lunch with my godsons.  Dinner with two special friends that live in Kauai
6-Dec – Watching a Christmas Parade (Hawaiian Style)
7-Dec – Celebrating my Dad’s birthday with the godsons.
8-Dec – Sunday brunch – Eggs Benedict with Ahi 
9-Dec – 7 mile run, Siamin and a Sunset cruise with my family.
10-Dec – More time with the godsons
11-Dec – Wandering around a farmers market and marveling at the goodness, not only in the fruits and veg, but the people.
12-Dec – 7.5 mile run with the warm Hawaiian sun.
13-Dec – Road closed due to crash, what do you do ?  Have a drink at Plantation House that makes great a Mai Tai. Meeting/making new friends along the way.
14-Dec – Hanging in the pool with the godsons.  Plunges when you are 2.5 yrs old are the most thrilling thing ever !
15-Dec – Summertime sadness… leaving Hawaii.
16-Dec – Clocking a new personal record: 5,029 miles and 6 airports in 24 hours.
17-Dec – Wondering what time it really is.
18-Dec – Being welcomed home by my little furry critter.
19-Dec – It’s the most wonderful music of the year.. The Christmas concert with the ESO.
20-Dec – First yoga class in a few weeks.
21-Dec – Hamburger soup simmering on the stove, and going out for Wonton soup on a cold day.
22-Dec – Drinks with the neighbours and  having this cuddly pup curled up next to me.
23-Dec – Painting – creating something for my mother-in-law.
24-Dec – Christmas eve
25-Dec – Christmas
26-Dec – Boxing day movie with family
27-Dec – Relaxing from all the Holiday festivities and maybe even a nap.
28-Dec – Hanging with some wonderful friends from NAIT.
29-Dec – The smell of Beef Barley soup simmering on the stove.
30-Dec – Reflecting on my year of travel… Quite the year… worked or visited the following… YYC, LAX, PSP, HKG, BKK, REP, CNX, KBV, SFO, YOW, OGG, LIH. with connections in YVR, HNL and YYZ.
31-Dec – New Years Eve enjoyed quiet at home
January
1-Jan –  New Years day dinner.
2-Jan –
3-Jan –
4-Jan – Painting a ton of dots, and having it turn out better than I thought.
5-Jan – Ice storms and diverted flight mean chance to watch people at their finest.
6-Jan – After helping out a fellow traveler from the previous night, received a very warm thank you.
7-Jan –
8-Jan –
9-Jan – Delayed flight and getting to hang out with a co-worker
10-Jan –  Sleeping in my own bed
11-Jan – Perogy dinner night
12-Jan –
13-Jan – getting reacquainted with with an old friend over dinner
14-Jan – Finding a new yoga studio
15-Jan – Waking up early and going for a long run (on a treadmill) but that still counts
16-Jan – Baroque’s greatest hits – Concert with the ESO
17-Jan – discovering a new style of painting (with a chopstick)
18-Jan – Having a fire in the fireplace and having my wife and cat snoozing in the warmth
19-Jan – Overheard as a young boy explains the real world logic to his dad… “If planes were meant to crash into buildings, then they’d be made much tougher….” Love kids with vivid imagination
20-Jan – Getting invited out to a friends house for dinner
21-Jan – Going out for a walk on a cold winter evening and seeing people
22-Jan – Crafting a blog entry
23-Jan – People watching at the YOW MLL
24-Jan – Creating a starburst painting that will later be donated for a charity silent auction
25-Jan – a friendly face on a travel day.
26-Jan –
27-Jan –
28-Jan –
29-Jan – Teen Mar-toonies (maybe just two martinis, but laughs over them are good)
30-Jan – fondly remembering my friend Walter.
31-Jan – hearing very kind words from my stylist (Micki).
February
1-Feb – Running errands and enjoying it.
2-Feb – Having lunch with someone that really matters to me.
3-Feb – silently but attentively watching how others interact
4-Feb – enjoying my yoga on a cold evening
5-Feb – Creating a blog entry and having a friend repost it.
6-Feb – Visiting with my travel buddy.
7-Feb – Watching the Sochi a Winter Olympic opening ceremonies
8-Feb – bring sick at home and painting
9-Feb – Having my Bird of Paradise plant bloom
10-Feb – Going to one of my fave burger joints
11-Feb – Getting a $5 bill with a drawing of Spock over Sir Wilfrid Laurier
12-Feb – Catching up with a friend – an unexpected invite 
13-Feb – going home
14-Feb – seeing my donated painting fetching $300 at a silent auction
15-Feb – Sushi
16-Feb – What’s up Doc ? – Bugs Bunny on Broadway concert.
17-Feb – Arriving early
18-Feb – Burger and fries
19-Feb – Finding a great story on TED
20-Feb – getting into a comfy bed after a long journey home.
21-Feb – Dreaming of spring (painting)
22-Feb – getting things done, and having a partner to do that with.
23-Feb – finishing a painting for my parents
24-Feb – Viewing some Karsh Portraits, and trying to imitate Winston Churchill
25-Feb –
26-Feb – An unscheduled stop while flying home, love upgrades
27-Feb – Music by Gershwin
28-Feb – Having my name spelled correctly on my coffee cup.
March
1-Mar – Movie night — watching The LEGO Movie – “Everything is Awesome…”
2-Mar – playing with my godsons
3-Mar – “We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world…”
4-Mar – Going out for a stroll in our nations capital.
5-Mar –
6-Mar – Getting better at folding myself into an airline seat.
7-Mar – Dinner out with my wife
8-Mar – a surprise birthday party for an old friend
9-Mar – Not having to leave home for work this week.
10-Mar – Enjoying sleeping in my own bed.
11-Mar – Pedi-time
12-Mar – experimenting with my painting
13-Mar – spending an evening just chillin’ on the sofa with my family.
14-Mar – Taking our neighbours out for dinner for their anniversary (20th)
15-Mar – Trying a new place to eat, a diner !
16-Mar – getting to sit beside a very interesting fellow traveller (future friend)
17-Mar – Watching drunk people in gaudy green clothing
18-Mar – The power of disconnection – TED talk.
19-Mar – Having some friends save me a seat at a sushi bar, even though I’m not in the same city.
20-Mar – waking up early and going for a run (inside on a treadmill), but still feeling like it was worth it.
21-Mar – Friday morning stretch and maybe a few giggles
22-Mar –
23-Mar – Getting a video texted to me of my friend and his 11 year old son skiing, and wishing I could be there.
24-Mar –
25-Mar –
26-Mar – Indian buffet, always a dangerous place to be.
27-Mar – Remembering 19 years ago to a beach on Kauai where we said “I do”
28-Mar – a belated anniversary dinner of sushi
29-Mar – Painting bubbles.
30-Mar – A chance meeting with an old high school friend in the airport. Too bad we are heading different directions 
31-Mar – At one of my fave burger joints having a “Crappy Tire” (love that name)
April
1-Apr – Loving the hot box tonight 
2-Apr – World Autism Day and seeing the Parliament lit up in blue. 
3-Apr – Good morning sunshine
4-Apr – Going to see my parent for the first time in over two months.
5-Apr – Dinner and some bevvies with my NAIT friends
6-Apr – #LivingTheDream
7-Apr – Invited out to Quiz/Trivia night from a co-worker.
8-Apr – Cold day Pho
9-Apr – Birthday celebration for a co-worker.
10-Apr – heading home
11-Apr – “… Because I’m happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof..” first ride in the Convertible this year
12-Apr – Tip-toe through the tulips… Avec moi!  A new painting
13-Apr – Anniversary lunch for my parents
14-Apr – a 3.5 mile run around Parliament, in the rain
15-Apr – Stretching and dripping
16-Apr – Coming home early for a long weekend
17-Apr – Washing cars on the driveway.
18-Apr – Pho
19-Apr – Rings of red, white and gold painting.
20-Apr – a 4 mile run at home.
21-Apr – Getting to sit north of the curtain (ie: business class)
22-Apr – Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday. Who could hang a name on you? When you change with every new day. Still I’m gonna miss you…
23-Apr – Going out for dinner with a new friend
24-Apr – creating a blog entry – What matters
25-Apr – a two painting night
26-Apr – Selling my first painting.
27-Apr – getting a laugh from my critter watching a squirrel
28-Apr – Running around Ottawa (6.7 mile run)
29-Apr – Trying some new restaurants in Ottawa, and then having a latte.
30-Apr – Going to yoga and thinking I want to die, and feeling surprisingly good afterwards.
May
1-May – 900,000 miles
2-May – Having some old High School friends over for dinner.
3-May – Dim sum
4-May – Happy Star Wars Day
5-May – Happy Cinco de Mayo, and watching all the drunk people
6-May – Heard this quote from an old friend, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” Apropos don`t you think
7-May – Trying some Ethiopian food (for the first time)
8-May – Arriving home (YEG) and daylight persists (love the longer days that come with summer approaching)
9-May – Wondering if the Yard-work fairies will magically make it all look pretty
10-May – Getting cuddles from my cat.
11-May – Finding humour on a door hanger.
12-May – Getting a message from a friend saying they miss you.
13-May – Having a delicious meal of Trout and enjoying some fabulous company
14-May – Taking a taxi to the airport (in Ottawa) and seeing thousands of tulips in bloom
15-May – Watching a silent movie with live orchestra music
16-May –
17-May – Painting some tulips for my cousin
18-May – Going for Pho and having the “Age of Aquarius” elevator mix in the background.
19-May –
20-May – Remembering watching the TV show “Six Million Dollar Man” – just think about that sound-effect !
21-May – Go out for a run and seeing some amazing tulips.
22-May – Waiting for an upgrade with a friend and having her sing to me , Destiny’s Child – Say my name
23-May – Being able to donate blood after a year hiatus.
24-May –
25-May – Going out for a 7 mile run (in Edmonton)
26-May – Going out for another 7 mile run (this time in Ottawa)
27-May – Having a delicious burger at my fave burger joint in Ottawa
28-May – Seeing someone walk down the street with a wine skin (retro or what)
29-May – Dinner out with some friend (last dinner in Ottawa on this project)
30-May – Having some old High School friends drop by unexpectedly (and maybe a little drunk too)
31-May –
June
1-June – Going for some comfort food (Burgers) – Yum
2-June –
3-June –
4-June – Getting a pre-vacation pedi
5-June – Having a chance encounter – running into an old friend that I haven`t seen in close to 20 years.
6-June – Packing my rollerbag again, this time with flip-flops, shorts and swim trunks
7-June – Home in the morning, Hawaii in the evening.
8-June – Nothing like a 5 mile run to start a vacation, especially when you get to look off at the ocean
9-June – A 7 mile run to start the day, followed by fresh fruit (Mango, Papaya, Pineapple) with a glorious sunset to end the day.
10-June – Getting a Stand-Up Paddleboard lesson and cruising along with the Honu (turtles)
11-June – Going from Sea-level to 10,000 feet and then capturing the sunset via time-lapse
12-June – Having an awesome meal and watching the sunset in Maui
13-June – Trying some Food Trucks in Maui, you never know unless you go.
14-June – Packing up our souvenirs and our memories, and getting ready to take the red-eye back home.
15-June – Reunited with my little critter !
16-June – Enjoying the comforts of home after being away on a vacation.
17-June – Getting out for a 4.25 mile run to shake off those holiday blues
18-June – Stopped to help a young mom, who had locked her keys and 2 year old son, in her running vehicle.
19-June – The Princess Bride board game – “You Killed my Father, Prepare to Die !”
20-June – Trying a new BBQ place, I ♥ BBQ.
21-June – Hanging out on the veranda, enjoying the sweet summer temps and sun, on the longest day of the year.
22-June –
23-June – Enjoying my 7 mile run.
24-June – Feeling shitty about forgetting my mothers birthday, good thing she was on vacation.
25-June – Doing an 8.2 mile run.  Working my way back up to double digits.
26-June – Trying some Ethiopian food (in my home town)
27-June – Putting my 15 year old car up for sale. Bittersweet.
28-June – Wondering how my clothes dryer is the most mysterious appliance I’ve every owned. In the 14 years that I’ve owned it, there hasn’t been a single shirt that has come out of it that isn’t inside-out ! 
29-June – Having dim sum on a rainy Sunday
30-June –

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