100 Happy Days: The End.

Day100ATGFINAL{Day 100: Sunshine.}

It’s the end of 100 consecutive days of happiness. Well, at least when it comes to the 100 Happy Days Challenge. I finished last week!

What a truly unique and enlightening experience.

As I mentioned when we checked in on the first 50 days, you really can find joy in your day no matter what type of day you’re having – if you only stop and pay attention. I think this is what taking on this practice re-iterates. I’ve had some tough times hit during those 100 days, yet I still made it a point to always find the silver-lining; be it in the sun beaming down on my face, enjoying an afternoon treat, starting a new book, or trying out a new nail polish. It’s about the small things.

One of the reasons that I started blogging was to celebrate and document my life, my world. It’s made me a better person for it. My eyes are always on the look-out for excitement, happiness, lessons learned, and new experiences (if only because it helps with writer’s block and gives me something to blog about!).

So as I wrap up this part of my journey, I hope to continue to grow into the type of person always looking for authentic joy.

Thanks for indulging me! Here are posts #51 through #100. Moments I look back on fondly.

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100 Happy Days: The 1st 50

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I’m nearing the end of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, with 9 days left to go! By nature, I always try to find gratitude in my life and in every situation, even when things aren’t going so well. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever sulk because I certainly can, and do. But even during those times, I make it a point to always find a piece of joy in the day and be grateful for it. (Then I might feel better and move on, or continue to sulk – it just depends). 🙂

So the challenge for me wasn’t so much in finding something to smile about everyday, but remembering to document it and keep track of what day I was on! And even though I’ve spent much of my time over the last few years really being mindful about finding the joy in the little things, this was still different. Over the last 91 days, I’ve had to consciously stop at least once in the day to think about what I wanted my 100 Happy Days post to be, while also being completely accountable at consistency. And that’s where the challenge lies, to keep going no matter what type of day (or series of days) you’re having. You’re still looking for that moment that brought even the tiniest sprinkle of happiness, snapping a picture, and posting it. Every. Single. Day. For 100 days.

Admittedly, there was one day where I took the picture, but forgot to post it. (Doh!) I simply put it up on Twitter first thing the next morning when I realized I’d forgotten, found a new post for that day later in the afternoon, and kept going.

I thought it would be fun to look back at the 1st 50 days on the challenge and reminisce. Interestingly (though not surprisingly), it seems many of my days find that moment of joy when there’s good food or iced vanilla lattes involved (don’t judge!). But, I also adore the simplicity of many of the posts – I’m not necessarily out doing anything big or special. I can clearly see that joy did and does come in the small things most days. It’s in looking up at the sky admiring that trademark LA sunshine through the trees and clouds, it’s starting a new book on my kindle, smelling a beautiful bouquet of roses that my boyfriend gave me, drinking a cup of tea, or watching an old movie.

I’m proud to say, I can see the finish line just a few more days ahead. I look forward to sharing the last 50 days with you when I complete the challenge in early July.

This has truly been a great exercise in finding happiness in my day, every day. Here are the moments from Day #1 to Day #50 that made me smile!

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Highlights

Day82

{Day 82: Not a bad view while running errands on a gorge Saturday afternoon. I sure do love palm trees, high in a clear blue sky.}

Not to be a “Negative Natalie,” but this was a pretty lousy week if I’m totally honest. Boooo! (Let me take a moment to re-iterate that…BOOOO!) And it certainly didn’t help that I spent much of my free time reading (which is one of my favorite ways to unwind) the worst book possible guaranteed NOT to cheer you up, The Fault in Our Stars. What a devastatingly beautiful story though, a book that makes you laugh out loud then cry 5 pages later. I finished it a few nights ago. One of the main things that I’ll take away from Hazel and Augustus’ tragic situation is that any human being walking this planet with their health in good standing is richer than a millionaire. It was also a reminder to make the most of your time here on Earth, surrounding yourself around those that love you, that will always be there for you…even on the days when you’re not your best self.

I’ve been debating when to see the film, if I’m ready to re-live the devastation and beauty again so soon. I can already tell that I won’t like the movie as much as the book (but isn’t that always the case?), though I’m always curious how books translate to the big screen. Perhaps I should give myself some distance before taking the plunge to see the film. Then again, perhaps I should just get it over with. Better to already be in the middle of a not so great mood when seeing a film like this, than being super chipper only to crash two hours later after seeing such a depressing movie, ruining the rest of your day.

But enough about my less than stellar week. Time to look ahead to the weekend (THANK GOD). I have a few fun things to look forward to. I plan to welcome the first day of summer with a gorgeous early morning hike. The goal being to remove myself a bit from the city to enjoy nature, take a few deep breaths, and re-energize my mood after such a crappy week (oops, there’s “Natalie” again). I’m also super excited to finally check out the much hyped about LA Chapter since the big Ace Hotel renovation downtown. (Not to worry boys and girls, I’ll report back if this place is worth the hype!)

And of course, I’m ready for a new read. Let’s just say it’ll be lighter in tone after The Fault In Our Stars.

Transitioning to more positive things – the 100 Happy Days Challenge is coming along, and I must say, the premise works even during a not so great week. Despite what may be going on in your life, there’s always SOMETHING that brings a smile to your face – even if it’s the simplicity of eating your first Snickers Almond Bar in ages.

Have a good weekend!

Day85

{Day 85: That aforementioned Snickers Almond Bar.}

Day84

{Day #84:  What happens when you walk through Macy’s with a coupon. Gosh – I just LOVE these earrings and I LOVE the name. Who doesn’t want to wear “C.A.K.E.”?}

Day86

{Day #86: That time three little grilled shrimp in my salad made my Wednesday.}

Day81

{Day #81: The Fault in our Stars, my go-to latte, and the open outdoors during an afternoon break.}