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). ūüôā

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

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{Day 34: My BF left to run an errand & came home with 2 Sunday favs: fresh flowers & bacon!}


This has been one of the most chaotic and exhausting weeks I have had¬†in quite awhile boys and girls. I knew going into it that it would be a challenging one on all levels – ¬†mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And while I’m not really in a head space to delve into the particulars of everything that seems to be piling up at the moment, I am happy on this heat wave induced Friday in LA to say…I made it. I’m still in the middle of said storm that I know I’ve been¬†rather elusive about, but the rain has lifted a bit since the beginning of the week. What I will share is that The Universe is making it very clear that the sunshine will prevail…even at 94¬į outside as I literally write this.

I know that I’m equipped to deal with everything that’s going on, it’s just funny how in life it tends to happen at the most inconvenient moment and the struggle is just accepting reality (which I’ve done), getting past¬†the¬†mental kicking (still working on it), while anxious about how everything will turn out (I’m a total worrywart, so still working on this, too). ¬†Then again, what I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, is that there’s never a convenient time. You really just have to roll with life and hope for the best. As I reflect back over the last week, I found¬†myself constantly remembering to focus on the positive so I can see how my perspective is shifting often – and I smile because I can clearly see where things could always be much worse. I hope this inspires you, no matter what’s happening at this particular moment, to focus on the good. In fact, cling to it.

My week-long vacation starts in just a few more hours. I’m taking some time off from life for a while to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday and recharge. I really need it. I’m looking forward to spending some time with my boyfriend in Ojai for my birthday for a few days, then heading back home for a much-needed staycation to have the time to relax, catch-up on life, and think about the next steps.

As such,¬†I’m also taking some time off from the blog, but not to worry – I’ll be back! I hope you’ll still be here.

Have an amazing weekend and week ahead.

I still made it a point to find that one thing a day, that brought a smile to my face, even during this crazy week. Here are some of my favorite moments from the 100 Happy Days Challenge.

Talk soon! x

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{Day 39:¬†9:52am today.¬†Heat wave in progress, and I’m lovin’ it. Another LA Friday has arrived.}

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{Day 37: A fresh homemade strawberry smoothie to start another busy day.}

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{Day 33: French films, festivals, and nights in Hollywood. Win, win.}

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{Day 38: Dropping your phone from a second story building to meet its fate with the concrete, not cool. Getting a replacement phone in 24 hours because you were smart enough to always get phone insurance, now smiling.}


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5 Reasons This Week Will Rock

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There are moments in life where you mentally¬†kick yourself over and over, obsessing over a¬†barrage of “what ifs” – knowing that the domino effect of what’s to come could’ve easily been avoided had either you made a different choice, or the circumstances surrounding you had been different. Of course, life is meant to be a teacher; and God, The Universe, or whatever spiritual ideology you choose to believe in never gives you more than you can handle. And yet, it still seems to take time before you get passed¬†the mental kicking and cycle of “if I had just done this…”

I suppose it’s just the nature of being human and learning with the ebb and flow of life.¬†This means that during¬†the domino effect or the results of events to come, we also have a choice of how to deal/respond as we¬†see our way through the storm.

This is going to be a chaotic and lively week as I maneuver through a more stressful moment in life. And though this particular¬†storm is not life-threatening and not anything at all uncommon, admittedly, I still do the human thing and kick myself (often). However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve made it a point to try to focus on the positive and look for the gratitude in every situation. I must say, it’s an interesting exercise when you consciously catch yourself¬†alternating between the kicking and the gratitude.

I’m choosing to focus on the positive at this particular moment. It’s a huge aspect of why¬†I even started blogging almost 2 years ago and started my “5 Reasons” series 7¬†months ago.

So, I’ll take a deep breath, tell myself to take it one step at a time, focus on finding¬†the lesson, ask The Universe to send good vibes and look forward to these 5 reasons this week rock…even during¬†the storm.


1. I’d planned to take some time off¬†and have a quiet staycation here at home for¬†my¬†birthday next week, but my sneaky boyfriend made other plans much to delight. Last week, he handed me a box and said it was an early birthday present. Inside, reservations for a quaint hotel in Ojai! My staycation just turned into a vacation! I’m SO¬†looking forward it. This unexpected surprise will be what will carry me through the week! I can’t wait. ūüôā

2.¬†I’m 100% back to normal after my cold last week. It’ll be nice to get back to life healthy and rested. I’ll need it to make it through a rather hectic week ahead.

3.¬†The new read for my next book club meeting is¬†now on my Kindle ready to go! I’m excited for Wally Lamb’s new novel, We Are Water.

4. Aside from always being grateful for steady employment – things are expected to be busy at work this week. I’m in the middle of a huge project that I’m enjoying and being challenged by. It’s a great change of pace.

5.¬†Movie night with my boyfriend (who totally rocks by the way!). Looking forward to a weekday night at one of my favorite theaters and Tom Hardy in¬†Locke. Looks intense and currently 89% on¬†Rotten Tomatoes? I’m there. Here’s the trailer!

Have a good week, guys! I can’t believe April will be leaving us shortly.


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With Gratitude…

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{Saturday mornings.}

You couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous LA weekend!¬†We just might skip spring altogether and head straight into summer at the rate that we’re going. No kidding boys and girls, my air-conditioning was on most of the day on Sunday to combat 90¬į¬†temperatures just outside my door.

While it turned out be a rather lazy weekend as to be expected, I did manage to get out and have one of the best deep tissue massages I’ve EVER had (I’m still slightly sore from the “work-out” Pietro gave me, but I literally floated through the rest of the day I was so relaxed). After a successful stop at Trader Joe’s (meaning I actually found a parking space without having to growl at anyone), then an all too successful stop at Target for the essentials (and those not so much, because, hey – it’s Target)! I was on track for an amazing weekend.

And yet, though the sun was shining and I had everything I needed around me, I couldn’t shake this small funk I found myself in on Sunday for reasons I won’t bore you with. Nothing in particular happened (though as I write this, I can pinpoint where things took a turn Saturday afternoon). I suppose it’s just the ebb and flow of being human. We must embrace the highs with the lows and not beat ourselves up over it.

I know the best thing to do when you feel yourself slipping into a pity party for one, is to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on the good. It’s not exactly helping that it’s also Monday – you know, my favorite day of the week (enter sarcasm). I thought I would start the week with 10 things (large and small and in random order) that I’m grateful for at the moment to shake things up, lift this nasty funk, and get me back to the light.

With gratitude for…

  1. Everything about the picture above from Saturday morning. French toast with fresh-cut strawberries, eggs with avocado, and an iced coffee I made for breakfast. Add in my kindle on “Chapter One” of a new read I’ve been waiting over a month to start (because I was #22 in line on the holds list at the library forever) and I couldn’t have been happier.
  2. The universe put a sweet guy in my life (and he made me dinner on Saturday AND Sunday AND brought me macaroons for dessert).
  3. Steady employment (always a good thing and in the industry I actually studied in college – go figure!).
  4. Essie’s “Watermelon” nail polish. My at home mani/pedi over the weekend have my nails ready for spring.
  5. My health! Duh. (This should probably have come up sooner on the list).
  6. My “little” brother. He’s not exactly little anymore (though he always will be to me). Who knew the little guy following me around bugging me all day, everyday, incessantly as a kid would turn out to be a best friend?
  7. All I have to do is think back to the days when all I wanted was a car to go anywhere my heart desired. I watched with much envy in high school as friends of mine got that freedom much sooner than I did because I couldn’t afford a car. Hands down, this is STILL one of the best parts about being an adult: having a car I LOVE to drive with a full tank of gas to go anywhere I want…and I don’t even have to ask.
  8. Hot Tamales (yes, you read that right).
  9. The art of cinema, my obsession.
  10. Blogging. At this moment, that funk that I was in when I started this post has somehow, someway…just evaporated.

Let’s not forget the small things and live in gratitude. It’s the only way.¬†Have a great week!

Love & Light,

Candi

Highlights

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We made it to Friday. And that’s my highlight. (Scrooge, much?)

I can’t say that February has been particularly kind so far. Things have been rather chaotic on all fronts to say the least, and because of that I find myself off balance and not feeling quite like myself. Always the one to stop and ask myself, “what is the lesson here?” – I’ve spent the last few days processing the answer. Consciously, I know that anytime something isn’t going the way I’d like it to (or how I think it’s supposed to) it’s because I need to change my perspective or how I choose to react to the situation first and foremost. Given that I’m completely aware of this, I still have a hard time executing it at times. And this is because I get stuck on the “why?” and the injustice of it all, when ultimately the answer is that there are things that are just out of my control. This I know: address what you can and let go of what you can’t. What’s frustrating is that if I know this, why is it so hard to actually do sometimes?

On an especially lousy morning 2 days ago, my week saw an improvement in the simplicity of unexpected kindness. A colleague of mine walked over and asked me to join her for a coffee¬†(let’s overlook the fact that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee right now recovering from a really nasty stomach virus).¬†This is not too unusual – some of the gals and I grab coffee in the morning together a few times a week.¬†What was kind about this particular excursion, was that she not only treated me to coffee, but asked me to sit outside and just talk for a while.

It’s pretty amazing how stepping away from my crappy morning, and indulging in one of my favorite addictions (iced vanilla lattes) over conversation about some of the things that had been bothering me lately and hearing about what’s going on in her life instantly improved my mood. The dialogue was at once helping me release a little pent-up frustration while removing the cloud over my head as I listened to her share her thoughts as well. In talking to her, it seemed like both of our spirits needed to take a deep breath and refocus. I could literally feel my perspective changing: See,¬†things aren’t so bad, you’re sitting outside on a¬†gorgeous¬†day sipping one of your favorite things, enjoying someone’s¬†kindness¬†and company. Smile, everything will be okay!

What I’ve come to learn about myself when I get riled up over something is that it oftentimes helps to just vent like crazy talk, to have my voice heard, even if I cannot change the situation. There seems to be some satisfaction in that for me.¬†The funny thing is that this is not easy. I consider myself to be a pretty outgoing, opinionated, friendly person, but I’m not your classic open book that readily opens up to many people, and if I do – I do so very carefully.

So, again what’s the lesson here? You cannot change your perspective, if you can’t let go of what you can’t control anyway. (That’s a mouthful!)

It seems I found a way (out of thousands, I’m sure) to get the ball rolling on changing my perspective when things get sticky. Just taking a step back and intentionally doing something to alter my state of mind (i.e. joining a friend for coffee) released my attachment the “why?’ and the injustice of it all that I was re-hashing at the time. It even helped to constructively talk about some of the annoyances that had been bothering me that particular morning. It was through our conversation that I was reminded we all have “sticky” situations.

I’m not all suggesting that you find the next person available and verbally throw-up all over them, hashing and re-hashing things that happened weeks ago – but there really is something to that whole notion of enjoying someone’s company or talking about what’s on your mind if you feel comfortable to do so. Feeding off another person’s energy, advice, sympathetic ear, and kindness took me out of my self-induced funk. I found myself more present than I had been all morning.

The funny thing is that while I expressed my gratitude for the coffee and conversation, she’ll never know how that small act of kindness and simple invitation was the highlight of my week. I can’t say that the rest of that day or this even week went off without a hitch from there, because it didn’t. However, those 45 minutes was a lesson learned in the power of perspective. And I suspect, it will be one that I’ll spend this lifetime perfecting.

I love this simple, yet dynamic question above as I wrap up this post that I came across on Pinterest last night. Will most of what has made this week less than stellar matter in a year? The answer is no. Somehow outside of an iced latte and a good chat with a friend, my perspective just became all the more sharper.

Have a great weekend, guys! xx