Update On The October Happiness List Exercise

I wrote before about How List Writing Can Make You Happier and today’s post is an update on that exercise for October.

I realize this is a subjective experience but then again, when the subject’s me. I’m all eyes and ears 😉

Some people keep diaries and journals. Others create photo albums and make heartfelt comments above each snapshot. When I was in my twenties I kept a training diary each day for all the running, weight lifting, hill running and hurdling experiences of those young adult years I spent as an athlete.

I was also fond of recording the weather on each session as I was smitten from childhood by both the beauty of clouds and what they foretold.

Years later I can still look at many of the entries and vividly recall what I was doing, who I was with, how much it hurt (sometimes!); especially winter training hell in Belfast’s Barnett’s Demesne, and see too, of course, the weather.

(Here’s a picture of that white house on the hill. (Oct 2011 Update: Broken Link.) The start of the hill run is off the bottom right of the picture. It really does get steeper as you approach the top. I must get a better picture next time I’m home.)

Back to the happiness exercise.

As I work a lot from home, I use a Personal Information Manager (PIM) on my 6 year old desktop PC (InfoSelect8 Personal Information Manager. See ) And the screenshot below shows the InfoSelect happiness list item I created to record my happiness thought at the end of each day.

Happiness list infoSelect

Even with that visual reminder I still forgot to record something for three of the thirty-one days!

What probably happened is I didn’t do my end-of-day check or was working way into the wee-hours of the early morning.

Funny thing is, when I did try and remember to record some happiness event, a few days later, I couldn’t.

Seems my memory is very selective (or getting worse, which is a belief I don&‘t subscribe to, haha!).

Whatever! The point I’m trying to make is that as events (happy or otherwise) appear to recede into the past, we have a hard job organizing them in our brains, let alone recalling them.

For example, what were you doing on the 1st (Wed), 10th (Wed) and 31st (Fri) of October respectively? How much sensory detail can you recall for any of the highlights of those days? Or did one day simply bleed into the next and you’re left with an amorphous set of hazy experiences called your life?

To anyone but me, the list below may look just a big yawn-yawn. However, I can honestly see a wonderful record of what I love to do, who I want to be with and what I want more of.

And isn’t that worth living for?

Happiness List
Oct. 2008

10/31/2008 Fri Delicious Thai meal with K

10/30/2008 Thu
A wonderful pint of Guinness with Tony
1st run in 7 days (head cold)

10/29/2008 Wed
Enjoyed delicious home made banana cake from K

10/28/2008 Tue
?? forgot

10/27/2008 Mon
Blocked all Internet distractions during biz day and got a ton of work done 🙂

10/26/2008 Sun
??recovering from a cold

10/25/2008 Sat
Reading Paddi Lund CNE book sent as a gift.

10/24/2008 Fri
Good Meeting With New Business Prospect

10/23/2008 Thu Transfered online profits into bank account

10/22/2008 Wed
Making good progress on new coaching website design

10/21/2008 Tue
Vivid dream recall on wakening

10/20/2008 Mon
Fantastic lunchtime run in a sunny autumnal park

10/19/2008 Sun Fun extended family get together and party; great food!

10/18/2008 Sat
Ran 2 laps (6km) of Tama Circuit before 9am
relaxing and reading book in Tama Hills grass on a sunny Saturday morning

10/17/2008 Fri
?? forgot

10/16/2008 Thu
Another fab morning run
Reading a coaching book on a sunny afternoon in the park

10/16/2008 Wed
Backyard sunning myself at lunchtime; 15 mins of blissful nothing

10/14/2008 Tue
Spent an interesting morning learning and teaching more about the moon

10/13/2008 Mon
Received surprise thank you message from Paddi Lund’s publisher

10/12/2008 Sun
Enjoying sunshine in the park with my daughter (on a run, naturally!)

10/11/2008 Sat
?? forgot

10/10/2008 Fri
Treated to delicious birthday tempura meal
my sunny b-day morning run

10/9/2008 thu
Running on newly opened spongy green grass section of park

10/8/2008 wed Enjoyed delicious home made stew

10/7/2008 tue
Another great autumn morning run

10/6/2008 mon Writing a birthday blog post

10/5/2008 sun
Evening walk with kuri & m
Helping m brainstorm school project ideas

10/4/2008 sat sunbeams through the trees while running up killer hill alone.
eating a twix bar!

10/3/2008 fri
another great autumn lunchtime run

10/2/2008 Thu
beautiful sunny autumn morning run
weighed in a 76.2Kg (lowest in 28 years!)

10/1/2008 wed
Watched Rambo 1; natsukashii (nostalgia for my youth)