What does happiness mean to you?

It’s a genuine question. Not just a title.

I’ve just seen an advert on the TV which opened with this line- “What does happiness mean to you?” 

It got me thinking- how can that question be so hard? Why does this crazy world with its bills, deadlines, work and stresses mean that such a tiny little question is so difficult to answer? For me, the meaning of happiness has changed throughout my whole life.

As a child, happiness meant getting a lead part in a school show, being the best in my dance class, getting the highest grades. As I grew into adolescence, it meant having a good group of friends, a boyfriend, a university plan. Now that I’m coming to the end of my education, I can’t seem to find what it means anymore. 

I go between happiness=successful career one day to happiness=travelling the world and feeling content the next day. Money is key to happiness in one thought whilst it has no relation to it in the next. 

So. How do you discover what happiness means to you? Is it the success, the career, the education and grades? Is it travelling the world, not caring where your next meal comes from? Is it having someone to love and knowing they love you equally and always? Or is it just not caring? Living life as it goes along, one step at a time.

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No right or wrongs with this one…

This isn’t ‘research’ as such. I’d say it’s more aiming to gain a bit of an insight into an area as part of wider research.

I’m doing a project, which is part of my work at the moment, and a side-line of this project is to gain public opinion on certain things. First topic for discussion is IBS (or Irritable Bowel Syndrome). What I’m looking for is completely honest, open, frank opinions on the condition and I feel one of the best ways to do this is to ask those of you who read my blog.

I’m not interviewing you face-to-face, i’m not quoting anyone’s opinions anywhere, I’m just simply looking for opinions on the condition out of personal interest leading up to the project I’m doing. There are no right or wrongs, there are no judgements- I’m just interested to hear what you have to say. And I’ll be adding a contact form to this in the hope that those of you worried about sharing your opinion, will have their mind put at ease a little!

So get sharing those opinions with me- do you know anything about the condition? Do you have an opinion on those who suffer from it? Have you had any experiences yourself? You get the idea!

Thanks for your help readers!

Opportunities- scary, exciting or both?

I’ve just been asked to write a very short piece in a national magazine on my degree specialism. I can write about anything I want, obviously on the same topic as the magazine, but anything in that area nonetheless. It shouldn’t be a big deal- it’ll be a tiny article, I can’t imagine a huge number of people will read it and the person who asked me probably did so as they don’t know a huge amount of people still studying in this area.

So why then is it such a big deal to me? Am I scared or excited? I’m both.

Opportunities have their way of arising…sometimes. You’re always told to just see what’s round the corner, because there always is something. But what if there actually isn’t?

I used to be a believer that everything happens for a reason. That opinion has changed over the years and I’m leaning more towards the idea now that things just happen, for no reason at all. I’d love to believe in the first notion, i really would, but there’s so much that doesn’t make sense in the world that I don’t know how it can be true.

I’d love to think this opportunity has happened for a reason- I’m meant to write an article and before I know it, it’ll lead to more writing and recognition and maybe a dream career in science communication. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and this will happen. Sometimes you won’t and it’ll be nothing more than one opportunity. There’s no way of knowing.

It’s so hard to not get excited about something when you’re looking for that light in the mist, something to give you direction when you’re struggling to find one. So is it right to be excited? Should you be scared that it’s nothing more than one opportunity? Or should you be both?

Advice needed please!

Okay bloggers, it’s been some time since I wrote and when I say some time I actually mean almost a third of an entire year. I’m back at university with dissertations and essays to write galore so my apologies, but it’s been hectic.

I’ve decided it’s important to make a bit of time to do the things I enjoy though or else i’ll end this year with a great piece of paper but will think back on it as a big stressed blur. So i’m going to try and blog again. How often I don’t know. To be honest i don’t even know what path I want to go down but blogging nonetheless is what I enjoyed a while ago and what I would love to get back into now.

So i’m looking for a bit of advice. Firstly, on how to actually get this blog thing going! For instance, do I need a specific theme or do people enjoy reading about whatever ramblings the blogger wants to talk about that day?

And secondly, i’ve got my idea for the book I’ve always wanted to write. But again, I have no idea about getting this thing going. Of course I can read all the self-help ‘how to write your own book’ articles out there but i’m trying to see if any of you have got any experience? I’ve written my first page purely because I had the inspiration so what are people’s experiences out there? Do you just write where the inspiration takes you or do you spend a year planning every detail first?

Thanks in advance for any answers I get and hopefully will be blogging again soon!

A new start

I haven’t written for a while. A LONG while. The truth is, my journey of learning to be a child has taken a back seat because adult life has quite simply got in the way. Exams, work, the usual life ‘things’. So I’ve decided this will be my final post on this journey.

I won’t say it’s been unsuccessful, I’ve had fun and learnt a lot but quite simply i’ve never been one of those people you look at as a ‘big kid’ and, well, I am an adult after all. This journey has taught me just that and no I’m not going to stop writing but I am going to alter my journey from now on.

It’s time for change. It’s time to stop trying to be a kid because I think this way I’ll find whatever it is I’m looking for because realistically I have no idea. Maybe it’s time to approach things differently, take the adult approach.

So as one blog ends, another one begins. One of new experiences, of thoughts and ideas, dreams and hopes- a journey towards finding whatever it is I’m looking for. A purpose? True happiness? Something else in all this hustle and bustle of life that makes that difference? 

First stop- start planning a book I’ve always dreamed of writing. 

Week Nine: Sunny days

Sometimes things get hard. At work, college, in relationships, through health.

Life isn’t an easy ride.

The lesson I’ve learnt this week though is that one sunny day can change all that. The sun doesn’t just light up our skies- it lights up our hearts, minds and spirits. A walk in the sunshine or lying down in a park with your face upturned to the sky can make you feel everything is right again, everything will be okay.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by darkness just remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel- literally. 

Week Eight: Team spirit

Athletics- Road running and Cross Country Running

The day arrives.

The sweat, blood and tears it has taken to get to this moment. The time, money, energy, sacrifices. Everything has been building up for this one short day.

I’ve never been good at sports, NEVER. I was never in a team, never excelling at P.E., I couldn’t even go for a run round the block. I still can’t. But supporting at  a sports’ event, that I can do. 

The excitement built in me, the nerves built in my family member taking part in the sports’ event. The days ticked by until the event. Plans were put into place, bags were packed, flags were made, miles were travelled.

And then…

We cheered, we jumped, we shouted, we smiled.

The flags were waved, steps were climbed, necks were strained reaching to see the event.

And I loved every second. 

I felt nervous, excited, happy. But most of all I felt proud. Proud to be a part of something, proud to feel the meaning of team spirit- what it feels like to support something, watch achievement unfolding in front of me. I never took part in sports at school, but I can’t remember supporting it either. Maybe I felt I couldn’t if I didn’t take part but this event taught me the opposite.

I can feel part of a team spirit, even if I’m not going to be the next Olympic athlete myself. 

So week eight’s lesson? 

Go out there and support your family or your friends or any other sporting event so you can feel part of the exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming phenomenon that is team spirit.