Best Part of Waking Up? Chocolate Cake.

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Day 1

As today is the first official blog post of the Challenge, I’m hitting the reset button for simplicity’s sake. Now, instead of being a day behind, you’ll be reading up-to-date posts.

With that out of the way, almost nothing makes me happier than a good book, something sweet, and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Right now, I’m in the middle of reading City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte and it goes perfectly with a piece of chocolate cake. For those of you that haven’t read the first in the series, City of Dark Magic, it’s about a young music student, Sarah Weston, who makes friends with a 400 year old dwarf, a musical genius, a handsome prince and is very quickly entangled in a time-traveling mystery. The second book continues in this vein, this time in Vienna, in a race to save her friend Pols.

For me, having a good morning sets me up for the rest of the day. Kind of like those 90s kid cereal commercials or even Folger’s “The best part of waking up, is Folger’s in your cup!” (I defy you to read that without hearing the singsong voice in your head.) Often though, I rush through it to get started on the “should be’s” – laundry, dishes, job applications, last night’s dirty clothes on the floor etc.

Even today, I didn’t actually take time to enjoy the little vignette I set up in the photo. Instead, I drank my coffee, ate my cake and started writing this blog post thinking “I’ll just get a quick jumpstart on it while I’m thinking of the topic!” So, instead of enjoying what I purposefully I set up for myself, I spent it writing the blog, helping train our dog, Winston, to leave our cat alone (so far, success!!), occupying Winston so that my husband can read his book, giving the beasties their pills and creating a mental to-do list for our Sunday.

So, although I appreciated having a few of my favorite things in front of me, I didn’t take the moment to enjoy them, which is kind of the whole point of this experiment. However, I don’t think I failed and here’s why: sure, in an ideal situation everyone would make the time to do things that make them happy (especially if you’ve signed up for a challenge that requires you do just that!) but it’s also helping me notice and count on the fly all the different things that I enjoy. Would it have been nice to have my coffee, cake and book uninterrupted? Hell yes! But it was also hilarious watching Winston run around, it was awesome training him to leave the cat alone so he could get some peace and quiet for the first time in five months and I was happy to try to give Josh some time to read his book.

I’m starting to think that happiness is a lot more complicated than I’ve been giving it credit for. It is much more of a balancing act between doing things for myself and others. On top of this, the very act of forcing myself to notice what I enjoy feels contrived, like a waste of concentration, while totting up my daily annoyances is automatic. All in all, I’m having a difficult time tying this into a neat little package but what better way to end the first post? Happiness: difficult to wrap up.

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