Gorgeous Mystery Flower and Bumble Bees!

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Day 83

This morning when I was heading from my car to grab a coffee before work, I saw these beautiful flowers growing outside the PCC (kind of like a Whole Foods/River Valley Market for you East Coasters.) All of these cute little bumble bees were buzzing around and one flew right through the frame as I was taking the picture. If you look really closely, you can see the hunk of pollen stuck to his back leg. You can’t really tell but the plant itself seemed to grow almost like a weed – I sent a picture to the gardner in my family, Jenny, to see if she knew what it was. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m hoping it’s something easy to grow that I could plant on our deck!

Tonight, for the first time in a couple weeks, we took Winston to puppy play time and he had so much fun. Agnes, Earl and Winston ran in circles and generally bulldozed into one another. Winston would try to just follow along behind, or get the others into a game of chase by “tagging” them with his paws. He’d do this by leaping almost completely over Agnes or Earl and tapping them with his feet as he leapt. It was pretty impressive.

Afterwards, we spent the night hanging out on the couch and watching The Way Way Back. It was a fun feel-good movie and if you have a chance to watch it, you should. With how busy we’ve been the last couple of weeks, it was really nice to have a quiet night in. Although we have some chores we have to get through this weekend, I think we’ll just take our weekend pretty slow.

Here’s to sleeping in and lots of reading time!

Fresh Flowers Rock

day 2

Day 2

I am one of those people that can’t get enough of fresh flowers. For three dollars at Trader Joe’s, it’s a minimal investment for the amount of enjoyment they give me. And, at the tail end of February when our new city is wet, cold and monochromatic, there is nothing I could purchase (with the exception of tickets to Hawaii) that simultaneously cheers me up and reminds me that spring is just around the corner. I swear, I set them up on the kitchen table and I can’t count the number of times I catch myself staring off into space in their general direction.

It’s not just the colors though; the names of flowers also cheer me up. The ones in the picture above are called Snapdragons. Just stop and appreciate that name for a second. Snapdragon: it reminds me of fireworks, summer, barbecues, blue skies – basically all things not winter. On a daily basis, those flowers are a mini-happiness multivitamin.

When I’m not paying attention, it’s easy to dismiss the importance of the small joy I get from having those flowers. Instead, I tend to focus on how happy I’ll be when we can finally go on that two-week vacation or buy that coffee table. Leaving aside the fact that science has proven people are happier spending money on experiences – going on a trip, buying a new bike, going out to dinner – rather than things, I’ve found that the big happy moments often come with a mental price tag that the little ones don’t.

For example, going on vacation is wonderful. I absolutely love planning, traveling to new places, eating delicious food and spending extra time with my family and friends. When Josh and I went to New Orleans last summer as part of our honeymoon, it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. We stayed in the French Quarter, went on ghost tours, history tours, bought art and ate enough beignets to sustain a powdered sugar factory. At the end though, we were exhausted and ready to go back to our cat and Boston life. There was a recovery-readjustment period there that is not present when I’m enjoying small happy moments throughout my day.

It’s not that the giant happiness of a vacation isn’t worth the fatigue – I know we would go back to New Orleans in a heartbeat! – just that the small happiness boost I get from buying flowers may be, in the long run, just as important as that longed-for trip to Hawaii.

What I’m trying to say, and maybe failing at, is that I’m realizing more and more that being kind to myself in tiny, fulfilling ways is just as vital for my health, mentally and physically, as the big happy moments are. And, if I look at it that way, three dollars for flowers is an even better deal than I thought.