Engineer by day, beadweaver by night (mostly), I like to look for answers to questions.
How do things work? What inspires you? What do you wonder about?
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Do You Know What Makes You Happy?

I took a day of vacation on Wednesday of this week. I didn't use my day off to go out and have fun. Instead I worked with my husband and kids to clean out one of our hallway closet and the kids' room. We dragged everything out onto the front lawn, sorted it, got rid of a lot of stuff, then put it all away again.  (By the way, I am only showing "after" pictures because the "before" pictures are too embarrassing.)

It doesn't sound like a very good vacation, does it? I probably would have been a lot happier to get out in the sun, go up to Mount Hood or take a bike ride or something fun, right?

Not so. It turns out all of us working together was some nice family bonding time. Every time I walk past the kids' room or put something away in the closet, I feel happy and satisfied. Tonight we will have many of our friends come over, and they will be able to hang their coats and bags up by the door (this area was dominated by coats that are now hanging in the closet).

Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard, researches happiness. His findings indicate human beings are not very good at predicting what will make us happy. I know I would not have guessed using my vacation to tidy would make me happy, but I even less stressed at work for the rest of the week.

How about you?  Have you ever been surprised that something made you happy?  Or maybe something that was not as satisfying as you thought it would be?  Does being happy affect how you approach your art or craft?


  1. I think there's something about getting rid of clutter that makes us feel free. And time with the family is such a precious thing. So good for you!!

  2. I've often surprised myself when I didn't think I wanted to do something and as it turned out, I was so glad that I did it.

    I'm also one that hates clutter! I need everyting organized. When my physical life is cluttered, I feel like my mind is cluttered. Wierd I know...

  3. I love a nice tidy area. That would make me happy too :)

  4. A day of organizing and optimizing storage, in good company! Sounds great to me. :)

  5. Thanks for your comments, everyone! I am not the most organized person in the world, but as I get older, I appreciate tidiness more.


I love hearing your thoughts, questions and stories!