What Makes You Happy?

expat life expat mums expat parenting expat parenting abroad Mar 23, 2020

What makes you happy?

Don’t you scoff at me, I mean it… when was the last time you stopped and thought about what makes you happy? 

My new hairdresser and I were chatting about the therapy she’s been doing, and I was really interested in her experience so I asked her what was the most challenging question she had been posed with. And this was it, “what makes you happy?”

As mums, and especially when we live abroad, we lose a sense of ourselves in the process. We lose a sense of who we are, our own identity, passions, interests, and frankly what makes us happy. Maybe we always tied happiness to our career? Maybe we tied happiness to our home comforts? Maybe it’s just being a mother, we don’t think of our own happiness at all, we focus on what our kids need?

I remember when I started the Business Idea Accelerator, Amel and Sundae asked similar questions - “what are your passions?” “what are your interests?” I had no idea! I literally had nothing!

This conversation with my hairdresser was so interesting… So I asked her, what was top of her list? “When my husband hugs me”. But she wasn’t allowed that because it relied on someone else. Oh!

That got me thinking, what makes me happy? Hugs from my girls, a great conversation with hubby, a walk with a friend, great coaching call with a client… but I can’t count any of that. Eeeek!

It’s not easy is it, but I guess that’s the point. So many of us lose a sense of self, that we need to take the time to find ourselves again.

That afternoon I started thinking about it, and two weeks later I am still working on my list (I want to get to 10), but some of my list includes buying fresh flowers and bringing them home, feeling the sun on my back while out walking, the sweet smell of the grass after the rain, a fresh hot cup of tea, driving my own car with the music up loud. 

In the process of doing this, I’ve also realised how much it is the simple things that I find immense pleasure in. Sometimes we overthink life, we make it too complicated for ourselves. It continues to be a great activity for me, and one that is making me happy! 

What’s on your list? What makes you happy? Can you name 10 things? I’ve prepared a worksheet that you can print off to help you. Keep it by your bed, keep it in your handbag, whatever is convenient, but start writing it down, “what makes you happy?”


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