woman gardening outside near a mountain

Happiness is an important part of life and what it takes to be happy varies from person to person.


For me, there are many simple things in life that bring me pleasure. Things like bright colors, the color blue, music, animals, my family, my children, cotton candy, and popcorn, traveling and experiencing new things.


Although, many simple things bring me happiness in life, my biggest pleasure comes from a learned behavior from my own childhood days.


I was raised in the Midwest and my family always had one of the prettiest yards in the neighborhood. Maybe I’m a little bias but I have to say that it’s like walking through a beautifully landscaped park. My mom and dad found such joy working in the yard; mowing, raking, trimming, weeding, planting, or simply picking up sticks and buckets of acorns. After hours of hard work, we would just sit outside and soak in the beauty around us. Sometimes we even turned on the grill or played a game of Badminton till dark.


When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to have my own house! Not for the typical freedom that most youth are seeking, but because I wanted my own flowerbeds and bird feeders. I would plant pots, hang bird feeders, and even dig up some grass to plant flowers and vegetables around my ground floor patio. The passion that gardening instilled in me created an honest and sincere happiness that I wouldn’t trade for the world.


Now, that I live in Florida with my own house and tropical landscape, I long for the hours I can spend in my yard! I love to put my blue headphones on, crank up my iPod, and mow or weed to the beat! (Ok, so I sing loudly and air drum too!) I can be out there for hours, literally. Being able to see the immediate results of my labor brings forth such pride and instant gratification.


I have to say that I am a bit addicted to planting fruit trees, palm trees, and enhancing my butterfly garden. When I see how much my work is appreciated by the flowers and trees I plant, the birds that come to my yard, and the abundance of butterflies that are drinking from my flowers; it brings an incredible sense of pleasure. I think, “Wow! I did that!” I really feel that I am giving back to nature by helping take care of it and it’s creatures.


I love looking at the animals and butterflies flying around me, spreading pollen and laying caterpillar eggs on my plants. I feel joy and happiness in what I have accomplished. I feel instant release of stress and worry. Yes, I feel sweaty and tired too, but nothing that an instant dip in a cool blue pool can’t wash away!


What makes you happy? And are you doing more of it everyday? If you’re spending your time doing things that don’t make you happy, stop. Look at the world around you and realize that your time is limited – make everyday count. Go on and be happy!


If you have a hobby that makes you happy I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me at @BrushStrokesAT .

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