My Happy List

This week, I thought Monday’s could use a little more happy since they’re usually the most depressing day of the week.


// flowers, particularly sunflowers and gardenias, which I often buy for myself during the summer.

// mail!  whether it’s a card or a package or really anything that’s not saying “dear Kiersten McMonagle, please give us money by the end of the month” (although, even those have a certain happiness to them because they mean that hey, I have my own bills to pay!  I’m a grown-up or something)

// a really good book.  the kind that while I’m reading it, I forget about everything else and the only thing that matters is the words on the page.

// snuggles from my kitty, even if he is a bit of a monster a lot of the time.

// snapchats from friends you haven’t seen in a long time

// brand new calendars, even smack dab in the middle of the year. maybe it’s the fact that I can be a little bit obsessive (read: kind of crazy sometimes), but I love the feel and look of a new calendar that hasn’t had any scribblings or anything on it yet. which is precisely why I cannot justify buying an Erin Condron planner – by June, I’d be using a different (probably cheaper) planner anyway.

// hearing the grass being mowed for the first time. ahhh, summer

So what’s on your happy list today?

Finding Happiness in the Monotony of Contentment

Sometimes, I think it’s important to give yourself a little reminder of all the things you have to be happy about, like good friends and delicious tea.  Between the fear and monotony of job hunting, the exhaustion of a waitressing job five to seven days a week at two different restaurants, bills piling up, and broken window latches, it’s easy to lose sight of happiness and settle for just content on most days.


With all the things pulling us down, it’s so so difficult to lift ourselves up and put a smile on our face each day.  But I’m a firm believer that it’s impossible to make it through this life without a little bit of happiness, and a whole lot of hope.

Let’s face it – things could be a hell of a lot simpler.  For the most part, we do a lot of this to ourselves with 9-5 jobs, bills, and a one-track mind on the next step.  So much of the time, we forget to pay attention to the here and now, to the beautiful moment we’re in and the success we had today. I certainly know I’m guilty of this.  Hell – within five minutes of grasping my diploma in my hand, the smile was wiped off my face and replaced by the utter terror of “what the hell do I do now?” And I could see that same exact fear on the faces of my now former-classmates sitting all around me. And just in case I didn’t reach that terror on my own, I get asked “so what are you doing now” by well-meaning people almost daily.

Don’t get me wrong – the future is important.  I know that I have to figure out what comes next, and the people asking me about it are only trying to help the best way they know how.  But as a society, we have a one-track mind on monetary and job-related success.  Those are great things!  But they aren’t the only things.  And I think I’ve come to the conclusion that if I did have to pick one thing, it’d be happiness.

I may be the last person who should be saying this given my sordid history with happiness (a story for another day…should I ever get the courage to tell it), but “just content” is no way to live, and starting today I want to make sure that I never (or…usually don’t) forget that.

Starting today, I want to trade “content” for “happy.”