Friday, July 16, 2010

Intentional Happiness

Life has been a little frustrating around our house lately. Mostly, it's jobs. I can't even get a call or email about any of the teaching jobs I'm applying for, no matter how many times I update my applications. I'm not unhappy with my current jobs-- babysitting and The Chopping Block-- but in terms of schedule and pay, they are jobs I can't sustain on forever. We've been living pretty comfortably regardless of my minimal income, but after doing so for over a year, things are starting to get tighter. I won't bore you with all the details, my point is just that I'm frustrated. I want a real, "grown up" job again, and I want it to be in a school setting. Joe is also feeling a bit stuck at his job, with frustrating management and not any obvious place to get to. So between the two of us, there have been some crabby evenings around our house!

That's where intentional happiness comes in. I first saw the idea of it on my friend The Kitchen Witch's blog, and I commented on how I've been trying to pick out the positive aspects of my life recently. She sent me a !!! card to keep in my wallet, and I've been trying to actually pick out and document some of the !!! moments in my life. Here are just a few things that have made me stop and appreciate my life this week.

This year I have been growing some herbs and tomatoes on our back porch. Not only have I not killed the plants, but they're actually edible! These tomatoes were the first on the plant to turn red, and Joe and I were so excited to eat them. That's major !!!. I also had enough home grown basil to make a batch of pesto, which is now in cute little containers in my freezer, waiting to be eaten.

A great !!! for us is homebrewing. Making beer is a hobby that I am happy to share with Joe. We have so much fun working together to see the process from beginning to end. This is bottling day, which is always fun.

I've been cooking a lot of farm-fresh produce lately, from our CSA share and from farmer's markets. Cooking always brings some !!! into my life. No matter how broke we get, I have a hard time compromising on food. We're mostly eating vegetarian at the moment-- cheaper AND healthier for us and the earth. This was an amazing recipe I made up for grilled polenta squares with collard greens and spring onions, topped with zucchini and white bean tomato sauce.

My jobs have random hours and are low paying, but they allow me !!! like this. 3:00 pm, on the back porch... Get Up Kids on my ipod, homebrewed beer standing by, and a book to enjoy. Ok, so I didn't really enjoy the book (The Sun Also Rises), but I get to feel !!! for relaxing out back in the middle of the day :)

I'm sure I'll document some intentional happiness again. It's a good exercise in counting my blessings, which are many! What made you appreciate life this week?


  1. Hemingway isn't my favorite, either. However, just the thought of your tomatoes gets me excited--I can never grow those suckers. Definitely !!!

  2. that Boulevard Wheat glass almost brought me to tears. do you know how long it's been since i've had it???? sad face :(.

    i know what you mean about career choices. i'm feeling stuck too. i think a lot of us are in the spot with you and joe. hopefully we'll all find something that'll make us happy in the long run!